A REFORMER WHO CAN’T BE BRUSHED ASIDE                                                                 2005

Syed Muthahar
The Hindu

     For Pugazhendhi, it has been his wish to propagate the ideals of Periyar for life. He firmly believes that his principles have helped to solve the maladies afflicting the society, and they are still relevant to deal with the present day problem.

     The two-day exhibition of paintings of E.V.R.Periyar, the founder of the Dravidian movement, held at Tirunelveli, projected the different faces of this social reformer over six decades. About 25 pen and ink portraits, painted with artistic skill and graphic depth by K.Pugazhendhi, were presented at the exhibition titled “Periyarin Thisaimugam” . The portraits formed the latest  linear techniques in painting.

     Pugazhendhi (35), a teacher of the Kumbakonam collage of Arts, was motivated to take up the task by the documentation of the life-sketch of social scholars and sociologists  world over. “I felt that it was my bounden duty to document Periyar’s achievements. Painting every portrait of Periyar, I have a feeling that I am documenting a fresh view of the present  day history, and I am only doing a humble service to the great social reformer”, he says.

     Though the face of Periyar is seen everyday in banners and wall posters, the portraits, documented through fine arts, will have an everlasting impression on the minds of the youth, and will be more appealing.

     Mr. Pugazhendhi proposes to document the life history of Periyar through pictures and portraits in the near future, and to hold the exhibition in various towns and cities till the first week of June.

     In the past, he captured through his pen-brush the events that took place in the country and elsewhere in the world for a decade from 1983, including Ealem struggle, the Palestine struggle and the demolition of the Babri Masjid, under the title ‘Burning Colours’.

     His another achievement is ‘Unslumbering Colours’, an exhibition of paintings on the important occurrences in the century and the great leaders and social thinkers connected with them.

     It went down very well in TamilNadu and 15 centres in Malaysia and Singapore.

     Last year, he brought alive the devastation caused by the earthquake in Gujarat through a 150-feet-long painting. ‘Sithaintha Koodu’ and raised funds for the victims.

     Periyar’s achievements should be known to Indians and foreigners alike, he says.

     Pugazhendhi is planning to organize ‘Periyar Thisaimugam’ and Unslumbering Colours in various European and American countries shortly.