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Online edition of India's National Newspaper Sunday, July 22, 2001
Sivaji, an actor nonpareil By Our Tamil Nadu Bureau
CHENNAI, JULY 21. The news of the demise of Sivaji Ganesan plunged the State in grief. Besides members of the Celluloid world, politicians cutting across party lines and ardent fans expressed shock and distress over the death of the veteran actor. A number of cine personalities hurried over to the hospital to pay their last respects to the departed actor, including top stars Kamal Hassan,
Rajnikant and Mrs. Latha Rajnikant, Vijayakanth, Radhika Sarathkumar, Bharathiraja and Ibrahim Rowther.
The DMK president and former Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, said the death had caused unbearable grief to him. Recalling his long friendship with Sivaji Ganesan, Mr. Karunanidhi said the actor ushered in a revolution in the Tamil art world. He won the acclaim of artistes world-wide. Mr. Karunanidhi conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family. The CPI State Secretary, Mr. R. Nallakannu, said Sivaji Ganesan fetched honours for Tamil Nadu by his excellent acting. Mr. G. A. Vadivelu, president of the Janata Dal (secular), said the death was a loss not only for Tamil Nadu but for the entire nation.
Veteran Tamil director, Mr. K. Balachander, said Sivaji was an actor nonpareil. ``It is doubtful if there will ever be an actor of his calibre in Indian cinema. Working on him with one movie (Ethiroli) was a big learning experience for me. There is a lot we can learn from him''.
A visibly upset Mr. M. S. Viswanathan, music director of yesteryear said, ``I am overwhelmed by grief at the loss of my long time friend and colleague, Sivaji Ganesan. I have been closely associated with him in several films and have watched him at his work. Surely, it is the end of a glorious chapter in Indian cinema''. Mr. Mukta Srinivasan, who has produced several films starring Sivaji Ganesan, said the actor had dedicated his life to the cause of the nation. ``He was a true follower of Kamaraj and his ideals. Sivaji Ganesan knew the intricacies of stage and screen acting. The loss is too heavy for the nation to bear, particularly to those who were deeply concerned with the growth of aesthetic sense in cinema acting. We are not going to get another Sivaji Ganesan''. Mr. AVM Saravanan, producer said, ``It is a void in the film world that can never be filled. There are only two eras in tamil film industry, before Sivaji and after Sivaji. The death of Sivaji is the end of an era''. Mr. Vijayakanth, president, South India Film Artists Association said, ``he was the `Father' of the industry. His loss can never be filled''. Mr. Kothandaramaiah, president, South India Film Chamber of Commerce, expressed the condolences on behalf of the Chamber, ``the lighthouse of cinema is lost. We are all in the dark. It is an irreparable loss to Indian cinema, more specifically for Tamils all over the world. This veteran actor was a rare comet in the annals of film industry''. Mr. Sarath Kumar, MP and actor who was shooting for a film at Gobichettipalayam said, ``Sivaji Ganesan was a born actor, a doyen in the film industry. Everyone of us must take a leaf out of his book''. Mr.Kamal Hasan ``he was like a father to me. I am as grieved as his sons''. Ms. Radhika, actress, said ``I think we have lost a great legend and I sincerely hope he will be remembered by every single Tamilian who was inspired by him''. The Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakiya Perumandram, while condoling the death of Sivaji Ganesan, said he proved that an individual could be a chapter in the film world.
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