At a function, a host of distinguished personalities paid their respects to Major Mukund Varadharajan

The Tapovan Hall at the Chinmaya heritage centre on Tuesday evening witnessed the city paying respects to a son who sacrificed his life safeguarding the boundaries of India.

Major Mukund Varadharajan (32) of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was killed in an encounter with terrorists in Shopian district, South Kashmir, on April 25. Mukund, who hailed from Chennai, was cremated with full state honours.

A large section of people including former civil servants, military personnel, judges and other noted personalities gathered in the evening to commemorate the brave soldier from the city and honour his contributions to the country. Also present were his family members, including his young daughter.

Gita Menon of Chinmaya Mission began the tribute, saying “We bow to the proud son of India.” She went on to add that soldiers provide a sense of security to every citizen in the country.

Nonagenarian V. Kalyanam, who was the personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi, was also present during the evening. In his brief words to the Major’s family, who were in the front row, he said the officer was a brave man and wished the family well.

“Brave men like Mukund give their today for our tomorrow,” stated retired Colonel David Devasahayam from the Indian Army, to the applause of those gathered in the auditorium. Retired IAS officers M G Devasahayam and Naresh Gupta also paid tributes.

Swami Mitrananda, acharya of Chinmaya Mission, Chennai, honoured the late Major’s family members with a memento towards the end of the evening which concluded with a mime titled Paapa by theatre artist Krishna Ganapathi. A video recording of tributes by personalities who couldn’t attend was also screened.

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