Archive for the ‘Famous Person’ Category

359/365 – Bill Clinton

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001.

Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation.

Clinton has been described as a New Democrat. Many of his policies have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton became both a student leader and a skilled musician. He is an alumnus of Georgetown University where he was Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford.

He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has served as the United States Secretary of State since 2009 and was a Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.

Both Clintons received law degrees from Yale Law School, where they met and began dating. As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton overhauled the state’s education system, and served as Chair of the National Governors Association.

Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent president George H.W. Bush. As president, Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.

He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. He implemented Don’t ask, don’t tell, a controversial intermediate step to full gay military integration.

After a failed health care reform attempt, Republicans won control of Congress in 1994, for the first time in forty years.

Two years later, the re-elected Clinton became the first member of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term as president.

He successfully passed welfare reform and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, providing health coverage for millions of children.

Later, he was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in a scandal involving a White House intern, but was acquitted by the U.S.

Senate and served his complete term of office. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton’s presidency.

Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work.

Based on his philanthropic worldview, Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes such as prevention of AIDS and global warming.

In 2004, he released his autobiography My Life, and was involved in his wife’s and then Barack Obama’s campaigns for president in 2008.

In 2009, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 earthquake he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Since leaving office, Clinton has been rated highly in public opinion polls of U.S. presidents.



340/365 – Pandara Vannian

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Pandara Vanniyan (or Vannian or Vanni Bandara in sinhala) was a rebel Tamil chief from the Vanni region who was known as one of last native chiefs to challenge British rule in the Island nation of Sri Lanka.


Kulasegaram Vairamuthu Pandaravanniyan was the last king of Vanni. He is known as Wanni Bandara among sinhalese Some of the history books say that he had a sister and two brothers but the truth is he only had 2 younger brothers called “Kaylaa vanniyan” and “Periya Meynaar”. Kumarasinghe Mahavanniya’s family of Nuwarawewa was related by marriage to Pandara Vanniyan.

Conflict with the Colonial rule  

With the capture of the Jaffna kingdom by the Portuguese in 1621, the Vanni was under their nominal control and ‘Parangichetticulam’ of the Vanni may have been the fort of the Portuguese.

With the arrival of the Dutch colonials on the scene they were only able to exact yearly tribute of 42 elephants. About the year 1782 the continued conflicts came to an end when the Dutch once and for all defeated the Vanniyars.

All these similarities had led to more recent comparison of the LTTE leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran,to him by present day Tamil nationalists, Karunanidhi the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in his book, Payum Puli Pandara Vanniyan, and Nedumaran.

Pandara Vanniyan is valorized as an epic hero. He was declared a national hero by the prime minister and a statue of him was opened with much fanfare in Vavuniya at the main junction where the A-9 Highway between Jaffna and Kandy (& Colombo) meets the road to Mannar (and further down the road to Trincomalee).

The end  

The victory of the Vanniyars was short lived. Three detachments from Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee were dispatched and the Vanniyars were defeated in the Mannar district.

Although Pandara Vanniyan was active again his grandiose scheme to rule the Vanni faded away after 1811. The tomstone of Pandaara vanniyar defeat is still in Vanni.

Not only the Tamils, Sinhalese in the present day North Central and North Western provinces that were part of the kingdom of Vanniars consider Pandara Vannian as a god.

They transfer merrit to great Vanni Bandara deiyo to watch over when they pass through jungles. The memorial day of Pandara Vannian falls on 25th of August.


336/365 – Gagan Narang

Name: Gagan Narang

Born: 6 May 1983 (age 29), Chennai

Nationality: Indian

Occupation: Rifle shooting

Gagan Narang is an ace Indian shooter, especially in Air rifle shooting, supported by the Olympic Gold Quest. He was the first Indian to qualify for the London Olympics.

He won the Bronze Medal in the Men’s 10 m Air Rifle Event at the 2012 London Olympics with a final score of 701.1.

Gagan Narang’s family hails from Panipat in Haryana. His grandfather lived at Samalkha in Panipat district, later on the family shifted to Hyderabad.

Gagan Narang is a gold medalist in the Afro Asian games, 2003 in Hyderabad on October 26, 2003 in Men’s 10m air rifle competition.

