As true believer in nonviolent resistance and a freedom fighter, Sankaralinganar sacrificed his life by engaging in an indefinite hunger war in order to rename the British’s Madras province as Tamil Nadu.
He started his hunger strike on July 27, 1956, the 78-year-old Sankaralinganar went on his hunger strike for 77 days Virudhunagar, at the Deshabandhu Maidan.
Sankaralinganar refused to change his demand despite the appeals of the prominent leaders. He was rushed to the Madurai Government Hospital on October 10 in a state of unconsciousness and died on October 13. His body is buried at Madurai.
13 years after his death, Madras Province was renamed as ‘Tamil Nadu’ on January 14, 1969 by the initiative of the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu C. N. Annadurai.