Title conferred on B. Madhavan for carrying on the worthy work of his family.

This is a unique year, for it marks the 120th and the 150 years of Kanchi Paramacharya and philanthropist V. Krishnaswami Iyer respectively. The latter is the founder of the Sanskrit college, Venkatramana Ayurvedic Dispensary, Indian Bank and many other institutions.

A programme was organised in Sanskrit College, with Dr. R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal former Principal of the Sanskrit College and Dr. N.V. Deviprasad as convenors, to confer the title of Kuladharmarakshaka on B. Madhavan, grandson of Krishnaswami Iyer.

Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal, who presided, conferred the title on Madhavan. Blessings came from the Kapaleeswarar temple, Kanchi Kamakoti Math and Sakatapuram Srividya Peetam. Speaker after speaker emphasised the services of Krishnaswami Iyer’s family to various causes, and especially to Sanskrit, and of how when one generation moved on, the baton was passed on to a worthy successor.

Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal said that Sanskrit was immortal. Krishnaswami Iyer, on his death bed, had asked his son Balasubrahmanya Iyer to promise to nurture Sanskrit. Balasubrahmanya Iyer in turn had asked his son Madhavan the same.

Srivatsankachariar Swamy, former Principal of the college, recalled that Chandrasekharan, Madhavan’s uncle called on him one day, and said that he wanted Srivatsankachariar to teach Vyakarana at the Sanskrit college. Until then vyakarana had not been taught there. “He came with the appointment order, and would not take no for an answer,” Srivatsankachariar said.

An exception

Professor Narayana Sharma said that where there was education, wealth was lacking. Where both were present, generosity was lacking.

Krishnaswami Iyer’s family was an exception, for they were highly educated, wealthy and generous.

Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal said that to offer such encouragement to Sanskrit in Tamil Nadu, where atheism and opposition to Sanskrit go hand in hand, was admirable.

Dr. Rama Bai said that when she had to organise the All India Oriental Conference, she was hampered by lack of funds and manpower.

Madhavan, together with Dr. N. Mahalingam, arranged for funds and also got staff of the Sanskrit college to help out.

G. Swaminathan, Head Master of the Savitri Ammal Higher Secondary School, said that two of their Sanskrit teachers had won National Awards, mainly due to the unstinting support of Madhavan.

The pioneer group of the IIT Madras Alumni Association, comprising the first three batches of IIT students, honoured Madhavan.