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Anjalai Ammal was a prominent freedom fighter in the Indian struggle for independence. She was born in 1890 in a simple town called Mudhunagar which is located in Kadalur. She was born in a simple family. She studied up to fifth grade. Her husband was Murugappa who was an agent in a magazine. She started her political life by joining the Non - Cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi. She was the first woman from south India to take part in the Non - Cooperation movement in 1921. She sold her family lands, her house and spent the money for India's struggle for freedom. In 1927 she participated in the struggle for removing Neelan's statue. She also made her nine year old child, Ammakannu to participate in the struggle for removing Neelan's statue and went to jail along with her daughter. She raised her nine year old child in the prison. Gandhi visited Ammakannu and Anjalai Ammal often in the prison. He renamed Ammakannu as Leelavathi and took her with him to Vaardha ashram. She was badly wounded due her participation in the salt sathyagraha in 1930.
In 1931, she presided over The All India Women Congress Meet. In 1932, she took part in another struggle for which she was sent to Vellore prison. She was pregnant while she was sent to Vellore prison. She was released on bail on account of her delivery. Within two weeks after her son was born, she was sent back to the Vellore prison. Once Gandhi came to Kadalur, but the British government prohibited him to visit Anjalai Ammal. But Anjalai Ammal came in a horse cart wearing burqa and visited him. Due to her courage, Gandhi called her South India's Jhansi Rani. After India's independence in 1947, she was elected as the member of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly thrice.
She passed away on January 20, 1961.
- "Honour first woman MLA". thehindu.com.
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