On the tenth anniversary of his film company, M.U.A.C, K.Subhramanyam had an event organized where he invited the press, celebrities and also the public. After the event was over, he had issued a pamphlet to the press, expressing his views on various events and his opinions on them. Thankfully, the Editor has reproduced the same article in its entirety, which provides us information not only about K.Subhramanyam’s Films, His thought flows, but his general attitude towards cinema, which was taking a different shape at this time.
My observations : Without going into much detail on this historical document, I just share my views in summary.
This event happens at a time when MKT and NSK were in Jail, due to the sensational Lakshmikanthan case ( you can see subtle references that he makes in this note, about sensational journalism that tears into the personal and social lives of those who are in the performing arts. He also makes mentions about his movement towards allied forms of art like Dance. He seems to have been in good relationships with Chithirai Thirunaal Maharaja, who funded the just completed ‘Ananthasayanam’ – the story of the PadmanaBhan temple in Trivandrum. [ I had just been to this temple a year ago, but I did not know its historical significance then 😦 ]
Subsequently, K.Subhramanyam’s finances plummetted, especially during the making of his magnum opus Ballet – Narthana Murali. Subhramanyam then made a handful of movies, before he slowly quit the Industry and started taking allied interests to support the Industry from the flanks.
The original article was written in Tamil. It has been translated to English by me. You can find the original in the October 1945 Edition of Pesum Padam in Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai.
A stamp released by The Government of India in 2004 to honour the iconic Director – The Father of Tamil Cinema.
When i was preparing this notice, I was filled with happiness, sorrow, regret, disappointment and pride. I started this company ten years ago on September 13(**). In these ten years even the company has grown. Whether this company needs to be praised, criticised, whether it has got a good name or bad name I leave the judgement entirely to you. Each person can make their own individual assessments.
On September 9, 1935, i had a dispute with the people of my house and left home with a banian, a towel and 8 Annas in my pocket. From that day onwards a lot of events have happened in my life. If i had The patience of today back then it is doubtful if i would have quit my lawyer’s job and joined this art industry. But just because I said this you do not have to think that I regret my decision.
I wish to share my experiences of these ten years in the industry openly with all of you, through this notice.
The events which have occurred in my life are more interesting than the fictional ones. Whatever little i have achieved in this field, I could feel proud of it,but rather there are more things which I want to do for this field of art, but which I am unable to, but which I only dream off, the mere thoughts of these desires make me feel happy which gets lost within me.
I wish to make an important statement here. Anyone who is associated with any form of this cinema industry, is looked down upon by the general public. For those not associated with this industry, for them people associated with the cinema industry are identified with those having lose morals.
Due to this attitude, families of cinema people face many challenges in social life, inconvenience and hardships thereby bringing unhappiness to them. If there is a possibility that someone who wants to do good for art, even this is not acceptable by the people.
So even if such people come to Cinema breaking accepted social barriers and practices with a broad mind, they are either not encouraged enough or end up at the mercy of the wrong people. There are sinners across all walks of life.
But people in the cine industry face challenges from a different set of sinners. They become victims of gossip mongers or people who make use of their pen, with evil intentions. This danger increases day by day.
Due to this reason not only is family peace lost but socially they face challenges also. Although I myself have dedicated to this art and Film. Industry, i still hesitate to encourage anyone else whom I know to come to this industry.
The common public are largely influenced by people of the industry. They want to observe there day to day life style and follow them. But this is just a smoke screen. Beneath the smiling face of everyone in the industry is a layer of. Pain and sorrow. Hidden deep beneath them..
This is the truth. I feel sorry for the people in this industry. For money, for others happiness to entertain, they speak, they sing they laugh..
Now let is come to the cinema. The people who made the Atom bomb had no knowledge of its destruction capabilities until it was tested directly upon human lives.
In the same. Manner, what are the good and bad that cinema has an impact upon society is not known Even by our experienced leaders.
At this point cinema is growing in its own way, without any framework established around it. It is growing in its own way. If this industry is not brought into a proper and monitored framework, there is the possibility of cinema generating more destruction than the atom bomb itself.
Producwrs with commercial interests have not observed yet that cinema can be used as a very effective educational. Medium. They use this medium only for entertainment and to. Make money. Off late there have been a few. Movies made which have been a treat both to the ears and eyes, but these movies have not had the messages to strike deep. Down into the viewers heart..
