Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran, or MGR was the founder of the AIADMK and three-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu. A Bharat Ratna recipient, he dominated the state’s stratosphere for four decades.
A brilliant new book by R. Kannan dissects MGR’s years in power: his early administration, the legendary midday meal scheme launched in 1982 that fed 92 lakh schoolchildren, his well-intentioned farm subsidies and freebies that strained the exchequer, his largesse to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as well as his unabashed sponsorship of liquor barons and private medical and engineering colleges that aided the transformation of the state, but also fueled corruption.
Here are seven things you did not know about the legendary actor-politician!
A Larger-than-life Figure
Innate Sense of Giving and Hospitality
Being His Own Man
He Was Considered an ‘Avatar’ of God
Watchful While Sitting Tall
The Spirit of Meting Out Judgement
Eye for detail
Looking for more? Get the story of India’s very first actor-politician here!