M.S. Udhayamurthy, founder of Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, who had inspired the youth with his motivational essays since the 1980s, died of cardiac arrest at his residence here on Monday in Akkarai on East Coast Road near Injambakkam. He was 85 and is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Born in Vila Nagar in the present Nagapattinam district, he obtained a doctorate in chemical engineering from the United States. He later returned to India with the idea of making a difference in public life. In 1988, he started the Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam. Dr. Udhayamurthy authored 23 books, most of which spoke on personality development and self-confidence. He also authored books on business and spirituality. He undertook four ‘padayatras’ stressing the need for synchronising various rivers in the country, covering more than 2,000 km.
In 1996, members of Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam contested 11 constituencies in the Assembly elections in the State. Dr. Udhayamurthy contested from Madurai. However, none of its candidates won. Later on, he made the organisation a non-political movement. He was one of the earliest civil society activists to make a foray into public life with a view to attracting the middle class to electoral politics.