He belonged to a politically active family. He was nephew of Periyar and his father was an active politician himself. He is also the father of other prominent politicians of Tamil Nadu, namely, E. V. K. S. Elangovan and Iniyan Sampath and his wife Sulochana Sampath too was in active politics, holding high ranks within the Tamil Nadu..

He was attracted to Periyar's self-respect movement since early days of his life. The movement aimed at achieving a society where backward castes have equalhuman rights, and encouraging backward castes to have self-respect in the context of a caste based society that considered them to be a lower end of the hierarchy As a student of the Intermediate Course in Pachaiyappa's College in Chennai, he participated in the programmes and agitations of DK. In the year 1944 he was declared as the Commander-in-chief of the Black Shirt Brigade of Periyar's movement.
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