Rich tributes paid to eminent poet and writer

Rich tributes were paid to eminent poet and writer Soundara Kailasam at a memorial meeting organised by various Tamil organisations, including Kamban Kazhagam, Bharathiyar Sangam and Tamil Mozhi Academy.

Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, who unveiled her portrait, said though she closely followed political developments and had close association with political leaders, she steered clear of politics because she did not want to embarrass her husband, a judge.

Quoting from her poems, Mr. Anbazhagan said there was “spontaneity” in them.

“You can trace in them the essence of Vallalar, Manickavasagar, Azhawars, Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan. She linked them all,” he said.

Describing her as “always encouraging, positive and transparent,” N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, who knew her for over four decades, said her deep devotion went hand-in-hand with tremendous commitment to secularism and national values.

She had the most liberal outlook, Mr. Ram said, and pointed out that she never spoke harshly against anyone though she followed public affairs with remarkable consistency.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University V.C. Kulandaisamy, a junior to her in school, said though her education stopped with 9th standard, she was a self-taught woman who mastered both Tamil and English. Lyricist Vairamuthu urged the family members of Soundara Kailsam to set up a literary award on a par with Jnanpith Award.

Actor Rajinikanth informed the audience that it was at her residence the decision to launch the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) was taken and he was one of those who attended the meeting with G.K. Moopanar, P. Chidambaram, journalist Cho Ramasamy and a few others.

Actor Kamal Hasan said if not as a well-known actor, he would have attended as a dancer since it was Soundara Kailasam who was one of the two chief guests who blessed him on his arangetram.

Former Minister R.M. Veerappan presided over the meeting.

Actor Sivakumar, former Vice-Chancellor of Tamil University Avvai Natarajan, Union Home Minister and Soundara Kailsam's son-in-law P. Chidambaram and senior advocate R. Gandhi were among those who participated in the function.