Gloom in Thanjavur district

THANJAVUR, AUG. 30. The passing of Mr. G.K. Moopanar today plunged the people and his relatives at Sundaraperumal Koil near Kumbakonam, native place of the departed TMC leader, into sorrow.

A pall of gloom descended there as the news spread and people gathered at the bungalow of Mr. Moopanar to convey their condolences. District TMC leaders and other office-bearers came there and conveyed their condolences to relatives.

A decorated portrait of Mr. Moopanar was kept at the entrance of the house for the people to pay their homage.

The sprawling bungalow, located between the Thanjavur-Kumbakonam road and a rail line, (Mr. Moopanar used to alight from train and walk to the bungalow in the early days) was a ``temple'' for the TMC cadres and leaders.

Mr. Moopanar's tour to Thanjavur district will certainly include a stay at the house. It was also a venue of reception to leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru.

At Kumbakonam, shops remained closed. Schools in the town declared a holiday. In the evening a silent procession, in which all party leaders participated, was taken out.Silent processions were also taken out at Valangaiman, Papanasam and other places. At Thanjavur, shops will be closed and a silent procession taken out tomorrow, it has been decided.

In a condolence message, Mr. S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said Mr. Moopanar's contribution to the settlement of the Cauvery dispute was noteworthy.

It was a silent and effective contribution. Mr. Moopanar arranged for meetings of the executive committee members of the association with Rajiv Gandhi, whenever he visited Tamil Nadu as Prime Minister to discuss the Cauvery issue and submit a memorandum. Mr. Moopanar also arranged for a meeting with Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao when he visited Madurai as Prime Minister. ``We will miss his services'', Mr.Ranganathan said.

The demise of Mr. Moopanar has come as a rude shock to musicians of Thanjavur and Thiruvaiyaru. He was president of the Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha for more than 30 years and played an important role in the conduct of annual aradhana for saint- composer at Thiruvaiyaru every year.