Prema Srinivasan, mother of industrialists Venu Srinivasan (Chairman of TVS Motors) and Gopal Srinivasan (CMD of TVS Capital Funds), passed away on Sunday. She was 90.
She is survived by her two sons, two daughters and grandchildren.
A patron of art and music, she married T.S. Srinivasan, the youngest son of T.V. Sundram Iyengar, who founded the TVS Group.
In the years following her marriage, she studied Vaishnava ritual traditions and, in time, became an authority on these traditions in Chennai. Later, she expanded on this interest by studying Anthropology at Columbia University.
Her keen interest in the arts led her to interview international artists Francesco Clemente, Anish Kapoor, Ettore Sotsoss, Shirin Nishat and Ron Arad. These interviews have been published in The Hindu. Her articles on the traditions of Vaishnava Food Culture have appeared in RES, published by the Peabody Museum, Harvard. Her comprehensive cook book, “Pure Vegetarian”, was published at the age of 80, a decade ago.
Her interest in J. Krishnamurti’s philosophy led to the establishment of the ‘The School’ under the aegis of the Krishnamurti Foundation India, in Chennai.
Ms. Prema Srinivasan was also actively engaged in addressing social and environmental issues - she founded the Madras Environmental Society and spearheaded a movement to raise awareness on the pollution of the river systems. She organised campaigns in Salem and Erode to protest against industrial effluents being let into the river.
She was a keen botanist who had formally studied Japanese Landscape Design in Kyoto. She was interested in the cultivation of indigenous classical plants and trees, which are diminishing.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin condoled her death. In a statement, Mr. Stalin expressed his condolences to Mr. Venu Srinivasan and his family.