Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty
(1806-1868)
 

A distinguished citizen of Madras, Gazulu was active in promoting debate on public affairs, in the forming of public Associations and in founding a journal to publicize matters of public interest, The Crescent. He was a near contemporary of Ram Mohun Roy.

He had very little of schooling and had to join his father.s flourishing business of indigo and cotton. What he lacked in school education, he made up by involving himself in public discussion and debates.

From the 1830s, he carried on a relentless battle against the proselytizing missionaries and their sympathisers in the then colonial government. With the help of a member of the British Parliament, Danby Seymour, he exposed the methods of torture on the peasants resorted to by the government to collect the crushing taxes. He founded the Madras Native Association in the 1840s and sent petitions to government and the parliament in England. Made a member of the Legislative Council, he died rich in honours but bankrupted by his public activities.