T. S. Avinashilingam Chettiar was born on May 5, 1903, to K. Subrahmanya Chettiar in Tiruppur, Karambakudi, Tamil Nadu, India. He was an Indian lawyer, politician, freedom fighter, and Gandhian. He is also an active player in Indian education and philanthropy, and he has made major contributions to the improvement of Indian education. However, he was also politically active and played an important role in the Indian struggle for independence.

In 1957, Chettiar developed the Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women in Coimbatore, which was one of India’s first institutes that focused on the educational needs of women. Since then, the institute has grown to become a leading institution in women’s education and research. Chettiar was dedicated to encouraging education and healthcare in India, and he founded several nonprofit institutions.

Apart from his work related to education, Chettiar was busy in politics and played an important role in the Indian independence struggle. He was a member of the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement, and he was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophical thought. He was the President of the Coimbatore District Congress Committee and an elected member of India’s Constituent Assembly.

Chettiar was a strong supporter of Gandhi’s principles and he assisted him during the visit of South India in collecting funds for the Harijan Welfare in 1934. Chettiar contributed a total of two and a half lakhs of funds and covered all expenses for the tour. He was arrested for his involvement in the independence struggle on multiple times, including in 1930, 1932, 1941, and 1942.

Chettiar entered state politics after India’s independence in 1947 and was elected to the Madras Legislative Council. He was one of the members of the Imperial Legislative Council as well. Chettiar was a man with many interests who was important in promoting Indian languages and literature. He published Subramania Bharati’s nationalist poetry and established a Professorship for Tamil and other Indian languages at the University of Madras.

Chettiar also established the Indian Bank, one of India’s largest public sector banks. His contributions to education and society have earned him numerous honors, and his legacy continues to inspire future generations of Indians.


T. S Avinashilingam received

India’s highest civilian honor award (1970) Padma Bhushan

G. D. Birla Award in 1985 as Jamnalal Bajaj Award

In 1957, Avinashilingam founded the Avinashilingam Home Science College for Women. This college was given the name Avinashilingam University for Women in June 1988. Chancellor T. K. Shanmughanandam released a CD in memory of Avinashilingam Chettiar in 2007.

In conclusion

Avinashilingam passed away on the 21st of November 1991, at the age of 88. He was a remarkable individual who possessed the qualities of a visionary educationist, philanthropist, and politician. He played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle and was instrumental in the development of education in the country. His tireless efforts and contributions towards various social causes continue to inspire generations of Indians, and his legacy will always be remembered as a shining example of selfless service and unwavering dedication to the nation.

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