P. Kakkan

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P. Kakkan
Minister for Home Affairs (Madras state)
In office
3 October 1963 – 5 March 1967
Minister of Agriculture (Madras state)
In office
13 March 1962 – 3 October 1963
Member of Madras Legislative Assembly for Samayanallur
In office
Minister of Public Works (Madras state)
In office
13 April 1957 – 13 March 1962
Member of Madras Legislative Assembly for Melur
In office
Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) for Madurai
In office
Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by None
Succeeded by K. T. K. Thangamani
Member of Constituent Assembly
In office
Monarch George VI of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by None
Succeeded by None
Personal details
Born 18 June 1908
Thumbaipatti, Melur, Madras Presidency, British India
Died 23 December 1981
Madras, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Profession Politician

P. Kakkan (sometimes Kakkan) (Tamil: கக்கன்) (June 18, 1908 – December 23, 1981) was a Dalit leader, freedom fighter and Indian politician who served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, Member of Parliament, President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and in various ministerial posts in Congress governments in the erstwhile Madras state between 1957 and 1967.

Early life[edit]

Kakkan was born in a Tamil family on June 18, 1908 in Village called Thumbaipatti In Melur Taluk, madurai district of Madras Presidency.[1] His father Poosari Kakkan was a "Poosari" in the village shrine.[2]

Indian Independence Movement[edit]

Kakkan was drawn to the independence movement from an early stage in his life. While in school, he joined the Indian National Congress.[3] When the Rajaji Government brought forth the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act 1939 which removed restrictions on Dalits and Shanars entering temples, Kakkan led the temple entry at Madurai.[3] He also participated in the Quit India Movement and was sent to Alipore jail.[3] In 1946, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly.[3] and served from 1946 to 1950.

Politics of Free India[edit]

Kakkan served as a member of the Lok Sabha from 1952 to 1957.[4] When K. Kamaraj resigned as the President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in order to take office as the Chief Minister of Madras state, Kakkan was elected as the President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.[5][6][7] Following the 1957 elections when the Indian National Congress was re-elected to power in the Madras state, Kakkan was sworn in as the Minister for Public Works (excluding Electricity), Harijan Welfare, Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes on April 13, 1957 [8][9] From March 13, 1962 to October 3, 1963, Kakkan served as the Minister of Agriculture.[4] On April 24, 1962, he was appointed as a member of the Business Advisory Committee.[10] and as Home Minister on October 3, 1963 [4] and served till 1967 when the Indian National Congress was defeated in the Assembly elections.[11]

Later life and death[edit]

In the 1967 Assembly elections, Kakkan stood for elections from Melur (South) constituency and lost to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate O. P. Raman.[12] Following his defeat in the 1967 elections, Kakkan retired from politics.


Some of Kakkan's achievements as Minister have been the construction of the Mettur and Vaigai reservoirs[3] and the formation of the Harijan Seva Sangh for the upliftment and welfare of Dalits.[3] As Minister of Agriculture, he established two Agriculture Universities in Madras state.[3] In 1999, the Government of India released a postage stamp commemorating Kakkan and his contributions to the nation.[3]


Being the son of a priest, Kakkan was deeply religious. He was also a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi. When Periyar, the leader of the Self-respect movement publicly declared his intention to organize a Dravidar Kazhagam procession to the Marina in order to burn pictures of the Hindu God Rama, Kakkan warned Periyar that the desecration of images would constitute an "anti-social act" that would forsake the strong faith in God by which Gandhi won independence for India.[13] When Periyar tried to ignore the warning, he was arrested and confined in prison though the Government was not able to stop Dravidar Kazhagam activists from burning pictures of Lord Rama.[13]


Mrs Swarnam parvathi Kakkan his wife is a very simple person. She worked as a school teacher in Madurai. She was a great companion and supporter of his principles.

