Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections - Where is Rishivandiyam ??

Tamil Nadu is going to polls on April 13 for electing representatives for the Assembly as also its Chief Minister – the race is primarily between AIADMK and the ruling DMK.  The Election Commission has set the ball rolling for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry with their Governors /Lieutenant Governor issuing the notification and thus opening nominations.   The Polls are to be held on April 13;  Counting will be taken up on May 13.  In Assam, the polls are being held on April 11th on 64 constituencies and on April 4th in 62 constituencies.  In West Bengal, for the 294-member Assembly, the poll will be held in six phases on April 18, 23, 27, May 3, 7 and 10th.   

In Tamil Nadu, the poll will be held for 234 constituencies. There are some famous places and some other places made famous due to those contesting from the place.  Tamilnadu Politics has been aligned with tinseldom for long.  Right from 1967 – all the Chief Ministers have had connection to cinema [CN Annadurai, M Karunanithi, MG Ramachandran, Janaki Ramachandran & J Jayalalitha] – apart from MGR, SSR there have been many cine actors who had been represented to TN Assembly and to Parliament from Tamilnadu – Chandrasekar, Napoleon, Radharavi, SS Chandran, Ramarajan to quote a few.  Many actors and actresses including Kushboo, Vijay, Sarathkumar, Senthil, Vadivelu etc., would be campaigning for political parties.

Read in newspapers that DMDK the party of actor Vijaykant  is contesting 41 seats in alliance with the AIADMK. He is seeking election  from Rishivandiyam constituency.  Do you know where this is and have you heard of this place before ?  I have not and here is something of this place in Tamilnadu. !!   

Right from the birth of Tamilnadu in 1967 – the no. of constituencies have been 234 though some realignments have taken place since.  Election constituencies are created for making the procedure of conducting election easier. The Election Commission of India is responsible for conducting elections in all the parts of the country. There are various Election Constituencies in the state of Tamil Nadu. They are also of two categories. The Tamil Nadu Election Constituencies are divided into Parliamentary Constituencies for Lok Sabha Elections and the Assembly Constituencies for State Elections. In Tamil Nadu, like all the other states of India, the constituency is the place where the people of this area elect their representatives to Lok Sabha or State Legislature or to Local Governing Bodies. Hence every area in Tamil Nadu fall under one of the 234 Election Constituencies.  Presently of the 234, 189 are general constituencies rest are reserved.  The size and shape of the Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies are determined, according to section 4 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, by an independent Delimitation Commission. 

Rishivandiyam is a town panchayat located in the Viluppuram district. It is one of the 22 blocks of Villupuram having 53 panchayat villages.  Villupuram pronounced Vizhupuram is one of the 30 districts of Tamilnadu.  It was created in Sept 1993 carved out of South Arcot district; it is the largest district of the State.

Geographically, Villupuram is situated on National Highway No. 45, from Chennai to Dindigul via Tiruchirapalli.  It is sort of half way to Tiruchi – 162 km off Chennai and 157 km to Trichy.   It borders Cuddalore, Salem, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai and Kanchipuram districts.  Villupuram district has 8 taluks: - Villupuram; Kallakurichi; Gingee;  Tindivanam; Vanur;  Tirukkoyilur ;       Ulundurpet  & Sankarapuram. 

Tracing back the history, Chola rulers ruled these  parts from 1st to 4th century. Karikala Chola was the most famous and powerful of Chola kings.  individual of the time. The grip of Chola rule was broken when the Cholas were overthrown by Simha Vishnu Pallava and the region came under the Pallava rule. Vijayalaya Chola again revived Chola rule. This was the beginning of great Chola Empire.Cholas regained their lost position but with the rise of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya-1 (1251), Chola supremacy came to an end. The sway of Pandyas lasted for over 50 years, followed by Muslim domination from 1334 to 1378. By 1378, the region came under the rule of Vijayanagara Empire and Nayaks were appointed as the rulers of the region.  In 1677 Shivaji took the Gingee area with the assistance of Golkonda forces. Then came the Mughals. During the Mughal regime, both the English and French acquired settlements in South Arcot. During the Anglo-French rivalry, the entire district was turned into a battleground. After sometime, the entire area came under the control of British East India Company. It remained under British authority till 1947 when India became independent.

Villupuram is also a famous railway joint.   The junction serves as the distribution point of rail traffic from Chennai.  5 railway lines branch out of this place – Electrified BG towards Chennai Beach & MG towards Tambaram; Electrified BG towards Trichy via Vriddachalam;  non electrified BG towards Trichy via Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai..; BG towards Katpadi Jn via Thiruvannamalai and BG from Puducherry to Bangalore.  

Vijayakant who presently represents Vriduchalam was born in 1952 and is the founder of Desiya  Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.  Inikum Ilamai was his first film, which was directed by M. A. Kaja. He is nicknamed 'Captain' after the 1991 movie Captain Prabhakaran, which was his 100th film. Vijayakanth has starred in films including Vanathai Pola, Sethupathi IPS, Captain Prabhakaran, Pulanvisaaranai, Oomai Vizhigal, Senthurapoove, Ulavu Thurai, Periyanna, Vallarasu, Ramana, Neranja Manasu, and Sathriyan.

The Rishivandiyam segment was won by S Sivaraj of INC defeating his   nearest AIADMK candidate LM Athinarayanan in 2006.  

Jagadguru Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal better known as  Sage of Kanchi – the 68th peedathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam was born in Villupuram way back in 1894.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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