Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran

by Rameshraj 2010-01-05 15:30:02

Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran :


Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran (January 17, 1917 – December 24, 1987), popularly known by his initials MGR (Tamil: எம்.ஜி.ஆர்), was an Indian film actor, producer and politician. Well known as a Tamil activist, he served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1977 until his death in 1987.

MGR was born in Nawalapitiya near Kandy, British Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), to immigrant Keralite Nair parents — Gopala Menon and Maruthur Satyabhama. (Nairs are traditionally matrilineal, hence he shares his matrilineal family surname "Maruthur"). His family was originally from Vadavannur, Palakkad, Kerala, but his father had migrated with his family to Ceylon.

MGR was a Hindu and portrayed himself as a devotee of Lord Murugan, as is common practice for many Hindus in Sri Lanka. This was during his early days. Later, when he joined the DMK,a pro-rationalist party,he followed the rationalist ideology, though not appearing very aggressively atheistic.However,in later days after he founded his own party following his expulsion from the DMK, he seems to have shown some leaning towards religious faith. He had asked his followers to pray for the success of his AIADMK party.

His followers even prayed for him when it was determined that he had a kidney illness. After his demise, his wife opened up a temple in his name.

After his father's death, he joined a drama troupe called Original Boys. Later, he entered the world of cinema, becoming an actor, and later a director, producer, and editor. MGR married Bargavi also known as Thangamani who died early due to illness. He later married Sathanandavathi who also died soon due to Tuberculosis. M. G. R. married V. N. Janaki a former Tamil film actress as his third wife after the death of his second wife. Janaki divorced her husband Ganapati Bhat, to marry MGR.

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