கவனிக்க: இந்த மின்னூலைத் தனிப்பட்ட வாசிப்பு, உசாத்துணைத் தேவைகளுக்கு மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தலாம். வேறு பயன்பாடுகளுக்கு ஆசிரியரின்/பதிப்புரிமையாளரின் அனுமதி பெறப்பட வேண்டும்.
இது கூகிள் எழுத்துணரியால் தானியக்கமாக உருவாக்கப்பட்ட கோப்பு. இந்த மின்னூல் மெய்ப்புப் பார்க்கப்படவில்லை.
இந்தப் படைப்பின் நூலகப் பக்கத்தினை பார்வையிட பின்வரும் இணைப்புக்குச் செல்லவும்: Reminiscences
REM IN S CEN CES
K. G. MAHA DEWA
R E M N I S C E N C E S
K. G. MA HAOEVA
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UUhy / am? urftifng?.......
I dreamt of writing a book after migrating to Tamil Nadu fron Eazham due to the ethnic trouble back home. The determination to write came only after 15 years, soon after my by-pass surgery in the Apollo Hospitals', Chennai.
Since I came here with just a passport, I did not have any notes in writing. With the help of a pen and from memory, my thoughts blossomed into words on a computer screen. You have to believe ne that this book was brought out with the help of contacts made with the friends to confirm my memory and with a few photographs I could get.
I wanted to write even when I was studying. I had to stop my college education and start writing.
My book, Nenaivalaikal' in Tamil starts as an article, transforms into a tale and ends as a life story. How many efforts, tribulations, dangers, encounters and journeys! All the rivers end in the sea. We can fathon the sea. Can we fathon the mind? Waves in the sea never stop. So do memories Desires of the mind swim from earth to heaven and heaven to earth; they do not stop. In the same way the life of a journalist has got burdens that delight him. He will experience them and grow. But there will be no end to then.
Today the Tamil people live in all parts of the world. My intention for releasing this book internationally in English is to make people in the rest of the world to read and get to know my book. I have taken efforts to reach out to the people through libraries, educational institutions and welfare organizations.
I have tried to give my experiences, incidents, meetings and joys in a short and sweet manner. I have brought out along with my story, the stories of those who worked and lived with me.
Eelanadu' was an era. It has a history. It was a national newspaper, established by Tamil stalwarts with foresight. It was a risk taken by the K.C. brothers to show to the world that a Tamil newspaper can be run by the Tamils, for the Tamils and in the Tamil province. It stood steadfast with determination in the service of its people and was supported and appreciated by all. Eelanadu alone is the base for the story I am writing. It is my duty to write about Eelanadu' which made many people attain success. Many truths have to be revealed, experiences to be talked about; and achievement to be admired. Started in 1959 as a weekly magazine and transformed into a bi-weekly in 1960 and daily in 1961, Eelanadu extended its national service in all directions. Well organized for 33 years, Eelanadu wobbled after the ethnic trouble, shifted to many places, lost direction and finally stopped altogether. The press which consumed the news coming from all the corners of the country, finally had to change its location. The employees too went with it.
In 1990 itself, Eelanadu started straying from Chavakacheri to Murukandi, then to Puthukudiyiruppu and was coming out from those places but could withstand only for a few years. Staff from the Editorial and the press scattered to other places; Eelanadu had to close down. Though the Eelanadu which was coming out from No.63, Sivankovil West street, Vannarpannai, Jaffna ceased, it is gladdening to know that it is being published as a weekly and daily from Europe and Sri Lanka by the efforts of a few who had a regard for it.
When I was 11, "Eezha Kesario from Chunnagam, satiated my thirst to write. It was a weekly magazine. Its editor Mr.Raja Ariyaratnam laid a base for me. The earnest writing skills of my paternal uncle Mahavidan.V.S.Kandiah inspired me. He was my guru. I joined Eelanadu' at the age of 21 and became the editor in "Cheithi’ at the age of 27. I rejoined
Eelanadu in a few years. When I became the news editor in Eelanadu in later 1970s, there were so many events! So I have tried to tell you the birth and growth of Eelanadu.
Eelanadu” became popular not only in schools, colleges and universities; it was admired in every nook and corner and at all levels. It reflected quality, honesty, aspirations, truth and spirituality. That was a golden period. I have tried to give all that has remained in my memory.
I have expurgated certain events involving Tamil politicians and other personalities with whom I established contacts during my tenure in Eelanadu'.
The one who has been behind this effort and who reminded me of many things I had forgotten was my wife. I thank my children, my sons in-law and daughters in - law Mohan-Santha, Thiruthanikesvaran-Chandrika, Puvana chandran-Kovathani, Gnanakumar-Vinodhini, RajendranVijazhini and Rajkumar for all the support and encouragement they offered.
My whole-hearted thanks are due to the great veteran Sri Lankan author Thiru Espo, for his Foreword and valuable suggestions. I am grateful to the staff of his Mithra Publications, for their service in preparing this book for publication within the specified time limit. I am deeply indebted to my dear brother, artist-actor Thiru.S.IIankainathan, who was a pillar of strength to me during the writing of my Tamil book, and to Dr. Mrs. Parvathi Vasudev for her co-operation and support.
'Suprapatham' K.c.MAADEVA 5, 8th Cross street,
Trichy - 620 001. Tamil Nadu.
Our grandchildren who are the lights of our lineage.
offer this book to
My parents Mrs. Kanagamma-Mr. K.Gnanaselvam, Who brought me into this world, My maternal aunt, K.Kangeswari And my uncle V.S.Kandiah Who sowed the seeds of writing skills in me.
Black July, 1983, is a day of historical importance in the lives of the Eazham Tamils. The tragic memories it evokes, are countless. However, it was that very Black Day which provided the opportunity to prove the fact that the Tamils will rise, revitalised, like the phoenix from its own ashes, with their thirst for freedom multiplied manifold. That day was not the outcome of the sudden wrath of the Sinhalese. It was a cold-blooded, well-planned, "massacre of innocence', sponsored and unleashed by the Jeyawardene government. It should be identified as Such
K.G. Mahadeva's book, "Reminiscences" confirms with sufficient proof, that the foundation for this injustices was laid on June 1, 1981. In the lives of the Eazham Tamils, this day too is a black day. It was not a coincidence that two of the senior Cabinet ministers, Gamini Dissenayake and Cyril Mathew were in Jaffna at that time.
in the course of that one day, the Jaffna Library which housed the largest number of Tamil books in the whole of Asia, was burnt to ashes by the army, acting under orders from the Government. In the same manner, Eelanadu, the daily which was the voice of the Eazham Tamils and their feelings, published from Jaffna, was also consigned to flames.
The Government which practised divisive politics, could not tolerate the existence and prosperity of the Jaffna Library and the daily Eelanadu, which represented the intellectual growth of the Eazham Tamils. Hence the inferno
K.C. Kularathinam, the veteran scholar, has already written a record of the origin, growth and destruction of the Jaffna Library. Now, six years later, this book has brought to light the burning down of Eelanadu.
The story of Eelanadu ------ its rise and fail---- has not been documented in the form of a separate book so far. Eelanadu was the symbol of the individualistic expression of the Eazham Tamils' culture. It sought to establish a separate identity for the Tamils, dissociated from the domination of Colombo and the Sinhalese government. It was necessitated by the need for the "national' voice of the Tamils to be heard clearly and loudly. "Reminiscences": is the first work that records the government's efforts to suppress that voice. It also serves as an important document which reveals the truth of how the Tamils' nationalistic fervour has not only survived but successfully emerged victorious from the repressive measures of the government in power.
K.G.Mahadeva is fully qualified to write this memoir. At a very early age, he bravely chose journalism as his career and serv- . ice. He continues to lead a life that has not alienated him from journalism. He served in the "news' section of Eelanadu through all its trials and tribulations. All his writings have been closely allied to journalistic Tamil. He has perfected the art of offering information to the readers in very simple and easy-to-understand Tamil. This record is a standing testimony to that talent of his.
Mahadeva has written, with a Sense of dedication and responsibility, the history of Eelanadu which nurtured him. This has enabled him to stand high as a role model for the journalists of Eazham. The book also reveals how, just like Eelanadu, Mahadeva has proved himself to be an exemplar of the intellectual history of Batticaloa.
firmly believe that this work will win the approbation of the Tamils all over the World.
13A Welby Street, 2. ao Eastwood 2122
EXPERENCEN \\ WRITING
I bow in veneration to Swami Vipulanandar.
I very well remember the year 1947. I was then studying in third standard in Puliyantivu Aanaippanthi Boys' School, which is near Batticaloa Aanaippanthi Pilaiyar Koil.
A great Sanyasin of Eazham, the great scholar of Tamil Nadu and en erudite scholar in Tamil - this is Swami Vipulanandar. On the 19th of July, the same year, the sad and shocking news of his demise spread like wild fire to all lands where Tamil is spoken, and Batticaloa especially, plunged into untold sorrow.
Only in the month of June, he had released the book "Yazh Nool" brought out in Tamil by Karanthai Tamil Sangam at Thirukkollamputhoor, Tamil Nadu. Within six weeks, since his return to his home land, he entered the Heavenly abode.
I consider myself fortunate enough to have lived in his times, to have studied in the school started by his first Aashram and above all to have participated in his last journey in the world.
His mortal remains were brought to Batticaloa from Colombo on 20th and were kept in the hall at Ramakrishna Mission Girls' School at Aanaippanthi for the public to pay their homage. The same day, past midnight, his mortal remains were. consigned to flames in front of 'Sivapauri' house at Kalladi.
The incident of my being one among the Several hundreds who participated in the funeral procession which began from the Girls' School at Aanaippanthi, is still fresh in my memory.
I feel it is my duty to tell about Adigalar to those who are now living and those who are yet to come into this world to livethe reason is, many may not know about this Tamil hermit or may have forgotten him.
It is rare nowadays, to remember national leaders or renowned Scholars even once a year. But to think that such a man lived is a token of gratitude. To think of a great Sanyasi, a great personality witnessed by the Tamil speaking lands is the beginning of a true story. His journey, for the cause of Tamil had included Batticaloa, Jaffrina and Tamil Nadu.
About Swami in nutshell
Born in 1892, at Kaaraitheevu, in Batticaloa to Swamithambi Vidhanaiyar and Kannammai, he had his early Schooling in the Methodist Central College and St.Michael's; he came out successfully in the test conducted by Madurai Tamil Sangam in 1916 and earned the credit of being the first Pandit of Sri Lanka.
In his 25th year, while working as a science teacher in St. Patric's College at Jaffna, he obtained a degree in science from the University of London. After that he did exemplary service as the Principal of Maanippai Hindu College at Jaffna. When he was 30, he joined the Ramakrishna Mission at Mylapore, Chennai and embraced priest-hood within a short span of two years; he learnt the Catechism of the religion and was Christened as “Vipulanandar“ by Swami Sivananda.
He returned to Sri Lanka when he was 33, and assumed charge of Vannarpannai Vaitheeswara Vidhyalaya. As the President of the Students' conference, he had the privilege to receive Mahatma Gandhi, who was on a visit to Sri Lanka.
In 1931, in his 39th year, he became a Professor in the Tamil Department of Annamalai University at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.
KG. MAHADEVA 11
He was also a member of the Tamil Research Department of Madras University and he presided over the conference of the Madras Presidency Tamil Sangam held at Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai.
He had the honour of being the first Professor in the world in the Tamil Department. The former Vice-Chancellor of Jaffna University, Professor S.Vidyananthan had said; "when Swami took over this post, no University, not even Madras University had a separate post of Professor in the Tamil Department. Another bond of relationship between Swami and Tamil Nadu was the great national poet Subramania Bharathi. He brought to the knowledge of the world, the greatness of the Tamil poet, of his poems, his classical Tamil and the feelings embedded in his poems. In 1937, he undertook a pilgrimage to Kailas, and served as the editor of Ramakrishna Mission's English magazine "Prabuddha Bharatha", for five years. From 1943 he was a Professor in the Tamil Department of Sri Lankan University, released the book "Yazh Nool" on June 5th and 6th and left the world for ever on 19th July, 1947.
Prof. R. P. Sethupillai was an Assistant Professor in the Tamil Dept. of Annamalai University under Swami. Even Professor T.P. Meenakshi Sundaram became a Professor only in 1944. Such were the honours the Swami had to his credit.
"The white Jasmine Or any other flower Which is befitting for Swanni's feet It's neither the Jasmine white Nor any other But the heart That is endearing to him."
This is the flower his heart desired. His dream was to unite the Tamils around the globe, for all time.
The Sanne lines are engraved on his marble tombstone which is within the campus of Kalladi Uppodai Sivananda Vidhyalaya at Batticaloa.
India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Eazham have been intertwined with regard to art and culture. Considering the extent to which the people of Eazham have known about the scholars, philosophers and great Writers of Tamil Nadu, it is disappointing that the people of Tamil Nadu have not rightly understood Eazham. To add to this, they never strove to know about her scholars and men of fame. Under such conditions, this Tamil scholar lived in Eazham and he still lives in the hearts of people.
This is not only a dedication; it is the scent of the soil. Now follows the journey of my true story.
WS. Kandiah-Mrs, Kangeswari
Desire to write at the age of 11
During my stay with my paternal uncle W.S. Kandiah and aunt Kalgeswari in Gnanasuriam square at Batticaloa in 1951, the desire to Write cropped up in me, as I was regularly reading "Eezha Kesari". Both of them were pandits and were blessed with four sons after a long spell. Hence they showered their love and affection on Ilhe and treated me as their first born, Besides their teaching profession they were writing articles to newspapers and also taking part in the radio broadcast. Uncle was writing every week to the weekly "Eezha Kesari' published from Chunnaagam, Jaffna under the pen name 'Oori'. I got the desire to write as I was regularly reading the Tamil dailies and "Eezha Kesari".
K.G. MAHADEWA 13
My maiden contribution was in the form of short stories and write-ups and these were published in the students' section of "Eezha Kosari', I was encouraged by "Kosari Mama" Mr. Raja ariya ratlain.
At the age of 12, when I was a student of Batticaloa Methodist College with Mr. S.W.O. Somanathar as Principal, I won the first prize - a silver medal in the Illusic competition, by singing a song from a movie. Later, as a student of the Government College with Mr. Kandiah and Mr.Chidambaranathan as the heads of the institution, I bagged a prize at the state level in a quiz competition conducted by the Sri Lankan Radio.
In the College, I was fascinated by the prowess of Pulawar Mani A. Periyatham bipillai in Tamil who used to explain Kambaramayanam from different angles, in a very interesting Illan her. The love for literature and desire to write took a deep root in me here.
When I was writing articles too "Diarkarara" (Coloumbxo dailly), Pulawar Lused to say, "complete your studies and thern contin Lle yoLur association with the press". "Could such a longing be curbed?' I contributed to Veerak's(II's students' section run by Mr. David Raju, (Colombo Daily) about the various characters of the Ramayanan.
The writings and speeches of Mr. C. Rajadurai of the Federal Party and a Member of Parliament had an impact on me. He quit (expelled?), the 'Suthan thiran' paper and started publishing "Tannilagain" from his lango Press at Batticaloa. I was assisting poet Mr. Kasi, Anandan, who held a responsible position there.
I had to visit up-country to introduce and popularize Tamilagam' to improve its sale, Hence it was indeed an experience when I was still doing S.S.C. to visit Kandy, Gampola, Nuwaraeliya and other such places in up-country for the first time, to appoint agents.
Entering "Eelanadu" at 21.
My stories and articles published in magazines and dailies got me the opportunity to enter "Eelanadu' in the year 1961 at the age of 21.
During my stay with rily elder sister Smt. Dharmladevi and Sri.Subramaniam in Jaffna I had the opportunity to enter "Eelanadu' with the help of Mr.Navaratnan of Yazh' Singapore Pharmacy.
Child specialist Dr. K.C.Shanmugaratnam, popularly known as "Redeemer of Children' advised me to meet Mr, Haran of "Eela Inadu". I went there with a file stuffed with ווןy Writings, met Mr. Haran and handed over my writings to him.
Seeing them he said, "Sit in the editorial section. Though you have a strong desire to write, you need training, Mr. Gopalaratnam will tell you the nature of your work". I met Mr. Gopalaratnam in the editorial. He gave me some English and Tamil dailies froll Taillil Nadu and advised me to read ווויtוII
'Eela Inadu" was a national daily. It was started as a weekly in 1959, became bi-weekly in 1960 and blossomed into a daily in 1961. In Sri Lanka, "Eelanadu" was the only renowned News paper, outside Colombo. I joined "Eelanadu' in its early stages itself.
A telephone, a sew correspondenls and the Radio Service were the only aids of this challenging effort. In its initial stages Eelanadu" faced and overcame many obstacles,
The East Sri-Lanka National Paper Corporation Chairman, Mr. K.C. Thangarajah, his brother Dr. K.C. Shanmugaratnam, and their I hephew M.I.B.Siva Ilanlan were: the founders and main share holders.
Though I was used to writing, as far as the editorial section was concerTed, I was only a trainee.
K.G. MAHADEWA 15
The Eelanadu" editorial section had been a well organized set up. It had many stalwarts such as Mr. K.P. Harar, Managing Editor, Mr.S.M.Gopalaratnam, News Editor, Mr. Raja ariyaratnam, Editor of the weekly, Mr.T.M. Murugiah, Mr.5. Perumal, Mr.S.Sabaratman, Mr. K.Yoganathan, Mr.K.Ganesa lingam-Assistant Editors. Mr.A.V. Maniccam joined "Eelanadu' at the same time as I did. Mr.Yoganathan was the reporter,
K.C. Thangarajah Dr. K.C.Shanmugaratnam
The birth and growth of "Eelanadu"
Fondly called "K.C.T and Thangar, Mr. KCThangarajah always had the idea of starting a Tamil magazine. He could realize the idea only after the ethnic troubles in 1958. Whenever he thought of his material uncle Muthu Kumara Swamy Thambiran alias, "Ilakkana Swamigal" his desire towards literature would start burning. So he started"Kalaa Nilaya Publishing House at Wannarpannai, ina serene, lovely spot behind the Shiva temple in memory of lakkana Swamigal who was then at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Within a few Im Tiths Eelarladu' Laille ints existen-L.
In order to preserve the language, art, Culture, education, and tradition of the Tamils which were slowly being destroyed by the Sri Lankan governments and the Sinhalese communal politicians by way of representing the Imajority people, the dream of K.C. brothers to launch a Tamil Newspaper run by the Tamils, in the Tamil speaking area, for
the welfare of the Tanils calle true.
From February, 1959 Eelanadu became a weekly and had the following on the staff: Mr.Raja ariyaratnam, who was the editor of the weekly 'Eezha Kesari published from Chunnaagam - was made the editor, "Kalki' praised him by calling him Ariya Rajaratnam and later he came to be called as Raja ariyaratnam. Karamban S.M.J. Wilfred was the Press Manager. Entrusting the entire responsibility of the development of the weekly to brother Dr. K.C.Shanmugaratnam, K.C..Thangarajah left for Colombo to look after his business. He was the Managing Director of CFT, Engineering Works at Union Place and Chairman of National Paper Corporating Mills in Waazhaichenai. Besides this he managed "Eelanadu' from Colombo.
His sister's son Mr, B.Sivanandan, who had his training in printing technology in London was required to come back to Colombo to manage the growth of the newspaper. Mr. B.Sivanandan was appointed as the Manager of the press.
Mr. K.C. Thangarajah, Dr. K.C. Shanmugaratnam, Mr.Raja ariyaratulan, Mr.B.Sivanandan and some other Tamil scholars from Jaffna, discussed in detail the principle and functioning of "Eelamadu and decided to convertitinto a daily and to include experienced men in the Managerial Board. As "Eelanadu" had the full support of the people of the northern region, it became a daily soon.
As per the decision taken, "Eelanadu' was registered as a Limited Company and many were taken in as shareholders. A Directors' Board was constituted and some were selected as primary
lrey will abuse.
Write IIIe frt fl. ) is!!!
fe fra flysfully"
! !!!) ...............
The Compassionate Editor Haran
It was decided to bring Mr.K.P.Haran, who was with Veerakesari' in Colombo as editor. When he came to work with Eelanadu a large array of employees from Veerakesari shifted from Veerakesari to Eelanadu, Jaffna. Mr. Raja ariyaratnam was in-charge of the weekly magazine. After Mr.Wilfred, Mr.MSPeter from Martin Street, Jaffna stepped into his shoes. Apart from publishing Mr. Sivanandan was also member of the 'Eelanadu Board of Directors.
Worthy of mention Mr. Palmer was the first General Manager and he was then followed by Mr. M. Vairamuthu of Manippai and senior English teachers Mr. K.V. Mylvaganam and T. Seenivasagam.
In 1959, Mr. K.C.Thangarajah, Dr. K.C.Shanmugaratnam, Editor Mr.Raja ariyaratnam and Mr.B.Sivanandan took the first edition of Eelanadu' of Feb 9th, 1959 at 4.00 A.M (publishing date 11.02.1959) early morning to Yoga Swamy at Kozhumbuthurai (Colombagam) to get his blessings.
Always hilarious, Swamy welcomed the team and enquired about the paper. When he took the paper, his first question was, "Is this another way to earn?"
Then he wentthrough the pages and said, "They willburn, they will abuse; Write the truth and write truthfully". The team returned content.
Eelanadu's initial reach to the North started spreading to the South, West and to the East. The front portion of 142, New Bullers lane, Bambalapity, Colombo where Thangarajah was staying became its Colombo main office. Provincial and capital news services and the publicity department - functioned here. The employees worked as one family and were encouraged by Mr.Thangarajah who fully co-operated with them. While Mr.K.C..Thangarajah
K.G. MAHADEVA 19 ع
worked in Colombo, Dr.K.C.Shanmugaratnam worked from Jaffna along with his medical practice.
Dr. Shanmugaratnam Continued his ancestral Ayurvedic practice at Vairavar Koiladi and he was appointed as Registrar of births and deaths in 1955. To assist him in his dispensary, one Mr.K.Kuppusamy, dedicated himself after his school education. He was the compounder, receptionist and servant in the dispensary. Winning the doctor's confidence, he was always waiting for the Command of his boss. He was simple and humble and won not only the heart of the doctor but also of the patients. Nobody can forget the patient and timely treatment he gave in the absence of his doctor.
Kuppu' in the service of the doctor
After managing the clinic of Dr.K.C.Shanmugaratnam till 1979, Dr.K.Kuppusanny, a practitioner in Siddha Medicine, opened a clinic under the banner, "Shanmuga Ayurvedhic Salai" in Kottady Pannai Street to perpetuate the memory of Dr.Shanmugaratnam. The Vaidhya Salai funtioned for a long time.
Once Eelanadu' was converted into a daily, the number of its employees also rose. Dr. Shanmugaratnam gave free treatment not only to the employees of "Eelanadu but also to their family members. The treatment was always coupled with his unique smile and to the children he became a 'redeemer'.
One day a reputed concern approached Dr. Shanmuga ratnam for an advertisement. He said with a smile "A doctor who follows a noble profession needs no publicity, the public are his advertisers." He never misued Eelanadu'-noteven a single day for his own publicity.
Eelanadu completed seven years on June 29th, 1966. Doctor had a slight pain in the chest but unmindful of it, he worked in the dispensary as usual. He had to leave for Colombo the next day. On 30th June, he took the flight from Palaali airport accompanied by his eldest daughter Jayanthi. On the flight, he was found chatting with the senior lawyer, Mr.G.G. Ponnambalam. His wife
Mrs.Parvathapathni was awaiting his arrival at Ratmalana airport.
The plane landed safely. Doctor and his daughter alighted from the plane. He had the pain again. He was walking with his hand on the chest. But his wife failed to notice this. Nearing her, he leaned on her shoulders. That was the end of everthing. A pillar of "Eelanadu had fallen - an irreparable loss- a vacuum created
After the loss of the doctor, Mr. Thangarajah bore the brunt of managing "Eelanadu". "Eelanadu' lost Dr. Shanmugaratnam, but nothing could mar his dream. Burying the grief deep in their hearts and taking the doctor as their guiding spirit, the employees started to work hard.
The pages of "Eelanadu were prepared with dexterity by Mr. Narayanasamy from Veerakesari who took up charge as foreman in the printing section. He was assisted by Mr. Krishnamurthy in this task. Later Mr.Velupillai was the foreman for the weekly magazine and Mr. M.Balasingam of Maravanpulam for the daily. Mr. M.Balasingam had been the foreman from my starting days till I left Eelanadu' in 1989.
I recall at this juncture all those who worked with me from the beginning and toiled and shared the credit for the growth of our newspaper. They are M.Arumugasamy, PPackianathan, C.Balasingam, Chinnaiah, Marcus, Arulanandam, Thangavelu, “Muthalali' Selvarathnam, Duraisamy, Thevarajah, Joseph, Sivanesan, Jeevarathnam, Sachidanandan and Satguru from the printing section.
The commendable services of Mr. Pon. Balasundaram and Mr. Mahalingasivam (Maale) who used to send on-the-spot news and the Sinhalese veteran journalist Mr. Gamini Navaratne are noteworthy.
Publicity is the backbone of any newspaper or journal. Mr. Muruganandam deserves praise for his help in giving a lift, economically to 'Eelanadu' through advertisements.
