Leaders, including Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, condole death
Senior journalist S. Dorairaj, 70, who had worked in The Hindu and Frontline, and whose life was dedicated for the upliftment of the downtrodden, passed away at his home in Tiruchi on Saturday after a brief illness.
The son of S. Sriramulu, a Railway employee and S. Jayalakshmi, a homemaker, he did his B.Sc (Botany) from the American College, Madurai, and M.A. (Tamil) from Thiagarajar College of Arts and Science, Madurai. He worked as a journalist in various organisations, including Central News Service, Patriot, English Daily, Link Weekly, Press Trust of India (PTI), News Today (English Eveninger), The Hindu and Frontline. He joined The Hindu Group in August 1997 as a Principal Correspondent at Thoothukudi, and in October 2008, he was transferred to its sister publication Frontline, from where he retired as a Deputy Editor in August 2012. He was engaged as a consultant for two years till August 2014. He is survived by his only daughter Kannamma Dorairaj, a professor at National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, and his wife Sulochana. “I thank all the leaders, including Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, and the journalist community, for showing such love and affection for him and remembering his contribution,” Ms. Kannamma said. The last rites would be held in Tiruchi on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Oyamari crematorium.
Wearing his trademark red helmet, full-sleeve shirt in his favourite colour red, and a shoulder bag he could be seen moving around the city in a two-wheeler. He had friends and contacts everywhere, a remarkable memory and was a stickler for time. He would share his cup of tea when a friend walked in, would be very friendly with even juniors, would speak and explain things in a very elaborate manner. He was a very methodical person and perfectionist, recalled journalists, who worked with him.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said he was deeply saddened by the demise of the journalist. He said Dorairaj, who was driven by a Leftist ideology and humanitarian approach, had dedicated his services for the rights and upliftment of the vulnerable and downtrodden. Having served as the office-bearer of several journalists’ associations he was known as a crusader against oppression, Mr. Stalin added. Minister for Information and Publicity M.P. Saminathan condoled the death of the senior journalist.
TNCC president K.S. Alagiri, said the death of journalist ‘Patriot’ Dorairaj’s came as a personal loss to him. He would never allow caste, communal considerations come in the way of his work, he recalled. PMK founder S. Ramadoss, who condoled the passing of his long-time friend, said Dorairaj was very particular that he begin the party. He was one of those who had published news about the party right from its inception, he said while expressing his deepest sympathies to his family.
TMC leader G.K. Vasan said that Durairaj had led a very simple life and that he behaved in a very loving and respectful manner with everyone that he interacted with. He not only worked for the betterment of the organisations in which he worked, but also for also for the uplift of people including farmers, labourers, hill tribes and fishermen.
Journalist organisations, including the Chennai Press Club, condoled his death. The Madras Reporters Guild (Chennai Nirubargal Sangam) condoled the death of the veteran journalist. Dorairaj, a former president of the Madras Reporters Guild, and an office-bearer of the Madras Union of Journalists, had rendered invaluable service to the journalistic community, said Guild president R. Rangaraj.
Terming him a people’s journalist, the Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram condoled his death. In a statement, its president C. Chokkalingam said his father Sriramulu was a trade unionist, which lead to him being influenced by Communist ideologies. The welfare of the people was paramount to him right from his school and college days. He was very close to writer Jayakanthan, general secretary R. Kamarasu said.
P.R. Pandian, president, Coordination Committee of All Farmers’ Associations in Tamil Nadu, in a condolence message recalled the direct participation of the senior journalist, Dorairaj in the movement against the Methane project in the Delta region at Mannargudi in 2012. Mr. Pandian said, the seasoned journalist paved the way for active participation of educationalists, intellectuals and politicians in the movement through his thought provoking and science-based news stories.
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