Sunday, December 25, 2011

[ZESTCaste] MGR, Periyar remembered across Madurai & Trichy

 

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-25/madurai/30556296_1_statues-m-g-ramachandran-posters

MGR, Periyar remembered across Madurai & Trichy
TNN Dec 25, 2011, 12.39AM IST

MADURAI: Poignancy marked the death anniversaries of AIADMK founder M
G Ramachandran fondly called by his followers as Puratchi Thalaivar
and Dravidian stalwart Periyar E V Ramasamy Naicker, in Madurai on
Saturday.

Even as politicians clamoured to pose for photographs when they
garlanded the statues of MGR across the city, a number of his fans -
rickshaw pullers, auto drivers, waiters in hotels among others paid
obeisance to their leader by garlanding his statues.

Like 40-year-old Balu, a diehard fan of MGR from Viraganur, also
tonsured his head to pay respects to his icon. Not just a leader or
icon, MGR is considered by his fans as demigod. The fans had stuck
posters all across the city a week back itself depicting MGR as a god.
"December 24th 1987 is the day our beloved leader Puratchi Thalaivar
MGR left us". Let us pay respects to him on his 24th death
anniversary," said one poster that declared him in bold fonts as "God
in Heaven."

Another poster called him as "Leader who won time." Besides fans
associations, a number of individuals too had printed such posters
that were found across the city.

"I have been tonsuring my head every year on puratchi thalaivar's
memorial day," says Balu. Though he seldom remembers the days when MGR
was alive, he developed a liking for the former chief minister after
seeing his films. To pay their respects, as many as five theatres
screened blockbuster films of MGR. In fact, the leader has so many
fans in temple city that one or the other theatre continued to screen
one of his films throughout the year.

Members of various political parties garlanded the statue of Periyar
too. District DMK secretary G Thalapathy garlanded the statue of the
rationalist leader at Alagarkovil Road, while many AIADMK leaders also
followed suit. The occasion was celebrated in style all across the
state.

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