KG MAHADEWA - 21
It is my duty to record the valuable services rendered by the active correspondents Mr.S.Thiruchelvam, Mr.K.Krishnaraja, Maavittapuram K.Rasalingam, Mr.RSundararaja Sarma, Mr.S.R.Gnanasundaram, Mr.A.N.S. Thiruchelvam, Mr.Kandasamy, Mr.C.Balasingam, Mr.K.Thirulogamurthy and Mr.S.Thillainathan.
People who worked with me in the editorial section during the late 60s were: Mr.M.Manoharan, Kavignar PeriShun muganathan, who was working in the Russian embassy and selected by me, Selvi Gunamani, Pulavar Selvi Pooranam, Pulavar Parvathinathasivam, Pulavar Kanagaratnam, Sri Nataraja and Ganesa Nathan.
Among our reporters, Mr.K.Rasalingam, who was our Maavittapuram area reporter in 1962, needs mention for his risky and adventurous reporting.
In 1963, Mr.S.Navarathnasamy was making a "Guinness" effort to cross the Palk Strait. Rasalingam, who was then a reporter of the paper, landed on Indian soil along with Navarathnasamy in a boat provided by the excise department and sent interesting news, such as the unlawful smuggling into Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu and that of its being thwarted by the Excise personnel at Kankesanthurai. The readers thirst for first hand news was thus quelled by the news of Eelanadu".
There were many stalwarts on the staff of our newspaper. It had such a wide and large circulation that it adorned the hands of the mass in the morning and people came to the point of saying, 'OK, weshall see the news in Eelanadutomorrow for anything new. My first translation:
One fine day, Mr.Gopalaratnam told me to translate the editorial in 'The Hindu and then give it to the Managing Editor.
I was tensed on taking 'The Hindu' as my knowledge of English was not up to the mark. Translating "The Hindu's editorial looked a Herculean task.
I translated it line by line by referring to the Lifco Dictionary and my maiden venture was moving at a snail's pace and the work lasted nearly an hour. Mr.Gopalaratnam did not mind this. I somehow completed it in ten pages and gave it to Mr. Gopalaratnam. He said, "give it to Mr.Haran, the Managing Editor".
I entered his cubicle reluctantly. I was nervous. I came to believe that I will be thrown out once my translation is read by Mr.Haran.
"Yes, come in and take your seat" said Haran with a smile. "What is that bundle of papers?"
I said, "The translation of 'The Hindu' editorial. Mr.Gopalaratnam asked me to translate it."
"What! Editorial of The Hindu'? Why did he give it to you? I asked him to alter the small news items published in the dailies from Tamil Nadu. You can go. I shall talk to him." He did not bother to see the bunch of papers I had.
I emerged out of the room with jubilation, tore the translated matter into bits and threw them into the dustbin.
A little while later Mr Gopalaratnam asked me, “Did Haran go through it?.
I uttered the first lie in my journalistic career. "Yes, I have given it to him.'
Inspite of being a provincial daily, Eelanadu sold throughout the island.
Eelanadu had a unique reputation for giving first hand news and for giving little importance to cinema news. People welcomed Haran's constructive editorials. They were considered scholarly and were read out in many educational institutions. His daily discourses "Ayyaaran' had a spiritual touch and captivated the read- ers. From a 10% sale, it surpassed all other Colombo dailies in circulation and the number of readers it had. Its reach extended to villages and every nook and corner of the northern part.
K.G. MAHADEVA 23
I was a learner. So Mr. Haran used to advise me to go out and collect news. He would say, "Dog biting a man is not news. But man biting a dog is news."
In 1961, S.J.V.Chelvanayagam of the Federal Party was successfully carrying on a Satyagraha.
Our office reporter Mr. Yoganathan spared no pains to gather news. Eelanadu" was also printing several special editions in a single day.
The Satyagraha was going on near Jaffna Kachcheri area (Collector's office). Public support for the Satyagraha was growing. The oppression and atrocities of the government of Sirimavo Bandaranayake and of the police were also on the increase day by day. If something untoward happened, within a few hours, a special issue of Eelanadu' would reach the public. News Editor Mr.Gopalaratnam toiled night and day to develop it. He was an expert in writing the front page news and was a nightmare to other newspapers in Colombo. Sub-editors lent a helping hand to him. Even I was forced to venture out to collect news of the Satyagraha.
My experience, enthusiasm and earnestness urged me to try something new. Once I met a few students at Kachcheri area and introduced myself as Eelanadu - I got instant recognition among them. I shared with them an idea at which they were enthralled and acted swiftly. I wrote the front page news the next day - The news ran thus,
"A petition signed in blood, addressed to Prime Minister Sirimavo! Students presented it to Thanthai' Chelva'.
Editor Mr. Haran called me and appreciated me for the novel idea.
Ishould, with your permission, takesometime to narrate details about my married life - a thrill indeed!
In the year 1958, I was in the habit of participating in the literary debates of the 'Students' Section' of the weekly Veerakesari'
and those of “Puthan Malar" of Dinakaran, published on Wednesdays. Sometimes the author's photograph and some particulars about him would also be published along with the articles.
Once there was a debate on the characters of the Rama yanam in the Students' section of Veerakesari'. My article on "Kumbakarnan' as the one who proved to be grateful for what he had received, was published with my photograph and some information about me.
Some girl students of a convent in up-country, appeared to show interest in reading these articles. A group of them had the habit of taking down the details of the author, published along with the photograph every week and at the end of every month, they would draw lots. Each student would keep with her the details she gets and they would write to the author to become his pen friend.
Marriage through pen friendship
One day, while I was in college, I received a letter. Since it was the first letter from my pen friend, my joy knew no bounds, and as a result of this, I replied. From then onwards letters were written and received at both ends for three years. In 1961, it culminated in my marriage at the age of 21. She was then just 18.
Pen is mightier-Pen was my weapon in my profession and pen (friendship) helped me to get a life partner.
Tojoin Eelanadu' in 1961, I was asked to furnish only the details of my educational qualifications, writing skills and experience. There was no question on my marital status. I too did not volunteer. Had I filled in that Column, I doubt whether I would have been absorbed, because, it would not have been possible for them, then, to pay the salary required for a married man.
After my marriage, I first lived with my elder sister at Navalar Street Jaffna in a joint family. Within a few days of my getting the job at Eelanadu', I went to live in a house in Vannaarpannai
K.G. MAHADEVA 25
Gopal Lane near Manohara Theatre, Jaffna. It was a portion of a house for a rent of twenty rupees plus two rupees as electricity charges. One month rolled by. That day was my pay day. Mr. Haran gave me a cover saying "This is your salary- work hard." I deposited it safely in my shirt pocket. While coming home on my bicycle I was in an excited mood.
"My first month's salary. Rent twenty rupees. With the balance, I should buy a saree for my wife, some utensils, provisions... etc.' I started day-dreaming not knowing how much was in the cover.
On entering the house, I proudly gave the cover to my wife, "My first month's salary". She said, "You open it". When I opened, five new ten rupee notes smiled at me - fifty rupees, a month's salary! My mind calculated at lightning speed. Without the dark clouds, I heard the thunder
Yet it was a pleasant burden. Since rice and other food items were supplied through ration-shops, I was able to pull on. In 1961, a sovereign of gold cost only seventy rupees. Hence, I did not feel the pinch.
'Eelanadu" grew day by day. To rise to the expectation of the readers, it took Herculean efforts. Dr. Shanmugaratnam used to visit the office at nights, even at midnight and go through the editorials. His visit served as a tonic to the assistant editors.
After sometime, I was given charge of Manavar Malar' - Students' page. I introduced a new section styled 'Work for the Brain' and also a novel in series titled 'Flying Snake'. The inspiration for this came from an English movie. This attempt of mine was encouraged by the Director, Mr. Sivanandan. This was so popular among students and made a mark in their minds.
In another incident, a murder took place in the Maanippai area in Koozhavadi. Police said one Kalimuthu, a servant employed in the house of a United Nations' official, had committed the crime. That assignment given to me to report the news was an experience in itself.
I found the police busy working on the murder, when I reached the spot. I saw two women with head injuries. The kitchen and the front hall had been completely smeared with blood. The victims were the mother and Sister of the UN official employed in New York. Taking notes, I came out. Each one in the crowd had a story to tell. In the next days' edition I reported that the mother had been hit on the head by a wooden log and that the log had been bought from a tanker depot only on the morning of the murder. Kalimuthu who had been in their service as a servant from childhood, had been provoked to commit the murder owing to a problem over his salary. The police came to know all these details only later. I collected all this information from a toddy booth because my colleague enlightened me by saying that this is the place where we could get interesting information about politicians as well as common people. I realized, later, how true it was! In the end Kalimuthu got the death sentence. The sale of the newspaper would increase substantially - say in thousands whenever special news were published.
The first and last pages of the paper would usually be printed after midnight. Hence, when all the other newspapers of Colombo reached the northern side, only "Eelanadu would be carrying the last news and special ones. It was Eelanadu' which would give the latest news when the Parliament was in the budget session.
Director B. Sivanandan, at times, would be bubbling with enthusiasm. He had strange notions. He would ask, "Why not we bring out a midnight edition during budget sessions?' But who would sell it at midnight? Only we could!
KG. MAHADEVA 27
BICD-DATA of Eela Nadu.'
Colombo Branch : 142, New Bullers Road,
Colombo - 4. Tee: 86811 National Tamil Daily (1961)
Head office P.O. Box 49,
Jaffna. Tele; 22389, 24.126
Foundation laid on 1956
press started on 1958
Eelanadu Weekly First issue 1102.1959 Eelanadu Ltd, registered on 19.10.1959 'Eelanadu Bi-Weekly published on : 1960 'Eelanadu Daily started on 1961
Eelanadu is the first Provincial Tamil daily published outside capital - Colombo.
Eelanadu Tamil National Daily started by the Tamils for the Tamil people to safeguard their fundamental rights,
Eelanadu', 63 Wannarpannai West Road, (P.O. Box.49) Jaffna.
Sale of Eelanadu" - We carried on our shoulders.
At the time of the budget session, we used to contact the manager of a few cinema halls, in the centre of Jaffna, tell him certain details about the budget and request him to screen a slide at the end of the night show- "Special edition of Eelanadu" can be had outside the theatre". He would be happy to know the budget details in advance and comply with our request. We would be standing outside the hall with the papers on our shoulders. Once we see the audience coming out, each one of us would start shouting, "prices of sugar, flour, cereals, bread hiked.”
The papers would sell like hot cakes within 15 minutes as the price was only 10 cents. I remember with gratitude my compositor friends Sivanesan, Joseph and Thevarajah.
'Eelanadu' reached its maximum sale at the time of the Satyagraha and the highest during the trial of Kokilambal's murder case. In the latter half of 1970 - that is during the struggle for Tamil Eazham-more than 25000 copies were printed.
Kokilambal's murder case
The murder of a temple priest by his wife and two others and their death sentence were very popular not only in the north but in the whole of Sri Lanka.
Kokilambal murdered her huband Kaasilinga Sarma in the house itself and buried the body in the garden. She covered it with heaps of cow-dung. Her small daughter was the only eye-witness. The child gave evidence in the Jaffna court by describing how the murder was done. She saw the whole thing through the key hole. Kokilambal, Velupillai and another one were sentenced to death by hanging. The other two were hanged. Kokilambal, being a woman, had to spend many years in jail and was released later. She then lived in a remote corner of her native island.
Reporter K.Yoganathan wrote about the court proceedings in an elaborate and clever manner as he was competent in collecting news at public meetings and seminars. He would write the scoop word by word without losing the context. He did this despite not knowing shorthand. Not only he, but none of the assistant editors knew shorthand. The notable point is that the news would be absolutely factual.
Mr.T.M.Murugaiah, who was my colleague as an assistant editor had a knack for writing the news for his World is a stage from the international news on radio. Current events were on his finger tips. His news contained incidents and background stories.
From the beginning I was fascinated by the style of the writings of Mr. Gopalaratnam. Conscious of the freedom that "Eelanadu" gave us, we formulated our own eithics. We never
K.G. MAHADEVA 29
published anything obscene for the sake of sales. With great pride, I say, at this juncture, that this moral code of conduct was followed from the birth of Eelanadu' to its last days.
My friend and colleague Mr. S.Sabaratnam known as "Sasibharathi' in Jaffna's literary circles contributed short stories to 'Eelanadu' when he was a senior proof reader in its initial stages. Besides, he worked as the editor of its weekly magazine for some time.
Another colleague of mine Mr. E.K.Rajagopal and I were like relatives. Whenever I paid a visit to his house at Valvetti, his mother used to delight me with Sesame oil cakes which she made herself. On the advice of B.Sivanandan he wrote on different things and different ideas in the weekly.
Paruththi Theevu, an island, a few miles away from Jaffna was unknown to the people as there was neither transport to it nor any communication with that place. It was a mysterious place. But Rajagopal, explored the island with a lot of struggle and broke the mystery. His travelogue on the island was well received. Our friendship deepened and strengthened when he came to my rescue to donate 'O' group blood for my wife when she was in need of it while in the Jaffna General Hospital in 1965.
My first meeting with M.G.R.
Interviews with film actors from Tamil Nadu were specially featured in Eelanadu' whenever they visited Sri Lanka. The interview I had with actor Mr.S.S.Rajendran and actress Vijayakumari at Palm Hotel is still fresh in my memory. In the same way, I cannot forget the visit of Mr. M.G.Ramachandran, the popular Tamil star and Saroja Devi, in Oct 1965. They arrived at the Subas Hotel, Jaffna straight from Palaali airport. It was night and raining too. So they were a little wetl Mayilvahanan of Sri Lanka Radio Commercial Service introduced me to M.G.R and Saroja Devi. It was the first time I saw M.G.R in person. Though I could not interview them at the first meeting, it helped me gather
more information to write. But Mr.Haran had an aversion to cinema news. If news on a film actor was published continuously, he would not spare the correspondent who was writing it.
In 1967, we carried the news item on the shooting of M.G.R. by his co-actor, M.R.Radha on the front page. After a whole night's work in the press, when I leave for home at 6 in the morning, I would have to pass Mr. Haran, who would be reading the newspapers.
"Mr. Mahadeva' he would call and say sternly, "How many times have I told you not to give much importance to cinema artistes?"
My reply, "Sir.......readers look forward to this only" would go unheeded.
He would interrrupt, "We only create readers. Eelanadu" is a renowned newspaper. So pay more attention to it" with a frown on his face. A flicker of a 1000 watt electric bulb would appear in it.
Contrary to this, towards the end, he extolled M.G.R and his rule of Tamil Nadu many times in his 'Ayyaran' columns.
. The predictions of Yogaswamy of Colombagam; "They'll abuse and burn canne true.
At political meetings, "Eelanadu's news and reviews came to be criticized. In 1981, the office of Eelanadu' was set on fire by the 'Commandos' of the ruling United National Party. Eelanadu" sprang back to life from the ashes like the phoenix. It started coming out from Kalaa Nilayam Press in K.K.S. Street, Jaffna.
Chengai Aazhiyan's "It happens this way too"
Under the section - my daily column, "It happens this way too, I wrote about the fire incident as Eelanadu, which gives news has become news. This item was reproduced fully by the renowned writer Chengai Aazhiyan' (Dr.K.KUNARASA) in his monthly magazine.
The buring down of "Eelanadu's press became interna
K.G. MAHADEWA 31
tional news. The Government constituted a commission of enquiry to escape from the showdown. As Mr. Lionel Fernando, a former governmentagent of Jaffna was posted as head of the commission; some justice was done at last. The management of the newspaper got a few lakhs of rupees as compensation and the affected staff members got a few thousands. By the efforts of
al "A Z" Mr.Thangarajah, the damaged building was renovated and Eelanadu” started coming out from there.
Working with Eelanadu gave me an opportunity to get to know the journalists from Colombo and to establish contact with a few foreign news agencies. These agencies made use of "Eelanadu' to confirm any news relating to Jaffna before publication.
The service rendered by Eelanadu' towards the TNorthern Cyclone Fund' was laudable. In 1964 - a devastating cyclone hit the northern part of the island. Though the loss of life was small, damage to property and crops was huge. Houses collapsed; banana trees were uprooted in thousands and the worst affected were the farmers. Not only Jaffna, the whole of the north plunged into darkness. No transport. No electricity. Telephone services came to naught. People suffered untold miseries. Even in such conditions, Eelanadu' came out without interruption.
On hearing the news, Dr. K.C. Shanmugaratnam came to the office of Eelanadu' to study the situation. He went straight to the press section. The pages had been set in the press for printing. Press in-charge, Bala was found breaking his head to run the press. Other employees stood there not knowing what to do. Thesales agents and some readers were at the gate. Finally someone's idea worked.
A handle was fitted in the fly - wheel of the press. Employees started moving the handle. The press started working. The pages came out printed. All were excited. The employees moved the wheel; Dr. Shanmugaratnam joined them too. Though the pages were printed at a snail's pace, the paper reached readers at
hurricane speed. Excited and touched by the sincerity of the employees, Dr. Shanmugaratnam ordered snacks from hotels and coffee was served from his house. This condition continued for a week. The printing section worked even with the light thrown by a lantern and candle.
It was decided to help the people affected by the cyclone. Due to the untiring efforts of Shanmugaratnam, Eelanadu Cyclone Fund' was launched. The Doctor was competently assisted by Mr.Veerakathipillai.
The readers donated generously in cash and kind and in a short spell a huge amount was collected. Clothes, provisions like rice, sugar, cereals, millets and a small amount of money were distributed to the people of all sections of the society. People of the north praised the timely help, in glowing terms. They sent congratulatory messages to “Eelanadu” for excelling not only in publishing but also in doing yeoman service to the victims of Nature's fury at the appropriate time. This is another milestone for 'Eelanadu' in the service of the people.
In 1983, I was the Jaffna reporter of Daily Mirror'. I earned the friendship of Mr. Permunathilake who started Lanka News Agency after having worked as news editor for Lanka Deepa", a Sinhalese daily, Mr. Patric Cruz, correspondent of 'Associate Press, and of Mr. Dalten D'Silva, editor-in-charge of Reuters', an international news agency. Reuters published important news items given by me.
I was satisfied with my association with Reuters. During my spell as the Jaffna agency for Reuters, the kidnapping and the subsequent release of Mrs and Mr. Allen of America topped the news of international importance, I had been reporting.
The day after their release, I managed to interview them at Palaali Airport, inside the aircraft which was to take them home. This was also an experience to me. The news and the interview were published only in Eelanadu".
When Mr. Regi Michael was the editor of the Daily Mirror", editorials used to be sharp and had a great impact. Daily
K.G. MAHADEWA 33
Mirror' was read for its editiorials. I got acquainted with Daily Mirror' with the help of Mr.Balachandran of The Times.
In the latter part of the 1962s a state level conference of The Federal Party was held at Trincomallee. I represented Eelanadu as special correspondent and Balachandran represented "Times of Ceylon and Daily Mirror'. Mr.Amirthalingam was the last speaker that day. The next day, a report on Amir came outin Daily Mirror'. Amirthalingam by chance, met Bala near the Trincomallee Urban Council office. He threw a barrage of abuses on Bala. He shouted in the most indecent way. But Bala kept his cool and proved that the “Pen is mightier than sword" by publishing his words in verbatim. My long cherished desire of working with Daily Mirror" did not materialize during the time of Mr. Regi Michael. It had to happen after 23 years when Mr. Elmo Gunaratne was its editor in 1983.
Sivanayagam of 'Saturday Review'
In the year 1982, an English weekly 'Saturday Review' was started in Jaffna and was doing well. Mr. S.Sivanayagam who served "Times of Ceylon was the editor and Mr. A.J.Canagaratne assisted him. His writings were razor-sharp. He lashed at the mistakes committed by the United Liberation Front and its general secretary Mr. Amirthalingam. Mr.S.Sivanayagam made use of my services to 'Saturday Review. Once he asked me to interview Mr. Amirthalingam who made no secret of his hatred towards 'Saturday Review. I interviewed Mr. Amirthalingam at his residence and published it in 'Saturday Review and "Eelanadu". It was in fact an unforgettable interview. But on July 2, 1983, the government locked the doors of the 'Saturday Review' and sealed it. Though short-lived, the services of Sivanayagam to 'Saturday Review' made the rulers in the north and in the capital, think.
In my school days, normally one could wear long trousers only when he was promoted to class VIII. Since I studied in a Tamil medium school my knowledge of English was confined only to the text books. I could neither speak English fluently nor write without mistakes. The only recourse was to learn everything by-heart.
But times have changed now. At present, students, even nursery school children speak good English. They learn the international language English with keen interest along with their mother tongue. They are proficient enough to write good English. Today they are conscious of international events and skill - fully voice their opinions too,
As things go these days, our children live in every in ook and corner of the world, they speak Tamil at home and they master the language of the land they live in. They excel in the dress code too.
I look with astonishment and pride at my eldest grand-daughter Janani Mohan who lives in Alesund, Norway, participating in the programme conducted by the cultural academy of that land and giving a dance recital at the age of 9 (newspaper-photo), my 8 year-old grandson, Mohan Pragaash, from the same place giving an interview in the company of his classmates on AmericanIraq war (press photo), my 4 year-old British grand-daughter Tharaney Puvanachandran, sending me an Air-Mail letter by herself in English and my French grand-son Thiru thanikesawaran Santhosh, thinking in Tamil and writing to me in English at the age of 6. I am really amazed to see what an amount of knowledge my four year old grandson T. Balaji has acquired and how he operates the computer with ease, I used to wonder whether in our time itself, the planet Mars came to see our children. This is a fact that all parents should really be proud of.
K.G. MAHADEWA 35
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Our grand-daughter M. Janani's dance performance at Norwegian International Women's day at the age of Nine. (Press Photo)
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Our British grand daughter P. Tharaney's English letter at the age of four
Our Norway grand son M. Pragaash interviewed with his friends by a Norwegian journalist on American-Iraq war at the age of eight years.
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Grandson M. Pragaash giving another interview to a Norwegian weekly paper,
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Our grand son T. Balaji easily operating a cornputer at the age of four,
Our Swiss grand child G. Rasikavarthini as a musician at the age of one and half years.
Grand daughter P. Tharaney, receiving her first educational activity certificate from her nursery school head teacher Miss. Barbra at the age of four in U.K.
K.G. MAHADEWA 毗T
In 1967, when I was with the weekly "Cheitlhi' a few Lin necessary things happened in "Eelanadu' editorial section, Labour disputes cropped up. There was a slump in the sales also. "Eelanadu" had to publish corrections in the news reports too.
The news item that was published in Eelanadu' relating to the alleged corruption in the admissions to the Central College at Jaffna caused uproar and led the public to doubt the integrity of the newspaper. Though the article was published under the name of KYoganathan, he seemed to deny it vehemently. He charged that a special correspondent wrote the scoop and published it in his name. As a result of this, he was relieved of the duty of official reporter and was Inade a staff on the editorial. The problem did not end there. The Principal of the college filed a case against Eelalnadu". The Management could not prove the charges reported in the paper. "Eelanadu” had to tender an apology and print it on the front page for a few days continuously. As ill luck would have it, this had happened in the history of "Eelanadu" for the first time.
"Adversities cc Ille in successicon"- Beca. Li se of the decline in the sales, expenses like the sa laries of the employees could not be met with. Chairman Mr.Thangarajah paid them out of his own pocket. Due to certain problems, an employees' union was LLLLLLL LL LLL eeLLLLL LLLLLL LLLLLLLLS LLLLLSLLLLS LLLLLLaaLLLLLLLLH LLLLLL LLLaL LLLLLLLLS ed the President of the union. Yoganathan, the one who was punished for no fault of his was made the secretary. In May, 1973, I received a telegram from Mr. B.Sivanandan, at my Gampola address. I was asked to rejoin Eela nadu". I joined "Eela Inadu" again,
Mr.S. Thiruchelwall, who joined as official reporter, gained experience, later joined 'Dinakaran' and then served Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation. He then elevated himself as editor of Eezhamurasu' which was being published from Jaffna in the 80's. Due to so many things that were happening in the country, he left for Canada. Now he is the Editor of "Information Bulletin,' a magazine in Canada. He lost his only son 'Akilan' to tille b Lillet Cofa Ilıca Weller t.
It is glad news indeed that Mr.R.Prabhakaran who had his training in Eelanadu' and served it for a few years is now the news editor of 'Veerakasari, Colombo.
In 1961 itself, when I joined Eelanadu', its reach was far and wide. Many stalwarts were there as pillars. Even the newly appointed became well trained very soon.
After its re-birth from the fire incident in 1981, many youngsters were taken in and they were under my direct supervision. The list includes Mr.P.Ananthakrishnan, Senthilnathan and Sivaganesan. They had the acumen to gather news and pen articles. Their skill and popularity in the field of news writing today, adds honour and merit to 'Eelanadu.'
Mr.P. Ananthakrishnan was working with me in 'Eelanadu" from 1981 to 1987. He also wrote for the weekly magazine. He journeyed to the northern part of the east province and wrote a series on the planned Sinhalese colonization in that area.
