Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi was an Indian Carnatic singer from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She was the first musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, she is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award considered Asia's Nobel Prize, in 1974 with the citation reading "Exacting purists acknowledge Srimati M. S. Subbulakshmi as the leading exponent of classical and semi-classical songs in the carnatic tradition of South India." Subbulakshmi was born on 16 September 1916 in Madurai, Madras Presidency, India to veena player Shanmukavadiver Ammal and Subramania Iyer. Her grandmother Akkammal was a violinist, she started learning Carnatic music at an early age and trained in Carnatic music under the tutelage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and subsequently in Hindustani music under Pandit Narayanrao Vyas. Her mother, from the devadasi community, was a music exponent and a regular stage performer, Subbulakshmi grew up in an environment conducive to musical learning.
Her musical interests were shaped by regular interactions with Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Mazhavarayanendal Subbarama Bhagavathar and Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. Subbulakshmi gave her first public performance, at the age of eleven, in the year 1927, in the 100 pillar hall inside the Rockfort Temple, Tiruchirappalli; this was organised by the Tiruchirappalli-based Indian National Congress leader F. G. Natesa Iyer. In 1936 Subbulakshmi moved to Madras, she made her film debut in Sevasadan in 1938. Her debut to the world of cinema was again opposite F. G. Natesa Iyer. M. S. Subbulakshmi began her Carnatic classical music training under her mother Shanmugavadivu. Subbulakshmi first recording was released. Subbulakshmi gave her first performance at the prestigious Madras Music Academy in 1929, when she was 13 years old; the performance consisted of singing bhajans. The academy was known for its discriminating selection process, they broke tradition by inviting a young girl as a key performer, her performance was described as spellbinding and earned her many admirers and the moniker of musical genius from critics.
Soon after her debut performances, Subbulakshmi became one of the leading Carnatic vocalists. By the age of seventeen, Subbulakshmi was giving concerts on her own, including major performances at the Madras Music Academy, she travelled to London, New York, the Far East, other places as India's cultural ambassador. Her concerts at Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama in 1963 Carnegie Hall, New York. In 1969 she was accompanied by Indian Railways Advisor SN Venkata Rao to Rameshwaram, where she sang several songs in front of each idol in the Rameshwaram temple, she shared a cordial relation with Sree Ramaseva Mandali Bengaluru for whom she performed 36 concerts. After the death of her husband Kalki Sadasivam in 1997, she stopped all her public performances. M. S. acted in a few Tamil films in her youth. Her first movie, was released on 2 May 1938. F. G. Natesa Iyer was the lead actor, in this film, directed by K. Subramanyam, it was a commercial success. Ananda Vikatan favourably reviewed the film on 8 May 1938: Sevasadanam is one of the early Tamil films to be set in a contemporary social setting and to advocate reformist social policies.
