Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dalmia Puram .....Kallakudi Palaganatham

A full circle in 50 years

Almost half a century ago, our current Chief Minister had organised a rail roko near DalmiaPuram(Dalmia Puram is a small town between Ariyalur and Lalgudi on the Madras-Trichy rail route)

Reason- North Based Dalmia Cements were setting up a cement plant near Ariyalur and the protest was to prevent the entry of North based/Non TN based companies setting up a factory here...Congress was in Power at the center and Shri Karunanidhi was trying to make an entry into TN Politics then.

Shri Karunanidhi was put up in Palayamkottai Prison and he had said then
that he was happy to be in the Prison for the sake of TN (Palayamkottai Prison is well known for housing 'patriotic heroes')

The small town was almost non existent prior to the setting up of the plant and this factory was to provide employment to several people in the region.

Despite the protest, the plant was set up and the town/station came to be called Dalmia Puram.

Several decades later, Shri Karunanidhi did manage to change the name of the station/town to its current name 'Kallakudi Palaganatham' from Dalmia Puram, thus trying to take away the credit of the Dalmia Investment!!!

I had written about this briefly a year or so ago.

While in Srirangam today, a page 3 photograph in The Hindu reminded me of that story. It was a big size photograph of Dalmia Cements Director inaugurating a state owned new bus service between Kallakudi( Palaganatham) and Trichy( Chattiram bus stand)

I wondered what a turn around it has been in 50 years.

Half a century earlier, there were protests and rail roko to prevent setting up of the Plant. Decades later, the name of the town/station had been changed...The name Dalmia Puram had ceased to exist.And now into the 21st Century, the Dalmia Chief inaugurates a state run bus service.

All the protest towards North based companies entering TN seemed a 'protest' of the past. The current issues had 'changed'.


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Aarthi said...

Dalmiapuram is a native town of my father and he talks about it whenever a mood of nostalgia takes over his heart. I have heard a lot from him about this town and eventually made an internet search to know more about it, but unfortunately I could not get to know much except for this article. Thanks. Please write more about Dalmiapuram if possible. Somehow little towns are not very much talked about, which is not good. They, in fact, have a lot more interesting stories about them than most cities. Little towns like these are also rich in terms of their culture and historical richness. I feel that more should be written about them.

PRabhu S said...


Thanks. Will do.

Let me start thinking of the little towns...


Anonymous said...

yes i know this..i like dalmiapuram(kallakudi)since my grandfather and karunanithi were so close 50 years ago and ..and my gandfather is so famous in this grandfather name is thambusamy reddiyar.even karunanithi know is kalakkudi means my grandfather i.e thambusamy.the name dalmia comes because of its factory.the original name is kalakkudi

Anonymous said...

Your article is full of mistakes.
1. Dalmia Cement Ltd was established in early forties and had been already functioning.
2. There was no rly stan by name Kallakkudi as the site was arural area and the stn came into being for the Dalmia Cements for transportation.
3. The agitation you emtion was held in 19553 as one of the three agitations decided by DMK to get political mileage.

4. The mode of agitation was to paste the name Kallakkudi on the board over Dalmiapuram at the rly stn and not to stop the trains. But Karunanidhi suddenly put his head on the track as a stunt. However, there was no train on the sight.