Joining Lake House Company in the year 1988, he joined 'Sunday Observer' as acting news editor in 1997. In 1999 he flew to Norway under the Press Training Programme. He got his training and proficiency in the year 2003 in Sweden under the Puogeo Press Reporting Training Programme'. He was a reader of the Sri Lankan Radio Talk in London's BBC Tamil service for 7 years. He is now the Colombo news reporter of "Eelanadu" from Paris and also works for the National Broadcasting Service of Australia. His father Mr.K.Palakitnar, retired as Chief Justice of the Sri Lankan Appeal Court.
The next personality who needs mention is Mr.TSivaganesan. He took up a job in Eelanadu' in 1983 and worked for its welfare even after I left it. He has been serving "Dinakkural", Colombo from its inception. Besides he was the Senior Editor there.
Mr. Senthilnathan was another dynamic journalist. He
K.G. MAHADEVA 43
joined "Eelanadu' in 1985. During the operation of the Indian Army in 1987, he went to Colombo and arranged to publish a photograph of the attacks in the Time' magazine. He worked for the IPS, and international news agency and Lanka News Agency. He also worked as a writer in the European media. With the consent of the European Union, he became a Joint Secretary to a News Agency constituted in the eleven Central and East European countries. Since the year 2000, he works with 'Ulaga Thamilosai', an international Tamil Journal in Canada. He is also the producer of the television programme, "Aaram' of the "Omni' corporation of the Canadian prime time television channel, 'Neerottam".
When I ponder over these things- I am proud of my "Eelanadu" legacy. Eelanadu family was then big. Even today it has spread its wings far and wide.
Some, who have joined Eelanadu's family in the middle but worked hard, are now in the pinnacle of their glory. Mr.M.Kanamayilnathan, working as editor of Uthayan, Jaffna. Mr. S. Perumal in Uthayan weekly. Mr.S.K.Kasilingam is publishing books in France. Mr. S. Kuhanathan is running 'Eelanadu' in France, Canada and E.Kandasamy works for a TV channel in France.
Mr.B.Sivanandan, nephew of Mr.Thangarajah and one of the directors of Eelanadu, shouldered the responsibility of the growth of the newspaper when he worked with Eelanadu' and after he started his private printing press too. He put into practice new techniques to help improve the quality of Eelanadu". His departure to Canada was indeed a great loss to 'Eelanadu".
I was one of those on duty who were affected but escaped when the press was destroyed by the commandos in 1981. Towards the end of 1970, many changes occurred in the managerial cadre. A noted short story writer Mr.A.S.Muruganandam became in-charge of the weekly magazine. Pulavar M.Parvathinathasivam and Sri Lanka · Radio persona Lify
Mr.V.N.Balasubramaniam, Mr.Prabhakaran, Mr.Benjamin Rajaratnam were the newcomers.
Owing to failing health Mr. Haran returned to his homeland, Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu. In his place the former Principal of the Jaffna Hindu College, Mr.N.Sabaratnam was appointed. His editorials made a mark.
When I was informed of the illness of Mr.Thangarajah in 1986 I went and saw him in the hospital in Colombo. He was asleep and it seemed to me as if he was saying "I dreamt. My duties are over'.
He had the dream of starting a paper mill in Vazhaichenai, East Lanka. While he was the head of East Lanka Paper Mills Corporation, he prepared the blue-print for it. The government appreciated him. The Canadian Government approved it and gave financial aid. The mill was constructed on a large scale-many thousands got employment. The country's requirements were met.
His next dream was to start a Tamil newspaper for the Tamils, by the Tamils in the Tamil speaking area. He swung into action and "Eelanadu" came out magnificently from Jaffna.
The three days I saw him in the hospital, he was sleeping. The fourth day, Mr.Thangarajah, our Periyavar went into a permanent sleep. He did his duty well - achieved many things in life. I had the privilege of paying my last respects to him on behalf of the Editorial Board of Eelanadu'. I wrote about his mammoth service in the next day's edition of Dinakaran'. The very next day, the same piece was republished by Mr.N.Sabaratnam in Eelanadu'. I considered this as the fulfill ment of my bounden duty. From 1987 I served "Eelanadu' continuously for three years and then left for Colombo in 1990 and then for Tamil Nadu.
Eelanadu burnt by government forces
It was the night of 1st June, 1981. I was waiting in my press office for the 9 O'clock radio news, after having prepared the front page news about the political meeting and police firing near the Naachimar temple at Jaffna, along with the photographs.
(Naachimar temple is within the city limits of Jaffna. In front of the temple, the Tamil United Liberation Front Party held its political meeting. In a sudden turn of events two policemen were shot dead.)
Mr.B.Sivanandan, one of the Directors of Eelanadu', very much impressed by that day's events, wanted the next day's issue of Eelanadu' to come out with the full news and so, entered my room. Gathering the news he was quite satisfied and happy. He arranged for packets of pittu'-raw-rice pudding and tasty side-dishes from the nearby Mokkan night-stall, wishing to dine with us after the day's work and so was with me. Mr.Ayya Sachidhanandam, who was in-charge of circulation, kept company with us.
Around 8.30 p.m., the power supply suddently went off. The press was immersed in darkness. This being a regular phenomenon, work was continued using petromax lamps. I had Switched on the battery-operated radio, to listen to the 9 p.m. All India Radio news in English.
All of a sudden, compositors Sivanesan and Joseph came running to our room upstairs, from the printing section on the ground floor and cried out. "A gang with weapons is breaking the iron-gate of the office. All are thugs. Come soon."
Acting swiftly, I went downstairs with the compositors and escaped to the Kottady Street behind the office. In a few minutes, the whole building was ablaze. Fire engulfed the entire structure. I was anxious not knowing whether the director Sivanandan and Ayya Sachidhanandam who were with me had also escaped.
An hour passed, Myself and Joseph slowly went to the front side. The blaze was consuming the office building to ashes. There was no one to put off the fire. The thugs had already left the place.
Just then people started assembling in the front yard. Neighbours and Mr.Sivanandan's relatives were present in large numbers. We could see two persons laid on the ground. Peering through the crowd we found Mr.Sivanandan and Mr. Sachidhanandam only. Plantain leaves and sheaths served as mats and blankets for them.
Only later, we learnt that they both had hidden themselves in the bathroom upstairs when the press was set on fire and received burns on the body.
I was saved since I ran out at once to escape from the place. A delay of even a few minutes would have cost my life.
Daylight streamed. Only stone-pillars stood here and there; the Eelanadu' press had been completed burnt. The bicycles and motor-cycles of the employees parked outside were now scarred skeletons still neatly arranged.
K.G. MAHADEVA 47
Swami Yoga of Colombagam who was the first to bless the Eelanadu' newspaper said, "They will abuse, burn....." His words had come true.
It was the Commando goondas supported by the reigning United National Party, who had burnt down the Eelanadu" press and also the Public Library of Jaffna, the largest libraryknown as the Treasure-house of Tamils and 'The historical wealth of Asia."
Not only was Eelanadu' burnt that day; the house of Mr.V.Yogeswaran, Member of Parliament of Jaffna Constituency was bombed. One person died in the house of Mr.PSivasithamparam, Nallur M.P.
In the Jaffna Public Library, about one lakh books were destroyed in the fire. The whole of Jaffna was burning that day.
'Eelanadu" had honoured Swami Yoga of Colombagam, who blessed the first issue of "Eelanadu', by putting up his photograph at the front entrance of the press. On that night, when Eelanadu' was destroyed by fire into a mound of ashes, Swami's photograph, framed in glass was unscathed. Even the glass was intact. What a wonder! Swami's words were true. Fire could not touch him.
These incidences could not deter "Eelanadu" from being published. By the determined, and untiring efforts of the Director Mr.Sivanandan, the newspaper started to come out again within two days, released from his Kalaa Nilaya Press in K.K.S. Street, Jaffna. The Jaffna University English professor, Mr.A.J. Canagaratna willingly offered to help me. The other three, who joined as sub-editors, P.Anandakrishnan, Senthilnathan and Sivaganesan soon became popular in the field.
One Saturday evening in September 1987, as usual, I
entered the gates of the press. There, I happened to notice two men taking photographs of the Eelanadu' building with a video
camera which aroused a doubt in me. Silently, I went in and then upstairS to look at the editor's section. Two men were with Mr. R. Rajalingam, Managing Director. Mr. Rajalingam was surprised to see me and said, "We are waiting for you only. I had sent the peon for you. Did he come?' That was all he spoke. Without explaining why he sent for me or who are those
people, all started downstairs. I followed them. A vehicle was waiting at the entrance. I could see the words Rupavahini' written on the vehicle. Rajalingam got into the vehicle, asking me also to do so. I too got into it. Others followed.
The van headed to Kondavil through K.K.S. Street. After ascertaining my address, the vehicle stopped before my house. Rajalingam said, "Take a few clothes and hurry up. We are going to Colombo." I did not know the reason. Even my wife could not understand the urgency. Grabbing a few clothes, I said that I was going to Colombo with those people and started. My wife and children came out to the door perplexed. Rupavahini' vehicle was waiting in the street. Since Rupavahini' is the name of the Sri Lankan Government Television Channel, they might have throught I was going for a film shooting.
K.G. MAHADEWA 49
An Official Letter
The Government Agent, Jaffna. Dear Sir,
As requested, we give herein below particulars of our Editorial staff who have applied for Press identity Cards to the Director of information through yourself:-
Name of Applicant 1. N. Sabaratnam
2. P.S. Peruma
3. G. Mahadeva
5. E. K. Rajagopal 6. TVetrivelpillai 7. A.P. Sooriyakanthan 8. S. Kuganathan 9. B.Ananthakrishnan 10. N.K.Thuraisingam 11. K.Yoganathan 12. A.V. Maniccam
13. M. Parvathinathasivam 14. TPonnambalavanar
15. K. Arulanantham 16. A. Rasalingam
Designation Managing Editor Acting Editor News Editor Weekly Editor Sub Editor
Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Sub Editor
R. Rajalingam DIRECTOR
50 REMNSCENCES A chartered flight for me!
Our van went from the west towards east in Kondavil, reached Palaaly Street and moved northwards. There was perfect silence in the van. A thousand questions rose in my mind. After half-an-hour, our van entered the Palaaly Airport which was under the control of the military camp. It was past six in the evening.
In the airport, Indian soldiers were present in large numbers and here and there were Sri-Lankan soldiers. We alighted. The other four men with us also got down. I heard the officer who received us, asking as to why it was so late.
Hurriedly, we boarded an aircraft which was kept ready. The place belonged to the Sri Lankan Air Force. There were in it, the pilot, his assistant, myself, Mr.Rajalingam, those four men. Besides us, there were two Sri Lankan senior Army officers. One of them asked the people who came with us from Jaffna, "Has he arrived?" I could hear someone telling him, 'It's him', showing me. Though the language spoken was Sinhalese, I understood it. But then Rajalingam who was seated behind was calm. I did not have an opportunity to talk to him too. The aircraft gained speed and took off. My mind raced even faster. Though I did not know the why and the what, I had a faint speculation of what was happening.
An alarm set off in my mind that I was being taken for an enquiry. Why and for what purpose a martial enquiry? What
K.G. MAHADEVA 51
could be the consequences? My mind pronounced judgement even before the enquiry. I know that in general an enquiry by
the army was of a different kind. I gazed into my hands and
stared at my nails. It flashed into my mind that the nails of the
journalists were plucked during an army enquiry on the fourth
floor of the police building at Colombo fort. A strange fear
After an hour, the flight landed in the Ratmalana airport. Those officers got down first. Then Rajalingam, myself and the other four got down. Again we boarded a "Rupavahini' vehicle, waiting outside the airport. None spoke. The vehicle started for Colombo, the time nearing 8 p.m.
The vehicle left the main road in Wellawatte and descended into the Hamilton Subway and stopped in front of Mr. Rajalingam's house. I got down with him.
Mr.Rajalingam sent others off telling them in English, "We will meet your Rupavahini Chairman in the morning. Thank you." And he entered the house. Mrs.Sathyabama Rajalingam greeted us. Though I felt calm for the first time, I was upset with Mr.Rajalingam. I went inside and sat on a sofa. I was thinking of asking him many questions. He said "Relax" and then started explaining the matter.
"The interview with the opposition party President Sirimavo Bandaranayake, published in “Eelanadu” has become an issue. She had denied giving any interview to 'Eelanadu". Not only that, she has complained to the Sri-Lankan President, Mr.J.R. Jayawardene and action is being taken through him."
I asked what that interview was about and he said, "About Sri Lanka - India Agreement" and asked his wife to get the newspaper. Receiving the newspaper from her, he handed it over to me. The interview of Mrs.Sirimavo was the front page news. The news read as follows: "Sri Lanka - India Agreement: If we come to power, it will not go into dustbin Interview with Sirimavo, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party president". I read it aloud.
"Yes, Sirimavo has denied that she ever gave an interview to 'Eelanadu' on this agreement" said Mr. Rajalingam.
'Eelanadu' Rupavahini News: Sirimavo's denial
He continued, "Not only this. She is going to sue 'Eelanadu' for compensation."
I argued saying that the interview published was exactly that of Mrs.Sirimavo only. But he would not accept it. He told that my argument must be proved and started a long story.
"This news of the interview flashed by Eelanadu' hit the headlines in Rupavahini's night news telecast in Tamil, Sinhalese and English. Seeing this, Mrs.Sirimavo contacted the Director of Rupavahini Television Corporation and denied having given the interview. She also contacted the President, Mr.J.R. Jayawardene, expressed her denial and requested him to take necessary action. Indeed, Rupavahini staff were shocked. They managed to get my telephone number from the telephone directory and spoke to me.
"I was informed that the Rupavahini Television Corporation's Chairman insisted on bringing the Eelanadu editor from Jaffna to Colombo by a special plane in the absence of train or bus transport, to get his explanation and to make him express his regret and to apologise for the incorrect news."
Rupavahini Chairman had said, "Rupavahini vehicle will come to your house to take you to Ratmalana airport. The plane will be kept ready for you. Rupavahini cameraman will accompany you. You can go to Jaffna and return with the Eelanadu" editor immediately. This is arranged as per the President's orders.'
Then, Rajalingam continued, "I didn't know what to do, when the Rupavahini vehicle came to my house; I started with them.'
K.G. MAHADEWA 53
I said, "Don't worry about anything. The Eelanadu" news was hundred percent true. I am ready to explain. You make arrangements."
He said, "Yes, you are responsible now. I shall fix an appointment to meet Mrs.Sirimavo and the Directors and the Chairman of Rupavahini Corporation. Be ready by 9 o' clock tomorrow morning." He requested me to stay in his house.
I assured him that I would stay in Wattala in the house of my niece, Jamunabala for the night and present myself before 9 a.m.
Then we made some preliminary arrangements. We translated the front page news of Eelanadu' on Mrs.Sirimavo into English. As I read each sentence, it was translated into English by Mr.Rajalingam and was typed by Smt.Sathyabama Rajalingam. Copies were taken. Mr.Rajalingam was keen on getting a satisfactory English translation. I left for Wattala. Mr. Rajalingam bade good-bye. It was almost midnight.
Next morning I was ready by 6 o'clock. I contacted those people connected with that particular news and also arranged to get some more information in person.
Exactly at 9 a.m. I was at Mr.Rajalingam's house in Hamilton Lane, Wellawatte, Colombo. He received me with a smile. Now he was clear-minded and was confident about me.
'We meet Mrs.Sirimavo at 11.00 a.m. in her residence. At 7.00 p.m. we meet the Chairman and Directors of Rupavahini Corporation. Appointments have been already fixed" said he and then asked, "Should we have to take anybody else?"
I told him that our Colombo reporter Mr. Benjamin Rajaratnam could be taken; he could be a witness.
Mr.Rajalingam said that it would suit us if we started by 10.30 a.m. Our Colombo correspondent was invited over the phone. As there was sufficient time for the meeting with
54 M REMNSCENCES
Mrs.Sirimavo, I had time to explain about the news to him; he was also willing to listen. -
I narrated, "The special correspondent of Eelandau' is Mr.Patrick Cruz, my close friend. He had served as news editor of "Daily Mirror" and the Chief Correspondent of Associated Press (AP) at Colombo. Regarding the Sri Lanka - India agreement signed by the Indian Prime Minister Mr.Rajiv Gandhi and the Sri Lankan President Mr.J.R.Jayawardene in 1987, he had interviewed the then opposition party leader, Mrs.Sirimavo Bandaranayake. When he came to Jaffna he gave this news of the interview to 'Eelanadu'. I had published it as lead news on the first page as "the interview given by Mrs.Sirimavo to the special correspondent of Eelanadu". There was no mistake or denial in it. I had been to Mr.Patrick Cruz's house at Colpetty this morning. He has given me a copy of the interview sent to the Associated Press, the foreign news agency."
Exactly at 10.30 a.m. we started. I had with me three copies of the translated interview of Mrs.Sirimavo. We went to the Colombo office of Eelanadu' in Bullers Lane, Bambalapitya, took Mr.Benjamin Rajaratnam and proceeded in the car to Mrs.Sirimavo Bandaranayake's residence.
Mrs. Sirimavo accepted my explanation
Our car reached the front gate of Mrs.Sirimavo's house. The black gate was more than 10 feet high. We pressed the calling bell. A security officer peeped through the Small window in the gate and made enquiries. E. Mr.Rajalingam answered in Sinhalese. In a short while, a part of the gate was opened to allow us inside. We were seated in the front hall. The security officer informed us that madam would come soon. Cool drinks were served. We were waiting for Mrs.Sirimavo.
Mrs.Sirimavo came slowly down the steps. We stood up. She received us with folded hands and asked us to be seated. She also sat down.
K.G. MAHADEVA 55
Mr. Rajalingam then introduced himself and reminded her of late Mr.K.C..Thangarajah, the founder of "Eelanadu' and the founder Chairman of East Sri Lanka Paper Mills. On hearing that, she smiled warmly and said, "Oh yes, Thangarajah.....Eelanadu ... I know well."
Mr.Rajalingam then introduced me and Mr. Benjamin, the Colombo correspondent. I gave a copy of the translated interview to Mr.Rajalingam which was handed over to Mrs.Sirimavo. She went through it.
"Yes, yes", she said. "I never met the Eelanadu' correspondent. How could the interview be published in Eelanadu?" she asked. There was a shade of anger mixed with a smile on her face. Mr.Rajalingam expected me to give the explanation, which I did promptly.
'Mr. Patrick Cruz of Associated Press had interviewed you madam, on the Sri Lanka - India agreement, didn't he?' I began.
"Yes, I know him well. I had given an interview. That has come out in the newspapers abroad," said Mrs.Sirimavo.
"That interview only had been published in Eelanadu," said I.
Mrs.Sirimavo interrupted, "How could it be? How could Mr. Patrick Cruz's meeting with me come out as an interview in your newspaper?"
"Mr.Patrick Cruz is the special correspondent of Eelanadu". And this is the interview news given by him. His name was not published. Instead it has come out as "Our Special Correspondent'. I said.
Mrs. Sirimavo reflected over it for a minute and then with a laugh said, "OK, Rupavahini had telecast the news under the headlines Interview to Eelanadu!' That had upset me". Then
56 w REMINISCENCES
she glanced again at the English translation of the Eelanadu"
"The matter is now clear to me. If Rupavahini had telecast the news as the interview given to the Eelanadu" special correspondent, I would have given a thought to it. OK, no problem. I have understood the explanation for the news. Thanks' said Mrs.Sirimavo. She bade us farewell. We thanked her and took leave of her. This meeting was over in half an hour.
The next step was to meet the Chairman of Rupavahini Television Corporation at 7.00 p.m. the same day. Mr. Rajalingam was always punctual. Exactly at 7.00 p.m. we reached the Rupavahini' office. Security tests were severe. Since the meeting was fixed over the telephone, there was no letter with us to be produced. Security officers enquired over the phone about the intention of our visit. In ten minutes, permission was granted. A security officer led us into the office building. Passing a number of studios, we entered the Director's conference room. Three persons were waiting for us. After we had introduced ourselves, they introduced themselves. Two Committee members of Rupavahini and the news editor of the Sinhalese service were there. They started the conversation.
"Mrs.Sirimavo had informed us over the phone regarding your meeting. Since this matter had gone to President Jayawardane, it has become a big issue," one officer explained. They wanted to know why Mrs.Sirimavo denied the news. It was my turn to reply.
Rupavahini's mistake Eelanadu' news re-telecast.
I explained. "There was no mistake in the interview. Mrs.Sirimavo has accepted having given the interview regarding the agreement; but denied giving the interview directly to 'Eelanadu" as was telecast. Rupavahini is solely responsible for that.'
"How is it?" they asked attentively. Mr. Rajalingam took a copy of the English translation of the news and gave it to them.
K.G. MAHADEVA 57
After reading it thoroughly one of them asked, "The news is the same. Why do you say that there is a mistake in the Rupavahini news?'
"There is a difference between Eelanadu' and Eelanadu Special Correspondent'. Mrs.Sirimavo has understood it" said Mr. Rajalingam. Silence followed for a few minutes.
I said, "Those who translated the Eelanadu' news into Sinhalese and English, by mistake, reported that the interview had been given to 'Eelanadu' instead of "Eelanadu Special Correspondent. This would have caused confusion to Mrs.Sirimavo." Now they understood.
They asked me to give the explanation myself in the telecast of the night news and invited me to the studios. Mr. Rajalingam looked at me and found the reply on my face.
He said, "Not necessary. Just inform in tonight's news
that there is no correction in the interview and the person who
interviewed Mrs.Sirimavo for "Eelanadu' was in fact a 'Special Correspondent of Eelanadu'." It appeared proper to them.
'Eelanadu" again assumed importance in the night news in all the three languages.
That Mrs.Sirimavo denied a news published in Eelanadu' newspaper and that as news editor I was called by a special plane to give an explanation were within four walls so far. Only now I am revealing it to the world for the first time.
The fact that just for a sensational news published in a newspaper, its Managing Director and news editor were called in a special plane, by the intervention of the President, must be a Guinness record in the history of the fourth estate.
The burning of "Eelanadu' by the United National Party Government Commandos in 1981 was the first event of international importance. And this was the second event.
Echo of my news: Sub-editor imprisoned.
I stayed with my family in Trichy, Tamil Nadu in 1986. At that time arrangements were being made vigorously for a grand conference on the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils. I decided to collect the news for "Eelanadu" at the conference on Protection of Sri Lankan Tamils held at Madurai. The then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr.N.T.Ramarao presided over the conference.
I collected the detailed news and sent it to Mr. Kandasamy, the Colombo correspondent of Eelanadu" and also insisted on its urgency over phone. As soon as he received it, he sent the matter quickly to Jaffna in the Pillaiyar' private bus. But something unexpected had happened.
On 13th May, 1986, night, Mr.Kandasamy sent as usual a news parcel from Colombo to the Jaffna office of Eelanadu' by the Pillaiyar' bus. The parcel contained a writeup on the Madurai Conference, the newspapers 'Dinathanthi', 'Dinamalar', 'Dinamani', 'The Hindu' and some advertisements. But in two days the situation turned upside down.
On 15th May morning, Colombo Wellawatte police arrested Mr. Kandasamy at the Eelanadu' Colombo office. He was interrogated in the Police Station till night.
He pleaded that the contents of the parcel were mere newspapers and reports only. The Eelanadu' news editor's report on the Madurai Conference was just a compilation of facts only and there was no secrecy or smuggling involved in it. The police was not satisfied with his explanation. In those days, the police believed that the 'tigers' were present everywhere and in every form.
The next day Mr.Kandasamy was taken to the police station in Anuradhapuram, 150 Kilometers away from Colombo, remanded to police custody till the 14th of June, interrogated and produced before the judicial magistrate of
K.G. MAHADEWA 59
Anuradhapuram. The police had the upper hand in the investigation.
The magistrate ordered that he be kept in the Anuradhapuram jail for one and a half months. After that he was produced before the magistrate and was again put in prison for another one and a half months in Bogamparai. Finally Mr. Kandasamy was let on bail for Rs.5000/- on the 15th September by the substitute magistrate, after four months. After a few days, the case was withdrawn by the government and he was acquitted. It came to light then that the case was falsely
foisted on him.
In March, 1986 an aerial bombing took place in Thavadi area, Jaffna. It was said to be the first bombing on Tamil area by the Sri Lankan Air Force and was aimed at the Tiger camp. The whole area was on edge. There was tension in Kondavil near Thavadi. As our residence was in that area, we decided to shift the family to Colombo.
In the last week of March, we left Jaffna by the morning express train to Colombo. All the compartments were overflowing. An unusual crowd
Burning train in the forest
When the train halted at Elephant Pass (Aanai Eravu) station, as usual the Sri Lankan army entered the compartments. They got into the crowd, had a glance and got down. The train started.
It was approaching Omanthai railway station. Suddenly it slowed down and then stopped halfway. Those standing at the doors and those near the windows peeped out to know what was wrong. A few minutes passed. Suddenly people started
jumping down. They did not even stop to answer our queries and ran for their lives. Many like me could not understand immediately what was going on. Someone said, "The military has planted bombs on the track. Getting the information, the train is stopped halfway." As soon as that information reached us, we took our suitcases, got down and fled.
It was a forest area. For an hour we walked with the suitcases on our heads. We were walking in a line like ants. Finally we reached a rice-mill. We were so exhausted that we could not take even a step beyond that point.
