Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin unveiled a life-size bronze statue of M.K. Thiagaraja Bhagavathar installed near the Katpadi railway crossing on the Villupuram—Chennai Highway on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Stalin said that Thiagaraja Bhagavathar, popularly known as “MKT,” had contributed a great deal to the stage, cinema and music. It was Pudukottai Dhakshinamurthy who had conferred the title “Bhagavathar” on him after listening to his mesmerising music.

In 1926 MKT staged his first drama “Pavalakodi” at Ponmalai in Tiruchi in which he donned the role of Arjuna. In 1934 “Lena” Lakshmanan made it a movie in which MKT sang 22 of the 55 songs.

Mr. Stalin said that in those days the audience were charmed by the magical quality of MKT's voice and therefore eagerly listened to all his songs.

He excelled in the spheres of acting and singing, a twin quality must for the heroes those days. He acted in a series of movies such as “Naveena Sarangadhara,” “Ambikapathi,” “Ashok Kumar,” and “Siva Kavi.”

The Deputy Chief Minister further said that MKT's hairdo had become a craze in that period. Even at the height of fame his career suffered a set back because he was named in a legal case that put him behind bars for four years.

Later, he was acquitted to resume his acting career by taking up meaty roles in movies such as “Pudhu Vazhvu” and “Haridas.” The movie “Haridas” was a run away success that ran for three years continuously.

The song “Manmada leelai,” a hit song in the movie, was in the lips of every one in his contemporary period, and even now it had its niche in the filmdom.

It was quite appropriate that for such an illustrious film personality a statue had been installed.

Mr. Stalin said that the demands put forth by the organisers of the MKT statue installation function, the Viswakarma Gold and Silver Jewels Workers' Association and the M.K. Thiagaraja Bhagavathar Viswakarma Narpani Manram, would be considered. Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy was present on the occasion.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National