Rajah Annamalai Chettiar
A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Dr. S. Rm. M. Annamalai Chettiar, an Indian industrialist and philanthropist, founder of Annamalai University in Chidambaram :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 30, 1980
Issued for : Indian P&T Department is privileged to issue a commemorative stamp in his honour.
Description of Designs : The stamp design consists of a portrait of Rajah Annamalai Chettiar.
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Deep Lilac
Denomination : 35 Paise
Name : Raja Sir Satappa Ramanatha Muttaiya Annamalai Chettiar
Born on Sep 30, 1881 at Kanadukathan, Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu, India
Died on Jun 15, 1948 at Chennai, India
- Annamalai Chettiar was born on 30 September 1881 at Kanadukattam in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu. His father, S.R.M.M. Muthiah Chettiar was a rich and influential banker. After his schooling, he joined his family business. During the course of his business, he visited some of the countries in South-east Asia. He also spent a considerable time in England. On his return home, he became the head of the civic body of Karaikudi, also member of several local organisations and the District Board.
- In 1916, he transited from local affairs to the Legislative Council of Madras Presidency, where he sat for 3 years. In 1920 he stood for election to the Council of State, established under the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, and was returned for the general constituency (the whole of the Presidency) at the head of the polls. He held his seat in the Council for three consecutive terms, always by election and everytime at the head of the polls.
- With his natural bent for finance, he with others founded the Indian Bank. He was also appointed a Governor of the Imperial Bank of India at its inception in 1921 and continued as one of its Directors almost to the end of his life.
- Annamalai Chettiar was of the firm view that education was the primary need of the country. He made up his mind to found and endow a college at Chidambaram. Sri Minakshi College was formally opened in 1920. To the Arts College was added the Science departments in 1926, a Sanskrit College and a Tamil College in 1927. Soon an Oriental Training College followed by a College of Music was established. With all these institutions forming a splendid nucleus for a university, the Annamalai University came into existence on 1 January 1929 with the passing of the Bill and started functioning from July 1929.
- In recognition of his unique services to the cause of learning, a Knighthood, and the distinction of a hereditary Rajah was conferred on him. Rajah Annamalai Chettiar was deeply concerned over and made persistent efforts to safeguard the interests of Indians in Burma and French Indo–China. For this purpose he led a deputation to London and Paris in 1935. Even while immersed in other affairs, his thoughts were always with the University of Annamalainagar. Its development and expansion was his master passion. His devotion to music, especially Tamil music was another of his passions. The movement and the impetus that he gave to Tamil music were hailed by all. He passed away on 15 June 1948.