All of a sudden an explosion rocked the air. We were horrified when we came to know that the train was blown up and all the compartments were burning. No transport was there and we were forced to stay in that area for three days without food. When lorry service was restored, six of us from my family, started for Colombo crammed in a lorry. The journey which normally takes only four hours, took one full day and at last we reached Colombo.
“Eelanadu” published detailed news on important incidents like the agitation of the Tamils in the north who were badly affected by the action of the Sri Lankan government and the miliary forces. News such as the woes of the people, the suffering caused by the dearth of control over public distribution of food grains, the ban on fuel, aerial bombing and retaliation of shell bombing from military camps were received from 'Eelanadu' by the foreign news agencies at Colombo over the phone and given importance. I am proud of my total involvement in it. "Eelanadu" was the Number one' newspaper in exposing the woes of the Tamils. The actual plight of the Tamils was revealed in detail to the Sinhalese too in the south through this newspaper.
Mr. Kanamayilnathan who served in Eelanadu" switched over to 'Dinapathi' and then became the editor of Uthayan' newspaper. Mr.Thiruchelvam after serving in Eezhamurasu'
K.G. MAHADEVA 61
became the editor of Murasoli". Even though these two dailies were published from Jaffna, as did "Eelanadu', the movements and groups wanted to have the news of their activities published in Eelanadu". This increased the advertisements and the sales manifold.
Night or day, many activists (of movements) came with arms to submit their news to Eelanadu' office. The type-setting section and printing press were on the ground floor. On the first floor, editor's section, administrative section and advertisement section funtioned. Sporadic visits of the armed forces created a scare among the workers. To solve this problem and to meet the news editor regarding news, an arrangement was made.
Instead of taking the news (matter) directly to the first floor, it was received on the ground floor and submitted to the editor. This work was assigned to Mr.A.V.Maniccam, promoted as office reporter from the post of proof-reader. Mr. Maniccam did it perfectly.
One night, I was on duty and Maniccam was helping me. As usual an armed group came to our office to give their news. Maniccam was making enquiries. The group insisted on meeting the news editor; they were allowed to come upstairs. They introduced themselves as belonging to the TELO' movement.
Intimidation in the night
They told me that the news was related to a temple-robbery and they wanted it to come out in the next day's issue of 'Eelanadu". I read it. Maniccam was beside me.
"The news can be published. But your attack is on a particular movement,' I said.
"Not a single sentence must be left out. The whole matter must be there as such."
When one of them said so, I thought over it for a minute. That man then took out an object from his shoulder-bag and rolled it from side to side on my table. It was a grenade'.
62 ر- REMNSCENCES
"If this matter does not come out as news in tomorrow's 'Eelanadu' newspaper on the first page, this office will not be here tomorrow," saying so, he rolled it once again, put it back into his bag, gave a look at me and went down. Others followed him. Maniccam and I started contemplating over it.
Mr.Thileeban, the political chief of the LTTE met me in the office. Whether he came to know or followed the group was not known. Expecting nothing from me, he said, "I knew that they would come here. That is why I followed them. You can publish the matter as such. I shall see to it," he said and left.
I read the matter again. I deleted some of the sharp words and sentences, edited it and sent it to the printing section telling them to have it on the first page under three columns.
The first page proof came to me. I read the three-column matter. The sentences edited by me were there without deletion. An argument arose between the printing section head and me. They might have been intimidated. They pacified me. "Tomorrow, this news will appear without any change in 'Eezhamurasu' and Uthayan' dailies;" they said seriously. The next day, the news appeared line by line on the first page of all the three dailies of Jaffna.
It was the time of the election of the Sri Lankan President. A public meeting of the United National Party was held in Jaffna in which Mr.J.R.Jayawardane, contesting for the Presidency was the important speaker. The other contestant Mrs. Sirimavo participated in a meeting at Chunnaagam, conducted by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Our office reporter A.V.Maniccam reported the news of the meetings. I edited it.
"Eelanadu correspondent manhandled
I published the report Mahavali Gangai will not come to north said by Mr.J.R.Jayawardane as headlines in the next day's issue and that "Mahavali Gangai will come to north, said by Mrs.Sirinnavo Bandaranayake, the following day.
K.G. MAHADEVA 63
These headlines should have shaken the U.N.Party. In the meeting in Kilinochchi, the correspondent of Eelanadu" was severely beaten up by the VIPs of the U.N.Party.
Telephonic threats followed; "Who is that idiot who wrote those headlines? Don't you get any other news? I will settle the matter in person." But nothing happened to me.
Slaying of Amir and Yoges: Telephonic threats
In 1987, Mr.A.Amirthalingam, Chief Secretary of Tamil United Liberation Front and Mr. Yogeswaran, Member of Parliament from Jaffna constituency were shot dead in Colombo at night. That was published as full page box-news with a black border on the first page of "Eelanadu". The night shift sub-editor S.Kuhanathan did that.
The next morning "Eelanadu' sold like hot cakes and was in short supply. As usual I went to the office. Around 11.00 a.m. a telephone call came.
"Can I speak to the editor?"
I said, "I am the news editor speaking. What is it that you want?'
"Don't you have guts? You have reported the killings without photographs of Amir and Yoges?" thundered the voice on the phone.
"Tomorrow, news on these assassinations should reappear on the first page of Eelanadu" and the report should carry the photographs of the two. We will send the photo blocks." Without expecting any response from me, the caller cut the line.
During 1987, in the north, particularly in Jaffna, the telephone service had been dilapidated. Very important government agencies and some private organisations only had a moderate service. The control of the service was with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) which functioned from near the Jaffna Government Agent (Collector's) office.
We had to make calls through IPKF only and the incoming calls were also routed through IPKF only.
We received a small parcel addressed to the news editor at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. We opened it and found two bust size photo blocks of Amir and Yoges. Within half an hour, a telephone call came from the same caller.
"Did you receive the blocks? Do not crop them and use them as it is for the front page news," came the order.
Each block was of two column width and five inches in size. Both can occupy a complete half page of Eelanadu". The next day Eelanadu' carried the news of the assassinations with those two photographs. The other two dailies from Jaffna also carried the news the same way. Who was behind these actions and who called us? It was none other than an important functionary of the EPRLF which had its office in the Ashok Hotel in the Jaffna Clock Tower Street.
Police torture: Young men imprisoned.
In May, 1983, my son Gnanakumar was arrested by the police in Ramakrishna Street, Wellawatte while he was going for an interview with a friend, from Jaffna to Colombo. In those days, unwarranted arrests and torture of Tamil young men were common-place. If they were arrested, no details of the arrests would come out. If these men came out alive, it was just their providence.
My son did not return for three days after he left for Colombo. I went to Colombo searching for him. There, I got the information of his arrest. I met the Deputy Inspector General, Mr. R.Sundaralingam, who had a close relationship with Eelanadu". He contacted many police stations in the city and tried to get the information of my son's arrest.
At last, it was said that he was arrested by the Wellawatte police. So I went there. I was informed that my son and his friend were remanded to two days' police custody, produced
KG. MAHADEVA 65
before the magistrate and were put in prison. At that time, I was staying in the house of Mr. K.C..Thangarajah. After a lofty recommendation, I met a higher official of the 'magazine' prison near the Welikadai Jail and got special permission to meet my son in prison. I met my son in prison and he informed me that he and his friend were beaten up, tortured and kept in prison without any valid reason. But that was the fate of every Tamil youth in those days!
Mr.Thangarajah contacted the senior lawyer Edmund Samarakkodi, an admirer of Eelanadu' and asked me to meet him. I went to see him at Galkisai. Without minding the inconvenience of the late hour of the night, he received me and enquired about my problem. He said to me consolingly, 'These are the usual police atrocities. Don't worry, we will see to it in the court." After two weeks my son and his freind were produced in the Galkisai court.
The two were brought to the court in an open jeep, heavily guarded and cuffed in a long chain like criminals. The court was fully packed. The magistrate had not arrived yet. When the jeep entered the premises, there were whispers, "Kottiya, Kottiya enavaa". Kottiya' is Tiger' in Sinhalese. Clearly, the crowd was Sinhalese only.
The magistrate took his seat. The names of my son and his friend were called out. Cuffs and chains removed, my son came to the box. My attorney Edmund Samarakkodi appeared for my son. The police gave the following reason for the arrest. "They were arrested on suspicion. On interrogation, they were not found guilty. So there is no objection to their release."
The magistrate that day was a substitute. He said, "You cannot say so. You have made the arrest and put them in prison. You have to state the reason". My attorney rose and said, "Always Tamil young men are arrested on suspicion. They are imprisoned and punished without trial. This practice should be condemned by all means. After a full trial and on finding guilty,
the accused should be punished. This is not followed here and this is a great injustice done to the society."
My son and his friend were released on bail and after two weeks they were set free. We returned home. With the help of my friend Mr.K.Jayabalasingham, a shipping agent, I sent my son abroad.
Arrest without suspicion or reason, torture by stripping, beating and kicking were the order of the day in the police stations.
If they did not tell what the police wanted, they were put into jail. In this way, thousands of Tamil youths were tortured by the police and by the military. And naturally they were forced to become terrorists. There are so many crushed and faded flowers. And so many martyrs.
My first sea voyage
I set foot on the soil of Tamil Nadu for the first time in 1952. My elder sister's husband, Mr.T.Srisubramaniam was the camp inspector of Mandapam Camp in Tamil Nadu. That camp was very popular then. On all sides were buildings. Tall neem trees around made the environment ever-green. There was no scarcity of sea food either.
People going from Sri Lanka to India or from India to Sri Lanka were required to stay in that camp for four days, subjected to medical examination and inoculated for Cholera before proceeding on their journey. This was mandatory.
In those days, there was no need to get passport or visa to travel between these two countries. Just with a ticket, anyone could travel from one country to another. The journey was by rail-ship-rail route. If one started from Sri Lanka, he reached Thalaimannar by train, boarded a ship to reach Dhanushkodi harbour in Tamil Nadu, from that point he continued his journey by train.
K.G. MAHADEWA 67
In those days, it was Dhanushkodi and now it is Rameswaram or Tuticorin. Dhanushkodi harbour is gone now. The terrible cyclone in 1964 destroyed many buildings and killed a large number of people. Now, only the fallen walls and the pillars stand as testimony of the destruction.
The marriage of my elder brother, Doctor G.Konesparamoorthy with Chandra, was celebrated in the Brindavan gardens in Mysore. It was a love marriage. I went with the marriage party. After three hours of sea voyage, the ship reached Dhanushkodi harbour. We stayed on board for a few hours and we saw Dhanushkodi.
Near the sea shore one could see people swimming like fish near the ships, with their arms above water asking for alms. It was a pathetic scene. They could catch the food packets thrown, before the packets could fall into the water. When coins were thrown, one could enjoy the slow zigzag movements of their going down to the depth of the ocean. One could also enjoy the poor people luring coins like magnets.
Eleven rupees mini saree
My onward journey to Tamil Nadu in 1975-76 was by air on the Colombo - Chennai route and return journey by sea by the Rameswaram-Thalaimannar route. While returning, I used to go to Madurai and buy something for home with the remaining Indian money. As the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was in power, there was a ban on some food items imported from Tamil Nadu and on Tamil newspapers and magazines.
I wanted to visit Hajee Moosa & Sons' Textiles shop in East Chithirai Street in Madurai. Though a saree would enormously please my wife, I should have sufficient money.
The expensive sarees, worth many thousand rupees were adorning the dolls in front of the above-said shop and attracting me. I was ashanned of the few rupee notes in my shirt pocket. Yet I entered the shop. In those days there was a special greeting to people from Sri Lanka. The salesmen welcomed me with a smile. I enquired about the prices of sarees. He patiently gave
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me the prices of sarees from high priced ones to the lowestpriced. I was getting ready for the least priced saree. He said, "Sir, these saris are specially manufactured for us and they are available in our shop only. Though the price is low it is durable." That saree was called, Kitchen mini-saree." It cost just eleven rupees! Unbelievable even now. It could have been unbelievable to my wife too. Till date I have not revealed its price.
Atrocities in the name of peace
It was the year 1987. The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) had just set foot in Jaffna. The purpose of their stay in Jaffna was known neither to them nor to the Tamils. The news that they were sent to keep peace and solve the problems for Tamils was given by them only. In their attempt to overcome the Tigers, innocent Tamils were put to hardship. Due to continuous declaration of curfew, the Tamils could not come out of their homes. Driven by hunger, they tried to venture out of their homes to buy something from shops that were partially kept open for business. Whenever they crossed the street to reach such shops, they were shot dead. The corpses could not be removed and were cremated on the roads with dry palm leaves. In the name of enquiry, women were sexually abused. As the language of the people was not known to the occupying forces, families hiding in pits were shot dead in large numbers. Such atrocities and vulgarities were the rule of the day.
When Jaffna was brought under the control of the Indian Peace Keeping Force and people started moving about outside, 'Eelanadu" began its publication again after a short interval. Everyday, news about the atrocities of the Indian Peace Keeping Force appeared. When a group of Indian Peace Keeping Force came for enquiry, there were one or two Tamil knowing South Indian officers. All others knew not Tamil. They would come to the Eelanadu' office also. Some of those would be from Tamil Nadu. If asked about the complaints of the public, no proper reply would come from them.
"We do not know why we came here. We had started immediately on receiving orders. We were not informed why
K.G. MAHADEWA 69
we are going and what is our work" said some Tamil officers in the IPKF. They lamented that they could not say anything under the circumstances as they were a minority in the Force.
Kalone was the ground Town Commandant of the IPKF in Jaffna. Receiving reports from the public of the sexual harassments by the military in Inuvil-Kondavil region of Jaffna, the Managing Director, Mr.Rajalingam and I went one day to meet the above mentioned military officer at their camp near the Kachcheri in Jaffna.
We detailed the acts of the IPKF such as the atrocities and sexual assaults, reported by the public. Mr.Rajalingam explained in detail our concern and the terror in the minds of the people, particularly the women. We insisted on proper action being taken by them to stop these atrocities immediately.
There was no sign of understanding on the face of the officer. We went on pouring charges. But he did not give any reasonable answer. This was what he could tell us. "There is no distinction between the Sri Lankan army, and the Indian army or the Pakistan army. If let loose, armies are alike. Nothing can be done." He said in English, expressing his inability. We made our exit. We could understand what military rule is, how the military behaves in a civil society and what an unquestionable power they wield. We realized also that the military could only be dealt with by another military. God only knows the consequences of the atrocities inflicted.
It happened this way
My column, "It happened this way' in the daily was very popular among readers. Government officials admonished and also appreciated us now and then. Once I wrote in that section that if the teacher-trainees of a teacher-training college copied answers in their examination, why others also would not do it. On the day the Eelanadu" came on to the stands, around 12 noon, a group entered the Eelanadu' office and stood before me. I was the news editor.
"This information is a blatant lie. Tell us who gave this information and who wrote this. If you don't tell us, we will Smash everything here," the gang roared. Intimidated, the acting editor near me, Mr.S.Perumal looked at me pathetically. The employees, scattered on the floor of the press, looked up. The gang did not accept my statement that it was correct information. I could recognize one important activist of the PLOT movement of Thellippalai sector. Time was passing. Arguments continued. I asked them for an hour's time. They warned that they would return by 1.30 p.m.
I rang up a friend who gave me that news and explained the matter. He said that he would come at once and arrived sharply at 1.30 in our office. At 1.30 the concerned group also entered the editorial section, in a rage. Seeing my friend, that group suddently showed some degree of respect. We sat for a discussion and the whole situation was explained to them. We agreed for a denial to be published the next day. The group then left. In the next day's issue, in It happened this way' column, I wrote, "In the news published yesterday about the teacher training college students, the students did not belong to Kopay Teacher Training College. " I suppose that group was satisfied with it.
The fun of the matter is that the name of the training college was not mentioned in its first publication. On the request of the group, the name had to be revealed. It was the fact too! The one who gave the information was Mr.Sankar of Chettiar Press of Vannarpannai of Jaffna, an ardent reader of "Eelanadu".
Bombing of "Eelanadu"
It was 29th February 1988 around 1.00 p.m. Many of the proof-setters had gone out for lunch. Some from the first floor also had gone out. All of a sudden a young man appeared upstairs, entered the administrative section and shouted, "Get out in five minutes, all of you. We have planted a bomb here." Everyone from all the sections was looking at him. He had a pis
K.G. MAHADEVA 71
tol in his hand. No one was willing to ignore that warning. In the editorial section, reporter Maniccam, one or two sub-editors and I were there. Within five minutes we fled the place, ran behind the office, crossed the Kottadi' Street and entered the compound of a house. Others also had hurried out.
In a few minutes, with a deafening noise, the office buildings, the machinery and other equipments were blown up. After half an hour, the administrative section's assistant Rajalingam, a few compositors and I, went back to the front of the office. The flames had not died out. Only shattered rubble could be seen through the smoke. The IPKF had arrived, before we could reach the place. None of the employees of "Eelanadu wanted to hang about. All of us dispersed soon.
In its March 2nd issue, the English daily from Colombo, Daily News' had published on its first page, the headlines "Eelanadu” newspaper building blown up." It added, "An officer referring to the incident in the Eelanadu' press, stated that the IPKF did not take any steps to prevent the bombing. Besides, it was said by him that IPKF knew about the bombing beforehand and yet they kept away to avoid the mass death of the public."
The daily, Veerakesari’ from Colombo, in its issue dated 5th March, published the charges levelled by the Tigers on the bombing of "Eelanadu.'
One of the five charges put forth was, "Eelanadu' was, hand in glove with the Indian Intelligence Agency, RAW.
One year passed. Eelanadu' came alive again after trying difficulties. In 1981, Eelanadu" was set on fire by the commandos of United National Party Government. In 1988, it was blown up and came back to life in 1989.
'Eelanadu' which had seen a great many General Managers got Mr.C.K.Thiruchitampalam, the former President of Chunnagam town council and Jaffna's 'Uthayan newspa
per's former manager, as the new General Manager. Lawyer Jegadheesan, who had taken charge of the new administration, had effected that appointment.
Mr. Jegadheesan was an upcoming lawyer. He had married Jayanthi, the eldest daughter of Dr.Shanmugaratnam, one of the brothers who instituted "Eelanadu". He had taken great efforts to bring out Eelanadu" again and went through many struggles, which resulted in the deterioration of his own financial condition.
'Eelanadu' became a daily in 1961. Within five years, the younger of the K.C. brothers, Doctor Shanmugaratnam expired in 1966. The whole responsibility fell on the shoulders of the elder brother, Thangarajah. By the adminstrative capacity of Mr.T.Srinivasagam, the General Manager, it was able to survive. When the elder brother Thangarajah expired, Mr.Rajalingam took charge of the administration. The administration was efficiently done by the selfless, flawless long service of Mr.T.Srinivasagam under the direct supervision of Mr. Rajalingam. When Mr. Rajalingam retired from service, the administration of Eelanadu' in Colombo could not be handled smoothly. It was under tremendous pressure to procure new machines. A proper head office for Eelanadu' could not be found. At this juncture, Lawyer Jegadheesan came forward to help Eelanadu". It was brought back to life after the IPKF left Jaffna and other places of the country.
K.Yoganathan and TSivaganesan continued to assist me. Very few remained in the administrative section. Many, who had served with me, started disappearing. A few proof-setters only continued hopefully.
Once the IPKF left Sri Lanka completely, the atrocities of the Sri Lankan military, navy and air force started again. The number of aerial bombings in Jaffna and other places grew in number. Regions already disfigured in the war were destroyed again and again by the bombings.
K.G. MAHADEVA 73
Attendance in the administrative section grew thinner day by day. Some of them in the editorial section joined other dailies in Jaffna. Journalists lived between life and death, hiding in trenches when planes dropped bombs over the city, writing again when the drone of the planes waned.
In December 1989, the then administrator of Eelanadu", lawyer Jegadheesan left Jaffna with his family for Colombo. My family followed suit. Finally his family settled in Canada. I set foot in Tamil Nadu. Eelanadu" started to lose not only its heirs but also its administration.
Although we left Jaffna, Eelanadu' rolled along on its journey. TSivaganesan and K.Yoganathan continued to serve in the editorial section. In the printing section, the long-serving foreman M.Balasingam and proof - setters Sivanesan, Joseph and Thevaraja stood by Eelanadu'. Mr.C.K. Thiruchitampalam functioned as in-charge. Eelanadu' was reeling under a severe financial crunch.
Eelanadu" left Jaffna with some of its employees and machinery, camped at a few places in the north and finally closed its doors once and for all in a few years.
EelaNadu' Editorial Staff with employees
Author (with the telephone) and next to him (left) S. Sabaratnam, E.K. Rajagopal, S. Kuhanathan, (opposite) Mrs. Pavalam Sivamoorthy, Seethaletchumi, Mrs. E. Perumal, (backside) A.V. Maniccam, Yoganathan, Joseph, P. Anan thakrishnan and employees. (1985)
PART - III
Meetings with VPs
వ్యక్తీక్ష్మి f * : ; if
Author with Kalaignar at his Gopalapuram house (1976)
The interview given by Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi to Eelanadu' when I had met him in Tamil Nadu in 1976 can never be forgotten.
It was a few months after the declaration of Emergency’ throughout the country by Mrs.Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.
I was warned that I would land in prison under MISA the way I talked. Such was the severity of the emergency.
I just thought what would be the mental state of Kalaignar, since the D.M.K. government had been dismissed then. Without any prior arrangement, I went to his Gopalapuram house, taking with me my cameraman, the brother-in-law of Kamaldheen, my friend who was the chief photographer of Dinathanthi'.
An assistant enquired my name and told me to be seated. In half an hour, I met Kalaignar in his office room upstairs. I entered his room, thinking that he would be in a shocked condition because of the dismissal of D.M.K. rule in the state.
He looked collected and unperturbed. With folded hands, he greeeted me, asked me to sit before him and spoke to me in beautiful Tamil.
I liked many who made Tamil flourish. Among them Kalaignar is an extraordinary personality. His speeches on stage, essays, mini-stories, discourses, and lively writings enchanted me always. I considered it a good opportunity to meet him alone and put a few questions to him. He gave detailed and unruffled answers to my questions. Near Kalaignar's table, stood the statues of Periyar and Anna.
The interview went on for half-an hour; he did not look depressed by the dismissal of D.M.K rule. He talked frankly and firmly. He said "The people of Tamil Nadu will always support the Eazha Tamils. The solution will emerge one day. No one can destroy Tamil, no one can destory Tamilians". I wrote the interview in detail in "Eelanadu".
I presented a model of "Eazham' to Kalaignar. The next day after interviewing Kalaignar, I went to interview Kaviarasar Kannadasan. I went to his house in Thyagaraya Nagar. His son received me and asked me to be seated in the parlour. I waited for an hour till Kavignar arrived. He conversed with me reclining on his cot in his room. Hearing all the atrocities meted out to the Eazha Tamils, he grieved over them and condemned them.
Kavignar expressed his deep concern for the welfare of the Eazha People and his expectation of Eazha Tamil's freedom; it was an elating interview of one hour's duration.
As I was leaving, he called me back and presented me three copies of "Arthamulla Hindu Matham", signed by him. I consider them a treasure.
KG. MAHADEVA 77
In many parts of the world, whether cities or hamlets, Tamilians live and sing the philosophical Songs of Kaviarasu Kannadasan. His simplicity, his attachment to the Eazha Tamils and his future plans made me proud of him. I had great faith in his dreams. But fate had taken him away early and those dreams of his, got dissolved in air. Yet, whenever I hear his songs, that interview blossoms in my thoughts Kavignar Kannadasan again.
Twenty seven years after that interview in his house in 1976, I went to his house recently. The same house in Thyagaraya Nagar on Kannadasan road, Chennai, has undergone some changes in its structure. "Kannadasan Publishing House" has been shifted to the first floor from the ground floor. There was no compound wall before. Now things looked congested.
I entered the Kannadasan Publishing House on the first floor. Every step of mine reminded me of my meeting with Kavignar.
Mr.Gandhi Kannadasan, son of Kavignar, received me. On the right side and behind Gandhi Kannadasan's chairshone his photographs with the President on the stage during the celebration of the sale of one lakh copies of the book "Agni Chiragugal" by President Abdul Kalam.
On introducing me, he recollected the previous meeting when the publishing house was housed downstairs.
I asked for some information and he gladly replied.
Recollecting from his memory Mr.Gandhi Kannadasan said "When you started to leave, my father called me and asked me to bring the three editions of "Arthamulla Hindu Matham'; I gave the books to him. He signed and gave them to you. I
remember everything now'. I felt very happy and proud to have met that great poet again.
There cannot be a Tamilian who does not know Kavignar Kannadasan. As long as Tamilians live, Kavignar's songs and poems will live. We should also know his life history. Many research books have been written and are still being written about Kannadasan's literary works. I am giving here a short summary of his life for the benefit of future generations.
Kavignar was born on 24-06-1927 in Sirukoodalpatti to Sathappan -Visalakshi couple. He was one of eight children and his original name was Muthiah.
He studied upto Eighth Standard. His first poem "Kaalai Kulithezhundhu' was published in 1944. His first movie song was in 1949, "Kalangathiru maname" for "Kanniyin Kathai'.
