Nagerkoyil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan, popularly known as Kalaivanar and also as "NSK" was a leading Tamil film comedian, drama artist, playback singer and writer in the early stages of the Tamil film industry - in the 1940s and 1950s.Another Icon of the dominant "Pillai" community.Born in Ozhuginachery, Nagercoil, in the princely state of Travancore, India on 29 November 1908, his stage and cine-screen comedy performances were unique and always carried a message for the people. Kalaivanar N. S. Krishnan died at the age of 49, on 30 August 1957.N S Krishnan started his career as a Villupaatu artist (the Tamil way of reciting stories while singing songs and playing a musical instrument in the form of a bow - called Villu) and later became involved in Tamil drama and stage shows, as were so many film artistes in his days, and at one-time owned his own touring drama company and when cinema gradually became popular in South India, he entered the Tamil film world to become one of the leading Tamil film comedians ever, with a unique style. He generally wrote his own comedy dialogues and expressed them in his drama and films in such a way that the message was carried across, but the subject to whom it was intended was not offended.He acted in nearly 150 Tamil films and the matinee-duo of N S krishnan and T A Maduram (later his better half) in Tamil films was very popular in his days he also did roles along with leading stage and cine artists of his time like T. S. Durairaj, Pulimootai Ramasamy, C.S. Pandian and writers like Udumalai Narayana Kavi and Subbu Armugham and gave a number of hits in those days. He was also a talented singer and hits include Sivakavi, Raja Rani, and Manamagal.Though he was more popular among the Tamil populace as a film comedian (and even in the modern day he is remembered for that), Kalaivanar was instrumental in bringing a number of leading Tamil stage and film personalities of his days to the fore he was also a Gandhian, patriot and philanthropist, yet a very controversial figure - with his name linked to a murder and also some marital controversies.During Mid 1940s he and M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar were arrested for suspicion of murder famously known during that time as Lakshmikanthan Kolai Vazhakku(Lakshmikanthan Murder Case), both were convicted and later released on appeal with privy council.When MKT and NSK were flying very high in fame in drama, cinema and concerts, fate interfered in the form of Lakshmikanthan. Lakshmikanthan, a notorious criminal with a perverted mind, edited a yellow magazine called Hindu Nesan. Lakshmikanthans target was not only the small fry in the society but also the movie people, business magnates, prosperous lawyers, doctors, famed musicians, landlords, zamindars, Rajahs, press barons, religious heads, politicians etc. He wrote salacious and scandalous sex stories about them purely on the basis of gossips and hearsay. Majority of them were unauthenticated and filthy news. Being afraid of ill fame, some of those on whom Lakshmikantan wrote tried to silence him with hush money. Encouraged by this sort of income he continued to write all sorts of nonsense about them regularly and with the result had numerous enemies from all walks of life.On 8 November 1944, he was attacked by some people with a knife in Purasawalkam, in Downtown Madras. He was admitted to the General Hospital, Madras but only as an outpatient, for the wound was not serious enough. Even in his statement to the police he did not name any particular person as the accused but only stated that someone had attacked him. He was found very jovial at the police station as he was in the hospital. During his treatment it was reported that he wanted to expose the murderers involved in the Boat Mail murder (In those days a train named Boat mail used to run between Madras and Dhanushkoti station which is not in existence now). A rich banker from Devakottai was murdered in the moving train between Chengalpet and Madras. A notable singer cum actress who travelled with the banker was missing/fled when the train reached Madras. The political backing which this singer had kept truth about the real killers under the carpet. The killers saw to it that the case should not come to the court for trial. There is another version which says that Lakshikanthan was murdered by this group and not by NSK/MKT.But suddenly, the next day i.e. on 9 November 1944, Lakshmikanthan died mysteriously in the hospital. He was murdered. The police, based on the statement made by LKanthans bodyguard, arrested eight persons as accused for the murder. Among them were MKT and N.S.Krishnan. This came as a rude shock to their fans and the cine world.After usual committal proceedings before the Madras Presidency Magistrate, the case came up for hearing at the Madras High court before Justice Vera Mockett. A group of brilliant lawyers namely Mr. V.T.Rangasamy Iyengar, Sri Rajagopalachariar (Rajaji), Mr. Braddel, Mr. B.T.Sundararajan, Sri Govind Swaminathan, Mr. Srinivasagopal and Mr. K.M.Munshi argued the case for the accused. After prolonged trial, the Jury, much to the dismay of many, found MKT and NSK guilty along with four others.Appeals were heard by a bench of the High Court consisting of Sir Linel Leach, Chief Justice of Madras, Justice K.P. Lakshmana Rao and Advocate General K.Rajah Iyer. The appeals were filed by the then leading members of the Bar, V.V.Srinivasa Iyengar and Sri V.C.Gopalarathnam. However, the appeals were dismissed.MKT and NSK filed an appeal in the Privy Council, London which was then the highest court of appeal. The internationally famous ((British Barrister)), D.N.Pritt appeared for them. Privy Council then referred the case back to India for a fresh appraisal.The appeal came up before a bench of two judges namely Mr. Justice Happel and Mr. Justice Sahabuddin (who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 during partition of India and retired as Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court). Mr V.L.Ethiraj, a successful Barrister appeared for MKT and NSK and argued that the Judges had not properly directed the Jury and the evidences of doubtful nature have not been properly assessed. Mr. Ethiraj convinced the Judges by his powerful arguments that all the witnesses produced against MKT and NSK were tutored and coached and there were a lot of inconsistencies in their evidence and statements and the case had many loopholes. The Judges agreed with Mr. Ethirajs arguments and acquitted MKT and NSK. One of the judges who heard the remanded appeal remarked in the Court that the knife produced as evidence cannot even kill a rat !! The judgment was given a few months before India became free.MKT, NSK and four others came out of prison after thirty months imprisonment. Experts and even laymen felt that the truth about the real killers of Lakshmikanthan has not come out and MKT, NSK and others were the unfortunate victims of the game of power politics.The real killers were never pinned down and the truth lies buried somewhere to this day. Indian legal history will record this case as one of the most tragic miscarriages of justice. It ruined the life and career of an astonishingly gifted musician. MKT Bhagavathar never regained his lost fame.Later NSK resumed acting in Movies, but his jail term and fight for justice made him penurious, his hard earned wealth was lost in fighting the case and so was the case of co-accused MKT Bagavathar, who once ate in Silver and Gold plates and was the first Super Star of Indian Cinema. Haridas, which was released while he was in jail ran for 3 consequent Deepavalies with packed houses. People crowded the theatre as they felt, they would not have a chance to see their superstar in silver screen.The leading Tamil Nadu politician and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanidhi, when asked once by a journalist (of the Tamil magazine Kumudham) about who the non-political hero in his life was, answered it was Kalaivanar. Karunanidhi knew him well and also worked in some of his film projects.Kalaivanar was an active member of the Dravidian Movement. The Tamil Nadu Government erected a memorial-building in 1979, called Kalaivanar Kalai Arangam (or Kalaivanar Arts Centre) in honour of Kalaivanars contribution to the Arts, and the building is one of the leading landmarks in the city of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.
Actor N. S. Krishnan Movies List
N. S. Krishnan Biography
N. S. Krishnan Fans Reviews (4)
Sankaravelayudhan Nandakumar, Krishnancoil,Nagercoil on 29-11-2017
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Velayutham pillai, Chennai on 28-09-2012