Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

S.D. Sundaram

Salem, Tamil Nadu

November 21, 2022 to November 21, 2023

Doraisamy Aiya Sundaram was born on 22 July 1921 to Duraiswamy Ayya and Poongothai Ammal. When he was 12 years old, he joined the drama troupe of Nawab Rajamanickam. Observing his proficiency in Tamil literature, Nawab Rajamanickam admitted him to the State College of Arts in Tiruvaiyaru. In 1942, he joined the Independence struggle and was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment at Thanjavur jail. He again joined Nawab Rajamanickam's drama troupe after his release from prison. While he was serving his sentence, he wrote a play titled Kaviyin Kanavu (Poet's Dream) which was about his own dream for independence and a better world. With the blessings of his Guru, he joined Sakthi Krishnaswamy and staged his drama under the banner of Sakthi Naadaga Sabha (English: Sakthi Drama Society). Kaviyin Kanavu was so popular that in all it was staged more than 1500 times. Once, when the drama was staged in Nagapattinam, the railway arranged a special train called Kaviyin Kanavu Special and took passengers from Thiruchi to Nagapattinam. In 1973, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi awarded him a bronze medal in connection with the 25th anniversary of India's independence. He was given the medal for staging a play titled Veera Suthandhiram commemorating those who died fighting for India's independence. He was conferred the President's Award for best dialogue writer by the Central Music and Drama Society in 1975.