In the same year he made his political entry into D.M.K. Next year he married Ponnazhagi and Parvathi; Kavignar has nine sons and five daughters.
He participated in the Dalmiapuram agitation in 1952-53 and was jailed. He wrote the story and script for the movie
Illarajothi' in jail.
He contested in the 1957 General Election from the Thirukovilur constituency on a D.M.K. ticket and was defeated. After this he produced movies such as 'Maalaiyitta Mangai', “Sivagangai Cheemai“, “Kavalai Illa tha Manithan', "Vaanambadi”, “Rattha Thilakam' and “Karuppu Panam'.
He came out of the D.M.K. in 1960, started his Tamil National Party and then he merged his party with the Congress in 1962.
He was awarded the best poet award by the Central and State Governments in 1970, became the 'State Poet" in 1978 and received the Sahithya Academy award for his 'Cheraman
K.G. MAHADEWA 79
Kadhali' in 1979. In the same year he received the Annamalai Arasar Memorial Prize for 'Best Poet.
He has created many types of works like epics, poems, stories, dramas, essays, novels and autobiography as well. Having written more than five thousand movie songs, Kavignar had the divine gift of converting even Sorrows into pleasant thoughts.
He was neither intoxicated by successes nor crippled by failures.
He was admitted into Chicago City Hospital in America in July 1981 for medical treatment. The same year, he left this world on 17th October. His body was brought to Chennai and cremated on 22nd October 1981 with state honours.
" I am eternal and will never fade away,
There is no death for me ever' - These are his words.
When Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru expired, Kavignar cried openly and sang in his anguish 'Oh Death, is there no death for you?" What a great truth! Kavignar Kannadasan became a living monument.
The long friendship of Ma. Po.Si.
I had conversed with 'Silambu Chelvar" Ma. Po.Si. last time in R.M.Nagalingam's house at Kandy, Sri Lanka. After thirty one years I got an opportunity to meet and talk to him four years ago. I had the plan to meet Ma. Po.Si. also when I went to Chennai with R.M.Nagalingam. We were at Ma. Po.Si's house in Alwarpet, Chennai. After he was informed about our presence, we crossed the hall, reached his room and introduced ourselves. Recognizing Mr.Nagalingam's voice he greeted us cheerfully, saying "It is Kandy Nagalingam?" We seated ourselves near
him. Conversation began with enquiries about his family. After a few minutes R.M. Nagalingam introduced me.
with Ma. Po.Si and Nagalingam in 1968. Next to Ma.Po.Si is the author.
"Oh, is it 'Cheithi' Mahadeva? I remember him very well' So saying, Ma. Po.Si. extended his hands towards me. I held his hands with mine and acknowledged his gesture. He started enquiring about the current news. But he could not continue for long. We did not realize immediately that his eyesight was failing That meeting lasted for half an hour. He heard patiently from us about Sri Lanka, particularly 'The Eazha Tamils' problem, his Kandy visit and stay at R.M. Nagalingam's house, delicious food items etc. He was reminded of the past. Those essays published in 'Cheithi, had been taken from Ma. Po.Si. He also enquired about the 'Chengol newspaper and the reception to Ma. Po.Si. at Kandy in 1966 presided over by Thiru.R.M.N. - all these figured in our conversation. As we took leave of him, he got up unsteadily. We had no idea that the meeting would be our last meeting with him - That is fate!
Tamizhvanan- Chandilyan literary debate
I think it was April 1976. Dinathanthi' friend Kamaldheen took me on his scooter to attend an important function. The place was Woodlands Hotel, Chennai.
The function was going on in that big hall of Woodlands
K.G. MAHADEVA 81
Hotel. Writers and journalists were present in large numbers. Others were all important people. It was the celebration of the release of the hundredth issue of Dinathanthi's 'Ranimuthu'.
Kamaldheen made me sit in the place allotted for Press'. In that section, I was the only person. Others were all in the general crowd; though I felt somewhat shy, I managed the situation. My friend Kamaldheen joined the crowd.
On the stage, many prominent authors were sitting. Retired judge Mohan presided over the function. On both sides were seated speakers. Kavignar Kannadasan, Chandilyan, Kalkandu' Thamizhvanan, Sivasankari and other such famous writers of Tamil were adorning the stage.
I glanced at the crowd. Many personalities such as Thamizhar Thanthai' Adhithanar, Dinathanthi proprietor Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan and 'Deepam' N.Parthasarathy were in the first row. There was a heated debate among the speakers on the stage. Thamizhvanan attacked the writer 'Chandilyan'.
"Look at this man. He is aged. He has gone bald. He has got grown up daughters at home. See what he writes. He describes a woman's thigh in four pages." Next followed Chandilyan's opportunity to retort.
"Does he think of himself as a great detective? He writes all nonsense under a pseudo name 'Shankarlal. How many murders has this poor 'Shankarlal' solved? What did he achieve at all? He sports black spectacles too unnecessarily."
Arguments and counter arguments were so very interesting. Kavignar Kannadasan rose to speak next. "Friends Thamizhvanan and Chandilyan air their opinions. I find none of them wrong. One cannot separate sex and life. Both the speakers exhibit their talents in their own ways. Finally people accept both."
I took notes on the ideas expressed by each speaker at the meeting. The meeting ended on a happy note.
My friend, Kamaldheen came rushing to me. He took me
to “Thamizhar Thanthai' Adhithanar, Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan and a few more personalities. He told them that I was the only one Sri Lankan to attend that meeting that day. Though the meeting lasted for a few minutes, I cherish the moments in my heart. I had already met a few writers including "Deepam' N.Parthasarathy in Kandy when I was working with 'Cheithi'. But I was meeting 'Thamizhar Thanthai Adhithanar, and Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan for the first time. While talking to Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan, he told Kamaldheen, "Bring him to our office tomorrow." My friend was excited. I was surprised.
The crowd was melting away. We took the scooter and reached my hotel room in Kennet Lane in Egmore.
"You are really lucky", said Kamaldheen. I asked, "What is special in that?"
"You have got the appointment of Periyavar'. He is a very busy person. It is not easy to meet him. Even the employees of Dinathanthi’ cannot see him that easily. I am very happy that you have got a very good opportunity to meet him. He himself has asked you to meet him," Kamaldheen said.
Only then I could understand why he was so excited when Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan invited me to his office.
A warm appeal from Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan
"Be ready by 10 o'clock tomorrow. There will not be any change, if Periyavar fixes the appointment. There will not be another opportunity, if this one is lost. His personal secretary will arrange the time and duration of the meeting. I will contact you. We shall meet tomorrow." Kamaldheen left.
I was ready by 9.30 next morning, As promised, Kamaldheen entered my room at 10. The chief photographer of Dinathanthi took me on his scooter to the Dinathanthi’ office in Egmore. As the time of the meeting had already been fixed, we went upto Dr.Sivanthi Adhithani's room. My arrival Dr. Sivanthi Adhithan was announced to him. Kamaldheen sent
KG. MAHADEVA · 83
me in and waited outside. I went inside. Dr.Sivanthi alone was in the room. He warmly welcomed me and asked me to be seated. He then enquired about the situation in Sri Lanka. After ten minutes he asked me, "Our magazine and journals are banned in your country. Can you write about yesterday's function of “Ranimuthu^?”
"Not only Tamil magazines and journals. Even certain food items imported from Tamil Nadu are banned by Sri Lanka Freedom Party government." I explained and assured him that I would write about the release of the hundredth issue of Ranimuthu'. The meeting lasted half an hour. It was an useful and wonderful one. He sent me off, saying, "Meet me again when you come next time."
Before leaving the 'Dinathanthi' office with my friend Kamaldheen, he introduced me to the Dinathanthi News editor, Mr.Shanmuganathan, Mr.Aa.Maa Samy, editor of the journal, "Rani' and a few other journalists and photographers. I spoke to all of them.
On reaching Sri Lanka, I took up the work of writing about the release of the hundredth issue of Ranimuthu'. I wrote from various other angles. They were published as front page news in the weekly magazine of 'Chinthamani' with photographs. They were published again in Sutantiran', 'Eelanadu" and Dinakaran.' I sent the copies of the publication to Dr.Sivanthi Adhithan.
After a few months, when I went to Tamil Nadu, I again met him in his office.
"I received the magazines you sent. I read the articles too. You have written well. I did not expect this much. Thank you."
I considered this as a token of gratitude. When I started, he said, "Meet the news editor, before leaving." I guessed that he would have instructed his people to help me if I needed anything. I met Mr.Shanmuganathan - the news editor in his room.
"Mr. Adhithan appreciated the articles written by you. Would you need any help?" he asked. I said, "Deploy me as your special correspondent in Sri Lanka." Arrangements were made to fulfill my request. But I could not function properly as a special correspondent from Jaffna.
Encounter with the world of spirits.
Mr. Raja ariyaratnam, who served as editor of Eelanadu" weekly, joined Colombo's 'Dinapathi' newspaper in 1966 as editor of its weekly, 'Chinthamani'. And consequently Mr.S.Perumal of "Eelanadu" editors' group, took charge as substitute editor of the weekly. At this juncture, a new 'Question and Answer' section was introduced.
One Mr. Ravichandran from Vikkravaandi of Tamil Nadu contacted Eelanadu' and expresssed certain things. Eelanadu" also gave a go-ahead signal. Ravichandran, wanted to answer the questions posed by readers, about contacting spirits. Ravichandran needs no introduction. He has appeared in many television programmes in Tamil Nadu, with the medium of spirits "Amudha'. He has written many articles on the subject and he is editing a magazine now.
We sent the questions posed by our readers in post cards to Ravichandran and we printed the answers sent back by him. As this section became very popular, it continued for many months.
As I was visiting Tamil Nadu on writing assignments, I wanted to meet Ravichandran. This materialsed in the later part of 1970's. I met him at his residence in a town called 'Kadalur. He gave a very warm reception to me and on my request arranged to contact the spirits that day itself.
At about 5 o'clock in the evening, Ravichandran took me to a house and introduced me to the woman in the house. We entered the house. There was a 'Pooja Room'. The walls were completely covered with pictures of various deities. The room
K.G. MAHADEVA 85
was very clean. Ravichandran, his friend and myself sat on the floor. Ravichandran said, "My friend is the medium today. He will contact the spirits and will answer your questions. You can pose the questions you want."
I was sitting to the right of his friend. Ravichandran was sitting to my right. There were an ink pen and a note book before us. Ravichandran and his friend closed their eyes and with folded hands they went into a trance. His friend then took the fountain pen, opened the notebook, positioned the pen as if writing and then closed his eyes again. The pen started writing on the note book. I could see his hand moving with the pen. I looked at the writings. His freind interrupted, "I am in touch with the spirits' world. You cannot decipher the scrawls. What the spirits confide will be written by the pen. I will read it out to you. Now my hand and the pen are moved by a spirit." He continued, "Greetings my friends. Now start your questions." He again read out the scrawls and explained their meanings. Since I wanted to write about the world of spirits, I started a series of questions. The spirit answered all my questions. Among the questions I put forth, some were about my personal life and some were about Eelanadu". There was no possibility that the answers to these questions were known to Ravichandran or his friend. It was unbelievable. The session lasted more than half an hour. Suddenly, the pen in his hand stopped and he explained what it was. "Time is up. I am going to the temple. We will meet again."
Although there are so many opinions going around about the world of spirits, when participating in such a session, it looks real. At this point of time, I am reminded of something which happened 50 years ago.
My elder brothers Balasubramaniam and Vivekanandam once tried to contact the ghost world. This took place in our house in the Upstairs Road in Batticaloa. It was noon. On a round table, English alphabets were written in a circle and a steel tumbler was kept in the centre upside down. That day, my
brother Bala was the medium'. He kept his index and middle fingers on top of the tumbler and uttering something he invited the spirits. In a few minutes the tunnbler started moving. It moved to one alphabet at a time and returned to the centre. Then moved to a second letter and came back to the centre again. On completion of one word it returned to the centre of the table. This way, the answer for the first question my brother asked was...Y.E.S. That was yes. I and Vive were observers.
Questions continued. The tumbler was moving from letter to letter and was answering the questions. At one point, an unwanted question was put forth. Immediately, my brother took his fingers away from the tumbler. We asked what happened. He said that the spirit seemed to be angry and the tumbler was so hot. Unbelieving, my other brother Vive said something in English and asked angrily why the spirit burnt his brother and if it dared to burn him also, keeping his fingers on the tumbler. But immediately he had to withdraw his fingers shouting. He said the tumbler was hot like fire. That was a strange experience.
Ravichandran looked at me as though to take leave. Time was passing. The other friend had gone. We were chatting on the veranda. "Are you satisfied with the experience?" Ravichandran asked. I said, "I got a lot of things to write". Meanwhile I had one more wish. I asked him, "You are in touch with the world of spirits for a long time now. Does the same spirit answer always?' He said, "It depends on the day and the time. But most of the time, the same spirit answers our questions patiently."
I asked, "You seem to be close to the spirits. One small request; Have you ever taken the photograph of a spirit? If you have, can you give me one such photograph?" He smiled. "Expecting such a request from you, I had taken a photograph" saying so he explained. "Being in touch with the spirits for a long time, I too had such a desire. I once openly asked the spirit. It also accepted my request but on one condition."
K.G. MAHADEVA 87
He continued, "In a room, without any light, only you and your camera should be present. You should stand in a direction I choose and should shoot the three directions you face with a flash every time. I will be present in any of these three Snaps. The photo is strictly not for publication and only for personal viewing."
I accepted the condition and with a promise I received an envelope from Ravichandran. A post card size photograph was inside the envelope. I opened the envelope before Ravichandran and saw the photograph. I saw a white form without head, hands or legs. It looked like a man covered with a white robe and hands raised over his head.
I took leave of Ravichandran and returned to Chennai. I was having not only the photograph but also the pages on which the spirit supposedly scribbled. After that, my Eelanadu" friends and I have looked at the scrawls many times. But we have never been able to decipher them.
The Sitar concert arranged by Ram
On a day in March, 1980, there was a wonderful music
concert in the Jaffna Veerasingam Hall. My friend Mr. Ram Cumarasamy had arranged the programme on behalf of the United Agro Engineering Manufacturer's of Ceygma Pumps. Ram' belonged to a large and respected family whose members distinguished themselves in various fields of public service, business, music and dance for which they had a divine flair. He had offered that concert in memory of his beloved mother. I went to the concert on his invitation. The concert was of Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravishankar. Alla Rakka played on the tabla. The hall was full. All were enthralled in the deluge of music for a few hours. Alla Rakka's fingers danced on the tabla to the rendition of Pandit Ravishankar's immortal music on the Sitar. All would have gone through a heavenly experience that day.
, "స్టీ స్టీ 例 한 & * & * sig - geologiši i
Author with Ram Cumarasamy
I must mention here about the contribution of my long time friend Ram Cumarasamy in Jaffna. It was a time, when musical talents from Jaffna were side-lined by the government of Sri Lanka. It was the period of 1965-70. The then Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake paid a visit to Jaffna. The government agent of Jaffna arranged for a meeting of important people of Jaffna with the Prime Minister. Senior artistes of Jaffna had been given importance in the meeting.
"He is a leading citizen and a prominent artiste and an accomplished singer." The Government Agent introduced Ram to the Prime Minister. Ram used this opportunity to his best. He expressed his concern to the Prime Minister thus:
"Artistes from Sri Lanka go out to perform in many countries. But Tamil artistes are deliberately not included in the dele gations performing at International Cultural events. Why can't you accommodate some outstanding Tamil artistes also in these delegations?"
I don't know how Prime Minister Dudley perceived that. He called his secretary Mr. Bradman Weerakone and instructed him to convey Mr.Ram's complaints to the Education Minister Mr.I.M.R.A.Iriyagolle. Despite this, chances never came by.
The suggestions given by the Prime Minister seemed to have been troubling Minister Iriyagolle. He once invited Mr.S.Gnanalingam of Arts Council of Ceylon and expressed his
K.G. MAHADEWA 89
He said, "Please do not compare the art and culture of the Tamils with that of the Sinhalese. Art and culture of the Tamils are already well known throughout the world and it is a flourishing culture in South India, whereas ours is still unknown to the world. So please do not raise this topic anymore." That was end of that subject.
This incident had shocked Mr.Gnanalingam and when he met Mr. Ram Cumarasamy once, he informed him of the Minister's opinion and expressed his worry. I don't know whether Minister Iriyagolle had no regard for the art and culture of Tamils or he had an inferiority complex.
Once Jaffna Kalaimanram' was invited for participating in the opening ceremony of Navarangahala' in Colombo. At the function in which Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake was present, the dance performance of Ram Cumarasamy's Jaffna Kalaimanram had been placed 9th in the programme. While it had been arranged for the Prime Minister to be present till the fourth item, as Prime Minister himself insisted, Jaffna Kalaimanram performed fourth and was greatly appreciated by the distinguished gathering of diplomats, prominent citizens and art lovers.
Ram with Seerkazhi Govindarajan and S. Sathiyalingam (middle) in 1954 at Chennai
Mr. Ram Cumarasamy entered the Sri Lankan Radio in the year 1956 and was honoured as one of the best singers of his times. He served the world of art and culture with distinction as University and N.C.O.M.S. Chief Examiner and the head of many associations propagating music and dance. He was also a super grade artiste of Radio Ceylon and member of the audition panel.
While writing this book, I met Mr. Ram in Chennai. He mentioned certain facts from his memory.
Jaffna Kalaimanram' founded by his father W.M. Cumarasamy was inaugurated by "Natiya Kalaa Kesari' Vazhuvoor Sri B. Ramiah Pillai on the 21st of October 1958 at the Jaffna Town Hall and of which institution he was patron until his very end.
A couple of days earlier on 18th Oct 1958 Sri B. Ramiah Pillai presented his first Sri Lanka's disciple ThiripurasunthariMr. Ram's sister at her Bharathanatiya Arangetram with his entire supporting artistes who had come from Madras to the great delight of a large and distinguished gathering.
On special invitation from the Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake Rams' Jaffna Kalai manram dancers performed at the Temple Trees (Prime Minister's official residence) in the presense of Prime Minister, when the first American astronauts came to Sri Lanka. His father W.M. Cumarasamy's portrait was unveiled in the function to commemmorate the 50th anniversary of North Ceylon Oriental Music Society, presided over by Professor S. Vidyanandan in the Jaffna Veerasingam Hall. A classical music concert by Radha and Jeyalakshmi sisters was performed on that day. Ram' was so excited recollecting those events. Though Ram' was living in Tamil Nadu, those memories were always lingering in his heart. All invitations that came by his way did not entice him at all. It looked as though he had lost everything back home!
Ilankainathan, the artist and actor from Eazham
Author with actor Ilankainathan and his wife
Mr.S. Ilankainathan is one of the artists I was affectionate towards even after he left Jaffna for Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Ilankainathan started his career as an artist by participating in a Kambaramayanam drawing competition conducted by Eelanadu' in 1964. He got the second prize and then he started doing sketches for Eelanadu". He had also got a certificate for designing the International Environment Protection Day logo in 1993. I am reminded of the picture of Yoga Swamigal"; Ilankainathan sketched it, and it was published on the cover page of the Eelanadu' 25th Annual Magazine.
Ilankainathan is an active person always. After his association with Eelanadu' he started doing sketches for the short stories in the weekly issues. He would grasp the crux of the stories given and would bring out the exact emotion in his sketches. He was very simple and plain. He is perceptive and has a good taste.
He always remembers with gratitude his drawing master and sculptor, Mr.S.Sivapragasam for he is the reason behind all his successes today. "As I had an insatiable interest for drawing, I joined the Yazh Pradesa Kalamandram' conducted by Master.S.Sivapragasam and learnt the basics from him." says Ilankainathan.
After the chaos in Sri Lanka, he left for Tamil Nadu in 1999 and his association with Thangarbatchan, the popular Tamil innovative writer, novelist and film director, was a turning point in his life. He first appeared in the film 'Bharathi' and then acted as a Tamil teacher in the film, "Azhagi' directed by Thangarbatchan. He has also acted in Ice', 'Thendral' and . appeared in many other films. He considers acting and drawing as his two eyes. He is doing sketches for Dinamalar weekly magazine, Kanaiyazhi" and for "Mithra Publications. I am immensely happy to see the dreams of Ilankainathan coming true in Tamil Nadu.
Bala, the Chandrababu of Eazham
When I am writing about my friends, I am reminded of my elder brother, Late. Mr.G.Balasubramaniam. While I was in the field of writing, Bala was an all - rounder in writing verses, acting in dramas and performing in classical concerts. Fondly called as Bala', he was the centre - piece of many a writing by the well-known senior journalist, Kalaivaarithi", "Kalaimani', “Kalabhooshanam", R. Padmanathan of Colombo:
There was a person called 'Chandrababu of Eezham' who entertained audiences in Eazham as well as in Europe. He did that not in his youth, but when he was well beyond 50. He is none other than Mr.G.Balasubramaniam known to all of us as “Bala'.
It was the period when the name Bala' was very popular in Batticaloa. From 1950 to 1980, his sweet voice was heard in the temples, light music concerts and other functions. Crowds swarmed halls, if Bala was to sing there. In the middle of the 1970's there was a music programme by Apsaras' in the Saraswathi Hall of Bambalapitiya, Colombo. The announcer of the programme that day, announced, "Now, I introduce to you the 'Chandrababu of Eazham'. You are going to rise from your seat and dance to the Songs he is going to sing now." The crowd was anticipating a young man to come on to the stage, but was
K.G. MAHADEWA 93
disappointed to see the person coming to the stage. What they saw was a not-So-fat, not-so-tall, middle-aged man. His attire was not like that of the other singers. He had worn a white slack-shirt and white dhoti.
He sang the famous 'nadanam aadinar' of Chandrababu in his brilliant voice. There is a rock-and-roll portion in the same Song. When Bala imitated Chandrababu, the audience was so excited and started clapping and dancing. Bala became a permanent singer in the Apsaras' troupe and went to many countries in Europe to perform and he won over admirers.
An accomplished astrologer, Bala was also a devotional singer in Sri Lanka Radio. He has acted in dramas too. After his studies in the Government College in Batticaloa, Bala had to live with his sister Devi in the Mandapam Camp in Tamil Nadu. At that time, he went to the Gemini Studios in Chennai and met Mr. Kotthamangalam Subbu. At the age of 17, Bala looked very attractive. The film “Avvaiyar was in the making. The director of the film, Kotthamangalam Subbu wanted Bala to act in the film and asked him to get permission from his mother who was in Batticaloa. Bala also wrote to his mother. But his mother refused to allow him and wrote directly to Kotthamangalam Subbu saying that her son was from a respectable family and when they were preparing him for his highter studies, he should not become an artiste. Bala lost a very big chance. This is what Mr.R.Padmanathan has observed.
With my wife and Kamaldheen and actor Nasser
When I was writing my Tamil book 'Nenaivalaikal', I had to come to Chennai along with my wife. I wanted to meet my long time friend, 'Dinathanthi' Kamaldheen. That day was Bakrid. We went to his residence at Valasaravakkam. I was anxious to meet my friend as I was seeing him after 20 years. When we entered the house, Mr.Kamaldheen and his wife warmly received us. The same lively eyes; a full smile. Sitting on the Sofa, Kamaldheen welcomed us whole-heartedly.
Though he had retired after an eventful career as a photographer for 50 years, he had not forgotten the memories of our friendship. He was slowly getting better fom the paralysis that attacked him a year ago. Though he was not looking his best, a trace of the power to achieve more' was still in his face. He said, "Now I am able to walk, I can stretch and bend my legs" and he walked step by step. Life is nothing but hopel
He dedicated his life to Dinathanthi' and retired only recently. During his tenure in 'Dinathanthi, there were no erstwhile actors and today's heroes who had not got caught in his camera. He would go for the rarest shots with enormous guts. Once when I went to Mylapore along with him, he dragged me to the fourth floor of a house. We went upto the terrace of the house. I almost fainted seeing the street below. I asked him what the matter was; he coolly replied that he wanted two shots from that angle. In a few minutes, he was preparing to take a snap of the procession that was passing through the street. I looked down at the procession, holding the parapet wall cautiously. The 63 Nayanmars procession was coming from the Kapaleeswarar temple. He said he wanted to take that only. I could see the crowd only partially. The crowd was moving, carrying the idols of the Nayanmars. I looked at Kamaldheen. Bending his body beyond the parapet wall, he was clicking the procession. I was nervous seeing him in that dangerous position. I was scared that he would fall off from the terrace. The picture he shot that day came out brilliantly in a 4 by 5" column in the 'Dinathanthi' the next day.
K.G. MAHADEWA 95
I was so happy to have been recognized by their children while I was talking to him that day in his house.I was reminded of the long passage of time when I learnt that his child who was a school going girl in uniform then, is a mother of three children today. Kamaldheen's wife served us breakfast. As it was Bakrid, the menu included the sweet-smelling 'Paayasam'. Kamaldheen gave me his previous year's diary. There were rare published photographs with various remarks. In certain places he had written verses appropriately. Kamaldheen said, "If I borrowed books or journals from friends, they would be watching me closely, because I had the habit of snatching the nice pictures I found. I would sometimes tear the pictures and slip them under the table and would bring them with me." When he was informing us of his mischief of the olden days, I could see the child in him. We did not realize that one full hour had passed when we were talking. When we were taking leave, he said, "Please wait for a few minutes. My son-in-law is coming. You see him and
"He has gone to pray in the Mosque and will return any moment", his wife said. I could not attend the wedding of his eldest daughter 13 years ago as the condition back home was not so favourable. So we decided to meet his son-in-law. He came in half an hour. Myself and my wife were shocked to see Kamaldheen's son-in-law. Because, the man we saw was none other than Nasser', the famous Tamil star. Fair and good looking, Nasser spoke to us so warmly. We were so very happy. Nasser's wife Mrs.Kameela took many photographs with us.
