Veteran filmmaker Muktha Srinivasam, who made memorable movies as director and producer, passed away due to age-related issues on Tuesday night, May 29, in Chennai. He was 88 years old and is survived by his wife and three children.
Muktha Srinivasan was considered as one of the most successful filmmakers of his time in Kollywood. He was not just a filmmaker, but was also an author, who also enjoyed reading and writing books.
Who was Muktha Srinivasan?
His association with film industry started with K. Ramnoth and TR Sundaram. He worked as his technical helper in the initial days and notably he was part of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's Manthiri Kumari, which starred MG Ramachandran.
After working in many movies for over a decade, Muktha Srinivasan turned director with SS Rajendran and Devika-starrer Mudhalali. The movie turned out to be a hit, thus giving a solid start to his career in Kollywood. The icing on the cake was that his debut film bagged a National Award.
Following the success, Srinivasan directed a series of movies and started his own banner in association with his brother Muktha Ramaswamy in 1961 by producing Panithirai. Thereafter, he never looked back as he went on to make hit movies one after the other.
Muktha Srinivasan directed 43 movies that include hits like Paanchali, Ninaivil Nindraval, Suryagandhi, Simla Special and Polladhavan. He worked with big names that include Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and J Jayalalithaa.
Sivaji Ganesan was his favourite actor as he worked with him in 11 movies. Other interesting fact was that Cho Ramaswamy, Neelu and Manorama were commonly seen in his films. Also, he was credited for introducing lyricist Vaali to film industry.
In total, he directed 43 movies out of which 29 films were commercially successful. He produced 65 movies Nizhalgal Ravi and Gauthami-starrer Brahmachari was his last directorial in 1992.
On his success, the filmmaker said that he considered work as worship. "I treat my work as God and work with dedication. I do not allow mind to go astray. I think this is the reason for my success in the industry," The Hindu quoted him as saying in an earlier interview.
Like his contemporaries, Muktha Srinivasan forayed into politics by joining Congress. He was associated with Moopanar's Tamil Maanila Congress and served as the General Secretary of the party for some years. He unsuccessfully contested in 1999 general elections from the South Madras constituency.
Notably, he was one of the founders of the Tamil Nadu Producers' Council.
Love for Books
Muktha Srinivasan was an avid reader and writer. He wrote 47 books that include novels and short essays. He had compiled an Encyclopedia of Tamil film industry in 1994.
In 2016, a controversy had broken out when Kamal Haasan wrote a story in The Hindu where he claimed that Muktha Srinivasan was a money-minded producer and did not treat cinema as an art. He spoke about the issues he faced with the producer.
Hurt by Kamal Haasan's comment, Srinivasan wrote a counter article and sent a legal notice over the story.