Friday, September 11, 2015




His  name was Manamadurai Balakrishna Sreenivasan . MBS as he was popularly known , was a doyen of Malayalam and Tamil cinema Music .
 Born in a  well off Brahmin family , he was a staunch Marxist and a leader of Communist party of India. He had a fantastic command over English that made him to move to Delhi and  work as private secretary to Veteran Communist leader A K Gopalan . Music was in his blood apart from being attracted towards Theatre (IPTA).

MBS  had enormous knowledge of Carnatic, Hindustani and Western music and  in 1959, he took to music as a profession . In 1970,  He founded the Madras Youth Choir . Through this platform , he kept composing songs of Tagore, Subramanya Bharathi, Iqbal, Vallathol etc. that spoke of patriotism, National integration, environment protection ,and upholding of social values etc.
                                          ( MBS being Honoured By President Of India )
                                     ( MBS and his MADRAS  CHOIR  with Smt. Indira Gandhi )
He scored music for so many successful Malayali and Tamil films and  worked with all  well known film makers in south  that include  Adoor Gopalakrishnan, MT Vasudevan Nair, Hariharan, K.G. George, Mohan, Lenin Rajendran etc.

MBS leaves behind millions of fans world over .Most of the film Musicians in south have either been trained directly or indirectly by MBS or his choir Groups   or have been influenced by his music. Many  prominent singers have sung songs based on his tunes and compositions .These include S Janki,Shanta P.Nair, kavita krishnamurty , Usha Uthup And P jayachandran.

He was a member of Sangeet Natak Academy and Central Censor Board and introduced many new singer including Yesudas to Films .

While in Delhi , MBS came closer to Dr. Saif Ud Din Kitchloo' , a kashmiri Nationalist leader ( Hero of jalianwala Bagh Tragedy) from Amritsar.  Dr. Kitchloo , who opposed the Two Nation theory and left no stone unturned to oppose it in  all platforms /meetings  within the Congress party. He  was General secretary of Congress party once and also headed its  Punjab unit  before partition. After 1947, he shifted to Delhi and Later  associated himself  with Communist party of India resigning from Indian National Congress . In fact  Dr. Kitchloo is the unsung Indian leader and architect of Indo Soviet Friendship. Post partition , He did all the spadework to bring India and Russia closer . For this he kept visiting Russia and later received Lenin Peace prize from the Russians .He  had studied at Cambridge and Germany.
Dr.Kitchloo  died in 1963 .

MBS and ZAHIDA (daughter of saif Ud Din Kitchloo) fell in love . Both were artistic in temperament . Both were Communists by belief and ideology . Both loved music and above all  this relation had blessings of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and ZAHIDA’s father as well.They proved to be real soul mates  and lived  a happy married life. A highly talented son was also born to them whom they named KABIR. Unfortunately KABIR  also died in 2009 .

After MBS died of a massive heart attack in 1988 , ZAHIDA looked after his work and institutions . She was a respected woman in entire film and Literary circle of south India .

 Adoor Gopalakrishnan wrote the finest ever obituary on the death of MBS paying glowing tributes to ZAHIDA in supporting and helping the super creative MBS in all spheres of his life. ZAHIDA died in 2002.”

And who was Saif Ud Din Kitchloo( 1988-1963 ).. I quote from an interview of  Dr. Kitchloo..

” We belong to Baramulla in Kashmir. Prakash Ram Kitchloo , our ancestor embraced Islam and later my grandfather shifted permanently to Amritsar and started his saffron and Pashmina shawl Business. I am a proud kashmiri.I remember so many kashmiri Muslims living happily in Amritsar before 1947. My wife was from Manto family of Amritsar and her father was a Successful lawyer .We were very close to Mattoo family of Amritsar . Mattoos were well off pundits who lived in Amritsar . Together with Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab , we fought the British rule. So many satyagrahas , so many strikes , so many agitations that we led in Amritsar against the British Raj. I remember my comrade Dr Satyapal, Mahasha Rattan Chand, Chaudhari Bagga and the Rowllat Act agitation . I remember how Nehru , Myself , Master Tara Singh ., Satguru Partap singh , Habib Ur Rehman Ludhianavi jointly unfurled the National Flag on Ravi Banks in 1931 and how secretly we arrived in Lahore. A period of about 14 years in the prison  for fighting the British Raj.Setting up of Swaraj Bhawan at Amritsar and   Jamia Milia Islamia university at Delhi . And above all my mind is flooded with memories of close association with Mahatma Gandhi.”

(Autar Mota )

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