The film is an adapted version of Premchand's novel Bazaar-e-Husn. The veteran Marxist leader N. Sankaraiah, has described Sevasadanam as an "unusual film" for choosing the subject of marriages between young girls and old men. According to him, the film broughtout the "sufferings of the girl" and the "mental agony of the aged husband".. Tamil film critic and historian Aranthai Narayanan observes in his bookThamizh Cinemavin Kathai that "Seva Sadhanam proved a turning point in the history of Tamil cinema. In the climax, the aged husband, now a changed man, was shown as casting aside with utter contempt his'sacred thread', which symbolises his Brahmin superiority, it came as a stunning blow to the Brahmin orthodoxy."MS Subbulakshmi played the male role of Narada in Savitri to raise money for launching Kalki, her husband's nationalist Tamil weekly. Her title role of the Rajasthani saint-poetess Meera in the eponymous 1945 film gave her national prominence; this movie was re-made in Hindi in 1947.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had this to say about M. S. Subbulakshmi- "Who am I, a mere Prime Minister before a Queen, a Queen of Music". While Lata Mangeshkar called her Tapaswini, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan termed her Suswaralakshmi, Kishori Amonkar labelled her the ultimate eighth note or Aathuvaan Sur, above the seven notes basic to all music; the great national leader and poet Sarojini Naidu called her "Nightingale of India". Her many famous renditions of bhajans include the chanting of Bhaja Govindam, Vishnu sahasranama, Hari Tuma Haro and the Venkateswara Suprabhatam, she was honoured and awarded. Some of the popular ones include: Padma Bhushan in 1954 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1956 Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1968 Ramon Magsaysay award in 1974 Padma Vibhushan in 1975 Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1
Vehicle registration plate
A vehicle registration plate known as a number plate or a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. All countries require registration plates for road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. Whether they are required for other vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, or tractors, may vary by jurisdiction; the registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies the vehicle owner within the issuing region's vehicle register. In some countries, the identifier is unique within the entire country, while in others it is unique within a state or province. Whether the identifier is associated with a vehicle or a person varies by issuing agency. There are electronic license plates. Most governments require a registration plate to be attached to both the front and rear of a vehicle, although certain jurisdictions or vehicle types, such as motorboats, require only one plate, attached to the rear of the vehicle.
National databases relate this number to other information describing the vehicle, such as the make, colour, year of manufacture, engine size, type of fuel used, mileage recorded, vehicle identification number, the name and address of the vehicle's registered owner or keeper. In the vast majority of jurisdictions, the government holds a monopoly on the manufacturing of vehicle registration plates for that jurisdiction. Either a government agency or a private company with express contractual authorization from the government makes plates as needed, which are mailed to, delivered to, or picked up by the vehicle owners. Thus, it is illegal for private citizens to make and affix their own plates, because such unauthorized private manufacturing is equivalent to forging an official document. Alternatively, the government will assign plate numbers, it is the vehicle owner's responsibility to find an approved private supplier to make a plate with that number. In some jurisdictions, plates will be permanently assigned to that particular vehicle for its lifetime.
If the vehicle is either destroyed or exported to a different country, the plate number is retired or reissued. China requires the re-registration of any vehicle that crosses its borders from another country, such as for overland tourist visits, regardless of the length of time it is due to remain there. Other jurisdictions follow a "plate-to-owner" policy, meaning that when a vehicle is sold the seller removes the current plate from the vehicle. Buyers must either obtain new plates or attach plates they hold, as well as register their vehicles under the buyer's name and plate number. A person who sells a car and purchases a new one can apply to have the old plates put onto the new car. One who sells a car and does not buy a new one may, depending on the local laws involved, have to turn the old plates in or destroy them, or may be permitted to keep them; some jurisdictions permit the registration of the vehicle with "personal" plates. In some jurisdictions, plates require periodic replacement associated with a design change of the plate itself.
Vehicle owners may or may not have the option to keep their original plate number, may have to pay a fee to exercise this option. Alternately, or additionally, vehicle owners have to replace a small decal on the plate or use a decal on the windshield to indicate the expiration date of the vehicle registration, periodic safety and/or emissions inspections or vehicle taxation. Other jurisdictions have replaced the decal requirement through the use of computerization: a central database maintains records of which plate numbers are associated with expired registrations, communicating with automated number plate readers to enable law-enforcement to identify expired registrations in the field. Plates are fixed directly to a vehicle or to a plate frame, fixed to the vehicle. Sometimes, the plate frames contain advertisements inserted by the vehicle service centre or the dealership from which the vehicle was purchased. Vehicle owners can purchase customized frames to replace the original frames. In some jurisdictions registration plate frames have design restrictions.
