Chennai: Media baron and sports administrator B Sivanthi Adithan, who passed away after a brief illness, was on Saturday cremated in Chennai with scores of leaders and artistes paying their homage. The body of 76-year-old Adithan, owner of popular Tamil daily 'Dina Thanthi', was taken in a procession from his Poes Garden residence to the electric crematorium at Besant Nagar, where it was consigned to flames. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa were among those who condoled the demise of Adithan, who died on Friday night.
Earlier, a steady stream of mourners paid their last respects to Padma Shri recipient Adithan, who had an illustrious career as an educationist, industrialist and philanthropist besides being associated with Indian Olympic Association and various other sport bodies. Eighty-nine-year old DMK president M Karunanidhi, Union Ministers GK Vasan and Jayanthi Natarajan, MDMK Chief Vaiko, DMDK Leader Vijaykant, CPI State Secretary D Pandian, CPM Tamil Nadu Secretary G Ramakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President B Gnanadesikan were among those who paid floral tributes to Adithan at his residence.
Members of film fraternity including superstar Rajnikant, actor-politician R Sarathkumar, actor Sivakumar, director Bharatirajaa, music director Illayaraja also paid their last respects to Adithan. In his message to Malathi Adithan, the wife of Sivanthi Adithan, President Mukherjee expressed grief and said his contribution to society as a philanthropist and educationist will always be remembered.
Expressing profound grief, the Prime Minister said the country has lost a true champion of the media, who believed that journalism was meant to serve the common man's need for information. "Adithan was a pioneer of the Indian media fraternity. He played a key role in making Dina Thanthi one of the major dailies in the country. In his death, the country, particularly the state of Tamil Nadu, has lost a true champion of the media who believed that journalism was meant to serve the common man's need for information," Singh said.
Rosaiah expressed deep shock on the demise of Adithan saying he was known for his act of philanthropy. "I am deeply shocked and grieved to hear about the demise of B Sivanthi Adithan. He was a media baron and a patron of sports. He was known for his act of philanthropy. His death is an irreparable loss to the media and to sports in particular", he said in a condolence message.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in her message on Friday night, said Adithan's demise was a huge loss to journalism and sports. She recalled Adithan was the Deputy Chairman of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu during AIADMK's earlier regime.