A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam, a South Indian film director and producer :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 10, 2004
Issued for : The Department of Posts honours the memory of Shri K. Subrahmanyam through issue of this commemorative postage stamp.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Print Quantity : 0.6 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam
Born on Apr 20, 1904 at Papanasam, Madras Presidency, British India
Died on Apr 7, 1971 at Madras, India
- South Indian Cinema, known for its vibrancy and passion owes a considerable debt to Shri K. Subrahmanyam. A pioneer film maker at a time when the South Indian Cinema was at its infancy, Shri Subrahmanyam also instilled the nationalist spirit and a commitment to social issues in his films.
- Shri K. Subrahmanyam was born on April 20, 1904, the eldest son of a well-known lawyer and educationist C.S. Krishnaswami Iyer and Venkalakshmi of Papanasam village in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. At the age of 16 he got married to Meenakshi of Nagapattinam. After graduating from Kumbakonam College he studied Law at the Madras Law College and became a lawyer. But soon the creative urge in him drew him into the film industry and he joined the well-known film director Raja Sandow as Assistant Director. Later, Shri K. Subrahmanyam blossomed as a pioneer film Producer-Director.
- Apart from silent films, he made several mythological and social movies in Tamil and also a few in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada. He was the first South Indian filmmaker to produce a film in Hindi, namely ‘Premsagar’, and was the first Indian to direct a Singhalese film. His Madras United Artistes Corporation (MUAC), Kalaivani Films and later Morak Pvt. Ltd. were fore-runners in producing thought-provoking films. He had a firm conviction that the film medium cannot function purely as a commercial entity without social values and responsibility. He proved this by his films till 1957 after which he decided to retire from film production.
- Even after he retired from film production, his interest as a pioneer in documentary films was not lessened. He continued to supervise short films produced by his Morak Pvt. Ltd. till the end. He was Honorary Adviser for the newly constituted Development of Visual Education of the then Govt. of Travancore.
- Shri Subrahmanyam played a vital role in the formation of Film Finance Corporation, Children’s Film Society, NFDC, the Film Institutes at Pune & Chennai, the National Film Archives in Pune, the Film Federation of India and the Central and State Sangeet Natak Academies. He encouraged talent and nurtured newcomers to the world of cinema. Many of his protégés later emerged as well-known film personalities in their own right.
- Shri Subrahmanyam had also a strong social commitment in life. He devoted himself in organisational work whether it was the mammoth Mahamagam Exhibition at Kumbakonam (1932) or the Indian National Army (INA) Relief Exhibition at Chennai (1946). He was the brain behind Govt. of India’s schemes such as Inter-state Cultural Exchange, and Railway concessions for artistes to promote national integration.
- He was not only the Founder Member and later President of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, but also founder of several other important organisations including South Indian Artistes Association (Thennindia Nadigar Sangam). Indo-Soviet Cultural Association, Nataka Kazhagam, Nadaswara Vidwan’s Association and Nrithyodaya, a School to provide free training in dance and music to deserving poor students. He was the first Vice-Chairman of the State Sangeet Natak Academy (now Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram) and Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Film Institute.
- Shri Subrahmanyam was the only Indian film director to be honoured by both Moscow Film Studio, USSR and the Hollywood Screen Directors’ Guild, USA. He was also the recipient of the Golden Key to the Warner Brothers Company in USA.
- He was nominated by UNESCO as the Honorary Adviser to its International Films and Television Council for India and Far East. The Government of Tamil Nadu nominated him as Honorary State Liaison Officer for UNESCO in Tamil Nadu.
- Shri K. Subrahmanyam died in 1971 but his legacy lives on.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.