For example, many states, like Texas, allow plate frames but prohibit plate frames from covering the name of the state, district, Native American tribe or country that issued of license plate. Plates are designed to conform to standards with regard to being read by eye in day or at night, or by electronic equipment; some drivers purchase clear, smoke-colored or tinted covers that go over the registration plate to prevent electronic equipment from scanning the registration plate. Legality of these covers varies; some cameras incorporate filter systems that make such avoidance attempts unworkable with infra-red filters. Vehicles pulling trailers, such as caravans and semi-trailer trucks, are required to display a third registration plate on the rear of the trailer. An engineering study by the University of Illinois published in 1960 recommended that the state of Illinois adopt a numbering system and plate design "composed of combinations of characters which can be perceived and are legible at a distance of 125 feet under daylight conditions, are adapted to filing and administrative procedures".
It recommended that a standard plate size of 6 inches by 14 inches be adopte
Bhadrakālī is a Hindu goddess popular in Southern India. She is one of the fierce forms of the Great Goddess Adi Parashakthi or Durga mentioned in the Devi Mahatmyam. Bhadrakali is the popular form of Devi Mahamaya worshipped in Kerala as Sri Bhadrakali, Mahakali and Kariam Kali Murti. In Kerala she is seen as the fortunate form of Mahakali who protects the good; this goddess is represented with three eyes, four, sixteen, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, a small tusk protruding from her mouth, her worship is associated with the Tantric tradition of the Matrikas as well as the tradition of the ten Mahavidyas and falls under the broader umbrella of Shaktism. Sarkara, Aattukal, Thirumandhamkunnu and Chottanikkara are famous Bhadrakali temples in Kerala. In Sanskrit, Bhadra means good. A major religious interpretation of this name is that Bhadra comes from'Bha' and'dra', The letter'Bha' means'delusion' or'Maya' in Devanagiri and'dra' is used as a superlative i.e. meaning'the most/the greatest etc.' which makes the meaning of Bhadra as Maha Maya.
The Sanskrit word'Bhadra Kaali' therefore can be translated to Hindi as'Mahamaya Kaali'. There are at least three traditional versions regarding the origin-incarnations or avatar of Bhadrakali; the first version is from Devi Mahatmyam and a part of Shaktism, it was during the battle between Raktabija and Shakti, according to this tradition. The second is associated with the Daksha and Dakshayaga, from the more Shaivism related tradition, glimpses of this version can be seen in some Puranas; the third and the most famous one is her divine birth as the daughter of Shiva to liberate the world from demon Daruka. According to the Vayu Purana and the Mahabharata, Bhadrakali came into being by Devi's wrath, when Daksha insulted Shiva, during the great Ashvamedha Yagna. According to Tantra Rahasya, she arose from the North face of Shiva, blue in color and with three eyes; the asura Darika, after intense ascetic penances and practices, secured a boon from Lord Brahma that he would be invincible and would not get killed by any man.
Soon afterwards he began to harass the world and commit numerous crimes. When Lord Shiva came to know about the misdeeds of demon Darika, he became infuriated, he opened the massive flaming form of Bhadrakali emerged. She wore a ferocious look and had countless hands. Shiva ordered Bhadra Kaali to destroy Darika and she went through the forest; when Darika saw Bhadrakaali, he laughed and dismissed her, forgetting that his boon of invincibility did not prevent him from being killed by a woman. After a fierce battle and her assistants finished him off, the Goddess returned to Kailash, full of wrath and excitement and holding the head of Darika in her left hand. According to the Kerala traditions, the events described in the Markandeya Purana associated with Bhadrakali took place in Kerala, near Madayi in the Kannur District. Bhadrakali temples in Kerala commemorate this event during traditional festivals and Bhadrakali is worshipped as the daughter of Lord Shiva, from whose third eye she sprung to defeat the demon.
