CHENNAI: Chairman of Vikatan Group of Publications, S Balasubramanian died on Friday after a heart attack in a private hospital. He is survived by six daughters and one son. He was 79.
Balasubramanian was the son of the late film producer and journalist, Vasan, who founded the well known Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan.
Balasubramanian was born on December 28, 1935. He assumed charge as the Joint Managing Director of Ananda Vikatan at the age of 21 in 1956. He was a successful journalist, film maker and an avid aviculturist. He directed the MGR-starrer Sirithu Vazha Vendum and the Muthuraman-starrer Ellorum Nallavarae in Tamil and other films in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu.
One of Balasubramanian’s memorable moments in his life occurred when the Privileges Committee of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly sentenced him to jail in 1987 for publishing cartoons on the front cover of Ananda Vikatan.
Balasubramanian took the Tamil Nadu Legislature to court and got a historical judgment in his favour with a token cheque for `1,000 from the Tamil Nadu government as compensation. He cherished the cheque all his life.
Balasubramanian was a dominant force in the Indian media, particularly the Tamil print media, for the past six decades. The Student Journalists Scheme launched by his father, Vasan, was given full support by Balasubramanian with around 1,000 journalists graduating from this scheme to date.
Balasubramanian’s body will be handed over to medical students for research as per his wish. His body will be kept for public homage at his Poes Garden residence on Monday morning.