VO Chidambaram Pillai history
V.O.Chidambaram Pillai is remembered by Tamil as Sekkiluta Semmal, Kappalotiya Tamizhan. He was born in Ottapidaram on September 5, 1872.
He started his career as a lawyer at Tirunelveli and encouraged the formation of the Trade Guilds and workers associations.
He was the founder of the Swadeshi Dharma Sanga Weaving Association and Swadeshi Cooperative Stores at Tuticorin.
He formed the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company and ran the service between Tuticorin and Colombo. The Partition of Bengal in 1905 dragged him into politics.
He organized a Coral mill strike in Tuticorin near the seashore that increased workers’ wages and reduction of working hours.
In 1907, he attended the Congress sessions held at surat, where congress split into Extremist and Moderates.
He followed the militant leader Bala Gangadhar Tilak and preached his philosophy. He was charged with sedition and sentenced to forty years of imprisonment.
He used to pull the oil press(Chekku) in jail.