These producers spend a lot of money for costumes, settings and other technical issues. A lot of money is spent on external. Superficial issues. But to the viewer, these films don’t kindle in them, feelings of kindness, patience and other positive virtues or humanity. While I do criticise these contemporary happenings, i refer this to no one in particular..
In the last ten years I must admit that my films made and produced by me have not brought me much happiness. I have to admit this. I have never been a traditional producer who has put his own money and made movies. In the attempts made by me to achieve my goals, have at many times left me in immense financial strain. At such times, even i have been forced to join the commercial bandwagon, although personally I have never liked to do such things..
When i look at my peers and employees, i do not see a sense of happiness in them. This clearly tells me that in these ten years I have failed to achieve my principles and goals. This i must admit with great disappointment.
Through cinema, i wished to promote peace, kindness, patience, universal brotherhood. These were my intentions, but in these ten years I could not achieve them..
Some of our employees who were trained in our company have done very well elsewhere. This has brought me great happiness.
In the course of these ten years, I have observed a lot of animosity, bitterness and jealousy whether they are stars or employees. However, with me they have always been honest. I have been honest to with them, I have treated them equally with a lot of love, but the lack of United Ness and dissatisfaction amongst them, I take the blame for it..
In recent times, the. Cine industry has grown immensely in several technical fronts, but from a perspective of goals, it lacks far behind.. Instead of universal growth for all across the spectrum, off late we can see the dominance of a few people. Whenever I think of such things I feel like slowly quitting this industry step by step..
I do not wish to speak about the movies made by us. All of that is known, anyways. I wish to make only one announcement about our dance and culture school, which we had announced earlier, Nrithyodhaya free dance and cultural school. This school was started entirely for the purpose of promoting art, and for this, I am ready to push myself even more..
Education can be promoted through cinema. I feel happy that I have done my small bit through that. I wish to thank Thiruvangoor Maharaja and Maharani. I feel happy to note that others too have started to follow this practice.
Now that we have done away with the ban on Raw film usage, there can be both good and bad things emerging from this decision. So, film producers must put their personal differences behind and work together in larger public interest. The star actors earn more than enough, where as those in the lower rung can barely meet ends. There is no need to even speak about the extras..
Many people come to Cinema to fight poverty. Due to poverty some of their behavior may be questionable, so is it fair to hate them? People who hoard money have used both art and poverty to their benefit.
The lack of permanent production units is one of the reasons. I understand one truth. Those who indulge in the field of art will find it very difficult to raise money. If i look at all this, I am. Thinking that once I finish movies which are currently in production, i would want to hand over the baton to youngsters who are energetic and link them to producers who will guide them correctly and then slowly quit this industry.
I wish to say a few words about movies which are currently under production. Narthana Murali and Prema Kavasam.
Prema Kavasam is a social story. Brotherhood will bring happiness. This is the theme of this movie. Narthana Murali is entirely about dance. It is a story about krishna, which everyone knows about. From gopinath all major south Indian artists have performed in this film. This movie will be entirely about music and dance. It is being made in both English and Hindi with a lot of production expense..
Lastly I wish to thank all cinema fans who have supported me. I have a word for those who have a different opinion of my work. I may not have done something for an individual or an organization. But from my heart I have never wished ill will. I do everything only with good intentions. I am not a politician, but I am a strong Nationalist..
In the larger interest of the country, I feel. That i have done my little bit for the country through my works. Whether or not I remain in cinema, i will continue to be and continue to promote art forms. For those friends and peers who have made me the president of the South Indian Film Federation, i extend my thanks to them.
Madras United Artists Corporation, this name is very familiar within the industry, and it is also a prestigious banner. In Tamilnadu, this company promotes older things, proud things and also all forms of art. These things integrated in cinema, we are the leading production company. In the last ten years this company has done a great service to the cinema industry. Across various languages we have released about 20 films.
Right from the point when Tamil cinema started to raise its head, until now there is always a passion to make movies with social themes. But only by making good social movies can you make money. This has been proved by the makers of this company.
Balayogini, Sevasadanam, Ammanji, Thyaga Bhoomi all of them made a lot of money. In Tamilnadu, this company has the distinction of having made the most number of social films.. “
End of Notice ..
(**) Prof.M.R.RangaRajan in his biography of Director K.Subhramanyam mentions that Madras United Artists Corporation was registered on September 28, 1935.