Rich tributes were paid to F.G.Natesa Iyer, founder of the Rasika Ranjana Sabha on his memorial day celebrated at the sabha here on Thursday.
Eminent mridangam vidwan ‘Tiruchi' R.Taayumanavan and drama artiste T.Sambanthapandian were honoured with shawls and cash award of Rs.5,000 each for their yeoman service in the field of music, art and culture. Padma Swaminathan, daughter of F.G.Natesa Iyer honoured them in recognition of their serviceS.
Mrs. Padma Swaminathan spoke about the contributions made by Tiruchi Tasayumanavan in mridangam, kanjira and konnakol. Similarly, she had also praised drama artiste Sambanthapandian for staging several dramas and spreading ‘bakthi' among people.
R.Gunasekaran, Assistant Director, Department of Art and Culture, Tiruchi, in his presidential address paid tributes to F.G.Natesa Iyer, and said that he was a good orator both in English and Tamil and rendered good service to the people of the city as chairman of Tiruchi municipality from 1923 to 25. He had provided special water connection to the Rock Fort Vinayaka temple in for public use when there was severe shortage of water.
He said that the R.R.Sabha here was the only sabha in the State that was conducting several programmes in music, dance, drama, throughout the year.
N.Gopalaswamy, vice-president of R.R.Sabha, said that late Natesa Iyer who was born on November 13 in 1880 had established the Sabha in 1914 and from that day the sabha had grown like a banyan tree.
He pointed out that Natesa Iyer, popularly called FGN was instrumental for introducing M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, the superstar of yesteryear into the cine field and in dramas . FGN had also played an active role as member of the Indian National Congress and was a delegate at the sessions in Bombay in 1915.
M.S.Mohamed Masthan, general secretary of Tiruchi district Drama Artistes' Association and other drama artistes honoured Sambanthapandian.
The function was followed by the flute recital by Dr. B.Vijayagopal.