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Documentary on Jayakanthan to be released on April 24

B. Kolappan

It’s a brainchild of music maestro Ilayaraja



SHARING HIS VIEWS: Tamil writer Jayakanthan and director Ravisubramanian during the making of the documentary.

CHENNAI: Both of them are trailblazers in their fields.

Writer Jayakanthan and maestro Ilayaraja also have their roots in the Communist movement, though they have now travelled far away from it. But the bonding that developed during the 1960s has resulted in Yellaikalai Vistharitha Yezhuthukalaignan, a documentary on Jayakanthan. The 90-minute documentary, to be released on April 24 on the 75th birthday of the writer, is a brainchild of the maestro, who has also scored the music.

“It was Mr. Ilayaraja who asked me to do a film on Mr. Jayakanthan. When I told him that writer Sa. Kandasamy had already made a film, Mr. Ilayaraja said ours could be different. He has an admiration for the writer. Ilayaraja used to perform on communist platforms with his brothers Pavalar Varadharajan and Bhaskar, while Jayakanthan was a star speaker,” said Ravisubrmanian, director of the film. He has already made two documentaries: one on writer Indira Parthasarathy; and the other on writer Ma. Aranganathan.

Throughout the film, Mr. Jayakanthan, a winner of the Sahitya Akademy and Jnanpith awards, lives up to his reputation as a no-nonsense man speaking his mind and contradicting the views he once vociferously articulated.

“Kalaignar [Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi] would say he would have joined the Communist party had had not met Periyar and the late Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai. I joined the Communist party because I have seen them,” says the writer, who has never made secret of his hatred for the Dravidian movement. But, in the same breath, he explains how he cherishes his friendship with the Chief Minister. “It is ‘naada natpu’ [a friendship without any expectation].”

It is exhilarating to watch Jayakanthan make pungent comments, softened only by the soulful music of Ilayaraja.

He answers Ravisubramanian’s questions on Communism, spiritualism, God, globalisation, writers, criticism of his works and a variety of other subjects.

How could a person who has his roots in the Communist movement support globalisation and capitalism? “You cannot view today’s capitalists keeping in mind the capitalists of the 17th and 18th century,” he snaps.

The film also offers rare glimpses into the writer’s varied interests. He visits temples. He has faith in God. He enjoys music. He also sings. He tells us that he learnt the veena, though he could not continue the practice. Rare pictures of JK, as he is known to his friends and comrades, also adds colour to the film.

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