A. T. Pannirselvam

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Rao Bahadur Sir
A T Pannirselvam
Minister of Home of Madras Presidency
In office
1934 – ?
Prime Minister Raja of Bobbili
Governor John Erskine, Lord Erskine
In office
1 April 1937 – 14 July 1937
Prime Minister Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu
Governor John Erskine, Lord Erskine
Minister of Finance of Madras Presidency
In office
1 April 1937 – 14 July 1937
Prime Minister Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu
Governor John Erskine, Lord Erskine
Personal details
Born 1 June 1888
Died 1 March 1940
Nationality British Indian
Political party Justice Party
Spouse(s) Pappammal
Profession Politician

Rao Bahadur Sir Arogyaswami Thamaraiselvam Pannirselvam ("A. T. Pannirselvam") (1 June 1888 – 1 March 1940) was an Indian attorney, landlord, politician and leader of the Justice Party.

Political career[edit]

Pannirselvam was the leader of the Tanjore Municipal Corporation during 1918-20 and a member of the Tanjore District board during 1924-30.[1][2] He was an alumnus of Cambridge University[3] and the first Indian Christian to be appointed as adviser to the Lord Zetland, Secretary of State for India.[4] He attended the 1930 Round Table Conference on India as a nominee of the Viceroy to represent Indian Christians.[5]

In 1937, Pannirselvam succeeded Mohammad Usman as the Minister for Home of the Madras Presidency, in the Raja of Bobbili cabinet. In 1936 he became the member for Home in the Executive Council of the Governor of Madras - Lord Erskine.[6] He also served as the Minister for Home and Finance, in the short lived interim provincial government of Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu during 1 April - 14 July 1937.[7][8] After the defeat of the Justice party in the 1937 Assembly elections, Pannirselvam became the leader of the Justice party. He was one of the few Justice leaders to win in the 1937 elections, defeating George Joseph of the Indian National Congress from the Tanjore Constituency.[9] The party under his leadership supported the Anti-Hindi agitations of 1937-40.[10] He remained the leader of the party till 1938, when Periyar E. V. Ramasamy took over the leadership of the party in December 1938.[11]

Pannirselvam was knighted in the 1938 New Year Honours list.[12]


Pannirselvam died in a plane crash on 1 March 1940. He was traveling to London to join the Secretary of State's Indian Council, when the Imperial Airways flight he was flying in, Handley Page H.P.42 "Hannibal", crashed in the Gulf of Oman killing everyone aboard.[4][13]


In 1997, the Tamil Nadu Government named the newly created Tiruvarur district as "Pannirselvam Tiruvarur" district in his honour.[14](However, it reverted to its old name in 1997, when all names of persons were dropped from the names of districts and transport corporations).[15] On 31 December 2008, the Government of India issued a stamp (valued at Rs.5) in his honour.[16]


  1. ^ Vasudevan, Ravi (2000). Making meaning in Indian cinema. Oxford University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-19-564545-3. OCLC 44413767. 
  2. ^ Irschick, Eugene F. (1986). Tamil revivalism in the 1930s. Cre-A. p. 218. OCLC 15015416. 
  3. ^ Paramasivam, K (1968). Justice Party golden jubilee souvenir. p. 827. OCLC 714082. 
  4. ^ a b "British Aide Lost on Airliner". The New York Times. 6 March 1940. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  5. ^ Natesan, Ganapati Agraharam. "The Indian review.". 31: 644. ISSN 0019-6304. OCLC 1606107. 
  6. ^ Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the Governor of Madras. Official Report, Volume 83. Madras Legislative Council. 1936. p. 415. 
  7. ^ Paramasivam, K (1968). Justice Party golden jubilee souvenir. p. 56. OCLC 714082. 
  8. ^ Alva, Joachim Ignatius Sebastian (1943). Men and supermen of Hindustan. Thacker & Co. Ltd. p. 68. OCLC 37526649. 
  9. ^ Joseph, George Gheverghese (2003). George Joseph, the life and times of a Kerala Christian nationalist. Orient Blackswan. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-81-250-2495-8. 
  10. ^ Paramasivam, K (1968). Justice Party golden jubilee souvenir. p. 833. OCLC 714082. 
  11. ^ Kandasamy, W. B. Vasantha; Smarandache, Florentin (2005). Fuzzy and Neutrosophic Analysis of Periyar's Views on Untouchability. American Research Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-931233-00-2. OCLC 125408444. 
  12. ^ London Gazette, 1 January 1938
  13. ^ "Loss of "Hannibal"". [Flight Archives]. 6 March 1940. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  14. ^ Additional Judges to be sworn in on 31 March
  15. ^ Name Of The Game Outlook Magazine, 16 July 1997
  16. ^ "Philatelic expo to feature rare stamps". thehindu.com. thehindu.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015.