24 February 1971: The All India Forward Bloc appointed P.K. Mookiah Thevar as the new Chairman

Inception of All India Forward Bloc

The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) was established by the legendary freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose and emerged as a regional political party with a revolutionary ideology. Bose formed the party after he resigned from the Indian National Congress in 1939 to take on British colonialism and imperialism. It was founded as an independent party in a Kolkata-based rally to revive every left-wing section within the INC and build up a parallel protest group within the party itself. In West Bengal the party has a very strong structure and organisational hierarchy. Its inception was in the Forward Bloc Conference in Mumbai, where the party's ideology and vision were formalised. In Nagpur, at the All India Conference of Forward Bloc, the party was given an official status and Bose became the President whereas Cavesheer was given the charge of being the Vice President, with several other prominent personalities joining the party, like Laal Shankarlal as the General Secretary.

Ideology of the Party 

The All India Forward Bloc was formed to take on the British rule. It has always believed in and preached the concept of a classless society where every individual is treated the same. The party highlighted revolution, scientific and social, as the way to free the country. The party worked to attain complete independence or Purna Swaraj, with national unity as the main weapon against the British. Panchayat or small groups of heads were formed at the village levels for the rights of the poor and the underprivileged.

Difficulties faced by the party

Bose was arrested in July 1939 by the British for anti-government activities but a year he escaped and visited different parts of the world to seek help for his party. In the meantime, the government tortured the members and activists of the party all across the nation, and declared the party as illegal. It was to be banned until further notice. The party played a significant role in the 1942's Quit India movement.

About P.K. Mookiah Thevar

Thevar was born in a small village of Madurai district and started leading from the front while he was in college. Before joining the Forward Bloc, he was the founder of the Kallar Caste Association and did a lot for the Thevar community of Tamil Nadu. He was selected as candidate for the FB from the Periyakulam Assembly and remained an MLA for four terms in Usilmpatti. He was a very popular leader and quickly rose to power.

Electing P.K. Mookiah Thevar as the new Chairman

In 1964, the party joined hands with the Samyukta Socialist Party for an anti-Nehru campaign. Prior to Mookiah, his political guru U.M. Thevar was the chairman of the party. Due to his premature death, there was a need to fulfill the position. His two disciples, Sasiviana Thevar and Mookiah Thevar, were competing for the post with equal potential. But Mookiah was popular enough to win and on 24 February 1964 he was elected to be the new chairperson of the party. By 1971, he also became the president of the All India Forward Bloc and thus reached the pinnacle of his political career. He died on 6 September 1979 but is remembered as a key figure till date.


Also on this day

1939 – Joy Mukherjee, Indian actor and director, was born

1942 – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Indian theorist and philosopher, was born

1948 – Jayalalithaa, 16th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was born

2011 – Anant Pai, Indian educator and author, died

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