Chennai, Oct 1 (BPNS)
Sivaji Ganesan needs no introduction, the innumerable characters he made memorable has given him a position in the hearts of millions of movie-going populace of the country, and is still living in the hearts of millions even after his passing away on 21 July 2001 at the age of 73.
On October 1, his 93rd birth anniversary, the legendary actor who was a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke award, the highest award for Cinema in India is given a rich tribute by Google through its Google Doodle.
The Google Doodle creation made by guest artist from Bangaluru, Noopor Rajesh Choksi has given memories flooding into the minds of millions of his fans who adored him for his memorable performance in umpteen movies spread across South India including performances in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam movies. He had also acted in Sinhalese movies as well as in Hindi.
Sivaji Ganesan, born as Villupuram Chinniah Ganesan or V.C. Ganesan at Villupuram, in the then South Arcot District of Tamil Nadu entered the world of theater at the young age of 7.
He started playing child and female roles at a young age in popular theater groups. He received training in Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Manipuri dance forms.
The big break in acting came to him while portraying the character of the Maratha King, Sivaji Maharaj in the play,’ Sivaji Kanda Samrajyam’ written and directed by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the doyen of Dravidian politics, C.N. Annadurai.
The name Sivaji became iconic and Ganesan retained the name throughout his extraordinarily brilliant acting carrier. The big break for the legendary actor in the Tamil movie industry came through the film, “Paraskthi” directed by Krisnan- Panju and written by former Chief Minister and DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi.
While critics list several movies as his best, Sivaji Ganesan rates his performance as V.O. Chidambaram in and as “Kappalottiya Thamizhan” as the most memorable one.
Sivaji Ganesan was remembered for his extraordinary flair for dialogue delivery and pioneered an exquisite style, diction, tone, and tenor. This dialogue delivery, style, diction has helped him play the characters of the historical Great Chola Emperor in and as Raja Raja Cholan, Lord Shiva in Thiruvilaiyaadal, Vasihnavite saint, Periyaalvar (Thirumal Perumal), Shaivite Saint Appar in the movie Thiruvarutchelvar.
He was addressed as “Nadigar Thilagam” for the all-around acting performance in his carrier but unfortunately, Sivaji did not receive a National award except for a Special jury mention playing a Cameo role in the Kamal Haasan acted Thevar Magan released in 1992. The veteran actor however rejected the award.
French Government in 1995 awarded him its highest decoration, Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
Sivaji was unsuccessful in the political arena like his compatriot, M.G. Ramachandran fondly named MGR who became Chief Minister and of the most popular leaders of the state. His once scriptwriter for the “Parashakthi” movie, M. Karunanidhi also went on to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
While Sivaji Ganesan was indeed in politics as a Dravida Kazhagam activist and later in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the veteran actor crossed over to Congress in the late 1950s.
He joined hands with the ‘Old’ Congress of Kamaraj after the Congress split in 1969 and later with Indira Gandhi after the passing away of Kamaraj. Sivaji Ganesan later left Congress and floated his own ‘Tamizhaga Munnetra Munnani’ in 1989 but had to face a crushing defeat in the electoral hustings.