G. K. Moopanar
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|Govindaswamy Karuppiah Moopanar|
G. K. Moopanar
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
|Secretary General of All Indian Congress Committee|
19 August 1931|
Sunderaperumal Kovil, Madras State, British India (now in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India)
|Died||30 August 2001
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Political party||Tamil Maanila Congress (from-1996)|
|Indian National Congress (till-1996)|
|Children||Usha Rani, G. K. Vasan|
|Residence||Kabisthalam, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Agriculturalist, Politician, Social Worker|
Govindaswamy Karuppiah Moopanar (19 August 1931 – 30 August 2001) known as G. K. Moopanar was an Indian National Congress leader, parliamentarian, and philanthropist. He was an All India Congress Committee general secretary from 1980 to 1988. Moopanar was a close associate of Congress leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, K. Kamaraj.
Moopanar was born on 19 August 1931 at Kabisthalam village in the composite Thanjavur district, the rice granary of Tamil Nadu. He belonged to a family of landed aristocracy that owned vast tracts of fertile land. His father R. Govindasamy Moopanar was a Congressman. The family patronised music, arts and literature. Moopanar himself was president of the Tiruvaiyaru Sri Thyaga Brahma Mahotsava Sabha from 1980 until his death. This Sabha conducts the annual Thyagaraja music festival at Tiruvaiyaru, the saint-composer’s birthplace.
Moopanar first met Kamaraj and Jayaprakash Narayan when they called on his father Govindasamy Moopanar at his home at Sundaraperumal Kovil, near Kumbakonam, in 1951. Kamaraj was then TNCC president. Moopanar became the president of the Thanjavur district Congress committee in 1965. When the Congress split in 1969 Moopanar continued with Kamaraj. After Kamaraj’s death on 2 October 1975, the two Congress factions in Tamil Nadu merged in 1976. At the merger function, Indira Gandhi announced that Moopanar would be the president of the unified TNCC.
From then onwards, his rise in the Congress was swift. He was TNCC president from 1976 to 1980, and again in 1988-89. He was a puissant AICC general secretary from 1980 to 1988. Moopanar founded the Tamil Maanila Congress in the year 1996 (TMC) party. He was a Rajya Sabha member when he died. Both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi offered him ministership but he declined.
He even shunned the Prime Minister’s post offered to him in April 1997 after the fall of the United Front government led by H.D. Deve Gowda. In a volume titled Makkal Thalaivar Moopanar, published by a TMC leader in August 2000, former Union Minister R. Dhanushkodi Adityan has recalled that CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet declared that "Mr. Moopanar is the best and first choice" for the prime ministership. West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu seconded the choice. Moopanar declined the offer.
The TMC felt orphaned with the death of Moopanar. The party quickly tried to steady itself when at a meeting of its legislators, Rajya Sabha members and leaders on 1 September, Moopanar’s son G.K. Vasan was elected TMC president.
- Subramanian, T. S. (2001). "Crusading Congressman G.K. Moopanar, 1931-2001". Frontline. The Hindu. 18 (19). Archived from the original on 23 July 2014.
- Warrier, Shobha (1997). "Ayya, the man who lost out". Rediff On The Net. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014.