He had won an air rifle gold medal at the World Cup 2006 and followed that event in April 2010.   In a pre-Olympic event in Hannover, Germany, Gagan shot an air rifle score higher than the world record, 704.3 as opposed to 703.1 set by Thomas Farnik of Austria in the World Cup 2006.

Gagan Narang added 4 gold medals to the Indian tally at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. In the Men’s 10 m air rifle singles event, he shot a perfect 600 which was a new record.

Gagan also clinched a silver medal in his pet event at the Asian Games 2010. He also combined with Abhinav Bindra and Sanjeev Rajput to provide the country with another silver, in the team event behind champions China.

Both of his silvers were won on the opening day of Asian Games.   Gagan Narang won the bronze medal in the 10m air rifle event at the 2012 London Olympics with a total score of 701.1 becoming India’s first medal winner at the 2012 games.

Gagan was just behind the silver medallist Niccolo Campriani of Italy who scored 701.5, while the gold medallist Alin George Moldoveanu of Romania was at 702.1.


330/365 – G.K. Moopanar

Name: Govindaswamy Karuppiah Moopanar

Born: August 19, 1931, Sunderaperumal Kovil,Kabisthalam,Thanjavur District.

Died: August 30, 2001 (aged 70) Chennai, India

Political party: Indian National Congress

Spouse(s): Kasthuri Moopanar

Children: Usha Rani, G.K. Vasan

Residence: Kabisthalam, Thanjavur District

G.K. Moopanar (1931–2001) was a senior Indian National Congress leader, a veteran Parliamentarian and a noted philanthropist.

He was an All India Congress Committee general secretary from 1980 to 1988. Moopanar was a close associate of Congress leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, K Kamaraj.

He was a very powerful Congress leader who was known to have turned down high-ranking cabinet positions multiple times. He was once offered the Defense Cabinet Minister position by Indira Gandhi and he refused to take it. Like Kamaraj, Moopanar was known as the “King Maker.”

Moopanar parted ways with Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao on the issue on his joining hands with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and founded his own party, the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC).

Moopanar came very close to becoming the Prime Minister of India in 1997 when Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Jyoti Basu asked him to lead the United Front government supported by Congress.

He however declined the offer, as had his mentor Kamaraj.   After the demise of Moopanar, under the new leadership of his son G K Vasan, the TMC merged back with the Congress led by Sonia Gandhi.


287/365 – Pattinathar

Saint Pattinathar Tamil:பட்டினதார் was a Saivaite and a Spiritual leader. He was born to Sivanesa Chettiar and Gnanakalai. His father was a trader in Tiruvidaimarudur, Thanjavur district.

His birth name was Swetharanyar after as epithet of Lord Siva of Swetharanyeswarar Temple. He was also called as Thiruvenkadar by the people. When he was five years old, he lost his father.

Like his father he spent money on Siva devotees, and fed them daily. He was a trader and had enough wealth. At sixteen years, he was married to Sivakalai, daughter of another trader by the name of Sivasithamparam Chettiyar and his wife Sivakamy.

Even after fifteen years of marriage they had no children. Meantime there was a very poor Saivaite by the name of Sivasarumar who spent all his wealth in feeding the Siva devotees.

When all his wealth was spent he sold his wife’s nuptial chain (thali) and fed the devotees of Lord Siva. Once in his dream, Lord Siva appeared and told him, he would find him (Siva) as a baby at a certain spot.

“Hand over the baby boy to Thiruvenkadar. He would give gold equal to the weight of the baby. The Saivaite devotees found the baby and took him to Pattinathar. He adopted the child and gave the couple, gold and more wealth.

Search for divinity  

The divine child grew up and followed in his father’s footsteps. Once the father sent him on a ship with a good lot of merchandise and when he came he brought back sacks full of paddy husks.

The father was angry and locked him up in a room and going to the harbor, threw the husks out. What was his surprise to see they were all gold; Every dried piece of the husk turned out to be gold and precious gems.

He hurried home to see his son. He was not in the room. His wife gave him a small box the son had given before he disappeared. In it was an Palm-leaf manuscript and a needle without an eyelet. On the script were the following words (in English for understanding):   “Not even an eyeless needle will accompany you in the final journey of life.”

Pattinathar(Thiruvenkadar) realized the philosophy and wisdom of the words, and renounced everything – his wife, his wealth, his kith and kin and all other mundane attachments.

