The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) was formed in 1949 by a dissident faction of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) led by well –known lawyer G.G. Ponnambalam. The new party was called the Federal party in English though its name in Tamil stood for “Ceylon Tamil State Party”. The break away group was led by two Lawyer Parliamentarians and a Medical Doctor Senator. The two MP’s were SJV Chelvanayagam and C. Vanniasingham representing Kankesanthurai and Kopay electorates respectively. The Senator was Dr. EMV Naganathan who later became MP for Nallur.
Dr. EMV Naganathan was a vibrant colourful personality who dominated Tamil politics for nearly two decades.Having been involved in a limited sense with the Spanish civil war, the Irish campaign for Independence and the Indian Freedom struggle during the days of his youth ,this pugnacious medical practitioner fought in the vanguard of the non – violent struggle for Tamil rights in his own country in later years.Like Sardar Vallabhai Patel of India, Dr.Naganathan too was called “Iron man”or “Irumbu Manithan” those days. This was both due to his pugilistic attributes and the role he played as strong man of the party.
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