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Paramarthalinga Thanulinga Nadar ( ) (b. February 17, 1915 - d.November 2, 1988), also known simply as Thanulingam, was an Indian politician, freedom-fighter and a right-wing activist. He served as a Member of the Indian Parliament from the Indian National Congress. In his later life, he served as the State President of the Hindu Munnani and played an active role in popularizing the right-wing Hindutva ideology in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s.

Early life

Thanulinga Nadar was born on February 17, 1915 to M. Paramarthalinga Nadar in Nagercoil district of the Travancore kingdom. His parents belonged to the Nadar community of southern Tamil Nadu. His father fought against British rule.

Thanulingam graduated in arts and law before plunging into politics.

Political career

Thanulinga Nadar joined the Indian Independence movement at an early age. He was a close associate of K. Kamaraj and was one of the prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress in Travancore state.

He participated in the 1948 assembly elections of the newly formed Travancore-Cochin state and was elected to the assembly. He did not contest the 1951 elections, the first held as a part of the Republic of Indiamarker. However, he contested the 1954 elections from Agastisvaram and was elected by a margin of 6721 votes. He served as a member of assembly till 1956 when southern Kanyakumari district became a part of Madras state.

In 1957, Thanulingam was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nagercoil. He served as a Member of Parliament till 1962. He did not participate in the 1962 elections.

Thanulingam was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1964 and served as a member of the Rajya Sabha from July 9, 1964 to April 2, 1968.

Association with the Hindu Munnani

Thanulinga Nadar was a devout Hindu. Even during the 1940s and 1950s, he bitterly differed with fellow Congressman from Kanyakumari district, A. Nesamony who was a Christian Nadar. The differences led to the birth of two different factions in the state in the early 1950s which required the intervention of K. Kamaraj, the then President of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.

When large-scale Christian conversions took place in Kanyakumari district, Thanulingam identified with the Hindu cause and strongly opposed the conversions.In the early 1980s, he joined the Hindu nationalist organisation Hindu Munnani and soon became its State President. The Hindu Munnani played an active role during the Mandaikkadu riots between the Hindus and Christians. Thanulingam was arrested along with other top Hindu Munnani leaders on February 12, 1983 as a pre-emptive measure to prevent Hindu-Christian clashes.


Thanulingam died on November 2, 1988 at the age of 73.


Thanulingam married Nakshetram Ammal at an early age. However, Nakshetram Ammal predeceased him and he married a second time, this time to Ramanayagam Ammal. Thanulingam has two sons and three daughters.


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