With only a loin cloth he left. He sang many a philosophical song to enlighten people on the blissful state of renunciation. He sang about the human life and its complex dimensions, made his lyrics more appealing to the common man.

He urged repeatedly not to be attached to the body and its pleasures, for the body which perishes and becomes food for animals and worms. Think of God and surrender at God’s feet.

Pattinathar worshiped Shiva at the Srikalahasti temple, which has inspired great poetic and musical works. The samadhi of Pattinathar is a historic landmark located on the Ennore Expressway in Tiruvottiyur. It is around 500 years old.   Inside the Nandrudayan Vinayaga temple in Devadhanam, Tiruchirappalli, idol for Pattinathar is found.



285/365 – Angidi Chettiar

Angidi Verriah Chettiar (அங்கிடி செட்டியார்) was a Mauritian politician who served as the Vice President of Mauritius from August 2007 until his death in September 2010.

Angidi Chettiar was born in Madurai in the State of Tamil Nadu, India and came to Mauritius at the age of 10. The Chettiar family is a family of traders.

Angidi Chettiar has throughout his political career been a staunch member of the Mauritius Labour Party. He served the party for more than 50 years and even held the position of treasurer of the party for a few decades.

Before being appointed Vice-President of the Republic of Mauritius, Angidi Chettiar had been a member of the Legislative Assembly for many years, serving as Government Chief Whip and eventually Minister in the Government of Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam from 1980 to 1982.

He served a first term as Vice President from 1997 to 2002, and he briefly became Acting President in 2002 when Cassam Uteem resigned.

However, Chettiar also resigned within days after refusing to sign a controversial anti-terrorism bill, saying that the bill was discriminatory against Muslims.

The line of succession then tipped the presidency to Supreme Court Justice Ariranga Pillay. After the come-back of Dr Navin Ramgoolam, current Leader of Mauritius Labour Party, to power, Chettiar was reappointed as Vice-President of the Republic of Mauritius for a second term by the President of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, in 2007.

He died while serving as Vice President on the 15 September 2010. He suffered from health problems for a few months before his death. He is survived by 4 sons and 1 daughter. Another son has already died.


272/365 – S P Adithanar

Born: 27 September 1905, Kayamozhi, Tamil Nadu, India

Died: 24 May 1981 Political

party: Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, We Tamils party and  Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Spouse: Govindammal

Relations: K. P. Kandasamy (Son-in-Law), K. P. K. Kumaran (Grandson)

Children: Sivanthi Adithan, Ramachandra Adithan and One Daughter

Occupation: Publisher

Si. Balasubramania Adithan a.K.a. Si. Ba. Adithan , popularly called as Adithanar, was a Tamil lawyer, politician, minister and founder of the Tamil daily newspaper Dina Thanthi.

He was the founder of the We Tamils party and served as the member of the Madras Legislative Council for two terms and as the member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for four terms.

He was the Speaker of the Assembly during 1967-68 and Tamil Nadu’s minister for Cooperation in the M. Karunanidhi cabinets of 1969 and 1971.

In his memory, two Tamil literary awards have been created and are awarded annually by his son, Sivanthi Adithan (the present Director of the Dina Thanthi group).

We Tamils party  

In 1958, Adithan founded the “We Tamils” (WT) party with the platform of forming a sovereign Tamil state. The party’s stand was more radical than the Dravida Nadu demand of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy’s Dravidar Kazhagam.

It wanted the creation of a homogeneous Tamil state incorporating Tamil speaking areas of India and Sri Lanka. The party’s headquarters was named as Tamiḻaṉ Illam (lit. The Home of the Tamilian).

In 1960, the party organized statewide protests for the secession of Madras and the establishment of a sovereign Tamil Nadu. The protests were marked by the burning of maps of India (with Tamil Nadu left out).

Adithanar was arrested for organizing them. The party along with M. P. Sivagnanam’s Tamil Arasu Kazhagam was also involved in the movement to change the name of the state from Madras State to Tamil Nadu.

Adithan lost the 1962 election from Tiruchendur and got himself elected to the Legislative Council in 1964. The WT contested the 1967 election as an ally of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) under the DMK’s “Rising Sun” symbol.

It elected four members to the Assembly, including Adithan, who won from Srivaikuntam. The party merged with the DMK in 1967.