The front page of the Tamil newspaper, Dina Thanthi (The Daily Telegraph), once India’s largest-read newspaper, the day after its proprietor, B. Sivanthi Adithyan, passed away in Madras at the age of 76.
On the bottom-half of the page is a picture of Adithyan being decorated by the then President of India, Pratibha Patil. with the Padma Sri in 2008.
Like so many compatriot-South Indian newspaper owners of his generation (think S. Rangarajan of The Hindu, think K.A. Nettakallappa of Deccan Herald), Adithyan was a passionate sports enthusiast and a major domo in sports administration.
Friends say Adithyan, a longtime functionary of the Indian Olympic Association, was a no mean trap-shooter himself.
Adithyan’s family sold the Dinakaran newspaper title to the Marans of the Sun TV group.
Also the owner of a paper mill and an evening newspaper (Malai Malar), Adithyan had recently acquired NDTV-Hindu, the hyper-local newschannel started by NDTV and The Hindu, and turned it into Thanthi TV.
On Thanthi TV (channel no. 723 on Tata Sky), the funeral procession had near-blanket coverage, in the way, say, Doordarshan covered the deaths of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi in the pre-satellite TV era.
The cortege was followed live by Thanthi TV cameras all the way to the crematorium, while every visitor was accommodated on the screen through multiple windows.