Thursday, September 17, 2009

Veteran broadcaster 'Thenkatchi' Swaminathan passes away

Thenkatchi Ko Swaminathan, the notable radio and television personality, died at a private hospital in the city after a massive heart attack.

Anchoring Inru Oru Thagaval, a five-minute motivation capsule on day-to-day life laced with moral values and good humour that was on AIR for 14-straight years, Swaminathan was a huge hit among listeners when public broadcasting was at its zenith.

An alumnus of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Swaminathan, a native of Thenkatchi village on the banks of Kollidam river, quit government service to be a farmer in his native. After seven years of farming, he joined All India Radio to popularise agricultural programmes for the benefit of the farming community. His scientific background in agriculture and the ability to communicate with his simple style of speech, filled with anecdotes and short stories, reached out to the villagers in a big way.

He began writing at the age of 17 when his first poem was published in the magazine run by Bharatidasan and he continued to write short stories till his death. Swaminathan was asked to anchor Inru Oru Naal' on July 1, 1988. "The station director asked me to host it everyday for a month. I went on to talk for 14 years. All sections of the society liked it. "I was surprised at the response," he said in an interview once. After retiring from service as assistant director after 24 long years in AIR, Swaminathan continued his pep talk shows' on telelvision channels. Indha Naal Iniya Naal in Sun TV was his latest show.

He is survived by his wife and daughter. (TOI Chennai Edition)