Children: He had five sons and one daughter. Eldest son Mr P K Padmanthan served the Tamil Nadu Government as President and Registrar of Cooperative societies. Mr Kakkan refused to to make any recommendation when his son appeared for the TN Public service commission. He was married to Prof. V S Krishnakumari who is a Paediatrcian and worked as the Director of Institute of Child Health Egmore, Chennai.[14] His Eldest daughter Mrs Meenakshi Vijayakumar [15] is a currently the deputy Director in TN fire Services. She is one of the two woman fire officers recruited in Fire service in the country. His second Daughter Dr Shanthi Krishnan MRCGP MRCOG works in UK for National Health Service.

His Second Son Mr P K Pakkiyanathan worked for Simpson's Chennai. His third Son Mr P K Kasiviswanathan was an IPS officer worked as Assistant commissioner of Police in Madurai. His Fourth and fifth sons Dr P K Sathiayanathan, Dr P K Nadarajamoorthy both were doctors in Chennai.

His only daughter Mrs Kasthuri Sivasamy was involved in state Politics. Her Husband Mr Sivasamy is a Retired Chief Engineer at Port Blair Andaman. Their Second Daughter Mrs Rajeshwari is an IPS officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police in Trichy.

Kakkan's brother Viswanathan Kakkan,[16][17] an advocate, was a former Vice-President of the Hindu Munnani[18] and a well-known devotee of the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, Jayendra Saraswathi.[19][20] He unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Assembly election in Tamil Nadu from Perambur as a candidate of the Janata Party.[21][22]


  1. ^ Chandra, Ramesh; Sangh Mittra (2003). Dalit Identity in the New Millennium. Commonwealth Publishers. p. 124. ISBN 8171697658, ISBN 978-81-7169-765-6. 
  2. ^ subashjkhgChandra, Ramesh; Sangh Mittra (2003). Dalit Identity in the New Millennium. Commonwealth Publishers. p. 125. ISBN 8171697658, ISBN 978-81-7169-765-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "24. SPECIAL POSTAGE STAMP ON FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND SOCIAL REFORMERS". Latest PIB Releases. Press Information Bureau, Government of India. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  4. ^ a b c Who's who in India. Guide Publications. 1967. p. 64. 
  5. ^ Muthuswamy, M. S. (1988). K. Kamaraj: A Socio-political Study. Tamil Nadu Academy of Political Science. p. 101. 
  6. ^ Narasimhan, V. K. (1967). Kamaraj: A Study. Manaktalas. p. 71. 
  7. ^ "Kakkan is TNCC chief". The Hindu: This Day that Age. December 30, 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  8. ^ "The Cabinet" (PDF). Madras Legislative Assembly 1957 - 1962. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  9. ^ "Allocation of Business Among Ministers" (PDF). Madras Legislative Assembly 1957 - 1962. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  10. ^ "Resume of work done by the Madras Legislative Assembly from March 29 to May 7, 1962" (PDF). Madras Legislative Assembly 1962 - 1967. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  11. ^ Justice Party Golden Jubilee Souvenir, 1968. Justice Party. 1968. p. 68. 
  12. ^ "Statistical Report on General Election 1967 to the Legislative Assembly of Madras" (PDF). Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  13. ^ a b Richman, Paula (1991). The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia, Chapter 9: E. V. Ramasami's Reading of the Ramayana. University of California. 
  14. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madras_Medical_College.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Vijayakumar.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Minister should go: Swamy". The Hindu:National. February 19, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  17. ^ Rao, K. Suryanarayana (2002). Race-Csate Untouchability RSS. Sakthi Pusthaga Nilayam. p. 22. 
  18. ^ Rao, K. Suryanarayana (2002). Race-Csate Untouchability RSS. Sakthi Pusthaga Nilayam. p. 21. 
  19. ^ Das, Swati (December 23, 2004). "Dalit group to protest Seer's arrest". The Times of India. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  20. ^ Annamalai, S. (November 12, 2002). "Kanchi Acharya worships at Dalit-run temple". The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  21. ^ "List of contestants of Janata Party in Tamil Nadu". State Elections 2006. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  22. ^ "Results". State Elections 2006 Perambur - Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2008-10-29. [dead link]