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Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Srinivasa Iyengar's connect with Non-Cooperation Movement

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New Delhi, July 03: Seshadri Srinivasa Iyengar, known as Lion of the South, was an Indian lawyer, freedom-fighter and politician from the Indian National Congress. Iyengar was born on 11 September 1874.

(Image Courtesy: amritmahotsav.nic.in)

Iyengar was the Advocate-General of Madras Presidency from 1916 to 1920. He also served as a member of the bar council from 1912 to 1920, the law member of Madras Presidency from 1916 to 1920 and as the president of the madras province Swarajya Party faction of the Indian National Congress from 1923 to 1930.

Srinivasa Iyengar was the son-in-law of renowned lawyer and first Indian Advocate-general of Madras, Sir Vembaukum Bhashyam Aiyangar.

He resigned his Advocate-General post, his seat in the Governor's executive council, and returned his C. I. E. in 1920 in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and joined the Indian National Congress. He participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

However, in 1923, he broke away along with other leaders as Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das due to differences with Mahatma Gandhi over participating in elections. The breakaway faction later formed the Swarajya Party.

Iyengar served as the President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and later, the Madras Province Swarajya Party and was the leader of the party when it refused to form the government in the province despite winning a majority in the 1926 elections. Iyengar presided over the 1920 Madras Provincial Conference held at Tirunelveli and participated in the Congress sessions held at Ahmedabad (1921), Gaya (1922), Kakinada (1923), Delhi (1923), Belgaum (1924), Kanpur (1925), Guwahati (1926), Madras (1927), Calcutta (1928) and Lahore (1929).

His untiring work is believed to have given an unparalleled lead to the Congress in Madras for about ten years. Iyengar presided over the Guwahati session of Congress in 1926. He worked hard to deliver a resolution upholding Hindu-Muslim unity, bringing about a temporary political agreement between the political leaders of the two communities. He published Swaraj Constitution, in 1927, outlining a federal scheme of government for future India.

In later life, he established the Independence of India league and organized protests against the Simon Commission. He retired from politics due to differences with other Congress politicians over the goal of Dominion status. He briefly returned to politics in 1938. On 19 May 1941, Iyengar died in his house in Madras.

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