Kovai Ayyamuthu’s reminiscences of Periyar – VI

Posted: July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Naicker’s father Sri Venkatappa Naicker was a very charitable man. He was very religious. He had built a chathram (rest house) in Erode. He had left a will apportioning Rs. 150 for feeding those who stayed in the chathram.  But I saw that nobody was being provided free food there. One day,  I asked Naicker about this. ‘‘Why, is it free food only if provided in the chathram? You all come to my house and have your fill, whose father’s property is that, tell me,’’ he retorted bitterly. Poor Naicker! Even though the earnings from the properties left to him ran to thousands, the will provided only for Rs. 50 every month for his expenses. This was the justification for Naicker to credit the money provided for charitable feeding to his own household expenses!


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The will provided turns for Naicker and his elder brother, Thiru Krishnasami Naicker in  administering the family properties. During Naicker’s turn, he would raze the old houses and build new ones.  During Krishnasami Naicker’s administration, he would get gold ornaments made. He would spend money on gold bhasmams (calcined powder used as medicine) and lehiyams (medicinal herbal pastes for health). He would hold special feasts for the Raamadaaris. He would go for long pilgrimages. Once, when the younger brother was carrying on the administration, Krishnasami Naicker asked for some money for the tonsure ceremony of his son Sampath at Tirupathi. Ramasami Naicker grumbled and gave a hundred rupees saying, ‘‘Take it and get lost’’. The elder Naicker was a man of gold in complexion, character and conduct.


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