Tribute to a Great Teacher by his Student

President's Award 1965

President’s Award 1965

 

Received from Sankar, GM of a big exporter MIM,from Bangalore  to USA! 

Suri,

A tribute to Shri. RAJA IYER by my younger brother Nagasamy.

(Nagasamy was the VP of the Swedish Firm ABB n his brother Sankar, my Classmate was veryvery close to Abdul Kalam in ISRO..)

From: sundaram.nagasamy@gmail.com [mailto:sundaram.nagasamy@gmail.com] 

Subject: Shri M Rajah Iyer

I was feeling nostalgic today when I remembered our Rajah’s High School, Ramanathapuram Head Master, Shri M.Rajah Iyer during his 100th Birth Day.

Shri. M.Rajah Iyer was one of the greatest Head Masters. He was a great teacher, compassionate, easily accessible, loved his students (also loved by his students), and remembered all his students. Some people were so lucky that he was teacher for two generations in the same family. He commanded respect from everybody. I still vividly remember him delivering the prayer address and teaching his favorite subjects Mathematics & English in the class.

Shri M Rajah Iyer had a preference for wearing only white khadi clothes and I had always seen him in his trademark white Khadi attire. I can almost see him today looking as pristine as ever.

Even as students, we used to respect him so much that none would even try to go before him even on the roadside. Every citizen of Ramnad used to bow & salute this great man irrespective of whether they were his students or not. This respect he commanded with exemplary dignity by his selfless sacrifice for education all through his life. Till date I am yet to see anyone else who commanded so much respect in that place. I am privileged to have been his student.

Shri M Rajah Iyer was born in a poor family of 6 members and had a very tough time to continue his education. He won Scholarship to Graduate in American College, Madurai and later completed his Masters in the prestigious Annamalai University. Ex President R. Venkatraman was his close friend and both used to participate in various Debates regularly, in the Annamalai University! 

Gifted Speaker even at a very young age in English & Tamil. He was picked by the Raja of Ramnad in the year 1930 in Paramakudi & requested him to come to Rajah’s High School, Ramnad with an assurance that the Mantle of the school would be his sooner.

After a year in Rajah’s High School he had to go to Saidapet, Madras to complete his Teacher’s Training with his young wife and his mother. He didn’t have money when the Rajah of Ramnadpromised him that every month he would receive on time a sum of Rs.50 for his expenses. Never was a time there was a default.

When he came back, he was a prominent Teacher of Maths & English in the school. When Britishers spotted his talents in Maths, they wanted him to join Income Tax Dept as an officer even in the 30s. He refused all lucrative offers including Bank jobs to show loyalty for the Rajah of Ramnad.

In 1945 when there was the vacancy for the HM’s position, there were 3 equally qualified contestants, viz., Mr.M.Rajah Iyer, Mr.S.Narasimhan, & Mr.Rengasamy Iyengar. When Shri M Rajah Iyerwas selected as HM for Rajah’s High School by the Rajah of Ramnad, Mr.Narasimhan moved into MCT Muthiah School and Mr.Rengasamy Iyengar to NSMVPS School at Devakottai. The irony part is that all the three great persons continued to be very close friends till the very last and each one made a great mark in their respective schools.

As a Maths Teacher in Rajah’s HIgh School, he first published a Maths Book called ‘Inba Ganitham’ which, at that time, was very popular in Tamil Nadu. Later on in the year 1965 M.Viswanathan & Co which always published Books only for College & University had approached him for Maths book both in English & Tamil for High Schools . This was also extremely popular all over Tamil Nadu.

During the year 1965, he was instrumental to start Government Arts & Science College at Ramanathapuram with courses like PUC, Degree in Arts, Science & Maths. It was a dream project for him. In the same year 1965, Shri M.Rajah Iyer had won the “BEST TEACHER AWARD” at all India level. He had donated all the prize money received from The President’s Award. That was kept in the form of a Deposit & the interest earned was paid to the outstanding poor students who were studying in the Govt Arts & Science College, Ramnad as Scholarships.

His dedication for teaching and for building good teachers was so sincere and evident that in the year 1968 when he was given a MLC ticket, even the then CM Shri Annadurai refused a DMK Candidate (Anbazhagan’s own brother Thirumaranwanted to contest against him but was denied DMK ticket) to contest against Shri M. Rajah Iyer. Annadurai told Anbazhagahn.. “It is not our aim to run this Govt with our own people. Today in Education, to advise this Govt, there is No A.L.Mudaliar, No T.P Srinivasavaradan, No G.R.Damodaran, and No K.Balasubramania Aiyer. The only man who can guide us in Education is Mr.M.Rajah Iyer. So I don’t want to put up a DMK Candidate against him. If your brother can win as an independent, all the best.”

In Feb 1974 when Shri M.Rajah Iyer passed away, all the Party Flags, including the Communist Parties were half mast for 3 days to show their respects to Shri M.Rajah Iyer.

When the Funeral procession started, the Rajah of Ramnad, Shri RamanathaSethupathi, the DMK MLA Satyendran and two other prominent persons carried his body and kept it on a specially decorated Open Truck. From his home to the Grave yard, a distance of 4 KM, it took more than 5 hours due to the huge crowds on both sides of the roads shouting ”When can I see a man like him?”. Such was his reputation and popularity

Rajah Iye with Lal Bahadur

My father with Lalbahadur Sastri

 

I SALUTE THIS GREAT PERSON, THE GREATEST ONE THAT I HAVE EVER MET……THE ONE & ONLY SHRI M RAJAH IYER

Thanks & Regards

Sundaram Nagasamy

 

 

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About s.rajah iyer

An MBA.. Interested in writing,Reading..Indian Philosophy
This entry was posted in Education, ramnad and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Tribute to a Great Teacher by his Student

  1. vaidyanathan P.N. says:

    A great and revered soul

    Like

  2. D Ramasundaram says:

    Aachaarya DEvO Bhava!

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Warm reminiscence…regards.

    Like

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