KARAIKUDI APRIL 11, 2017 23:02
International conference on ‘Chettinad and its contribution to Tamil,’ organised by Karaikudi Kamban Kazhagam in Karaikudi recently. | Photo Credit: handout_e_mail
A.V. Meyyappa Chettiar, a pioneer in popularising songs of Subramania Bharathi
Avichi Meyyappa Chettiar, popularly known as A. V. Meyyappa Chettiar or AVM is known to many as Indian film producer, director and philanthropist but not many know he was a great lover of Tamil and the pioneer in popularising the patriotic songs of national poet Subramania Bharathi.
Much before government nationalised the literary works of scholars, poets and writers, AVM dedicated Bharathi songs to the people of Tamil Nadu after acquiring the rights of the songs held by Surajmal and Sons, a recording company during the production of ‘Naam Iruvar’ (we two), his 1947 blockbuster.
The great lover of Tamil, AVM gave away his private ownership of Bharathiyar’s Songs freely to the government at the initiative of then Chief Minister Ommandhur Reddiyar and later the songs legally became public property, Pala. Palaniappan, secretary of the Karaikudi Kamban Kazhagam said, while addressing an international conference here. Mr. Palaniappan was addressing the conference on “Chettinad and its contribution to Tamil,’ organised in connection with 79th ‘Kamban Tiruvizha’ held here from April 7 to 10. Presenting his paper on ‘Tamizhal Thalai nimirndha Tamizhargal,’ he recalled the contributions made by doyens from the land of Chettinad, including AVM, SAP Annamalai, the founder editor of Kumudham Tamil weekly and Koviloor Muthuramalinga Aandavar, the 19th century pontiff of Koviloor mutt.
AVM had used five of Bharathiyar’s songs in ‘Naam Iruvar’ and the songs sung by Carnatic musician D. K. Pattammal and actor singer T. R. Mahalingam became instant hits. The film, released on January 15, 1947 opened with Bharathiyar’s ‘Aaduvome pallu paaduvome,’ celebrating India’s independence eight months ahead, Mr. Palaniappan said.
AVM advertised the film in posters, saying “Bharathi in talkie, hear the national songs of the immortal poet,” he said. A true nationalist, AVM wore Khadi till his death, Mr. Palaniappan recalled. A great lover of Tamil, AVM allowed the Madras Kamban Kazhagam to hold its annual festival at AVM Rajeswari Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai free of cost. He willed that not even electricity to be charged, he said.
Mr. Annamalai was the first Tamil to print four lakh copies of Kumudham, the weekly in regional language in south east Asia and brought pride to the Tamils, he said. Ninety seven delegates from Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lankan and Australia presented papers.
thanks ti the hindu