Chennai: “CS located light in darkness,” were Indian tennis legend Ramanathan Krishnan’s words of praise for the former All India Lawn Tennis Association President C. Subramaniam on the occasion of the latter’s centennial celebrations at the TTT, YMCA, (Nandanam) on Saturday.
The function to honour and pay tribute to Bharat Ratna C. Subramaniam was held as part of the Indian Oil Golden Jubilee ITF junior tennis tournament inauguration, the main draw of which will commence on Monday.
Krishnan, pleased at the decision to honour a “great statesman and a man who handled all his achievements with equal ease,” fondly recalled Subramaniam’s personal involvement in his tennis career and his keen interest in the sport itself.
“CS as he was affectionately called was almost a father figure to me. Our association began through tennis, since he was a keen follower of sport. I recall how he would sit in the first row in the hot sun to watch me play; and I also remember him rooting for me in a match at Flushing Meadows,” he said.
Krishnan further went on to describe memorable interactions, such as Subramaniam’s keenness on inspecting tennis courts and playing conditions before a tie to make sure “everything was in order for the foreign players and a good impression was made,” and his presence at a felicitation function held for Krishnan at the South of Calcutta.
The Indian tennis great also pointed out the crucial, path-breaking role played by Subramaniam in uplifting junior tennis.
“He did a lot to promote the game at the junior level. During the tournaments held then in Bombay and Pune, I had explained the issues we were having with the lack of sponsorship. He responded by choosing six players and arranging funding for them from the Government.
“CS was a man with an outstanding vision. CS is no more, but he is an institution. Long live CS.”
Subramaniam’s son S.S. Rajsekar, Trustee, National Agro Foundation elaborated on his father’s passion for sport and his outstanding achievements and honours in other fields; and most significantly, for being remembered as The Architect of India’s Green Revolution. He also added that a series of other functions had been planned across the country as part of the centennial celebrations.
Immediately after, the ITF tournament inauguration took place at the venue by D.S.L. Prasad, Executive Director, Indian Oil.