"If you are coming to Chennai, come to our place directly. We have plenty of place upstairs", said Kamaldheen and Nasser and sent us off. That was the depth of our friendship.
"When doing the film Devar Magan', Nasser was fondly called by the thespian actor Shivaji Ganesan as "Devare' - the name of the character he did. He is a good friend of the multifaceted actor Kamalhasan. Nasser is still a darling in Shivaji Ganesan's place. He would become the character of the film he
is doing. If a writer comes with a story, he would receive him, but will tell him that he needs to read the story "carefully". Kamaldheen tells about his son-in-law. I could not see any difference in the Nasser I saw personally and the Nasser I know on the screen. Though I met him for the first time, he spoke to us as a long time-friend. I could see a bright future in him. I could not forget the sweet and affectionate meeting on the day of Bakrid.
I used tò see the chief photographer Kamaldheen of 'Dinathanthi' daily whenever I visit Chennai. He served 'Dinathanthi' for 50 years and had close contact with all the leading film personalities. I used to go with him to the studios on his scooter. In those days, outdoor shootings were very rare. Shooting was done on the sets created in the studios. He was known in all the studios. Entering a studio, he would ask the watchman which shooting was going on. His scooter would enter the studio, if the shooting involved in portant stars. If he is not satisfied, his scooter would turn to another studio. He would take me to the residences of actors and actresses unannounced. He was a favourite among the producers and directors too. Kamaldheen was the reason behind my association with the Tamil film industry in 1976.
The serial I wrote in 'Dinakaran'
Cinema news was not given prominence in Eelanadu'; there was no separate section for cinema. So I established contact with other Tamil magazines published from Colombo. Mr.Sivagurunathan of Dinakaran' offered me a base for that. I started writing interviews of actors, actresses and other film personalities in my elder daughter Santha's name in Dinakaran'. Mennories never fade' was the other serial I wrote in "Dinakaran“.
I got in touch with my Sri Lankan friend Mr. Ramachandran when I was in Madurai during my trip to Tamil Nadu, in 1976. Mr. Ramachandran had opened a refugees' rehabilitatión centre with the help of Mr. Appavoo during that
X.G. MAHADEVA 97
period. The centre functioned for the refugees who returned to Tamil Nadu from plantation areas in Sri Lanka under the pact signed by the Prime Ministers, Sirimavo and Sastri in 1964. Under this pact, more than five lakh plantation workers and their families returned to Tamil Nadu. But the fact was that most of them were extradited to India against their wish.
I met many plantation workers in Madurai with the help of Mr.Ramachandran and wrote about their plight. It is a sad fact that just as they had been 'imported' into Sri Lanka by the British under persuasion, they were 'exported' again into Tamil Nadu. I cannot forget the meeting with them after a long cycle ride from Madurai Melur with Mr.Ramachandran.
This meeting was the basis of my serial, "Memories never fade'.
When I work during the night, after writing the first and
the last page news and the headlines, and after correcting the proof, it would be past 1 o'clock in the early morning when I go home with a printed copy of Eelanadu". I used to go by bicycle from the office to my home, located to the west of Kondavil. Sometimes, press workers will also come along with me for 5 miles by bicycles. A person will always be waiting for me when I come back late. He had a small shop near the "Thatta theru' junction on K.K.S. Road, Jaffna. Along with vegetables and groceries, he also had unlicensed alcohol. He would welcome me with glee when I got down from the cycle. The cigar he himself prepared would be ready. Everyone used to call him as Meesai' (Moustache). I used to gather political and recent happenings from him. He was a news monger. He was extremely eager to know the latest news even before it was published. We both satiated our needs during that 15 minutes chat with him. It was a daily routine. It really was a very pleasant experience to ride the bicycle into the dead of night smoking the cigar.
98 REMINISCENCES The last day's meeting with the Editor Haran
When the Managing Editor of Eelanadu' Mr.KPHaran was staying with his son and daughter-in-law in Gampola after retirement, I used to visit him many times. During my tenure with 'Cheithi' and even after that, my family was first in Kandy and then in Gampola. I met Haran during those periods. In the evenings, Mr.Haran and I would walk from his home in the Kandy Street of Gampola till the bridge in Nuwaraeliya Street and then would sit on the sands of Mahavali Gangai river that had been reduced to a stream then. He would talk about his career as a journalist and I would sit with him with the reverence he deserved. He would talk about his nice experiences in Veerakesari' with clarity and it was very useful to me also. His experience of collecting news from the war front during the Second World War, was astonishing. He was an experienced veteran journalist.
In 1986, I came to Trichy with my family for the first time. We went on a tour and visited famous temples. One day we went to a hotel for refreshment. I enquired what they wanted to have. Everyone said they wanted just tea. But myself and my wife could not control our laughter at what my second daughter Chandrika asked for. She asked for COPPERT. It was the result of an advertisement found along the roads. Fortunately, the waiter had not heard what she said. We laugh at that even today. She did not know that COPPERT was a female family planning device.
When we were in Trichy, she asked me, "Appa, do murders take place in the 'Saw Mills'?" Haunted by the killings by the military back home, the word 'SAW' in Tamil found in the Mills, would have reminded her of the killings. Phonetically 'Sa' in Tamil stands for 'death'. While there was a beautiful word in Tamil equivalent to SAW MILL, the phonetic representation in Tamil had killed its very meaning.
K.G. MAHADEWA 99
In 1991, I came back to Trichy again with the family. We decided to stay in Trichy till normalcy was restored in Sri Lanka. We found Trichy suitable for living. We wanted to encourage our daughter Kovathani who had an interest in “Bharathanatyam'.
The service of Rev. Fr.George of Kalaikaviri' towards arts
Having come to know that Kalaikaviri' dance school had made its mark in the area of dance drama, I visited it. I wanted to meet Rev. Fr.S.M.George, the founder of Kalaikaviri' and express the interest of our daughter. But, after the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the fate of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu had plummeted in every sphere, especially Rev. Fr. George ! in education. During an admission interview for my son in a college, one police official snarled at us, "Does Tamil Nadu alone lend a helping hand to you? Can't you run away to any other foreign countries? Go away!" Such was the 'respect' we got. At this stage only, I met Fr.George for my daughter's admission. I went along with my daughter Kovathani to Kalaikaviri.' I had only her tenth standard certificate issued by the Jaffna Hindu Ladies College. The meeting was a pleasant one. The Father enquired about the condition of our country and regretted the state of affairs. He said, "With the permission of the Bharathidasan University, you can join here in the three year dance course as a trainee" and offered admission too. After this I met Father George often. After a year, when I went to see him in September 1992, he expressed a wish.
He said, "We have been to many foreign countries to perform. We have a plan to visit Malaysia too. But we do not have a correct person to co-ordinate in Malaysia. When you were
talking about your experiences as a journalist, you did mention about Jaffna and Batticaloa. The former MP of Batticaloa Mr. C. Rajadurai is a friend of mine. Now he has been posted as ambassador of Sri Lanka to Malaysia. Why can't you contact him?"
Immediately, my affection towards his writings and speeches, my love for the language Tamil and my experience with the magazine, Thamizhagam' under him, flashed before my eyes. After 34 years it rippled.
"Oh, very good. I will write to him tomorrow itself and inform him about your wish,' I said. I wrote to Mr.Rajadurai the next day itself. He replied me in two weeks. I wonder what an affection he had for me!
High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Kualalumpur, MALAYSIA.
Dear Brother Mahan,
Received your kind letter. I could not reply you immediately. Please pardon me.
I went to Sri Lanka and visited India too. I was a bit busy with my official duties. So I could not reply you immediately. You have written about the news from home and about the family affairs. Sister Diraviyam visitied us. She gave me all the details. I gave her your address.
I am writing to the head of Kalaikaviri'. He is a good man and a nice man to know about. I am happy that you are associated with him. You have written that your daughter learns dancing. What a surprise. You have a daughter who is grown up to go for dancing! I still see you as my Mahan. I still see you as the innocent ever smiling Mahan. I see the terrain of Batticaloa that enslaved beauty and serenity. We made the castles of our
KG. MAHADEVA 101
dreams into realities. We lived in Sri Lanka with esteem. We raised the pride of Sri Lanka outside our Motherland too. Will those beautiful days blossom again? We keep our hopes in God. The hopes, the prayers and the appeals we put before God with a pure heart will be answered. My greetings to all in your family. I have never seen any of your family members. I will meet you all, when I come to India. Convey my enquiries to all at Kalaikaviri'. I have spoken to people here about them. I will send the addresses soon. May God bless you and your family.
12.10.1992 - C. Rajadurai
Author (right) in front of Anna 'Samathi' in 1975.
PART - V
Cheithi - R.M.N,
T.K. Shanmugam and R.M. Nagalingam in 1965
Eelanadu' and Cheithi’ published from Kandy are the two sides of the coin I found.
After "Eelanadu' was started, Mr.R.M.Nagalingam, one of its shareholders decided to start a newspaper of his own, due to his enormous interest in writing. He got the distribution rights of Eelanadu' for up-country. He purchased a van for this purpose, used to go to Kurunaagalai railway station from Kandy, receive the parcels from the early morning train from Jaffna and distribute them. This kind of effort of his was admired and praised. Unmindful of the loss, he worked hard and in 1962, started the weekly magazine Cheithi’ first at Colombo and then at Kandy. Advocate Mr.Peri Sundaralingam worked as editor in the beginning and later Mr.K.Ramachandran. Mr.Nagalingam
K.G. MAHADEVA 103
approached me to have my services. He had the intention of converting it into a daily. So in 1967, I went to Kandy with my family to work in Cheithi'. There I found everything new - my responsibilities as well as the place. I served 'Cheithi for a few years and when 'Cheithi’ was stopped due to financial problems, I returned to 'Eelanadu.
While my activities in Eelanadu" were confined to a limited circle, my experience with 'Cheithi’ was far and wide. I am grateful to Mr.Nagalingam as I was able to get acquainted with people of literature and art when I was with 'Cheithi'. It is my bounden duty to introduce Mr.Nagalingam here. A smiling face, commanding voice and a tough person at heart who can withstand joys and sorrows, Mr.Nagalingam was a man who faced the challenges life threw in his way. Dark skinned, he had the white heart of a child. Though he always had a premonition not to take risks, he had the courage to face problems.
The 1960s were a golden era for him! Be it stage dramas, concerts, celebrations or literary meetings, releasing of books or farewell functions - Mr.Nagalingam would be present there. He had met many renowned Tamil scholars in Tamil Nadu and Eazham. If he is still respected by famous writers and press persons, it is because of his gentle nature.
R.M.Nagalingam and his contact with the world of arts
R.M.Nagalingam used to subscribe to the English weekly magazine 'Blitz' from Mumbai and with the help of his friends, would come to know the news contained there in. He admired the way the pages of the magazine were designed and laid. He had the urge and used to wonder, 'Why not we start a paper like this?' The experience he had gained by the sale of Eelanadu in up-country, fortified him in his effort. The result was the birth of 'Cheithi' - The News. w
It was printed in a press at Moor street in Colombo in the year 1962. Mr.Peri Sundaralingam translated the dream of Mr.Nagalingam into reality. The design that "Blitz' had was
reflected in Cheithi' because of the untiring efforts of Mr. Peri Sundaralingam, who was ably assisted by Mr. K.Ramachandran. Unmindful of the money spent, Cheithi’ was introduced. In 1963, he established a press at Kandy - Colombo Street as well, and 'Cheithi' had a circulation throughout the country.
I was lucky to meet Mr.Nagalingam when I was about to complete this book. "I thought good and I did good. For all the challenges I had faced, the patience I observed, served as a rein to keep me under control" said he. Besides he unfolded to mean unfulfilled desire of his.
He had in his possession hundreds of letters written to him by scholars, very important persons, dignitaries and senior people having contact with fine arts. His long cherished desire was to select some letters of great importance, put them in order and print them in a book form. His prayer was to make his dream a reality.
When he talked of his wife Indrani, his eyes were wet. "Litterateur guests and people asking for help would be visiting me any time. My wife without any strain would prepare food for them." I am really very proud of the thirty seven year old friendship between me, Mr.Nagalingam and his family.
I was working with 'Cheithi' for a short period at Kandy,
the capital of up-country. At this juncture I pay tribute to the
greatman, the Gandhi of up-country', Mr.K.Rajalingam, a jewel among men.
The writers' association of up-country was formed in 1963 in Kandy. Mr.Nagalingam was the Vice-President. Besides attending to Jagajothi business and sale of 'Cheithi' he shouldered the work of literary activities. He was made its President in 1967. He organized a function at Kandy's Town Hall to honour Pudumaippiththan, "The Monarch of Tamil short stories'. He had great regard for the great national poet Subramania Bharathi. As an expression of this, he invited the poet's grand
K.G. MAHADEWA 105
daughter Thirumathi Vijaya Bharathi, her husband, Professor P.K.Sundararajan and the popular writer Mr.K.Alagiriswamy to the function. Tamil Nadu had forgotten to celebrate Bharathi's day every year. On the other hand Mr.Nagalingam celebrated Bharathi's day every year. Besides this, “Cheithi' released a Souvenir of Pudumaippiththan.
During the primary stage of 'Cheithi", although the creations of upcountry writers and poets have in large measure been published in 'Cheithi", the writers of the whole land also received recognition. Mr.Anton Balasingam (The political advisor of LTTE) was with Veerakesari' and he wrote continuously on psychology under the pseudo names Brahmagnani and 'Stani'. The first book of 'Cheithi Publishing House was "In the Tea Estate' written by Mr.C.V.Velupillai and translated by poet Sakthi Balaiah. It is a collection of poems.
* * ፴፱; ასკევს வி : #4 ܕܪܐ R.M.Nagalingam with Pavendhar Bharathidasan
Mr.Nagalingam recalls with pride and pleasure his publications of the respected Sankaradas Swamigal's Centenary Special Souvenir, the Diamond Jubilee Souvenir of Ki.Va.Jagannathan, “Thaniyaatha Thaagam“ of Sillauyur Selvarasan, Silambu Chelvar. Ma. Po.Si's Diamond Jubilee Souvenir, and Kalaiperarasu Sornalingam's souvenir, at his own expense.
During the period when I was working for 'Cheithi", architect Mr.V.S.Thurairajah was engaged in the making of a
Tamil film Kuthuvilakku'. Mr.Thurairajah was introduced to me by Achuveli Mr.T.Namasivayam, a very close friend of mine. He had first worked as a pharmacist in Kandy Hospital and then at Jaffna. He acted as a second hero in Kuthuvilakku'. I had a chance to meet Mr.V.S.T. at Kandy, Colombo and Jaffna. After the release of the film, at the request of Mr.Thurairajah, Cheithi' published a special edition. The movie was released in Badulla's Vel's theatre in up-country. I had to see to the release of the film, the premiere, and to arrange a felicitation function. One who produces a Tamil film in Sri Lanka would become a pauper. Hence it was a test for him. "Kuthuvilakku' also turned out to be a trying test for Thurairajah.
In 1967, Mr.V.N. Balasubramaniam passed away. When he was an employee of "Eelanadu', he visited many Saivite temples and from there itself he wrote to the weekly newspaper. He wrote continuously about his journey to these places and of his visit to the temples. On receiving the sad news of his demise, I wrote in Cheithi’ about this man of three letters. I came to know from my friends that Mr.Haran, after having gone through my article on Mr.V.N.B. had gratefully praised me for this. The same was showered on me when I rejoined Eelanadu". To get a pat of congratulation from Mr.Haran was something unheard of. It seemed to me something extraordinary, something incredible.
When I was working in Eelanadu' in 1966, I used to write comments on the news from abroad in the name of my daughter Santha, and this would come out in Cheithi' every week. The employees of Jegajothi "Van' were accommodated in the office building of Eelanadu'. I was paid forty rupees for my work for Cheithi'. This was a 'boon' to me. Mr. Rajagopal had written some controversial articles in Cheithi and was known to all. I am highly indebted to him for introducing me to 'Cheithi'. In 1966, my personal association with Mr.Nagalingam was strengthened. Mr.Nagalingam spoke out his dream and aspirations for 'Cheithi'. It was his ardent desire to make it a bi-weekly' first and then a daily. "A Tamil daily must come out in upcountry, like Eelanadu', he said to me. My fascination for the press and the devotion I had for 'Cheithi' forced me to leave for up-country.
K.G. MAHADEWA 107
I had Mr. Ramachandran to assist me in 'Cheithi in 1967. Prior to this, Mr. Peri Sundaralingam quit 'Cheithi' owing to his legal profession.
In 1967, I was the editor of 'Cheithi'. My home and my family were in Gurudeniya where Jegajothi Company was located. My first month's salary was two hundred rupees only. Mr. Ramachandran was my right hand in my press activities. 'Cheithi’ which was started as a weekly came out as a bi-weekly' within a short period. This did prove to be a challenge to Mr.Nagalingam.
A few months rolled by. Bi-weekly''Cheithi' had a good circulation. My pal Mr.Ramachandran went back to Colombo. Mr.N.Surendran, up-country writer Mr.K.S. Raju and poet Mr. Malaithamby stepped into his shoes. Mr.Z.M.Razik did his duties as an official reporter in an appreciable manner. The valuable experience he had previously gained, helped him in good stead to work as a staff reporter for Colombo Lakehouse papers. Mr.K.S. Raju's novel, Nedunthooram portrayed the miserable conditions of the plantation workers.
The realistic and expressive drawings of Mr.S. Agasthiar adorned the pages of 'Cheithi'. Mr.Maana M.M. Mackeen wrote under the pen-name M three'. The articles of Mr.Anthony Jeeva were continuously published. Once I wrote a critical review of a play staged at Colombo. Mr. Maana Mackeen wrote his appreciation in a nutshell. "Read the review. My joy knows no bounds." A postcard brought me this welcoming note. These comments are still fresh in my memory.
Whenever writers and scholars from Tamil Nadu visited Kandy, the part Mr.Nagalingam played was something special. They would never return without having a meal at his home. They would visit the office of 'Cheithi' without fail. Cheithi’ provided the golden opportunities to meet K.V.Jagannathan of "Kalaimagal", "Silambu Chelvar', Ma. Po.Sivagnanam, M.K.Azhagirisamy - writer, and Mr.N.Parthasarathy of "Deepam. Once Mr.K.V.Jagannathan paid a visit to the office of
Eelanadu". Managing editor Mr.K.P.Haran introduced to him all the employees. In his short speech, he said, "A house warming ceremony is taking place. Well, we shall take it as our house. We welcome the guests at the entrance saying 'come in'. Then, shall we show him the bathroom or toilet first? What do we do? We welcome them, and then show them where Ganapathy pooja was performed, after that pooja room, all the rooms, kitchen, and terrace. The same order is applicable to newspapers too. They should at the outset not publish anything indecent but give all important and best news on the front page. It should be as if we gently open the petals of a lotus one by one. The last thing is the other news under minor headings." My mind recalled all these words of his at the time of my meeting him at the 'Cheithi' office.
Mr.Naarana Duraikkannan, Mr.Subramanian as well as Ma. Po.Si, K.Azhagirisamy, actor T.K.Shanmugam, Akilan, Maayavi - all these dignitaries need special mention for their contribution to Cheithi' by sending varied compositions and news bulletins. Writers and artists from different parts of Sri Lanka used to write to Mr.Nagalingam. Similarly Mr.Nagalingam was in receipt of letters from Tamil Nadu and Malaysia, of these he used to give me letters received from actor'Avvai T.K.Shanmugam, “Kalaimagal' Jagannathan, Mr.N.Parthasarathy of ‘Deepam', "Silambu Chelvar' Ma. Po Sivagnanan, Akilan, Maayawi and M.K.Azhagirisamy to read. I have met them several times.
The most unforgettable one is the publishing of Arignar Anna's maiden novel in Cheithi'. When I began my career in 'Cheithi' Mr.Nagalingam made efforts to publish the first novel of Arignar Anna, Gumaasthaavin Penn'. In connection with this, he contacted actor T.K.Shanmugam. It is fitting to publish here excerpts from his letters. A letter written by Mr.T.K. Shanmugam on 02.06.1967 to 'Cheithi' runs thus:
"Mr. C.N.A returned only on 23rd April. I called on him; a big crowd, could not meet him. To avoid delay, I left your letter along with a note. I was not favoured with a reply. So I met
KG MAHADEWA 109
his personal secretary. I was informed that more than five hundred letters were received everyday and they were not in a position to go through all of them. But yesterday, I met Mr.C.N.A in his office room at Fort St.George. I shall Surely send you the letter written by Mr.C.N.A. himself."
In the 2nd week of June in 1967, in his letter to 'Cheithi", actor T.K.Shanmugam has stated, "I am extremely happy to come to know that you have come forward to publish our beloved Arignar Anna's "Gumaasthaavin Penn' written 34 years back, in your Cheithi'. My heartiest congratulations". Along with this was the letter of Arignar Anna dated 01.06.1967.
"You can publish the story 'Gumaasthaavin Penn' in your “Cheithi."
(sgd) Annadurai, 01.06.67 He himself had written the letter permitting us to publish his novel in Cheithi.
Actor T.K.Shanmugam used to correspond with Mr.Nagalingam regularly. In his letters he used to give a clear picture of any incidents that took place in the film world. He wrote about the shooting of Mr.M.G.R by Nadigavel M.R.Radha.
Mr.Nagalingam wanted to publish authentic news in "Cheithi" regarding the shooting incident of M.G.R- M.R.Radha. Hence he contacted Mr.Shanmugam over the phone. In response to this call, Shanmugam sent a reply. This
incident made history in the celluloid world. It is benefitting now to ponder over how the situation would have been then.
"There is not even a grain of doubt that M.R.Radha's motive to shoot at M.G.R. was to put an end to his life. He took it for granted that M.G.R was dead. To save his skin, he shot himself. It would take nearly a month for M.G.R to recover completely. The chances of M.G.R. participating in the election meetings are thin, but he will contest.
"My enquiries show that there was certainly no wrangle between them regarding films. Most probably he had done this to prevent M.G.R.'s election campaign throughout Tamil Nadu. By the grace of God, M.G.R. survived. This forenoon, I met M.G.R. There was a bandage of plaster around his neck. He is hale and healthy. He tried to talk but I requested him not to, because doctors have strictly advised him not to talk. He moves about in the room where he is. He can talk. Since he gets easily emotional, doctors have restricted him so that he can have complete rest. Moreover there would not be any movement or strain to his jaws. He would be back home in a fortnight. You can publish this news in a condensed manner in Cheithi' for the sake of the Sri Lankan fans who share his distress. Radha too has recovered.'
These are the contents of T.K. Shanmugam's letter. The last days of "Eelanadu'
After the year 1990, when there were no prominent persons in the Eelanadu Editorial Board and no reporters, people like K.Yoganathan. Benjamin Rajaratnam, T.Sivaganesan, and N.K.Duraisingam took charge of important portfolios and worked day and night. K.Yoganathan took the mantle of the Editorial Board. Aloycius, Ganesarasa, N. Parameswaran, and Durainayagam were also in service during this period. The former educationalist Sivanandan was writing the editorials.
During the period when the IPKF vacated Jaffna in 1989 and it was under the control of the LTTE (From 1990 till October 1999), Eelanadu was published from Jaffna along with Uthayan' and Eezhamurasu'. Even when Eelanadu" had lost its importance and there were no proper facilities to publish a newspaper, it was still being published. Though General
K.G. MAHADEVA 111
Manager Mr.Thiruchitampalam was in the administration, Mr.Iyya Sachidhanandam in the distribution section, and long timers Mr.Kanagasabapathy Iyer, Mrs. Pavalam Sivamoorthy and foreman Mr.M.Balasingam in the press, running the journal was not easy.
During this time, workers in the press demanded a hike in their salaries. A strike demanding pay hike was a routine every year. As there was no proper administration, these workers made contacts with the Labour Wing of the LTTE and went on a hunger strike in front of the Eelanadu' office. They were carrying placards condemning the Eelanadu' administration. As a result of this, Thiruchitampalam, resigned from his post. After his resignation, (Middle of 1995), LTTE took charge of 'Eelanadu". Under the guidance of Thiagarasa (Who was in the Judiciary of LTTE) and the long time auditor of Eelanadu" Selvendra, they took charge of Eelanadu". On 1995 (October 30th) Eelanadu" migrated to Valigamam and then to Kerudavil of Chavakacheri.
