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Homage to a patriot

VETERAN FREEDOM fighter, true Gandhian, ardent devotee of Kanchi Mahaswamigal and Sri Sathya Sai Baba, sincere follower of Rajaji's principles, unswerving khadi user, connoisseur of music and arts, powerful public speaker and communicator, administrator par excellence, lovable personality of public relations, journalist with commitment, pioneer in advertising, one who longed to help the needy in distress and , a loving friend for many in short an institution by himself. That was the late T. Sadasivam, ``Dharmatma'' whose centenary birthday falls on September 4.

Friend, philosopher and guide to his wife M. S. Subbulakshmi, Sadasivam was one of the founders of the prestigious Tamil weekly Kalki.

Speaking to Ganshyam Das Birla, Rajaji observed that Sadasivam was to him what Lakshmana was to Sri Rama.

His admirers and friends, spread across the country, have come together in a Committee of Hosts (convened by Mr. Athma and Mr. Murali) to celebrate his birth centenary in a manner worthy of that stalwart patriot and philanthropist.

The former President of India and a very close friend of the Sadasivams, R. Venkataraman has consented to be the Patron of this committee. He will also preside over the public meeting scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, September 3, 2002 (i.e. on the eve of Sadasivam's 101st birthday) at the Venkata Auditorium, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore, Chennai, to pay homage to Sadasivam and recall his kindness, benevolence and affection.

The function starts at 5 p.m. with Tala Vadhya Vrinda by the students of Jaya Ganesa Tala Vadhya Vidyalaya of ``Vikku'' Vinayakram, followed by the chanting of Rig, Yajur and Saama Veda hymns for 25 minutes from 5. 35 p.m.

Prayer in Tamil will be rendered by Sethalapatti Balasubramaniam at 6 p.m. followed by Mr. Athma's welcome speech. Mr. Murali will read the messages received.

After reading the message from the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sri Matam, Mrs. Y. G. Parthasarathy, Dr. N. Veezhinathan, Mrs. Sumathi, Mr. Neelu, Mr. A. Natarajan, Mrs. Anandhi Ramachandran, Mr. C. R. Ravichandran (Salem), Mr. S. Krishnamurthy and Dr (Mrs.) Prema Padmanabhan will all speak briefly paying homage to Sadasivam. This will be followed by Mr. Venkataraman's presidential address.

The function will conclude with ``Harikatha'' by Revathi Sankaran on the Kanchi Mahaswamigal from 8 to 9 p.m.

The Gramophone Company (HMV) has offered to make available all cassettes/CDs of M. S. Subbulakshmi at concessional rates as a mark of their reverence to Sadasivam at the meeting venue on September 3 evening.

Satabdhi Mani Mantapam

It will be pertinent in this context to recall that the one thought that was uppermost in Sadasivam's mind during his last days even on the last evening prior to his passing on the morning of November 21, 1997 was to assist in raising the all-granite marvel called the Satabdhi Mani Mantapam for the Centenarian Sage of Kanchi, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal in Orirukkai, 5 km from Kanchipuram on the Uttiramerur road.

The Sri Mahalakshmi Mathrubhutheswarar Trust was formed even during the lifetime of the Kanchi Mahaswamigal.

The trust has so far collected a little more than Rs. 2.5 crores from His devotees and adequate land has been purchased and sculpting work under the guidance of S. M. Ganapathy Stapathi, is going on in full swing. The excavation preparatory to the foundation work was inaugurated on August 12 at the Mani Mantapam site.

In the past few years, Sadasivam and M. S. Subbulakshmi have contributed a little more than Rs. 35 lakhs to this noble project through her concerts and recording royalties. So, one of the best ways to commemorate Sadasivam's birth centenary will be to raise funds, for the Satabdhi Mani Mantapam through the munificence of friends and admirers on this solemn occasion and publicly hand over the collections to Sri Mahalakshmi Mathrubhutheswarar Trust which has undertaken this project. The Trust enjoys Sec. 80-G exemption and will issue individual receipts to the donors.

We appeal to the friends and admirers of both Sadasivam and M. S. Subbulakshmi to participate whole-heartedly in this noble project of the unique edifice to the Sage of Kanchi through their contributions. We are delighted to inform the public that we have in these past few days, by word of mouth alone, collected a little more than Rs.10 lakhs and hence our eagerness to enlist the support of as many devotees of the Sage of Kanchi as we can in raising funds for the Orirukkai Mani Mantapam project.

More than anything, we request one and all to give us the pleasure of their company positively at the birthday function on September 3 evening to pay homage to that noble soul.

ATHMA & MURALI

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