Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan

MGR’s help to Kalaivanar’s family

It is common knowledge that MGR is known for his humanism. He extended his magnanimity to his friends and artistes who had fallen into bad times. So, one may not be greatly surprised by his gesture towards Kalaivanar’s family after his death. But theirs was a unique relationship surpassing the physical and temporal.

After Kalaivanar’s death, MGR was a like a godfather to Kalaivanar’s family. If he undertook the responsibility of the marriages of all of Kalaivanar’s children – ie. Kittapa, Shanmugam Nallathambi, Kumaran, Vadiva, Kasthuri and Padmini, it reveals the deep affection he had for Kalaivanar. Not only did he conduct the marriages but was also involved as if they were his own family weddings. He warmed the hearts of Kalaivanar’s family with his emotional involvement. He gave the feeling that they need not feel obliged, but they deserved to be treated well because they were Kalaivanar’s descendants. An unfathomable depth of love indeed!

MGR undertook to educate Nallathambi, son of Kalaivanar. MGR is said to have advised Nallathambi that his father (NSK) earned in crores and paid taxes in crores, but ultimately left nothing for his family. So it is only education that can be inseparable from one. Following his words Nallathambi went on to become a successful engineer later on.

MGR continued to give financial support every month and whenever there was a pressing need.

When Mathura Bhavanam, constructed by Kalaivanar in the year 1941, was auctioned due to unpaid debts, MGR stepped into the scene. He recovered the property with his own money and handed it over to the family, who still have possession of the house.

MGR also had great respect and regard for Kalaivanar. In 1977 MGR became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. On Kalaivanar’s death anniversary function in 1978, MGR said that Kalaivanar had contributed a lot towards society. He made special mention of the fact that it was Kalaivanar who had taught him the subtilties of politics when he was just 17. He said that it was unfortunate that Kalaivanar was no more. For, if he had been alive, Kalaivanar would have been the Chief Minister and he (MGR) would have served him.

I thank Mathuram Nallathambi who consented to publish the words from his website.

Kalaivanar Official website

Kalaivanar and MGR

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