The humble home of the village school master who, at age 23, founded the Mahavishnu of Mount Road, ‘The Hindu’

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The ‘Friday Review’ supplement of The Hindu carries, in its Bangalore edition at least, a feature on the little town of Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district, where its founder G. Subramania Iyer was born and where he received his initial schooling.

Mr Iyer, who started life as a school teacher, was 23 when he started The Hindu with five friends known collectively as ‘Triplicane Six’ by borrowing one rupee and 12 annas to print 80 copies of the paper.

He was its editor for 20 years from 1878, during which time he also founded a Tamil newspaper Sudesamitran. The paper was later bought by the barrister Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, whose descendants now control the group.

Featured above is his home.

***

The Tribune recorded his demise thus on 21 April 1916:

IT is with profound grief that we have to record the death of the veteran Indian Journalist, Mr. G. Subramania Iyer of Madras. He stared life, we believe, as a humble schoolmaster. But soon (about the year 1878 or so) when a band of selfless patriots started a press called the “National Press” by public subscription and issued a weekly journal called the Hindu, Mr. G. Subramania Iyer was drawn to its with his friend the late Mr. Viraraghava Chariar. The two young men were conducting the journal with such marked ability that the proper and the press soon became their private property, and the two went on working together as partners, one as editor and the other as manager. How the tiny weekly sheet grew into a powerful daily, and how subsequently it passed on into the hands of the present proprietors, we need not details here. Suffice it to say that the history of the growth of the Hindu is the history of the growth of public opinion in the Presidency.  It is true he as editor had behind him the influence, the knowledge and the experience of a succession of distinguished writers.

Also read: The house that Raj Rewal built for a ToI editor

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