Feature Article

Social activist A S Nadarajah passes away in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 05:42 GMT]
Former principal of Vasaavi'laan Central College and former General Manager of Jaffna edition of the Tamil daily Thinakkural, A S Nadarajah passed away in Jaffna on Monday night at the age of 70. He was ailing from cancer and was anticipating death at any time. Yet, even in his last days he was engaged in social work in full swing, especially in reviving educational, social and cultural institutions of his native village Kurumpasiddi, where people are permitted to resettle in parts of the village. But, his more impactful and extensive contributions were in doing charity in Vanni after the war.

A C Nadarajah
A C Nadarajah
After the Vanni War, Mr. Nadarajah was writing a series of over 80 columns titled Karu'naip-paalam (the bridge of compassion) in Thinakkural, through which he was able to raise funds of over 10 million rupees for charity work in Vanni to help the war victims. The charity he instituted was designed in such a way to run independently.

When it became known that he would survive only for a few months, Nadarajah concentrated on a number of activities related to the revival of his village, a part of which was then just permitted for resettlement.

Uprooted from Kurumpasiddi by the occupying SL military 20 years ago, Mr. Nadarajah was spearheading the movement of uprooted people in Jaffna. He led one of the welfare organisations for the uprooted people of Valikaamam North and was voicing for their rights. The tragedy was that, to the end of his life, he could not see his own land and house. That part of Kurumpasiddi is still under SL military occupation.

A C Nadarajah
Mr. Nadarajah was steering Vasaavi'laan Central College at a crucial time when the school itself was uprooted, was shifting from place to place and was later functioning for years in temporary sheds built at Urumpiraay Hindu College. Even under those conditions, he was able to maintain quality of education of the institution to the extent the students of his school were excelling in education, producing impressive results in the public examinations.

As a committed educationalist, even after retirement he was involved in a number of educational development activities in the peninsula and was always looked upon with respect in getting advice on educational matters. The educationalist in him reflected in every writings of him in Thinakkural as he touched on a variety of topics ranging from heritage to development. He was writing under the pen names, Yaazh Arasan, Uruththiran, Aasinan and Pulikeasi.

He started his social life as a Leftist, and in his later years turned to society oriented spiritualism.

He was also a theaterist and a sportsman in his younger days.

He was managing Jaffna Thinakkural for 8 years, from 2002 to 2010.

Mr. Nadarajah's life was an illustrated example of his generation that has never lost its spirit and was committed to the society to the very end, despite going through decades of tragedies overshadowing major part of the lifetime.

He leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

A video feature in Tamil, which he gave to TamilNet in 2005 on the story of his village, follows:

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