According to the Markandeya Purana, her worship purifies the devotee and grants liberation from the cycle of birth and death. She is seen to bestow all spiritual knowledge. In Kerala, she called Virabhadra her "brother" and refused to be treated by him when she was attacked by the deity Vasoorimala, who had marked her face with smallpox, she said. Thus, mild pockmarks are sometimes visible on her face in some Keralan depictions of her. Among the people of the neighboring states in Tamil Nadu, this form of Shakti is known as'Malayala Bhagavathy' or'Malayala Bhadrakali', who provides protection to her devotees irrespective of caste and religion. In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Southern Travancore area of Kerala in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, the Tamil and Telugu speaking communities worship a form of Mahakali as'Ujjaini Mahakali', they consider Emperor Vikramaditya as their first teacher in this spiritual tradition as having established the tradition in the South. In other parts of India, the Tantric name'Kali' or'Mahakali' is more popular as the consort of Shiva in his form of Rudra or Mahakala, Bhadrakali is identified as Durga's daughter who helped her during the battle with Raktabija.
Other sources state that she is the sister of Virabhadra, himself born of the wrath of Shiva as Rudra, that she is the consort of a form of Mahakala or Bhairava. The Tantric-influenced traditions consider'Kali' as the consort of Shiva, it is believed Bhadrakali protects the practitioners of Kalarippayattu, a traditional martial arts form. In Malabar, it is believed that all the victories of Thacholi Othenan and other martial artists were due to the blessings of Bhadrakali of the Lokanarkavu Temple known as'The Shaolin Temple of Malayalees'. Most traditional villages in Kerala have their own Kalari, the ancient martial arts schools and local temples dedicated to Bhadrakali associated with them. Among Tamils, Bhadrakali is important as the patron deity of traditional martial arts and a guardian of all law-abiding citizens; some communities, like the Kodavas, Thiyyar’s, Poojaris,Billavas, Thlu Thiyyar’s and some Kurup Nairs, worship this deity as
Meenakshi, is a Hindu goddess and tutelary deity of Madurai, considered an avatar of the Goddess Parvati. She is the divine consort of a form of Shiva, she finds mention in literatures as the princess or queen of the ancient Pandya kingdom who elevates to godhood. The goddess is extolled by Adi Shankara as Shri Vidya, she is worshipped in South India where she has a major temple devoted to her known as the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. "Meenakshi" is a Sanskrit term derived from the words mina and akshi. She was earlier known by the Tamil name Tadadakai, mentioned in early historical account as a fierce and meat-eating goddess, sanskritised as Meenakshi, she is known by the Tamil name "Angayarkanni" or "Ankayarkannammai". According to another theory, the name of the goddess means "rule of the fish", derived from the Tamil words meen and aatchi. Various meanings of this appellation have been suggested, including that she was a goddess of the fisher-folk, that her eyes are "large and brilliant" like that of a fish, or that she has "long and slender" eyes shaped like the body of a fish.
Another interpretation is that the name is based on the belief that the fish never close their eyes: the goddess never stops watching over her devotees. Yet another interpretation states that the name is based on the ancient belief that the fish feed their young by looking at them. Several great hymns on the goddess were composed in the early modern period by many saints and scholars, including the famous Neelakanta Dikshitar; the stotram Meenakshi Pancharatnam, composed by Adi Sankaracharya, is an incantation to her. Meenakshi does not directly appear in the stotram Lalita Sahasranama, though there is a reference to her in the line Vakthra lakshmi parivaha chalan meenabha lochana. One Tamil poem/song portrays Meenakshi as the intersection of domesticity and divinity and as a global icon for all who deal with "impossible" children or husbands:The great Shiva with the metel flower / Wanders through the courtyard of space / Destroying your work again and again / And he comes before you. // You never get angry.
/ Every day you just pick up the vessels. The 13th century Tamil text Tiruvilaiyatarpuranam, mentions king Malayadhwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai who performed a yajna seeking a son for succession. Instead a daughter is born, 3 year old and has three breasts. Shiva intervenes and says that the parents should treat her like a son, when she meets her husband, she will lose the third breast, they follow the advice. The girl grows up, the king crowns her as the successor and when she meets Shiva, his words come true, she takes her true form of Meenakshi. According to Harman, this may reflect the matrilineal traditions in South India and the regional belief that "penultimate powers rest with the women", gods listen to their spouse, that the fate of kingdoms rest with the women. According to Susan Bayly, the reverence for Meenakshi is a part of the Hindu goddess tradition that integrates with the Dravidian Hindu society where the "woman is the lynchpin of the system" of social relationships.
