There is hope for Madras for she has still some verteran
leaders of the caliber of Mr. Subramania Aiyer. Mr. Aiyer
is a patriot of the othodox type, midway between the fanatic
and the funk. For the last three decades and more this
man has been unceasingly thinking and writing about his
country, her wrongs and her hopes. The dazzling brilliance
of genius Mr. Aiyer certainly has not. The gods have not
bestowed on him any of those shining, semi-divine mental
gifts. But they have mercifully withheld from his composition
the cheap and deceitful flashes so painfully common among
us in these latter days – the spurious, multicolored and
short-lived flames of the political dilettante and charalatan.
He is not a star, nor a meteor, nor ignis fatu us. He
is the unfailing sacrificial fire; a modest beacon light
over the troubled waters of Indian politics.
The gods have given him plenty of suffering as they give
to every mortal on earth. Perhaps the gods decree more
suffering to men who wish to help human evolution than
to others. But to Mrs. Subramaniya Aiyer they have granted
the strength to bear all the burden and heat of the day,
never complaining, never despairing. This man can endure,
he can therefore build. He can suffer, he can therefore
elevate. Unaided he has made Tamil journalism a fact of
the world in spite of his very imperfect early training
in Tamil literature. Learn, says the Tamil aphorist, while
you are yet young.
In Mr. Subramaniya Aiyer’s youth he had wholly neglected
his mother tongue like most people in this country who
claim to have been “educated” in English schools. But
his mature patriotism had to realize later on that for
the elevation of the Tamil race the Tamil language would
be not only the most rational but the indispensable medium.
They win who dare; Mr. Aiyer dared and he has succeeded
in establishing a Tamil daily journal which with all its
faults is the most useful newspaper in the Tamil country.
His whole political gospel can be summed up in these words:
“ Praceful but tireless and unceasing effort’. Let us
sweat ourselves into Swaraj, he would seem to say.”