Born On: September 4, 1902
Born In: Aangarai, Tiruchirapalli District, Madras Presidency, India
Died On: November 22, 1997
Career: Writer, Freedom Fighter, Singer, Film Producer, Journalist
T. Sadasivam or Thiagaraja Sadasivam, or 'Kalki' Thiagaraja Sadasivam as the man was popularly known, was one of the greatest freedom fighters to hail from the peninsular India. Apart from being noted for his contribution to the revolts against British rule, Thiagaraja Sadasivam was known for being a talented singer, a writer and a journalist. Not many people may know this but Thiagaraja Sadasivam, being the man that he was, was also noted for his contributions to the world of film production. One of the greatest achievements that graced the life of T. Sadasivam was when he, along with Kalki Krishnamurthy, started off the renowned Tamil magazine 'Kalki'! Apart from all these claims to fame, T. Sadasivam was well-known as the spouse of one of India's most respected classical carnatic singers M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Looking at it from any angle, the life of T. Sadasivam was anything but ordinary. For T. Sadasivam, the journey began in Aangarai, Tiruchirapalli District of Madras Presidency on September 4th, 1902 where he was born into an orthodox Brahmin family - however, the boy, at a very young age, managed to lean towards things less orthodox. It may surprise you to know that as a boy, the young T. Sadasivam, left school only to join the freedom struggle. Initially, he associated himself with the revolutionary chunk of the freedom movement, but with time, he adopted Gandhiji's philosophy of ahimsa. Legend has it that a very fiery T. Sadasivam once ran behind the horse drawn carriage of the explosive freedom fighter Subramania Siva and asked him if he could join the 'Bharat Samaj'. Surprised by the intrusion, Subramania Siva asked the youngster if he was ready to die for his country. Being as bold as he was, T. Sadasivam was quick to reply in the positive.
By 1920, Sadasivam found himself being a part of the 'Civil Disobedience Movement' that was led by C. Rajagopalachari. This participation in a way helped him stage his musical talents. As T. Sadasivam marched from village to village, the fervor he exhibited while singing patriotic songs was infectious and people were quick to get inspired by his talent and dedication towards the common cause of freedom.
Life threw a loveable card at T. Sadasivam during the month of July, 1936 when he met M.S. Subbulaksmi. They were a great match from the word go. M.S. Subbulaksmi, a renowned classical singer, was quick to support and subscribe to T. Sadasivam's ideological and political views. Sadasivam, on the other hand, was always more than willing to support and guide the musical career of Subbulaksmi. However, their romance couldn't culminate into a marriage then as Sadasivam was already married to Smt. Apithakuchambal and had also fathered two daughters, Radha and Vijaya, with her. It was only after the death of his first wife that he married Subbulaksmi on July 10, 1940.
The year 1941 saw a turn in the life of T. Sadasivam. This was the year in which he, along with his friend Kalki R. Krishnamurti, launched the magazine "Kalki". The newspaper was a national weekly and went on to become a roaring success. Post the death of Krishnamurti, who was the editor of the newspaper, Sadasivam, in 1954, took control of the reigns of the magazine. As far as the qualities and standards of Kalki went, Sadasivam was adamant, all the while refusing to make compromises of any sort on the kind of content that went into it.
As a friend, Sadasivam was really one of the best. The friendships he made at a very young age lasted for life. He was also noted for being extremely charitable and accommodating when it came to helping the needy and he always assisted the unemployed in securing employment. Anyone who knew anything about Sadasivam could tell you that this gem of a man along with his wife, M.S. Subbulaksmi, made extensive contributions of almost over Rs. 4 crores towards charity.
A little on the last goal of T. Sadasivam's life - The man took it on himself to raise funds for building a 'Mani Mandapam' in honour of his spiritual leader, late Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. The Mani Mandapam was to be built near Kanchipuram and T. Sadasivam proved that just like how he was devoted to his friends, he was devoted to his 'guru' too. He literally worshipped his leader, looking up to him as a 'God on earth'.
'Kalki' Thiagaraja Sadasivam passed away at the ripe old age of 95 on November 22, 1997 in the southern city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India.
Although T. Sadasivam is no more, his legend still lives on. He was one of the last freedom fighters who happened to stay away from political activities post C. Rajagopalachari's death. However, T. Sadasivam's concern and love for the nation and people who sought his help stayed steadfast until his dying breath.
1902: Born at Aangarai, Tiruchirapalli District, Madras Presidency, India
1920: Played an active role in the Civil Disobedience Movement
1936: Met his wife-to-be M.S. Subbulakshmi
1940: Married M.S Subbulaksmi, post the passing way of his first wife
1941: Along with friend Kalki R. Krishnamurti, starts off 'Kalki', a national weekly
1997: Dies in the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India