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- M.S.Venkatachalam, M.A.,B.L., - Translator
- Mr. C.N. Annadurai (affectionately called by one and all as ARIGNAR ANNA) was a well-known penman and an acclaimed dramatist. His famous dramas Velaikkari, Chandrodayam, and Sivaji Kanda Indu Rajyam are comparable to Pygmalion, Doctor’s Dilemma and Apple Cart of George Bernard Shaw.
- “Art for art’s sake” was the orthodox thinking. “Art for life’s sake” is the modern thought, the thought of the humanists like George Bernard Shaw. So his dramas are called Dramas of Ideas. Anna’s Dramas also belong to this category. They were all written with the purpose of propagating the ideologies of the Dravidian Movement. It is to be recalled that Kalki Krishnamurthy, one fo the celebrated Tamil novelists of the 20 th century compared Arignar Anna with George Bernard shaw and Ibsen, despite the fact that Kalki did not see eye to eye with Anna and his ideologies.
- Though “the Cuckoo Club” is in the form of a drama, strictly speaking it is not a drama. It is really a commentary on the political events of those days. Those commentaries clearly establish Arignar Anna’s keen perceptions of those events and also his critical acumen. When ‘The Cuckoo Club’ was written Anna was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Despite the burden of his official engagements and mount-like files, he had a peculiar fascination to wield his pen to defend his government’s activities and make effective propaganda wherever needed.
- Incidentally in the final chapter of ‘The Cuckoo Club’, he has quoted a verse written by Dag Hammarsjold a humanitarian, and thereby outlined a noble ideal of human life. The verse reads,
“The day you were born
Everybody was happy,
You cried alone!
Make your life such
That in your last hour
All others are weeping
And you are the only one
Without a tear to shed!
In fact, Anna lived up to this ideal and made millions shed tears on his sudden demise. The attendance at his funeral has secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
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