Friday, September 5, 2008

கீர்த்தனை மகிமை டிரஸ்ட் (கீர்த்தனை விழா) B. Thangasamy


KEERTHANAIYIN MAHIMAI TRUST (Keerthanai Vizha) B. Thangasamy


When I was a school boy at Nazareth in Tiruneveli district, we used to memories psalms and sing in the church. Now singing has become a thing of the past. It has been totally marginalized. I wanted to revive it. Thus was born the Keerthanaiyin Mahimai Trust” Says Seventy-four-year-old B.Thangasamy, a practitioner of Labor and Employment Law for four decades in Coimbatore and the Secretary of the Stanes Higher Secondary School, is unique in his passion. He loves singing, that too in carnatic style, but, not the ordinary songs.

He terms lyrics in Tamil as keerthanai. His interest in such keerthanais might have come from his great grandfather “MADURA NAYAGAM UPADESIYAR”, an exponent in religious discourses. Now there is a compilation of more than 450 Tamil lyrics penned by great scholars like Abraham Pandithar, Vedanayagam Sastriar, Krishnapillai, Rev.Santiago, and Madura Nayagam Upadesiyar, many written even 200 years ago. “And they are not translations of psalms.”

He terms lyrics in Tamil as keerthanai. His interest in such keerthanais might have come from his great grandfather Madura Nayagam Upadesiyar, an exponent in religious discourses. Now there is a compilation of more than 450 Tamil lyrics penned by great scholars like Abraham Pandithar, Vedanayagam Sastriar, Krishnapillai, Rev.Santiago, and Madura Nayagam Upadesiyar, many written even 200 years ago. “And they are not translations of pslams.”
He points out “ABRAHAM PANDITHAR WAS SUPPORTED BY SERFORJI OF THANJAVUR” and accorded a pride of place in his court.
In a bid to revive singing these keerthanais, he organised Keerthanai Vizha in 2005 with the help of a few like-minded friends
This became an annual event and this year it was organised on the Independence Day.This is all due to the assistance from friends and well-wishers and we have not approached the Church. However, as there has been no proper organization for the work so far, we have recently formed the Trust with me as the chairman”.

In the keerthanai festival, singers from different parts of South India are invited. They can participate as individuals or groups. But we invite only quality singing. The festival is held only for a day, that too between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This year we had an audience of more than 1,000.”Mr. Thangasamy concedes that this effort is nothing but the replica of what some brethren in Chennai tried to do for a few years.”

Their attempt was so well appreciated that they were invited even in the U.S. where they toured almost a month singing in various places at the expense of the Tamils there.
He points out that even Coimbatore group has been invited to Colombo by the Tamils there who have promised to bear all the expense for the programme. Invite has come from Coonoor as well. He is happy to state that the Trust has started slowly building a corpus for carrying out its activities such as organizing competitions in schools for such performances and awarding prizes.
Gradually a lot of youngsters are getting involved, men and women, a majority of them below 40. What is imperative is to channel their interest”. In the Stanes School, earlier it used to be just a sermon and a prayer in the morning. Now we have introduced a new form of worship in which 90 per cent is singing. The response for this form has been so overwhelming that we are thinking of expanding the chapel”. Mr. Thangasamy admits that any effort to spread this form of worship to other parts of the State will require local support.

2 comments:

Moon Light said...

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Unknown said...

sir,
will u pl give list of songs written by Abraham pandither in pamalai kirthanai?
i am doing project in it.
shyla