Her eyes are fabled to bring life to the unborn. The temple complex at Madurai, Tamil Nadu in India is dedicated to Meenakshi as the primary deity, it is referred to as Meenakshi Amman or Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple. Meenakshi's shrine is next to that of a form of Shiva. Though the temple has historic roots, most of the present campus structure was rebuilt after the 14th century CE, further repaired and expanded in the 17th century by Thirumalai Nayak. In early 14th century, the armies of Delhi Sultanate led by Muslim Commander Malik Kafur plundered the temple, looted it of its valuables and destroyed the Madurai temple town along with many other temple towns of South India; the contemporary temple is the result of rebuilding efforts started by the Vijayanagara Empire rulers who rebuilt the core and reopened the temple. In the 16th century, the temple complex was further fortified; the restored complex houses each above 45 metres in height. The complex has numerous sculpted pillared halls such as Ayirakkal, Kilikoondu-mandapam, Golu-mandapam and Pudu-mandapam.
Its shrines are dedicated to Hindu deities and Shaivism scholars, with the vimanas above the garbhagrihas of Meenakshi and Sundaresvara guilded with gold. The temple is a major pilgrimage destination within the Shaivism tradition, dedicated to Meenakshi Devi and Shiva. However, the temple includes Vishnu in many narratives and rituals as he is considered to be Meenakshi's brother; this has made this temple and Madurai as the "southern Mathura", one included in Vaishnava texts. The large temple complex is the most prominent landmark in Madurai and attracts tens of thousands visitors a day; the temple attracts over a million pilgrims and visitors during the annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrated with much festivities and a ratha procession during the Tamil month of Chittirai. Meenakshi Pooja
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
Semmangudi Radhakrishna Srinivasa Iyer was a Carnatic vocalist. He was the youngest recipient of the Sangeetha Kalanidhi awarded by the Music Academy in 1947 and has received many awards including Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India, Sangeet Natak Academy award, Isai Perarignar from Government of Tamil Nadu and Kalidas Samman from Government of Madhya Pradesh, he was affectionately addressed as "Semmangudi Maama" by his disciples. He, along with his contemporaries G. N. Balasubramaniam and Madurai Mani Iyer, are referred to as the 20th century male trinity of Carnatic music, he was considered the "Pitamaha" or the grand sire of modern Carnatic Music. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate by University of Kerala in 1979, he was born in Tirukkodikaval, Tanjore district as the third son of Radhakrishna Iyer and Dharmasamvardhini Ammal. He lived with his maternal uncle Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer, a violin maestro, until the age of four and after his death, moved back to his parents' home in Semmangudi, Tiruvarur District.
At the age of eight he started learning music from his cousin Semmangudi Narayanaswamy Iyer. This was followed by some rigorous training under Thiruvadaimaruthur Sakharama Rao, a famous Gottuvadhyam exponent, an event considered by Semmangudi as a turning point in his life; this was followed by another training stint with Narayanaswamy Iyer, during which time he learnt a lot of varnams and keerthanams. He had a musical apprenticeship with Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. In 1926, he performed his first music recital at Kumbakonam. In 1927 gave a concert in the Madras session of Indian National Congress, another event considered by Semmangudy as a turning point in his life, as it catapulted him into the big league of vidwans at that time, he was known for producing soulful music creative and yet orthodox, despite a recalcitrant voice. He was instrumental, along with Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, for the work on the krithis of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma. After attending one of his concerts in 1934, Maharani Sethu Parvati Bai of Travancore was so impressed by his talent and scholarship that she invited him to come to Thiruvananthapuram to edit and popularise the compositions of Swati Tirunal.
