Penned by ‘Tamil Thatha’, they are still in manuscript form
On the occasion of the Sadas of the Music Academy, Madras High Court Judge Justice V. Ramasubramanian made a request for publishing biographies of 400 musicians penned by ‘Tamil Thatha’ U.V. Swaminatha Iyer.
Conferring the Sangita Kalanidhi award on vocalist Tiruchur V. Ramachandran, Mr. Ramasubramanian said Swaminatha Iyer had written life sketches of these musicians but they were yet to be seen in print.
“Either those who are on the dais or those who are among the august gathering should come forward to publish the manuscripts. I will pay obeisance to the mahanubavulus who do it,” he said.
In a lighter vein, he said the Madras High Court, which recently celebrated its sesquicentennial, had made substantial contribution to the world of Carnatic music, but it was not reciprocated by the music world.
Justice T.L. Venkatrama Iyer was a recipient of Sangita Kalanidhi and T. Sambamurthy, a lawyer by profession and one of the founding members of the Academy received the award 45 years after it was founded. Even T.V. Subbarao, the first musician to receive the award was also a lawyer, besides E. Krishna Iyer one of the secretaries of the organisation.
Peppering his talk with anecdotes from the lives of Swaminatha Iyer and Gopalakrishna Bharathiyar, the author of Nandanar Charithiram, Mr. Ramasubramanian said Gopalakrishna Bharathiyar was probably the only composer who had written a keertana dealing with problems of lending money and facing legal consequences.
He went on to quote the entire song and in the charanam, there was a line about people from Nagapattinam running away to Karaikal on receiving warrant from the court. Since Karaikal was under French rule, British police would not go there in pursuit of the culprit.
In his address of welcome, N. Murali, president of the Academy, sought the continuous support of members, rasikas and well-wishers of the Academy, which he said had served as a Pole Star over the last eight decades and more in safeguarding and strengthening the glorious tradition and values of classical fine arts.
In his felicitation, chitravina exponent N. Ravikiran said Mr. Ramachandran never diluted the quality of Carnatic music and embellished ghana ragas such as Todi, Bhairavi and Kalyani through his singing.
Earlier, Justice Ramasubramanian conferred the Sangita Kala Acharya award on J. Venkatraman and T. Rukmini. The TTK awards were given to Mullapudi Sree Rama Murthy and K.S. Raghunathan. Ms. Ritha Rajan received the Musicologist award.