N. Mahalingam

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N. Mahalingam
Born (1923-03-21)March 21, 1923
Pollachi, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu), India
Died 2 October 2014(2014-10-02) (aged 91)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Founder & Chairman of Sakthi Group

Nachimuthu Mahalingam (March 21, 1923 - October 2, 2014) was the Chairman of Sakthi Group of companies, educationalist, notable philanthropist and a prominent, influential person of Tamil Nadu.

Early life[edit]

Nachimuthu Mahalingam was born on 21 March 1923 into an affluent agricultural family at Somanthurai Chittoor, Pollachi. He was born to P Nachimuthu Gounder, who started the Sakthi Group in 1921 by diversifying his traditional business of hiring out bullock carts to starting a passenger transport services. [1] He had his school education at Pollachi. He obtained his B.Sc Degree in Physics at Loyola College, Chennai, in 1943.[2] He joined the College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai and obtained his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1945.[3] Became an AMIE in 1951, MIE in 1975 and FIE in 1981 of the Institution of Engineers.

He has been decorated with Honorary Doctorate Degrees' by Bharathiar University, Coimbatore; Anna University; Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and also Madurai Kamaraj University, for his outstanding contributions to society.[4]

Career[edit]

Since his father Late Thiru P. Nachimuthu Gounder was a municipal chairman, Mahalingam was initiated into politics very early in life. Nachimuthu Gounder’s only son Mahalingam joined the Sakthi Group business in 1943 and helped grew the business to its current level. N.Mahalingam was a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for 15 years — from 1952 to 1967— and played a key role in bringing about a number of development projects, including the Parambikulam - Aliyar Project - Parambikulam Dam and Aliyar Reservoir- that helps irrigate the agriculture lands in the Pollachi region. He was elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly as an Indian National Congress candidate from Pollachi constituency in 1952, 1957 and 1962 elections.[5][6][7]

He counts himself lucky to have started business during the planning era in post-Independence India. After the banks were nationalised by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, this entrepreneur found it a big boon to start businesses and expand as more and more banks were ready to lend money easily.

Today, the Sakthi Group of Companies is a name to reckon with as it has forayed into sugar, distilling, automobiles, finance, etc.

He served as the Chairman of Ethiraj College for Women between 1972 and 1980.

Honours and titles[edit]

The 90-year-old industrialist has served on the Board of Directors of several public sector undertakings and the State Planning Commission in two terms. A well-known philanthropist who donates towards the development of culture and sports, Mahalingam served as the Chairman of Ethiraj College for Women between 1972 and 1980. He was involved in the establishment of the Institute of Asian Studies in Madras (now Chennai) in 1981. He received the Padma Bhushan from the President of India in 2007.[8] Other honours include: *Honorary Consul : 1989-92 from the Government of Mauritius *Indira Gandhi National Integration Award : 1989 at the All India National Unity Conference, New Delhi *Aram Valarkkum Annal : 1983 from His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakodi Peedam *Doctor of Laws : 1984 from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore *Doctor of Science : 1988 from Anna University, Madras *Doctor of Science : 2000 from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. He is founder of many educational institutes from schools to autonomous institutions.Some of his educational institutions are Kumaraguru College of Technology-Coimbatore(popularly known as KCT), Nachimuthu Polytechnic college,Mahalingam college of engineering [popularly known as mcet] etc.

Spiritual life[edit]

Mahalingam had an important association with Sri Swami Satchidananda, the Indian swamiji who emigrated to the United States of America and founded the Integral Yoga Institutes. Mahalingham was a devoted follower of the Swamiji and contributed to the moral and financial causes of the Swamiji's works in the USA, especially to the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) ecumenical temple in Virginia.

Mahalingam was also greatly associated with Vethathiri Maharishi and his teachings. He generously donated land for Temple of consciousness - Azhiyar.

Mahalingam is ardent follower of Ramalinga Swamigal alias Vallalar.[9]

On Gandhi Jayanthi, 2014, While he was giving a speech about Vallalar at Chennai, his life came to an end.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]