Malaysian Tamil leader invoked poet Bharathi before death

May 1st, 2008 - 2:27 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, May 1 (IANS) Malaysian Indian leader M.G. Pandithan wrote a note to wife Jayashree that read “There is no death for me”, before falling unconscious in his hospital bed Sunday. He died three days later. Jayashree, widowed after Pandithan’s death Wednesday morning, said she took a while realising the meaning of the line.

Pandithan could have been paraphrasing the 20th century Tamil poet Subrahmanya Bharathi. The verse meant that a person may die but his works will live on after him.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Pandithan’s passing was a great loss. He said that Jayashree had the “heavy responsibility” of leading the Indian Progressive Front (IPF) that Pandithan founded, The Star newspaper reported Thursday.

Pandithan, 68, died after a prolonged illness, without striking a compromise with his colleague turned political foe, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu, the newspaper said.

Pandithan had always dreamed of bringing the IPF into the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) but was kept out. He then decided to work with MIC for the betterment of the Indian community.

The eighth son of a Kuala Lumpur City Hall manual worker and a washerwoman, Pandithan rose to be a senator and a parliamentary secretary.

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