Archive / Papers / Nagarajan Papers


Given by Dr. K. Nagarajan

Madras: 1900-1957

  1. Collection of personal letters, 1928-1957, written to him in Pudukkottai. 33pp.
  2. Letters concerning the University of Madras 1953 and personal matters 1954-1956. 78pp.
  3. Memoir: ‘Lawyer at Large’ 3 vols.
    • Vol. I. Although the author is a practicing lawyer, his journal as he himself terms it, is not so much a biography as a ‘log’ describing the people whom he has encountered throughout his life, with many digressions on religious duties, mythology, superstitions particularly concerning astrology and also the history, recent and remote of Pudukkottai state. He describes his English orientated schooling first at Raja’s College, Pudukkottai and then at Madras Christian College. Only at the end of Vol. I. when he comes, on his own admission, unwillingly to the Bar does he become factual when he describes his personal involvement in the administration of justice in Pudukkottai State.
    • Vol. II. Opens with his work as a lawyer in Pudukkottai. Describes difficulties encountered in administration of the State caused by the Rajah’s marriage to an Australian girl and subsequent arguments. concerning the succession. Early in 1930 goes to Rangoon in his capacity as a lawyer. Descriptions of Burma, its people and its economy. In 1931 there are riots in Pudukkottai over municipal taxes. Ends with generalised comments on Indian politics. Rioters are sent for trial. In 1935 he comes to England as secretary to delegation headed by Sir Annamalai Chettiar for discussions between India and Burma. Describes sea voyage and his impressions of London. Has a meeting with R.A. Butler, Under Secretary of State, to put Indian case. Also meets Lord Winterton, Lord Hailey and Sir Samuel Hoare and discusses with them problems concerning Indian States and Government of India Bill. Visits Berlin and is conscious of military activity and power of Hitler. Back in India he describes debates in Legislative Assembly at New Delhi concerning Indian immigration and disputes with Burma. He is involved in these discussions. After Second World War he is still involved in debates on Burma. In 1939 works on discussions on new Income Tax Bill. In 1941 is nominated a Syndic of Annamalai University. Describes at length various aspects of University, its teaching staff and students. Ends Vol.II with anecdotes of leading Indian figures in legal world.
    • Vol.III.  Refers at length to work of Pudukkottai Legislative Council. Mentions visit in 1937 of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru to Pudukkottai. In 1945 is appointed State Vakil and Public Prosecutor in Pudukkottai. Soil erosion becomes a problem in the State. Philosophical digression at length on India in 1940s, Indian independence, and the partition of India and Pakistan. He refers to recent past with special reference to Princely States and compares it with contemporary situation. On 3 March 1948, State of Pudukkottai becomes defunct as it is embraced into Indian Union. Looking back he refers at length to Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba, and reviews his life and influence. In 1949 comes to Britain for a short holiday. Visits Oxford and meets University members. Also goes to Trinity College, Dublin and amongst others he meets Ethel Mannin, the novelist. Returns to London and Works in British Museum for a lecture on Development of Novel in India which he is to deliver to Royal Asiatic and Pakistan Society. Returns to India and his legal work and the transition of Pudukkottai State in the Indian Union. After merger he is appointed Special Public Prosecutor in a case involving Koravars. In 1953 is engaged to defend a petitioner in an election case. Reminiscences on his friendship with Milton Brown.