In Kerudavil, the press and Editorial Board started functioning from a small school building. Thiagarasa was staying in a room in the school with his wife. After almost all the workers of "Eelanadu" had left, "Eelanadu' was revived amidst aerial bombing and shell attacks. Thiagarasa himself took up the editorial management and was writing the editorials too. The educational field officer Valvai Anandaraj came to this place and involved himself in the work of the Editorial Board. Thilak, Iniyavan, and Chinnabala worked day and night in the Editorial Board. Benjamin Rajaratnam and Yoganathan did not join in this set up. Sivaganesan had a tussle with Thiagarasa and others and got out of Eelanadu". Former chief reporter of Eelanadu" Mr.A.V.Maniccam came here to work and was in service for a few months.
After a few months, in 1996 when the Sri Lankan Army started its operations towards 'Thenmaraatchi', around 5 lakh people fled to Vanni area. So the Eelanadu" press was also shifted to Vanni. It was reported that a valuable printing press machine had been lost in the sea of Kilali enroute to Vanni. Even then, Eelanadu came out without break for a few months with Chithambara Thiruchenthilnathan as editor. Eelanadu was still
published as a daily. Then it came out as a weekly and then stopped once and for all.
It is to be noted that, Mr.Iyya Sachidhanandam, who was in-charge of distribution in Eelanadu and was working as reporter with me, was in service in Chavakacheri from 1995 and in Vanni the next year. After "Thinakkural' (Jaffna) daily was started, he joined there and is still in service. When Eelanadu" was functioning first in Jaffna, then in Chavakacheri and then in Vanni, Mr.N.K. Duraisingam was one of the few people who worked continuously till its closure. N.K. Duraisingam is now working in Eelanadu' which is being published from France.
Credit to Kuhan'
Sub-editor Mr.S.Kuhanathan, who worked as in-charge of the night shifts most of the time, was an expert in grasping news. He used to write remarkable frontpage headlines. In 1987, when an organizaion close to the IPKF was about to kidnap the employees of Eelanadu', he learnt about the plot and escaped with the others. It is a matter of pride that today Mr.S.Kuhanathan is a pioneer in the Tamil television industry in Europe. He has got the merit of printing “Eelanadu” in Europe, Canada and 数 Sri Lanka at the same time. Preserving the tradition of Eelanadu, Mr. S. S. Kuhanathan Kuhanathan is having a Tamil Radio Service in France and also a service that telecast the television channels in Europe. His Dish Asia Network (DAN) which telecast the television channels in Europe, Canada, India and the Middle East countries is another feather in the cap of "Eelanadu". As a former "Eelanadu'journalist, I would definitely say that Mr.S.Kuhanathan has achieved a Himalayan task all alone, that no other employee of "Eelanadu" has ever done.
K.G. MAHADEWA 113
About the Author
Born in 1940 in Batticaloa, the author entered journalism at the age of 11, and became a fulltime journalist at the age of 21. Having 30 years of experience in the field, Mr.K.G.Mahadeva has shared his experiences and encounters in his tamil book Nenaivalaikal' and his english book Reminiscences'. Having worked in the East, North and up-country, Mr.K.G.Mahadeva has made his mark in Tamil Nadu too.
Joining Eelanadu” at the age of 21 as sub-editor in Jaffna, he raised himself to the level of news editor. Mr.K.G. Mahadeva has also worked as editor in the newspaper, Cheithi from Kandy for some time.
The courage he showed in his field was appreciated by all. The buring of Eelanadu" and its revival has been documented well in this book Nenaivalaikal' and Reminiscences. This book will definitely bring him name and fame.
Colombo. R.Padmanathan Senior Journalist
பத்திரிகை(யாளர்)களின் பல வரிகள்
உலகளாவிய அளவில் தமிழ் நேசிப்பினையும், கணினி யுகத்தில் தமிழ்ப் புத்தக வெளியீடுகளையும் மையப்படுத்தி, புத்தாயிரத்திற்கான புதிய திசைகளைத் தேடும் 'தமிழ் இலக்கியம் 2004 விழா' சென்னை மித்ர பதிப்பகத்தார் சார்பில் சென்னை பனகல் பார்க் அருகிலுள்ள சர். பிட்டி தியாகராய மகாலில் 2004-ம் ஆண்டு ஜனவரி 10 - 11 ம் திகதிகளில் நடைபெற்றது. இரண்டு நாட்களும் காலை முதல் இரவு வரை சிறப்பாக - ஜனரஞ்சமாக நடைபெற்ற இந்த இலக்கிய விழாவில் மொத்தம் இருபத்து ஐந்து புதிய நூல்கள் வெளியிடப்பட்டன. திரு. இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி தலைமையில் ஆரம்பமான விழாவில், தில்லி சாகித்திய அகாதமி தலைவர் கவிஞர் சச்சிதானந்தன் சிறப்புரை யாற்ற, டாக்டர்.பொன். அநுர வரவேற்புரை நிகழ்த்தி, சிட்டி பெகோசுந்தரராஜன், லக்ஷமி கிருஷ்ணமூர்த்தி, வல்லிக்கண்ணன், விஜயபாஸ்கரன், தி.க.சிவசங்கரன், டொமினிக் ஜீவா ஆகியோர் கெளரவிக்கப்பட்டனர். இவ்விழாவில் வெளியிடப்பட்ட இந்நூலாசிரியர் கேஜிமகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்’ நூல் வெளியீட்டு விழா சம்பந்தமான சில புகைப்படங்கள்:
K.G. MAHADEWA 115
விழாவில் டாக்டர் பொன். அநுர வரவேற்புரை நிகழ்த்துகிறார்
நினைவலைகள்' நூல் வெளியீட்டு விழாவுக்கு தலைமை வகித்த இந்திய கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சி திரு. சி. மகேந்திரன்
நினைவலைகள் வெளியீட்டு விழா மேடையில் நூலாசிரியருடன் பிரமுகர்கள்
K.G. MAHADEWA 117
நூலை வெளியிட்டு திரு.
விழாவில் கலந்துகொண்டவர்களில் ஒரு பகுதியினர்
நூல் வெளியீட்டு விழா ஓவியக் கண்காட்சியில் டாக்டர் குப்புசாமி தம்பதிகளுடன் நூலாசிரியர் தம்பதிகள்
K.G. MAHADEWA 119
நினைவலைகள்" பற்றிய மதிப்புரைகள் நாவல் நடையில்.
இலங்கையின் புகழ் பெற்ற பத்திரிகையாளர் கேஜி மகாதேவா, தமது அனுபவங்கள் பற்றி எழுதிய நூல் இது.
இலங்கை தமிழர் பிரச்சினை பற்றியும், திரு. மு.கருணாநிதி, கவிஞர் கண்ணதாசன் மற்றும் தமிழகத் தலைவர்கள் பலரைப் பேட்டி கண்ட அனுபவம் பற்றியும் சுவைபட எழுதியுள்ளார்.
கட்டுரைகள் என்றாலும், நாவலுக்குரிய விறுவிறுப்புடன் அமைந்துள்ளன. வெளியிட்டோர்.
42' ஆற்காடு சாலை,
GlGDGu Pri 70 தினத்தந்தி 04.02.2004)
ஈழத்து பத்தி Qggió
"உதயன்' (கனடா) 05.03.2004
120 · REMINISCENCES
ஒரு பத்திரிகையாளரின் நினைவலைகள் -
இது ஒரு வரலாற்று ஆவணம்!
நிம்மிடையே வாழ்ந்த மூத்த பத்திரிகையாளர்கள் பலர் தங்களுடைய அனுபவங்களைப் பதிவு செய்யாமல் போய் விடுவதால், அன்றைய பத்திரிகை உலகின் யதார்த்த நிலை இன்றைய இளைய தலைமுறையினருக்குத் தெரிய வாய்ப் பில்லை. இன்றைய கம்ப்யூட்டர் யுகத்தில் கையடக்க தொலைபேசி, தொலைமடல், தொலைநகல் என்று பல்வேறு வசதிகள் உண்டு.
அன்றைய பத்திரிகை நிருபர், கையில் பேப்பரும் பேனாவுமாக எத்தகைய தகவல்களைத் திரட்டினார் என்று எண்ணிப்பார்க்க வேண்டும். இன்று கையில் ஒலிப்பதிவுக் கருவியும், டிஜிட்டல் காமிராவுமாக நிருபர்கள் காணப்படுகின் றார்கள். ஆனாலும் அதே பழைய நிலையும் தொடரத்தான் செய்கிறது.
இன்று பலர், தங்கள் பெயரும் பிரபலம் அடை வதற்காக பத்திரிகைத்துறையை நாடி வருகிறார்கள். ஆனால் அன்றைய காலகட்டத்தில் பத்திரிகைத்துறை என்பது தியாகம் நிரம்பியதாக இருந்தது.
இத்தகைய நிலைமைகளைத் தெரிந்துகொள்வதற்கு பத்திரிகையாளர்களின் பதிவுகளைப் படிக்கவேண்டியது அவசிய மாகும். மூத்த பத்திரிகையாளரான கே.ஜி. மகாதேவா தனது பத்திரிகைத்துறை அனுபவங்களை "நினைவலைகள்” என்ற தலைப்பில் எழுதியுள்ளார்.
"நாட்டில் ஏற்பட்ட நெருக்கடியினால், ஈழத்தை விட்டு வெளியேறி தமிழகத்தில் கால் ஊன்றியதும் எழுதவேண்டும் என்று கனவு கண்டேன். பதினைந்து ஆண்டுகளுக்குப் பின்னர் தான் எழுதியே ஆகவேண்டும் என்ற வைராக்கியம் வந்தது. அதுவும் எனக்கு சென்னை அப்பல்லோ வைத்தியசாலையில் "பைபாஸ்" இருதய அறுவை சிகிச்சை செய்த உடனேயே! வெறும் "பாஸ்போர்ட்” குடும்பத்துடன் நாடு விட்டு வந்ததால் குறிப்புகள் எதுவும் எழுத்தில் இருக்கவில்லை. கையில் பேனா, மனதில் பசுமையான நினைவுகள் - 'கம்ப்யூட்டர் வடிவில்
K.G. MAHADEVA 121
மலர்ந்தன. எனது இந்த "நினைவலைகள்” நூல், கட்டுரை மாதிரி ஆரம்பித்து கதையாக மாறி, வாழ்க்கையாக முற்றுப்பெறுகிறது. எனது முப்பது ஆண்டு பத்திரிகையாளனின் வாழ்க்கையில்தான் எத்தனை முயற்சிகள், சோதனைகள், ஆபத்துகள், சந்திப்புகள், பிரயாணங்கள்." இப்படி தனது "நினைவலைகள்” நூலில் பத்திரிகையாளர் கேஜி மகாதேவா எழுதியுள்ளார். ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையில் தன் எழுத்துப் பணியை ஆரம்பித்து, பின்னர் மலையகத்தில் ஒரு தசாப்தகாலம் சாதனை படைத்த செய்தி'யில் பணியாற்றி, பின்னர் ‘ஈழநாட்டில்’ பணியாற்றி தனது பத்திரிகையுலக அனுபவங்களைச் சிறப்பாகப் பதிவு செய்துள்ளார்.
எழுபதுகளில், எண்பதுகளில் பத்திரிகையாளர் கேஜி. மகாதேவாவையும். அவரது சக பத்திரிகையாளரான ஈ.கே. ராஜகோபாலையும் நன்கு அறிவேன். அதேபோல ‘ஈழநாடு, ‘செய்தி” ஆகிய பத்திரிகைகளில் நிருபராகவும் பணியாற்றி யுள்ளேன்.
இந்த நினைவலைகளைப் படிக்கும்பொழுது அந்த நினைவுகள் பசுமையாக நெஞ்சில் மலர்ந்தன. இன்றும் நம்மிடையே மூத்த பத்திரிகையாளர்கள் பலர் இருக்கிறார்கள். அவர்கள் தங்கள் பத்திரிகை அனுபவங்களைப் பதிவு செய்ய வேண்டும்.
"இந்த ஆவணத்தை எழுதுவதற்கு முழுத்தகைமை பெற்றவர் கேஜி மகாதேவா. மிக இளவயதிலேயே பத்திரிகைத் துறையைத் தமது பணியாகவும் ஊழியமாகவும் தைரியத்துடன் தேர்ந்தெடுத்தார். அத்துறையிலிருந்து தம்மை அந்நியப்படுத்தாத ஒரு வாழ்க்கையைத் தொடர்கின்றார். ‘ஈழநாடு’ சந்தித்த பல நெருக்கடிகளிலும் அவர் ‘ஈழநாடு’ செய்திப்பிரிவில் பணி யாற்றியுள்ளார். அவர் எழுத்துப்பணி முழுவதும், பத்திரிகைத் தமிழுடன் பின்னிப் பிணைந்தது. செய்திகளை வாசகர் முன் வைக்கும் எளிய இலகு தமிழ் அவருக்கு வாலாயமாயிற்று.” இவ்வாறு முன்னிடு வழங்கிய எஸ்.பொ குறிப்பிடுகின்றார். இந்நூல் பத்திரிகை இயலுக்குக் கிடைத்த ஒரு வரலாற்று ஆவணம்.
- அந்தனி ஜிவா
'தினகரன்’ கொழும்பு (25.07.2004)
ஐ.பி.கே.எஃப். நடந்த முறை.
‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையில் செய்தி ஆசிரியராகப் பணியாற்றிய கேஜி மகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்’ புத்தகத்தில் ஈழத்தில் நிகழ்ந்த சரித்திரச் சம்பவங்கள் பல ஆவணப்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளன. ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகை 1958-ல் கே.சி. தங்கராசா, சண்முகரத்தினம் சகோதரர்களால் நிறுவப்பட்டு, 1959 பிப்ரவரியில் வார ஏடாகவும் பின்னர் 1960-ல் வாரம் இருமுறையாகவும் வடபகுதி மக்களின் ஏகோபித்த ஆதரவைப் பெற்று, 1961-ல் தினசரியாகி, நாட்டின் மற்ற பகுதிகளுக்கும் பரவி, தமிழர்களின் தேசிய இதழாகப் பரிணமித்தது. தைரியமாகச் செய்திகளைப் பிரசுரித்ததால் ஏச்சுக்கும் பேச்சுக்கும் நெருப்புக்கும் எரிப்புக்கும் ஆளாகியும், தொடர்ந்து வெளிவந்திருக் கிறது. பல இன்னல்களைக் கடந்து, இப்போது சிலரின் முயற்சியால் ஐரோப்பாவிலும் ஈழத்திலும் தினசரியாக வெளிவந்துகொண்டிருக்கிறது.
மகாதேவாவின் புத்தகத்தில் ஐ.பி.கே.எஃப். அங்கே நடந்து கொண்ட விதம் பற்றிய பகுதி சங்கடப்படுத்துகிறது.
"நாங்கள் ஏன் வந்தோம் என்பதுகூடத் தெரியாது. உடனடி உத்தரவு. புறப்பட்டுவிட்டோம். ஏன் போகிறோம், என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும் என்பதுகூடத் தெரிவிக்கப்படவில்லை” - இப்படி யாக இந்திய அமைதிப்படையில் சில தமிழர்கள் கூறியது வியப் பளித்தது. இவர்களும் 'சிறுபான்மையாக இருந்ததால் எதுவும் சொல்ல முடியாத சூழ்நிலை என்றும் பரிதாபமாகச் சென்னார்கள். இந்திய அமைதிப்படையின் அத்துமீறல், அராஜகம், மானபங்கக் கொடுமை பற்றி பொதுமக்கள் தெரிவித்த புகார்களை அதிகாரி காலோனிடம் பட்டியலிட்டுக் கூறினோம். அந்த அதிகாரியின் முகத்தில் எந்தவித சலனமும் தென்படவில்லை. "ஆர்மி என்றால் அது இந்திய ஆர்மி, இலங்கை ஆர்மி, பாகிஸ்தான், ஏன். அமெரிக்கா, பிரிட்டிஷ் ஆர்மி என்று வேறுபடுத்த முடியாது. அவர்கள் எல்லோரும் ஒரே ஆர்மிதான். கட்டவிழ்த்துவிட்டால் எல்லோரும் ஒரே மாதிரிதான் இருப்பார்கள். இதைத் தவிர்க்க முடியாது’ என்று ஆங்கிலத்தில் கூறி, கையை விரித்தார்.”
மகாதேவா இந்தக் கூற்றை நிச்சயம் இட்டுக்கட்டி எழுதி இருக்க முடியாது.
- சுஜாதா 'ஆனந்த விகடன்’ (28.03.2004)
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நண்பர் கேஜி மகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்' என்ற புனைகதைச்ாரா நூலினைப் படித்தபோது எனக்கு ஏற்பட்ட உணர்வுகள் இரண்டு. இவற்றில் ஒன்று; யாழ்ப்பாணப் பிரதேசப் பத் திரிகையாக வெளிவந்து பல்துறைச் சாதனைகளைப் படைத்த ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையின் பெருமைகளை இரைமீட்க முடிந்தமை. இரண்டாவது; நண்பர் கே.ஜி.மகாதேவா ‘ஈழநாட்டுடனான தனது அனுபவங்களை விவரிக்கும்போது வெளிப்படும் அவரது சத்திய ஆவேசம்.
ஒருவர் தனது சுயஅனுபவங்களையோ தனது சுயசரிதை யையோ எழுதும்போது எல்லா உண்மைகளையும் கூறிவிடவேண்டு மென்றில்லை. ஆனால் கூறுபவை அனைத்தும் உண்மைகளாக இருக்கவேண்டும். நண்பர் கே.ஜி.மகாதேவா இந்த விதியை நன்கு கடைப்பிடித்திருக்கிறார் என்பது அவரது அந்த நூலிலிருந்து தெளிவாகிறது. ‘ஈழநாட்டுடன் எனக்கான தொடர்பு அதன் ஆரம்பகட்டத்திலிருந்து அதன் நிறைவு காலம்வரை இராஜ அரியரத் தினம், கோபு, பெருமாள், சசிபாரதி, மகாதேவா, பாமா இராஜ கோபால், திருச்செல்வம், ரஜனி குகநாதன் என விரியும். ‘ஈழநாட்டின் பலமும் பலவீனமும், ஆசிரியக் குழாமிடையே நிலவிய ஒற்றுமையும் முரண்பாடுகளும் எனக்குத் தெரியும். பெரியதொரு ஸ்தாப னத்தில் அவ்வாறுதான் இருக்கும் என்பதைத் தெரியாதவனுமல்லன். நண்பர் கே.ஜி.மகாதேவா தனது நினைவலைகளில் கூறியவற்றிலும் கூறாது விட்டவை அவரது நினைவுக்குறைபாடல்ல. அதற்குக் காரணம் அவரது மானிடநேசிப்பும் மன்னித்துவிடும் நாகரிகப் பெருந்தன்மையுமாகும் என நினைக்கிறேன்.
‘ஈழநாட்டின் செய்திப்பிரிவில் பணியாற்றிய மகாதேவாவின் திறனை அவர் எழுதிய செய்திக் கட்டுரைகளிலிருந்து தெரிந்து கொண்டுள்ளேன். எரியும் பிரச்சினைகளை அவர் எழுத்தின் மூலமாக வாசிப்பதில் ஒரு தனிச்சுவை இருக்கும். சமூகப்பொறுப் போடு செய்திகளை மக்கள் முன்வைக்க அவருக்குத் தெரிந்திருந்தது. அத்திறனை அவரது நினைவலைகளில் காணமுடிகின்றது. தக்கதொரு ஆவணமாக இந்நூல் மலர்ந்துள்ளது. இவ்வாறான பதிவுகள் ஈழத்தமிழகத்திற்குத் தேவை. இந்நூலினை எழுதி வழங்கிய அவரை மனதாரப் பாராட்டுகின்றேன். - டாக்டர்.கே.குணராசா, (செங்கை ஆழியான்) மாநகர ஆணையாளர், யாழ்ப்பாணம், 10-12-2004
2004ம் ஆண்டு 'பிறந்த உங்கள் நினைவலைகளை’ சுனாமி பேரலைகளின் பின்னரே - ஒராண்டு கழித்து - ‘கேட்க முடிந்தது! ஒராண்டு முயற்சியின் பின்னர், இவ் வருடம் ஜனவரி-7ல் நடைபெற்ற ஒரு புத்தகக் கண் காட்சியில் உங்கள் நூலைப் பெற்றுக்கொண்டேன்.
பழைய நண்பர்களை மறந்தும், துறந்தும் இருக்கும் எம்மவர் மத்தியில் தாங்கள் ஒர் தனிப் பிறவி. உங்கள் 'அலைகளில் பல பழைய முகங்கள் நன்றி - பாச உணர்வுடன் சுழன்றிருக்கிறார்கள். அனுபவங்களைப் படித்து புல்லரித்துப் போனேன். எழுத்துக்களை இன்னுமின்னும் தொடர்வீர்களாக! உங்கள் ‘நினைவலைகள்’ ஒரு பத்திரிகைத் துறை அனுபவப் பெட்டகம் மட்டுமல்ல; ஆவணமும்கூட!
- கலா பூஷணம்
மானா மக்கீன், கொழும்பு-10. (25.01.2005)
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நினைவலைகள்' - இலகுவான வாசிப்புக்கு ஏற்ற நூல்!
உ.வே. சாமிநாதய்யரின் ‘என் சரித்திரம்’, நாமக்கல் கவிஞர் இராமலிங்கம் பிள்ளையின் ‘என் கதை’ போன்ற அவ்வவ் ஆசிரியர்களின் துறைசார்ந்த அனுபவங்களின் சுயசரிதைப் பாங்கான வெளிப்பாட்டு நூல்கள் போல், அவற்றின் பின்னான இப் பாரந்தகாலப் பகுதியில் வேறு நூல்கள் தமிழ்ப் புலத்தில் தோன்றவில்லை என்கிற ஒட்டுமொத்தமான உண்மையை நினைவலைகள்’ நூலுக்கு நாம் புகுமுன்னர் ஒருமுறை நினைத்துக்கொள்வது நல்லது.
ஆசிரியரின் நினைவிலிருந்து அலைகளாய் ஏற்றப்படும் சம்பவங்களை இந்நூல் நான்கு பாகங்களில் பதிவு செய்திருக்கிறது. செய்தி விவரிப்பு எழுத்தில் அவை. ஊடக வியலாளனின் அனுபவங்கள் பத்திரிகை எழுத்தை மீறிய மொழியில் அமைந்திருந்தால் சிறப்பானதாய் இருந்திருக்கும். ஒரு நூல் சொல்லியவற்றைப் பற்றியே விமர்சகன் கருத்திலெடுக்க வேண்டும் என்பது சரியான வாதம்தான். ஆனாலும், அதனாலேயே தமிழ்ப் புலத்துக்கு ஒரு மகத்தான விஷய சொத்து கிடைக்காமல் போயிருக்கிற சோகத்தை மதிப்புரையில் தவிர்க்க முடியாது பதியவே நேர்கிறது.
தம் நினைவுகளை எழுதுவதென்பது ஒர் அலையாக இப்போது ஈழத் தமிழ்ச் சூழலில் வளர்ந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறது. அவற்றைத் தம் அடையாளமாக நிலைநிறுத்திச் செல்லும் ஆர்வத்தின் விளைச்சலே அது என்பதைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள முடியும். அது தனியே எந்தத் தீமையையும் செய்துவிடாது. ஆனாலும், செய்யவேண்டிய பாதிப்புகளை அவை செய்யாது போகிறபோது வருத்தப்படாமலிருக்க தீவிர வாசகனால் முடிவதில்லை. -
நூல், ‘ஈழநாடு’வில் பணிபுரிந்த கே.ஜி. மகாதேவாவின் அனுபவங்களையல்ல, ‘ஈழநாடு’வை மய்யமாகக் கொண்டு
தனக்கு விளைந்த அனுபவங்களைச் சொல்லியிருக்க வேண்டும். ‘ஈழநாடு’வின் வரலாற்றை அதன்மூலம் கட்டமைத்திருக்க வேண்டும். செய்தி ரா.மு. நாகலிங்கம் பற்றியல்ல, ‘செய்தி வார இதழை மய்யமாகக்கொண்டு ஆசிரியர் அதன் கதையைப் பேசியிருக்க வேண்டும். அப்போது ஒரு வரலாற்று ஆவணமாக இந்நூலால் நின்றிருக்க முடியும். அப்போது இ.சிவகுருநாதனின் ‘இலங்கைப் பத்திரிகைகளின் வளர்ச்சி’ போன்ற ஒரு தரமான படைப்பாக அது ஆகியிருக்கும் என்பதில் சந்தேகமேயில்லை. ஆனால், ஏற்கனவே விழுந்த சில கற்களைப்போல் குளத்தில் சில அலைகளைக் கிளர்த்திவிட்டு நூல் காணாமல் போகும் அபாயம்தான் இப்போது சம்பவித்திருக்கிறது.
ஆனாலும், நூல் எதனையும் அடையாளப் படுத்தாமலும் விட்டுவிடவில்லை. ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையின் தோற்றம் - வளர்ச்சி - முடிவுகளை ஒரு வாசகன்
மேலோட்டமாகவேனும் தெரிந்துகொள்ள இந்நூல் ஒரு வாய்ப்பாக அமைந்துள்ளதைச் சொல்லவே வேண்டும். தன் இரண்டாம் பாகத்தில் பத்திரிகை பற்றி ஒரளவு இது விரிந்த தகவல்களைத் தருகிறது.