He succeeded Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar as Principal of the Swathi Thirunal College of Music at Thiruvananthapuram, a post he held for 23 years, until the age of 55. At this age, he handed over his responsibilities to another Carnatic legend, G. N. Balasubramaniam and at the behest of the Government of India, became the Chief Producer of Carnatic music at All India Radio, Madras from 1957 to 1960. In life, he concentrated on concert performances and tutoring youngsters, he gave public concerts after the age of 90. Semmangudi was renowned for his virtuosity as a concert performer, he was famous for the meticulous planning that he put into every concert, including the choice of krithis and duration. He was widely acknowledged as a master of improvisation in the form of niravals. Semmangudi was noted for his choice of songs, speed in rendering swarams and his ability to combine choice and speed with Bhakti; some most memorable concerts over the years had geniuses in violin in accompaniment.
Palghat Mani Iyer, Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair, Karraikudi Mani, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Nagercoil S Harihara Iyer, T. N. Krishnan, Nagercoil S. Ganesa Iyer, Trichy Sankaran, Guruvayur Dorai, T S Nandakumar and Vellore G. Ramabhadran; some of his famous renditions of kritis included Marubalka in Sri Ranjani raga, Chakkani Raja Margamu in Kharaharapriya, etc. Semmangudi was well known for his uncharacteristically nasal voice in an era when every prominent Carnatic singer had an impeccable voice. In his youth, famous kanjira performer, Dhakshinamurti Pillai commented to his brother and teacher, "His voice is as melodious as the noise created when a coconut shell is scraped on a rock. Don't bother to give him vocal training. Let him learn to play the violin." Despite such criticism, Semmangudi worked hard to improve his voice through practice and rigorous training. In the end, his natural talent for music emerged victorious over his deficient voice and he became a phenomenon in the Carnatic world.
His singing style has been followed, his prominent disciples include Sangeetha Kalanidhis, M. S. Subbulakshmi and her stepdaughter Radha Viswanathan, T. M. Thyagarajan and violinist, Prof. T. N. Krishnan, his senior disciples include Smt Parassala Ponnammal, Trivandrum G Seethalakshmi Ammal, Palai C. K. Ramachandran, Smt. Seetha Rajan, Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma, Prof. Kumara Kerala Varma, K. J. Yesudas, P. S. NarayanaswamiVaigal. S. Gnanaskandhan, V. Subramaniam, Sri K. R. Kedaranathan, Smt. Meera Kedaranathan, Kadayanallur Venkataraman, V. R. Krishnan, Smt. Seethalakshmi Venkatesan, Smt. Radha Namboodri, Smt. Visalakshi Ramachandran. T. M. Krishna, a leading vocalist of the present day, has taken advanced training from him. At a young age, he was married to Thayyu ammal. Thayyu ammal, was a pivotal factor in the success of his career; the entire family was run with stream line precision by Thayyu ammal, when he had to travel for concerts and spend most of his time involved in music. Sons – Swaminathan, Radhakrishnan Daughters – Shantha, Dharma.
Grand Children – Jayaraman, Sreeraman, Yoga, Padma, Sankar, Srinivas, Vidya, Jagannath
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma
Svāti Tirunāḷ Rāma Varma was the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Travancore, British India. He is considered as a brilliant music composer and is credited with over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindustani style. A well-formulated code of laws, courts of justice, introduction of English education, construction of an observatory, installation of the first Government printing press, establishment of the first manuscripts library were amongst the many initiatives taken by Svāti Tirunāḷ, as a King, to modernise Travancore.. Swāthi Tirunāḷ was born into the Venad dynasty of the Matrilineal royal family of Travancore, now a part of Kerala, on 16 April 1813, he was the second child of Queen Gowri Lakshmi Bayi who ruled Travancore from 1811–15, Rajaraja Varma Koyi Thampuran of Changanasseri Palace. While in the womb itself, he was proclaimed King and was referred to as Garbha Sreemaan, he reigned under the regency of his mother from 1813–15 and under the regency of his maternal aunt Gowri Parvati Bayi until 1829.
