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Condolences! Four Major Departures

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TSR Subramanian, Jayendra Saraswathi, Kekoo Nicholson, Sridevi, Kripalu Maharaj Four renowned personalities namely Bollywood actress Sridevi, former Cabinet Secretary of the Union government TSR Subramanian, President of the Cricket Club of India (CCI) Kekoo Nicholson and Shri Jayendra Saraswathi, have left for heavenly abode within a month. All of them have made their mark in various fields like films, administration, spirituality etc. It will be difficult to fill the vacuum left by these personalities, as all of them have been successful in their respective field. Afternoon Voice condoles their death. May their soul rest in peace!

TSR Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary of the Union government passed away on Monday, February 26 due to prolonged illness. Subramanian headed an expert committee that submitted a new National Education Policy to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. He also headed the Cabinet Secretariat, which is responsible for the administration of the Indian government.

On February 26 morning, Kekoo Nicholson, President of the Cricket Club of India (CCI), passed away at the Global Hospitals. He was 63. A patron of billiards and snooker, Kekoo took personal interest in the development of the Wilson Jones Billiards Room at the CCI, conduct of tournaments and showed a great interest for other sports. He was instrumental in bringing overseas professionals like Jimmy White and Stephen Lee for the Club’s high-profile tournaments.

On Saturday, February 24, Bollywood actress Sridevi drowned in the bathtub of room number 2201 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. The actress’s sudden demise has shocked the entire film industry and her fans. Netizens offered condolences to the actor on social media. Her body was flown back to Mumbai on Tuesday after medical and legal formalities were completed. The Maharashtra government has accorded state honour to her.

Spiritual leaders expressed grief over the death of Shri Jayendra Saraswathi the 69th Shankaracharya of the Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham after suffering from breathlessness. He complained of breathing problems and was admitted to ABCD Hospital in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu where he passed away on Wednesday morning. The hospital and the Mutt sources confirmed his demise. He will be succeeded by Vijayendra Saraswathi, who will be anointed as the 70th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. According to reports, Kanchi Acharya’s health condition had worsened in January after which he was admitted in a hospital and later discharged.

Spiritual leader Kripalu Maharaj said, “We are saddened by Jayendra Saraswathi’s death and it’s difficult to find a leader like him. I have personally met him and he used to amicably connect with the common men.”

The mutt was established by Adi Shankaracharya about 2520 years ago. Jayendra Saraswathi was the senior pontiff of the mutt after receiving the mantle from his predecessor, the late Shri Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

Swami Shiva Subramanian, a devotee from Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham said, “Shri Jayendra Saraswathi attained mukti around 9 am on Wednesday. The funeral will be held on Thursday. Prior to his death, he was healthy and attended puja too. Kanchi Acharya was alright till 5 am but after that he suddenly collapsed and later he was rushed to hospital where he passed away.”

Jayendra Saraswathi was born in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi Acharya had stirred up a controversy after his sudden disappearance from the mutt in August 1987. Subsequently, a search operation was launched and he was finally found in Talacauvery after three days.

Pandit Hariom Shastri expressed that Jayendra Saraswathi had dedicated his life for the unity of Hindu samaj and protection of Sanatana Dharma. “However, today media is only focussing on reporting about Sridevi’s death incident and has given minimal coverage to his death. When he was arrested, media had criticised him but they remained mum after his release,” he said.

Kanchi Acharya was known to be close with political leaders especially with former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and BJP leaders. Prior to releasing the list of the party candidates for 1996 Lok Sabha polls, Jayalalithaa had sought his blessings. He had also sought to play the role of a mediator in the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute during the reign of BJP government between 1998 and 2004.

In 2004, Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested on charges of abetting the murder of Sankararaman who was the manager of Kanchipuram’s Varadharaja Perumal Temple. He was acquitted in the case in 2013. Shankaracharya’s demise was condoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, DMK Working President MK Stalin and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss.

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