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P. Kakkan
1909 - 1981

Early Life:

P. Kakkan was born on 13th June 1909 in Madurai.


He was involved in movements to empower Dalits and the backward classes from his youth. His most significant achievement in this regard came in 1939, when he along with Vaidyanatha Iyer led a group of Dalits into the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple in Madurai, despite strong opposition from upper-caste Hindus.


Role in India’s Independence Movement:

Kakkan was well-known for his role in the freedom struggle and the Dalit rights movement. He was arrested for his involvement in the Quit India Movement in 1942, and sentenced to imprisonment for 1.5 years.


Contribution to Constitution Making:

Kakkan was elected to the Constituent Assembly on a Congress party ticket from the Madras province. He intervened in the debates on separate electorates and reservations.


Later Contributions:

In 1951, Kakkan was elected to the Lok Sabha from Madurai. An active member of the Congress party, he was appointed president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in 1957. He was also a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1967.


Kakkan was a minister in two successive Tamil Nadu governments, where he held several important portfolios: public works (1957-62), agriculture (1962-63) and home affairs (1963-67). One of his most noteworthy achievements as a minister was the construction of dams and the establishment of agricultural colleges in Tamil Nadu.


After his defeat in the 1967 elections against a DMK opponent, Kakkan retired from politics.


He passed away on 23rd December 1981.

Kakkan was not a member of any committees.

  1. Kakkan spoke in favour of the joint electorate system as a means to abolish untouchability.
  2. He also endorsed the right of the State to make reservations for Dalits in government services under Draft Article 10 (Article 15).