When he was just four months old, his mother invited Colonel John Munro, representative of the East India Company, his officials and declared in the Durbar that she was entrusting the East India Company with the care of her child and expected the Company to co-operate with him in future. In 1829 Svāti Tirunāḷ reached majority at 16 and assumed full powers of ruler and reigned as the Maharajah of Travancore until his death in 1846, he had an elder sister, Gowri Rukmini Bayi, whose children ascended the Travancore musnud consecutively. Her only daughter was the mother of Moolam Thirunal, he had a younger brother, Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma, who succeeded him in 1846 and ruled Travancore until his demise in 1860. Irayimman Thampi, the famous poet-composer wrote the most famous Malayalam lullaby Omanathinkal Kidavo, about Svāti Tirunāḷ when he was born. Both his aunt/foster mother, well-versed in music, his father, a Sanskrit scholar. Took special care about his education. Col. Munro is said to have taken a keen interest in his education.
He started learning Sanskrit at the age of six and English at the age of seven. The young Prince studied several languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit and Persian, he impressed all his teachers, guests from abroad, with his keen understanding of not only languages but other subjects like geometry. P. Sankunni Menon records an incident between young Svāti Tirunāḷ and Col. Welsh, a visiting British officer, that the word geometry and words like hexagon, heptagon and so on were derived from Sanskrit. Colonel Welsh summed up the boy King's genius as follows:Swati Tirunal, now thirteen... took up a book of mathematics and selecting the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid sketched the figure on a country slate but what astonished me most was his telling us in English that Geometry was derived from the Sanskrit, which as Jaw metor to measure the earth and that many of our mathematical terms were derived from the same source such as hexagon, octagon... This promising boy is now, I conclude, sovereign of the finest country in India for he was to succeed to the Musnud the moment he had attained his 16th year.
Svāti Tirunāḷ took over the reins of Travancore from his aunt, Gowri Parvati Bayi at the age of sixteen. He appointed Sri Subba Rao, as the Prime Minister. One of his first moves was to shift the government secretariat from Kollam to Thiruvananthapuram; this enabled him to give personal attention to government affairs. He took steps to curb corruption in the government and told the Diwan to resign when he heard that the Diwan had acted to favour a particular party in a land dispute, he started an English school in Thiruvananthapuram in 1834, which came to be called the Maharajah's Government Free School and became Maharajah's High School and Maharajah's College. It is now the University College. Similar schools were started at many other places, he implemented reforms in the legal sector, starting Munsif and Appellate Courts and modernizing laws. He identified one Kandan Menon from Malabar and appointed him as Huzoor Diwan Peshkar to bring about legal reforms. Another of his achievements was to settle many land disputes by carrying out a resurvey of the land, in which Menon helped him.
He conducted the first census of the state in 1836. As per the census, the population of Travancore was 128, 068. Svāti Tirunāḷ was instrumental in bringing modern medicine to the state, he appointed a European as the palace physician. He was given the responsibility of providing medical assistance to local people, for which hospitals were started, it is this post, known as Surgeon General till the formation of Kerala State. He started an engineering department, placed under the command of one Lieutenant Horsley; the Karamana bridge was built at that time. Despite the progress achieved in varied fields under Swathi Thirunal's reign, the Kingdom of Travancore, like the rest of British India, was in the grip of extreme caste discrimination against Hindu dalits. According to the followers of the movement called Ayya Vazhi and historians, a social reformer and iconoclast named Muthukutty or Ayya Vaikundar criticized Swathi Thirunal for the prevalent caste discrimination against dalits in Travancore.
He referred to the King as Anantha