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A 21st century Dravidian – Dr. K.Veeramani, inherited his social philosophy from his mentor, Thanthai Periyar which reflect vividly through his critical reasoning power, unwavering social commitments, and the self-less life he leads till date.


Born to Thiru. C.S.Krishnaswami & Thirumathi. Meenakshi Ammal on 2nd December 1933 at Cuddalore district in

thirumathi. meenakshi ammal

Tamil Nadu, Dr.K.Veeramani was the youngest of the 3 sons. His brothers Thiru.K.Govindharasan & Thiru.K.Thandapani were also devoted to Periyarism. Veeramani was the  name given to him by his teacher, Dravida Mani, who again was a staunch Periyar follower. Though Dr.Veeramani was named as Saarangapaani by birth, his new name changed his life forever.

He took his first steps of literacy in a traditional  school which was proximate to his residence in Mohan Singh Street and was run by Ms.Swarnathammaal, who was the Aunt of his close friend  Jayaganthan, ( then known as Murugesan) one of the best writers in the world of Tamil Literature. In the later years, Dr.Veeramani did his second grade and higher in a Muslim school run by A. .Dravida Mani, the Head Master of the school, who played a pivotal role in catalyzing Dr.Veeramani’s reformative attitude.

Even as a student, Veeramani showed a great deal of interest towards social theories of ‘reasoning’ taught by his teacher Dravida Mani. He attended the after-school private classes conducted by Dravida Mani, along with his other friends almost everyday without fail. In fact Dravida Mani had a great impact in sowing the seeds of reasoning by teaching his students the art of social inquiry, instead of just giving them bookish knowledge. Students read journals like “Kudi Arasu” and “Dravida Nadu” during these private classes, which added more spark to their reasoning power.


During his student days of academia and social education, Veeramani- the future reformist developed commendable oratory skills and performed various stage shows on social awareness. One such memorable stage show was the skit of King Solomon where two mothers fight for child and the king finds the real mother in the end. The skit not only won him the first prize for his exemplary stage performance, but also gained him popularity for his speaking abilities. It was during this phase where Veeramani started his “Periyaristic transformation,” initiated by the change of his cradle  name Saaranagapaani to Veeramani. His new name was inspired from a story written by Arignar Anna in ‘Dravida Nadu,’ where one vibrant character is called Veeramani. Even before completing 10 years of age, he made his first appearance in public platform on 23-6-1933 at Chetty Koil grounds at his home town Cuddalore Port to address the gathering and donated Rs. 103/- for the benefit of journal Dravida Nadu, edited by C.N. Annadurai who was later Chief Minister of


the State.

At his tender age, an enthusiastic speaker of rationalism and social change, the reformist made his first public appearance at Salem on 27th August 1944 organized by the Justice party spearheaded by Thanthai Periyar. An 11 year old toddler Veeramani gave an incredible speech during this gathering which eventually became a crowd puller, as people wanted to hear the kid speak. In one such gathering, Arignar Anna applauded Veeramani by calling him as “Thiru Gnanasambandar” of Periyar’s ‘Self-respect movement.’


As a kid whose awe striking speech mesmerized gatherings, his fame spread far and near and people turned out in large numbers to hear his speech. Even party-meet posters carried his name as a highlight, alongside other party leaders. Young Veeramani with his fiery speech on societal inequalities, gender discrimination and other social discrimination practices, exceeded everybody’s expectations, gaining thunderous applaud every time he stood up to speak.

Dr.Veeramani’s childhood life is a clear example of ‘live-the-preaching.’ While kids of his age would choose to play, young Veeramani chose to work towards social reformation. Then a small boy, who wasn’t tall enough to reach a mike to speak on stage, later reached great heights of social accomplishments and is an icon of inspiration today in the hearts of millions, worldwide. 

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