Freedom fighter and staunch Gandhian P.N. Srinivasan, who was also the editor of Bharatha Mani, a monthly Tamil magazine, died in Tambaram on Saturday morning. He was 84.
Mr. Srinivasan was born in 1929 in Ponvilaindhakulathur village, Chengalpattu. His father P.N. Gopalan was working in the revenue department of Madras Presidency and his family was deeply involved in the freedom movement.
Mr. Srinivasan joined Integral Coach Factory, Perambur, which he served till 1987. He started Bharata Mani that year and continued to be its editor until his death. Mr. Srinivasan spent his life nurturing Gandhian values. He was a mentor for the Gandhi Study Circle, which was started under the inspiration of veteran Gandhian T.D. Tirumalai and later became the Gandhi Darshan Kendra. He was a member of the committee appointed by former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to organise the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. He also headed a cycle rally from Vaikom to New Delhi in 1997 during the Gandhi Sadhbhavana Yatra. A year later, he took part in a rally to re-enact the Vedaranyam salt satyagraha of C. Rajagopalachari.
Mr. Srinivasan, who started the Sri Sarvamangala Residents’ Welfare Association in Chitlapakkam after he moved there in 1998, took up many issues affecting the common man. Recently, he had been involved in organising a meeting to highlight the condition of civic amenities in Chitlapakkam and 10 days ago, while he was travelling in an autorickshaw to make arrangements for it, the vehicle tilted and landed on its side, resulting in him sustaining injuries.
Mr. Srinivasan was the force behind the long campaign to rename Seerani Arangam on Marina beach, which was demolished in August 2003, as ‘Thilakar Thidal’. Seeraani Arangam was constructed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai and, according to Mr. Srinivasan, was the spot from where Balagangadhar Tilak addressed people during the freedom struggle. He met with success when a stone plaque was installed on the beach, indicating that the spot would be remembered as Thilakar Thidal.
Mr. Srinivasan’s body was taken from the hospital in Tambaram to his native village. Congress leader E.V.K. S. Elangovan was among those who paid their last respects.
He is survived by his wife Chandra, sons P.N. Venkatraghavan and P.N. Ravi, and daughters Manjula Raman and Malini Balaji.