S. Satyamurti, patriot and Congress Party leader's Chennai house was demolished

Freedom fighter S.Satyamurti's demolished  residence, sriramv.wordpress.com

Aug.1987 Indian postal stamp, Freedom fighter Satyamurti,wikipedia  

The South India, in particular, Tamil Nadu, produced a galaxy of freedom fighters  like VO Chidambaram, Rajaji, Kamarajar, Vanchinathan , Bharatiyar,  Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar  et al  and during the later part of the Raj, they relentlessly worked hard and sacrificed their lives to free India from the British yoke. The British  hung on to India for a long time and rendered this once rich country (GDP was 23 when they landed in India to start mercantile trade) impoverished (GDP plummeted to less than 3) when they left the Indian shores in August 1947. Among the freedom fighters from the state of Tamil Nadu, some made a mark as a great orator  with indomitable spirit. One of them was  Sundara Sastri Satyamurti (19 August 1887 – 28 March 1943). He was a leading congressman of the INC -  Indian National Congress from the then Madras Presidency . A native of Thrmayam town of Pudukkottai District ( then a small Princely state), he became a leading lawyer. Later he  joined INC and spent much of his time for India's freedom. He was the mentor of  K. Kamaraj, ex Chief Minister of Madras state from 1954 to 1962. He  participated in many protests against the oppressive British misrule and courted arrest. While serving as the Mayor of Madras in 1939-40, Satyamurti improved the potable water supply to the city and was responsible for the Poondi reservoir for which he laid the foundation. Now it  bears his   name Satyamurti sagar. Now, because of poor upkeep it becomes parched very year. His participation in Quit India Movement  saw him imprisoned in the Amravati jail in 1942. After release his health condition was not good and later he died  in the General Hospital, Madras.

On the social circuit  Satyamurti  was well-known  as a promoter of  performing arts. and  was an active member of the Suguna Vilasa Sabha, a founder secretary of the popular Music Academy and a member of the University Senate.  In the 1920s  during the freedom struggle  Satyamurti had a close rapport with famous  theater personalities  like K.B Sundarambal, S.G. Kittappa and others, and  successfully used them  for political  meetings to rope in more people to such gatherings.    Little do the people of Tamil Nadu know that Satyamurti was the first one ever to use popular theater personalities and entertainers as a tool  to spread the message of freedom from the British across the state.Consequently, it impacted the nook and corner of  Tamil Nadu and it gave an impetus to the freedom struggle. The Justice Party then opposing Congress objected to it and later they themselves brought playwrights like  C.N. Annadurai, Karunanidhi  and others into the fold for campaign. The  political scenario of Tamil Nadu since then has changed and all the political parties now  keep  some well-known movie actors and actresses  on their bandwagon to gain popularity.

 For his inherent courage, Stayamurti  earned the appellation “Dheerar” (in Tamil meaning courageous) When K.B. Sundarambal, famous devotional music, once came to know that patriot Satyamurti did not own a house as his focus was more on freedom struggle  than on his profession to bring enough money for the family and savings, she became sad. Being magnanimous as she was,  she gifted a plot on the Thanigachalam Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Chennai to Satyamurti. The house was completed in 1939   and named ''Sundara''. Does Sundara stand for Sundarambal or his father's name Sundaar Sastrigal - it is a  riddle!! With the passing  away of his only daughter and her husband, the sons had  no choice except to sell the old house.

This house of a daring patriot  - a sort of old type Bungalow was razed to the ground  along with the legacy of Satyamurti whose name the Congress party office in Chennai (Madras) carries - Satyamurti Bhavan. Neither the Congress Party nor the State or  Cerebral government made efforts to save the house.from demolition.  In India, numerous monuments lie in ruins because of lethargy on the part of the government and many were lost for the same reason. Some were saved as a result of hard work put in by heritage lovers in  their respective states.

Likewise the residence of U.Ve. Swminatha Aiyar (Thyagaraja Vilas'' on Pilliyar Kovil street in Thiruvatteeswaranpet, Chennai), a great scholar and literary person' in  Chennai met with  the same fate in 2015. It is gone for ever, having been pulled down by the new owner of the house.  But for U.Ve.S  we would have lost the great 5 works in Tamil such as Silapathikaram, Patthupaatu and Ettuthogai of Sangam period. The state government and the Tamil literary people failed to save the house 


Patriot and  freedom fighter S.Satyamurti. bharatmatamandir.in/

Like -minded Congress men took serious initiative and had a memorial (Mani  Mandapam) built in his native town, Thirumayam of Pudukottai District, TN. On February 23, 2017 the memorial that cost 40 lakh  was opened. Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropist Sakthivel who bore the expense.  One  Chinthamani Ammal, president of the Azhagu Thevar Trust, declared open the ‘Mani Mandapam. He was the mentor of K. Kamaraj, a staunch Congress man  who wielded a lot of influence during the Nehru era.’