|V.O. Chidambaram Pillai goes the credit of launching, as the first Indian, a Steam Navigation Company that ran a service between Tuticorin and Colombo. He did it in the interests of the nation's economy, and of course, against the British rule. |
V.O. Chidambaram Pillai came out of the Congress in 1920.
He was born on September 5, 1872 in Ottapidaram, Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu. He had his education in Tuticorin and took a Degree in Law form Madras.
V.O.Chidambaram pillai , affectionately called 'Swadeshi pillai' or 'Vande Mataram pillai' by ordinary folk, was the chief organizer of the Swadeshi movement. He was a practicising lawyer at tuticorin and was successful in his profession. He could command great influence and respect as lawyers generally did in those days.
He began to take interest in many public activities and was one of the earliest to start 'Dharma Sangh' for hand-loom industry and 'Swadeshi Stores' for the sale of India-made things to the people. Though great men like Kasthuri Renga Iyengar, Doraisami Iyer and Chakkarai Chettiar were also taking a prominent part in the Nationalist upsurge , it was given to V.O.Chidambaram to achieve the impossible and get immortalized as the 'Pioneer of Indian Shipping'. His unique and powerful expression of swadeshi activity was the starting of the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company which was registered on the 12th of November 1906. It required some supreme courage to go to jail in those days. A number of patriots went to jail in our fight for freedom. V.O.C was the pioneer who showed the way.