Far from basking in the glory of their son's success, Union Minister L Murugan's mother L Varudammal (59) and father Loganathan (68) continue to work in the fields. Based in Konur village of Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu, the couple has chosen an independent life and earn their bread through their hard work.
In an interview with The Times of India, Varudammal refused to take any credit for her son's career. "We didn't do anything for his (career) growth," she said.
Both Varudammal and Loganathan belong to a Dalit subsect called the Arunthathiyar community. Living in a tiny asbestos-roofed house, the couple works as daily wage earners in the field or wherever there is work.
Seemingly, the fact that their son is a Union minister is of little importance to them. Even when their neighbours informed them about the minister's entry to the cabinet, they were busy working in the fields and continued with it.
After being appointed the BJP state chief in March 2020, Murugan had arrived in Konur amidst much fanfare comprising a convoy of police and party-workers. But then, too, his parents had received him without much ado. Though proud of their son's achievement, the parents remained fiercely independent. They have also taken care of their daughter-in-law and her children after their younger son died five years ago.
Recollecting Murugan's early days, Loganathan remarked that Murugan was a studious child. So, when he completed his schooling at government schools and pursued law from Ambedkar University in Chennai, Loganathan did not shy away from even borrowing money to support his son's college education.
But what does the son think about the parents staying in Konur? Murugan would keep prodding them to stay with him in Chennai. "We used to go once in a blue moon and stay with him for four days. We could not fit into his busy lifestyle, and we preferred to stay in Konur."
Through The Eyes Of Villagers
Landlord Kezhsathambur Palanisamy (for whom Loganathan and Varudammal worked often) observed no change in the behaviour of the couple after Murugan's induction either. For his part, he asked them to report to work as usual.
Fellow villager Vasu Srinivasan brought an incident to attention. One day, when the state government COVID dole was being distributed, Loganathan stood in the queue. Seeing this, Srinivasan asked Loganathan to skip the line. But he refused to do so.
The couple said that they want to stay independent till the end of their lives. "Our son has reached a high position. As parents, this is more than enough for us," the parents said.
Quick Rise To Top
Rising in political ranks very quickly, L Murugan joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during his college days. After graduating, he practised law for 15 years, during which he appeared in several cases on behalf of the BJP.
In the 2011 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, he contested from the Rasipuram seat but received only 1,800 votes. In 2014, he became Standing Counsel to the Indian Government at the Madras High Court. Since 2017, he has been the vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). In 2020, he was made BJP state chief of the Tamil Nadu unit.
In the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, he contested from the Dharapuram seat but lost to DMK's N Kayalvizhi by 1,393 votes. However, this did not prevent him from getting inducted into the Union Cabinet. Currently, he serves as Minister of State in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.