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Distinguished, but unique too?

I KNEW my request for information about those who were amongst the earliest graduates from the P.S. High School, would bring a response - and the postman did knock, but this is one occasion the response deserves space all to itself. For not only was I told of one of the earliest graduates, but mention was made of his two brothers who followed him in the school and, most significantly, that the three went on to be awarded the Padma Bhushan. I wonder whether this distinguished trio did not achieve something unique when all three in turn receive the same high honour.

The eldest of the brothers was Prof. K. Swaminathan of the Class of 1912. An Oxonian who became an outstanding educationist, he is best remembered for having edited the "Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi," which came out in 90 volumes. A staunch Gandhian who wore khaddar even after returning from England, he was as proficient in Tamil as he was in English. He translated the work of Ramana Maharishi and Subramania Bharati into English, and Gilbert and Sullivan's "Gondoliers" into Tamil as "Kattai Vandi."

His brother, Dr. K. Venkataraman of the Class of 1917, was an outstanding chemical technologist who became the director of the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune. Venkataraman's daughter, Dr. Dharma Kumar, a well-known economist, was the editor of the "Cambridge Economic History of India." The third brother, Dr. K. Sanjeevi, who belonged to the Class of 1920, has already been remembered in these columns as the eminent physician who, after a splendid record in the Madras Medical Service, founded the Voluntary Health Services Hospital.

Another set of brothers from the P.S. High School who went on to make a mark for themselves did so in the world of industry. They were the M.V. brothers, Arunachalam, Muthiah (later M.M.), Murugappan and Subbiah of the Murugappa Group.

S. MUTHIAH

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