T. V. Ramasubbaiyer
TVR was born on October 2, 1908 to Ramalinga Iyer and Bhagavathi at Thazhuvia Mahadevar Koil village in the then Nanjil land, Nagercoil, now the Kanyakumari District.
Right from his childhood, Ramasubbaiyer was a vocal opponent of caste-based discrimination. He strived for the upliftment of depressed classes.
This plan actually made it possible for Kanyakumari District to achieve the first place in education. To gain people’s support for this plan,TVR travelled to many cities, along with the then Director of School Education, Mr. A.N. Thambi. He emphasized its significance to people and took successful steps to construct 50 school buildings within 3 months.
Founding of Dinamalar
For 20 long years TVR was repeatedly insisting through his ‘Dinamalar’ daily that the train service between Trivandrum-Kanyakumari-Tirunelveli was essential for the development of that area. Because of his relentless efforts, he succeeded in getting this railway service.
His firm principle was that both the Tamil language and the history must be studied imbued with a scientific spirit as the western scholars do, so that the whole world would not only accept our language but also appreciate our perception and work.
After the attainment of success in the agitation for linking Nanjil with Tamil Nadu, ‘Dinamalar’ was transferred from Trivandrum to Tirunelveli on April 15, 1957. Thereafter, news items were published by giving greater importance to the general problems of the Tamil people.
The Siddha Medical College was established at Tirunelveli, only because of the repeated insistence given to it in ‘Dinamalar’ through its news and articles.
He pointed out to the Government through ‘Dinamalar’ that in spite of good rains, the lakes and ponds could not become full due to lack of maintenance. TVR showed keen interest in the rural and urban drinking water problem. ‘Dinamalar’ was responsible to create a permanent plan for the Drinking Water supply at both Kovilpatti and Dindigul which had suffered without drinking water.
On November 6, 1964 the former Prime Minister, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri initiated the Tuticorin Port-Trust work involving expenditure to the tune of 15 crores. ‘Dinamalar’ was continuously writing about the scope of starting different industries in and around Tuticorin, after making a thorough study.
TVR persisted that a new district must be formed by linking together hilly regions like Bodi, Kumbum, Periyakulam, Kodaikanal, Palani and Dindigul. The Dindigul District was born because of this perseverance. Similarly, he wrote that the Ramnad District remained a backward place, since it was very large and that it should be divided into two. And the partition happened.
TVR wrote incessantly that if the dry areas of Tirunelveli District were brought together to create a new district, places like Kovilpatti, Vilathikulam, Ottappitaram and Tiruchendur would show improvement. Once again, as he visualized, the Tuticorin District was born with Turicorin as its capital.
TVR thus published news with far-sighted thinking.
On September 6, 1951, TVR founded the Tamil daily Dinamalar, in Trivandrum, the then capital of Travancore state where Nagercoil also was situated in. He basically founded the newspaper as a way to vent the feelings and rights of the people. The first issue was released by Prof. Vaiyapuripillai, a man who gave a new dimension to Tamil Literature.
In the initial days after the launch, the newspaper did not find favour with the government, but TVR persisted. The newspaper grew up to be one of the leading newspapers in Tamil Nadu, and has always pioneered new methods in the Tamil print media. Today, the newspaper is one of the largest in circulation in Tamil Nadu and very popular among the Tamil masses.
Even after Dinamalar became a commercial success, TVR held steadfast in his convictions and principles, and was a noble philanthropist, loved by people in all walks of life. TVR died on 21 July 1984.
- "Dinamalar founder’s contributions recalled". The Hindu. 26 March 2009.