எஸ்.எம்.கோபாலரத்தினம், பெருமாள், கணேசலிங்கம், சபாரத்தினம், ராஜகோபால், காசிலிங்கம் என்று பல திறமையாளர்களின் குழு அது. மாணிக்கம், இன்னாசிமுத்து, என்று பிழை பார்ப்பவர்கள். யோகநாதன், திருச்செல்வம் என உற்சாகமும் திறமையுமுள்ள அலுவலக நிருபர்கள். அ.செ.முருகானந்தன், வி.என்.பாலசுப்பிரமணியம், நாகராஜன், அம்பிகைபாகன் என்று அதிகமாய் வருகை தரும் படைப்பாளிகளும் நிறைய இருந்தனர். இவ்வாறான பலரும் பற்றிய இனிய நினைவுகளை ஈழநாடு’ வட்டத்தவர்க்கு இந் நூல் தப்பாது கிளர்த்துமென நம்பலாம்.
இந்நூலில் இடம் பெற்றிருக்கும் ‘நான் ஏன் எழுதுகிறேன்’ என்ற தலைப்பிலான ஆசிரிய முன்னுரை முக்கியமானது. விஷயமும், கட்டமைப்பும், மொழியும் அதில் வெகு தேர்ச்சியென்பதைக் குறிப்பிட வேண்டும். இலகுவான வாசிப்புக்கு இந்நூலைத் தயங்காமல் சிபாரிசு செய்யலாம்.
'தினக்குரல்" - கொழும்பு (06.06.2004)
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ஆவணப்படுத்த வேண்டிய அரிய
ஈழத்தமிழர்களின் வாழ்வியலைப் பிரதிபலிக்கும் வகை யில், அவர்களின் கலை இலக்கிய மற்றும் போராட்டம் தொடர்பான வெளியீடுகள், அந்தந்தத் துறைகளில் நிபுணத் துவம் பெற்றவர்களாலும் அதிலிருந்து ஓய்வு பெற்றவர் களாலும் வெளியிடப்பட்டு வருகின்றன.
தாம் சார்ந்த துறைகளில் தாங்கள் பெற்ற அனுபவங்களை வெளியிட்டு, இத்துறைகளில் புதிதாக நுழைபவர்களுக்கும் அதில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ளோருக்கும் வழிகாட்டியாக இருப்பதுடன் ஏனைய வர்களுக்கும் இவை தொடர்பான தகவல்களை அறிந்துகொள்வதற்கும் ஏற்றவகையில் கட்டுரை வடிவில் நூல்களை வெளியிட்டு வருகின்றனர்.
இந்த வகையில் ‘ஈழநாடு (யாழ்ப்பாணம்) மற்றும் செய்தி (கண்டி) பத்திரிகைகளில் சுமார் முப்பது வருட காலம் பத்திரிகைத்துறையில் கடமையாற்றிய கேஜிமகாதேவா அவர்கள் தமது பத்திரிகை அனுபவங்களை நினைவலைகள்’ என்னும் நூலாக வெளியிட்டுள்ளார்கள்.
தலைநகருக்கு அப்பால் மாகாணத் தினசரியாக 32 ஆண்டு 356ΥΤΙΤάξό யாழ்ப்பாணத்திலிருந்து வெளிவந்த ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையில் உதவி ஆசிரியராக - செய்தி ஆசிரியராக இருந்த போது, தான் சந்தித்த, பெற்ற அனுபவங்களையே கூடுதலாக அவர் இந்த நூலில் வெளியிட்டுள்ளார்.
கே.ஜி.மகாதேவா அவர்கள் ‘ஈழநாடு’வில் செய்தி ஆசிரியராகக் கடமையாற்றிய காலத்தில் அவர் செய்திகளை தரம் பிரித்துத் தலைப்பிடும் விதமே அழகானது. வாசகர்களைக் கவரும் வகையில் அமைந்திருக்கும் அந்த செய்தித் தலைப்பு களுக்காக அவர் பலராலும் பாராட்டப்பட்டவர்.
மேலும் ‘ஈழநாடு’வில் இப்படியும் நடக்கிறது' என்னும் தலைப்பில் அவர் உரையும் பத்தி எழுத்து; சூடு, சுவாரஸ்யம்,
128 REM INSCENCES
நகைச்சுவை நிறைந்ததாகவே இருக்கும். இவரின் இப்படியும் நடக்கிறது’ என்னும் பகுதியைப் பின்பற்றியே இன்று பல பத்திரிகைகள் இவ்வாறான விடயங்களை எழுதி வருவது சுட்டிக்காட்டத்தக்கது.
தனது 21 ஆவது வயதில் பத்திரிகைத்துறையில் காலடி எடுத்துவைத்த கே.ஜி.மகாதேவா இறுதி வரையும் பத்திரிகை யாளராகவே வாழ்ந்து வருகின்றார்.
ஒரு காலத்தின் கண்ணாடியாகவும் ஜனநாயகத்தின் காவலர்களாகவும் விளங்கும் பத்திரிகையாளர்களின் வாழ் வியல் அனுபவங்களை அப்படியே இந்த நூலின் ஊடாக மகாதேவா ஆவணப்படுத்தியுள்ளார்.
பத்திரிகையாளர்களின் பணியானது சர்வதேசம் எங்கணுமே வியாபித்திருக்கின்றபோதும், ஈழத்தமிழகத்தில் அதுவும் யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் மிகவும் நெருக்கடியான கால கட்டத்தில் ஆற்றிய பத்திரிகைப் பணி என்பது எவராலும் மறந்துவிடமுடியாது. எத்தனை வருடங்கள் சென்றாலும் அந்தப் பாதிப்புகளிலிருந்தும் நினைவுகளிலிருந்தும் மீள முடியாது என்பதனை மகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்’ விளக்கி நிற்கின்றது. யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் அவர் கடமையாற்றிய காலத்தில் பத்திரி கையாளர் என்ற வகையில் அவர் சந்தித்த அனுபவங்கள், நெருக்கடிகள் போன்றவற்றைச் சுவைபட விவரித்துள்ளார். ‘மித்ர' பதிப்பகத்தினால் அண்மையில் சென்னை தியாகராய நகரில் நடத்தப்பட்ட ‘தமிழ் இலக்கியம் 2004 விழாவில் வெளியிடப் பட்ட இந்த நூல் 212 பக்கங்களைக் கொண்டதுடன் கையடக்கமான முறையில் வடிவமைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
நூலின் உள்ளே வரையப்பட்டிருக்கும் ஒவ்வொரு வரி களிலும் மகாதேவாவின் நீண்ட பத்திரிகைத்துறை அனுபவம் பளிச்சிடுகின்றது.
யாழ்ப்பாணம் மானிப்பாய் வீதியில் பெரியவர் கே.சி. தங்கராசா அவர்களினால் ஸ்தாபிக்கப்பட்டு இயங்கிய, மகாதேவா போன்றவர்கள் கடமையாற்றிய ‘ஈழநாடு இன்று இயங்காது போனாலும் அதில் கடமையாற்றியவர்களில் பலர் யாழ்ப்பாணம்-கொழும்பு-மற்றும் புலம் பெயர்ந்த நாடுகளில் பத்திரிகை ஆசிரியர்களாகவும் ஆய்வாளர்களாகவும் இருக்கின்றார்கள் என்பதனையும் இந்த நூலின் முன்னுரையில் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள மகாதேவா, அவர்களது சிறப்புகள் பற்றியும் எழுதியுள்ளார்.
நாட்டில் ஏற்பட்ட நெருக்கடி நிலையை அடுத்து, வெறும் பாஸ்போர்ட்டுடன் குடும்பத்துடன் நாட்டை விட்டு
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புலம் பெயர்ந்ததாகக் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள அவர்; புத்தகக் குறிப் புகள் எதுவும் இல்லாத நிலையில் தமது மனதில் இருந்த நினைவுகளுடன் நண்பர்கள் மூலம் பெற்றுள்ள தகவல் களையும் கொண்டு இந்த நூலை எழுதியுள்ளதாகக் குறிப் பிட்டுள்ளார்.
இதனால், இதில் எழுதப்பட்டுள்ள சில சம்பவங்கள் தொடர்பான தகவல்கள் முழுமையடையவில்லை என்பது குறை பாடாக இருக்கின்றது
‘நான் ஏன் எழுதுகின்றேன்’ என்னும் தலைப்பில் அவர் எழுதியுள்ள முன்னுரையில் தெளிவான விளக்கத்தையும் ‘நினைவலைகள்’ போன்ற தமது நூலின் அவசியத்தையும் தெளிவாக விளக்கியுள்ளார்.
அதில் அவர் தெரிவித்திருப்பதாவது: "எனது இந்த ‘நினைவலைகள்’ நூல்; கட்டுரை மாதிரி ஆரம்பித்து கதையாக மாறி வாழ்க்கையாக முற்றுப் பெறுகின்றது. முப்பது ஆண்டு பத்திரிகையாளனின் வாழ்க்கையில்தான் எத்தனை முயற்சிகள், சோதனைகள், ஆபத்துகள், சந்திப்புகள், பிரயாணங்கள்” என்று குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள அவர் தனக்கு ஏற்பட்ட அனுபவங்கள் - சம்பவங்கள் - சந்திப்புகள்-சந்தோஷங் களைச் சுருக்கமாக சுவைபடக் கூற முயற்சித்துள்ளார்.
"தொலைநோக்குடன் திட்டமிடப்பட்டு ஆரம்பிக்கப் பட்ட தேசிய நாளிதழ் ‘ஈழநாடு தமிழர்களுக்காக தமிழர்களினால், தமிழ்ப்பகுதியில் ஒரு தமிழ்ப்பத்திரிகை நடத்த முடியும் என்று கேசி. சகோதரர்களினால் வெற்றிகரமாக நிரூபிக்கப்பட்ட விஷப் பரீட்சை !
"நான் இன்று கூறும் நிஜக்கதைக்கு அடித்தளமிட்டது ‘ஈழநாடு’தான். பல சாதனையாளர்களை உருவாக்கி சரித்திரம் படைத்த ‘ஈழநாடு’ பற்றி நான் எழுதவேண்டியது எனது கடமை. பல உண்மைகள் வெளிக்கொணரப்படவேண்டும். அனுபவங்கள் பேசப்பட வேண்டும். சாதனைகள் போற்றப்பட வேண்டும்” என்றவாறு முன்னுரையில் குறிப்பிடும் அவர் - ‘ஈழநாடு’வில் தான் பணியாற்றிய காலத்தில் பத்திரிகை நட்பு ஏற்பட்ட சில ஈழத்து தமிழ் அரசியல் தலைவர்கள் மற்றும் தமிழக தமிழ்ப் பிரமுகர்கள் பற்றிய அனுபவங்களை சூடாக எழுத நாட்டுநடப்பு சட்டங்களினால் சுய தணிக்கை மூலம் கட்டுப்போட்டுள்ளேன் என்ற தகவலையும், யாழ்ப்பாணப் பத்திரிகையாளர்களுக்கு இருக்கக்கூடிய நெருக்குதல்களையும் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
பிரபல எழுத்தாளர் திரு.எஸ்.பொ இந்நூலுக்கு வழங்கிய முன்னுரையில் ‘ஈழநாடு’வின் கதை - அதன் எழுச்சியும் வீழ்ச்சியும் இதுவரை ஒரு தனிநூலாக ஆவணப்படுத்தப் படவில்லை. ஈழத்தமிழரின் தனித்துவமான கலாச்சார வெளிப்பாடுகளின் அடையாளமாக ‘ஈழநாடு வெளிவந்தது. கொழும்பின் ஆதிக்கத்திலிருந்து தமிழர் தரிசனத்தினைத் தனித்துவப்படுத்தும் சுதந்திரத்தின் குறியீடாகவும் அது வெளிவந்து கொண்டிருந்தது. காலத்தின் தேவையாக, பிரக்ஞையின்றியே தமிழர் தேசியத்தின் குரலாக அது ஒலித்தல் நியதியாயிற்று. அந்தக் குரலை ஒலிக்காது செய்த அரச எத்தனங்களை ஆவணப்படுத்தும் முதலாவது நூலாக ‘நினைவலைகள்’ அமைந்துள்ளது. தமிழர் தேசியம் எத்தனை அடக்குமுறைகளுக்கு எதிராக இன்று வீறு கொண்டு எழுந் துள்ளது என்பது பற்றிய அறிவினை வளர்க்கும் ஆவணங் களில் முக்கியமான ஒன்றாக இது அமைகின்றது” என்று குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார்.
எஸ்.பொ-வின் இந்த முன்னுரையில் நினைவலைகள்’ என்னும் நூலின் முக்கியத்துவத்தினைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள முடிகின்றது. ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையில் வெளியான கோகிலாம்பாள் கொலை வழக்கு, தோளில் சுமந்து ஈழநாடு விற்பனை, ஈழநாடு அரசு படையினரால் எரிப்பு, செய்திப்பயமுறுத்தல், ஈழநாடு குண்டு வைப்பு, எம்.ஜி.ஆர். மற்றும் கருணாநிதி, கண்ணதாசன், ம.பொ.சி. போன்றவர்களுடன் சந்திப்பு போன்றவை உட்பட பல சம்பவங்களை, தகவல்களை சுவைபட நினைவலைகள்’ என்னும் இந்த நூலில் எழுதியுள்ள மகாதேவாவுக்கு எமது பாராட்டுதல்கள்.
மகாதேவாவின் பத்திரிகைத்துறை அனுபவம் ஆவணப் படுத்தப்படக்கூடிய தொன்றாகும். அந்த வகையில் ஆவணப் படுத்தக்கூடிய ஒரு அரிய பொக்கிஷமாக நினைவலைகள்’ வெளியிடப்பட்டது சிறப்பிற்குரியதாகும்
- இலக்கியா ‘ஈழநாடு’ (பிரான்ஸ், ஐரோப்பா, கனடா பதிப்புகள்) (07-05-2004)
K.G. MAHADEVA 131
கே.ஜி. மகாதேவாவின் பல்வேறு வகைப்பட்ட அனுபவங்கள் நிறைந்த நூல் - நினைவலைகள்.
ஈழத்தின் நீண்டகாலப் பத்திரிகையாளரும், பத்திரிகை நிறுவனருமான திருராமுநாகலிங்கம், தற்பொழுது தங்கியிருக்கும் மதுரையிலிருந்து நூலாசிரியருக்கு எழுதிய மடல்:
“கேஜிமகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்’ நூல், பத்திரிகை உலகின் ஒரு வரலாற்றுப் பெட்டகம். இப்படியாக ஒரு சாதனையை நிகழ்த்தி, நண்பர்களையும் மறக்காமல் நினைவு படுத்தியிருப்பது அவரின் பெருந்தன்மையைக் காட்டுகிறது. இந்தியாவிலும், இலங்கையிலுமாக எண்பத்து இரண்டு ஆண்டுகள் வாழ்ந்து பல இனிய இலக்கிய நண்பர்களைப் பெற்றுக் கொண்ட எனக்கு, நினைவலைகள்’ நூல் ஒர் நிறைவு தருவ தாகவே இருக்கிறது. ‘ஈழநாடு’ வரலாற்றை இந்தநூல் ஆவணப் படுத்திவிட்டது!”
வீறுகொண்ட தமிழர்களின் பின்புல வரலாறு நினைவுகளாகப் பதிவு செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது!
பத்திரிகையாளர் கேஜிமகாதேவாவின் நினைவலைகள்’ இந்தியப் படைப்பாளி இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி தலைமை யிலான மித்ர பதிப்பக விழாக் குழுவினரால் சென்னை தியாகராயநகரில் 2004 ஜனவரியில் நடைபெற்ற தமிழ் இலக்கியம் - 2004 விழாவில் வெளியிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.
தனது முப்பது ஆண்டு கால பத்திரிகைத்துறை வாழ்வில் ஏற்பட்ட துன்பங்கள், துயரங்கள், சோதனைகள், சந்திப்புகள், பிரயாணங்கள் என்பன பற்றிச் சிறப்பாக கேஜிமகாதேவா எழுதி யுள்ளார். நான்கு பாகங்களைக் கொண்டமைந்த நினைவலை களில் நூலாசிரியரின் அனுபவம் முதலாம் பாகத்திலும், தான் எதிர்நோக்கிய சம்பவங்கள் இரண்டாம் பாகத்திலும், சில சந்திப்புகள் மூன்றாம் பாகத்திலும், நூலாசிரியர் தனது பார்வையைச் சற்றுப் பரவலாக்கிய செய்தி அனுபவங்கள் எல்லா வற்றையும் “செய்தி ரா.மு.நா.’ எனும் தலைப்பில், நான்காவது பாகத்திலும் படைத்துள்ளார்.
நினைவலைகள்', வீறுகொண்டெழுந்த தமிழர்களின் பின் புல வரலாற்று நினைவுகளைக் கூறுவதாக ஒரு வகையில் அமைவுபெற்றுக் காணப்படுகிறது எனலாம். தமிழரின் தேசியக் குரலாக ஒலித்துக்கொண்டிருந்த ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகையின் கதையை இந்நூல் கூறுகின்றது. ‘ஈழநாடு’வின் கதை, அதன் எழுச்சி, வளர்ச்சி, வீழ்ச்சி இதுவரை ஒரு தனி நூலாக ஆவணப்படுத்தப்படவில்லை. ஈழத்தமிழரின் தனித்துவமான கலாசார வெளிப்பாடுகளின் அடையாளமாக ‘ஈழநாடு’ வெளிவந்துகொண்டிருந்தது. காலத்தின் தேவையாக, தமிழர் தேசியக் குரலாக ஒலித்த இந்தக் குரலை ஒலிக்க விடாது அரசு மேற்கொண்ட குரல் அறுப்புகள், முயற்சிகள் ஏராளம். இவை யாவற்றையும் ஒருங்கே பதிவுசெய்யும் ஒரு ஆவணமாக
ஈழத்தமிழர் வரலாற்றின் முக்கியமானதும், கறை படிந்ததுமான நாள் 1983 கறுப்பு யூலை தினமாகும். இது எழுப்பும் சோக அலைகள் அதிகம். சாம்பரிலிருந்து மீண்டும் உயிர்
K.G. MAHADEVA 133 பெற்றெழும் பீனிக்ஸ் பறவைகள் போல தமிழர்களின் சுதந்திர உணர்வும், தாகமும் சாம்பரிலிருந்து எழுந்தது. இதற்கான அடித்தளம் 1981 ஆம் ஆண்டு யூன் மாதம் முதலாம் நாளன்று இடப்பட்டது என்பதனைத் தக்க சான்றுகளுடன்
அன்றொருநாள் ஆட்சியிலிருந்த சிங்கள அரசின் இரு சிரேஷ்ட அமைச்சர்களான காமினி திஸாநாயக்கவும், சிரில் மத்தியூவும் யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் நின்றமை தற்செயலானதல்ல. இந்த நாளிலேதான் கிழக்காசியாவிலே அதிக நூல்களைக் கொண்டதும், மிகப்பெரியதுமான தமிழரது வரலாற்றுப் பெட்டகமாக விளங்கிய யாழ். பொது நூலகம் அரசு ஏவிய கூலிகளால் எரியூட்டப்பட்டுச் சாம்பரானது. அந்த வெம்மை தணியுமுன்பே தமிழர்களின் குரலாக ஓங்கி ஒலித்துக் கொண்டிருந்த ‘ஈழநாடு’ பணிமனையும் எரியூட்டப்பட்டுச் சாம்பரானது.
யாழ். நூலகத்தின் தோற்றமும், வளர்ச்சியும், வீழ்ச்சியும் பற்றிய ஆவணம் ஒன்றினை க.சி.குலரத்தினம் எழுதியிருந்தார். இதன்பின் ஆறு ஆண்டுகள் கழிந்து ‘ஈழநாடு’ எரியுண்ட கதை நினைவலைகளாக கேஜி மகாதேவாவினால் ஆவணப்படுத்தப் பட்டுள்ளது. ‘ஈழநாடு சந்தித்த துயரங்கள், துன்பங்கள், அரசின் அழிப்பு முயற்சிகள் யாவும் செம்மையாக ஆவணப்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளன. ‘நினைவலைகளைப் படிக்கும் போது, யாழ். பொது நூலகமும், ‘ஈழநாடு’ பத்திரிகை அலுவலகமும் எரியூட்டப்பட்ட தீயின் வெம்மை எம் நெஞ்சைத் தாக்கும். உள்ளம் பொருமும். அனல் பறக்கும். மூச்சு வெம்மையாகிவிடும். அத்தன்மைமிகு துயரச் சம்பவங் களின் நினைவு மீட்டல்களாக ‘நினைவலைகள்’ காணப் படுகின்றது.
ஒரு வகையில் தமிழ்த் தேசியம் எத்தனை அடக்கு முறைகளுக்கு எதிராக இன்று வீறுகொண்டு எழுந்துள்ளது என்பது பற்றிய அறிவினை வளர்க்கும் ஆவணங்களுள் முக்கிய மானதொரு ஆவணமாக நினைவலைகள்’ அமைகின்றது 676ðf6UsTLD.
- பா. சிறீபவன் 'தினக்குரல்’ (யாழ்ப்பாணம்) (11.05.2004)
“நினைவலைகள் - ஒரு ஆவணத்திரட்டு
முப்பது வருட காலங்கள் முழுப் பத்திரிகையாளராக, தான் பெற்ற முழுமையான அனுபவத்தை முன்னிலைப்படுத்தி, சந்தித்த சங்கடங்களையும், சவால்களையும் தமது நினைவலைகள் மூலம் நிலைத்து நிற்கும்படி திரு.கே.ஜி. மகாதேவா பதிவு செய்திருக்கிறார்.
இலங்கையில் தமிழர் தேசியம் எத்தனை தேய்மானங்களைச் சந்தித்து, வீழ்ந்து, எழுந்தது என்பதனைத் துல்லியமாக ஆவணப்படுத்தியிருக்கிறார். இது தமிழ்க்கூறும் நல்லுலகில் ஒரு ஆவணத் திரட்டு. வெளிப்படையான, என்றும்
நீங்காத ‘நினைவலைகளால் எல்லாவற்றையும் ஒரு ஆவணப்படமாக - பாடமாக நம் கண் முன் நிறையவே நிறுத்துகிறார்.
பாண்டிச்சேரி - பன்னூலாசிரியர் 25-2-2005 டாக்டர் ப.உ. லெனின்
(ஹோமியோபதி மருத்துவ நிபுணர்)
K.G. MAHADEWA 135
‘ஈழநாடு நிறுவனம் 辑
没 1956-ம் ஆண்டு கால்கோள் 1959ம் ஆண்டு ஒக்ரோபர் 穩 p
இடப்பட்டது 19 ம் திகதி ஈழநாடு 漫签
நிறுவனம் 忍态 வரையறுக்கப்பட்ட 心
w 39డ్8 ఓ వ్యూ9 r*/** கொம்னியாகப் 投多 -- 2ܝ ، ” *. ܝܼ ، *. . .. - ܝܫ* ، OMKM)
- ؟سة فة سقعة مع فيه هادة الأوتزيله- A. நிறுவப்பெற்றது. 洛谷
1960-ம் ஆண்டு வார இதழ்
雯 1959 ம் ஆண்டு பெப்ரவரி மலர்ந்தது 洛 O l-tie first 洛 历 i961 to styliss 投 笠 ஈழதாடு aia y இதழ் i dT > Tas வெளிவந்தது பரிணமித்தது
* ‘ஈழநாடு" கொழும்புக்கு வெளியில் இருந்து பிரசுரிக்கப்படும்
ஒரே ஒரு மாகாண நாள் கரர்.
* செய்திகளில் மட்டுமின்றி அரசியல், கலை கலாசாரத்துறை களிலும் கட்சிச் சார்பின்றிச் சகல கருத்துக்களுக்கும் இடி
Ꮺ 臻 O 3S
没签 器 மளிக்கும் தேசியப் பத்திரிகை.
* தமிழ்த் தேசிய இனத்தின் அபிமானத்தைப் பெற்று அவர் ई 没多 களின் மேம்பாட்டையே இலட்சியமாகக் கொண்டு பணியாற்
S. றும் தமிழ் ஏடு - ஈழநாடு $3 முகவரி ‘ஈழநாடு'. appress The Eelanadu, as C XP - P. O. lax NCs : 49, 洛态 த டிெ. எண் : 49, JAFFNA、 没多 没多 tist ja ra sarro. CEY.ON. S இலங்கை asnysus PHONE: 影 没登 V ear 器总 V. ផ្ទះ
Grand-son with Judo Gold Medal
Our Grand-son T. Santhosh of france got his first Gold Medal in Judo Competition at his ten years. This Competition organised by the 'Red Star Champigny 2004 -2005". Santhosh participated on behalf of his Judo Jujits club under Petits Tigre (small tiger) group, (? -
. . . .
Eela na du Was the symbol
of the Vidali Si
expression of the Eagham Tamis CITIg
It sought to establish a separate identity for the Tamils, disassociated from the domination Of COOTO 30
tle Sin halese G0 Vernment
|REMMNSEMES S tep TSI W Ork that e COS E government's efforts to suppress Eelanadu.
K. G. MAHA DEWA is fully ualified to Write this Renniscences