Leaders heap praise on Era Sezhiyan

By NT Bureau Published on Apr 30, 2017 03:32 PM IST

Chennai: Noted Parliamentarian and freedom fighter Era Sezhiyan celebrated his 95th birthday at a function organised by VIT University here on Friday.

Leaders cutting across various political parties took part and recalled how Sezhiyan was one of the most active Parliamentarians they came across.

Speaking at the function, VIT Chancellor G Vishwanathan said, "Sezhiyan’s work at the Parliament taught us how strong the institution could be."

"Sezhiyan is not a politician, he is one of Tamilnadu’s statesmen and one of our ablest Parliamentarians," said CPI national secretary D Raja.

"He understood that being a Parliamentarian was a full-time job in service of the people," said TMC president G K Vasan.

PMK legal wing head R Velu talked about Sezhiyan’s time in Parliament, when the House had vibrant discussions.

"Now, when I see sessions on television, there are so many empty benches. There are no discussions anymore," he regretted.

Former TNCC president M Krishnassamy recalled how Sezhiyan was one of the founding members of the DMK as well as the Janata Party.

State secretary of CPI(M) G Ramakrishnan, talked about Sezhiyan’s association with C N Annadurai and Jayaprakash Narayan. Born on 28 April 1923 in Thanjavur district, Sezhiyan is one of the oldest politicians from the Dravidian era.

He is also a keen observer of Tamilnadu politics for close to seven decades and became a Lok Sabha member before the age of 40. A powerful writer, Sezhiyan has recaptured the history of the Dravidian movement and how it has served or failed the State.

The former DMK MP, who later joined the Janata Dal, is one of those who fought the Emergency in his own quiet way and helped resurrect the virtually lost Shah Commission report on the Emergency excesses.

He belongs to the generation of leaders such as Morarji Desai, Jayaprakash Narayan, Vajpayee, Somnath Chatterjee. Impressed by the Dravidian ideologies, he associated himself with the Dravida Kazhagam founded by Periyar and later joined the DMK when former Chief Minister C N Annadurai floated the party.

Sezhiyan, in addition to being a powerful speaker is a well-known bi-lingual writer. After exiting from politics, he joined VIT University as an honorary professor and continues service as an academician.

Veteran CPI leader R Nallakannu, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, former Gujarat Chief Justice P R Gokulakrishnan, senior advocate, Madras High Court, Sriram Panchu were also present at the celebration.