NEW YORK (TIP): Innovative musician of Chennai Ramakrishnan Subramaniam popularly known as Abaswaram Ramjhi who helped enthuse thousands of children in learning Carnatic music was felicitated for his service to music at a function held in New York on April 6. Ramjhi was invited by Cleveland Thaygaraja Aradhana committee that recently concluded its annual music celebrations and was honored by Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao for his contribution to Indian music. He was in New York on his way back to India. In the year 2000 – Issai Mazhalai, a musical extravaganza featuring children was launched by Ramjhi as India’s first music group capable of performing Carnatic, film and devotional music.
The group was invited to perform at Rashtrapathi Bhavan at the invitation of President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in Oct 2004. The group has so far performed over 2000 concerts in India and overseas. The children have sung in several films for all leading music directors and composers such as A.R. Rahman, Vidhyasagar, Ilaya Raja to name a few in all the Indian languages Those children who joined the group at the time of inauguration 13 years ago have now grown into their teens and are very popular playback singers in the film industry. Today over 1200 children learn Classical Music from the Issai Mazhalai Training schools in 16 centers with the help of dedicated music teachers. Ramjhi was given the Samaikya Bharath Gaurav Satkar award by The Bharath Integration Committee at Vizag in 2006; Kala Seva Bharathi award by Bharath Kalachar in 2006; Guru Seva award by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam 2006; The Acharya Award by M/S Call Teachers -2007; Acharya Rathna Award by Austere Media 2010 and Sangeetha Kala Vipanchee from Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna in 2010. He started his media career as an announcer and an anchor and produced and presented hundreds of popular programs, right from his school days.
The best was a 204 week-long show called Cibaca Geetha Maalai, a Tamil version of the show presented by Ameen Sayani in Hindi as Binaca Geet Mala. He wrote and produced two Tamil feature films “Uruvangal Maralam” and “Viswanathan Velai Venum”. The first movie had all the top South Indian stars in the cast such as Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Jaishanker, Y.G.Mahendra, Suhasini Manirathnam, S.Ve. Shekhar to name a few He is the son of legendary film director K. Subrahmanyam considered the doyen of the Tamil Film Industry and S. D. Subbalakshmi, a leading film actress and musician.
His sister is internationally renowned Bharatanatyam dancer Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and he is married to Shobhaa Ramji, an International Reiki Grandmaster and grand daughter of H. M. Reddy who made the first Indian Talkie Film “Aalam Aara.” At a function held at Madras Woodlands in New Hyde Park, leading community leaders praised the service of Ramjhi to Indian music. Dr Arul Veerappan, vice president of New York Tamil Sangam, Gayathri Murali Rajan, treasurer of New York Tamil Sangam, John Joseph, president of Tamil Nadu chapter of Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC)-USA, Venkatachalam Krishnan, director of partnerships at United Nations, G. Padmanabhan, manager of Hindu Temple Society of North America and others felicitated Ramjhi. He was presented with a title “Issai Mazhalai Vinjani.” Prakash M Swamy, president of New York Tamil Sangam and founder of Shri Vari Foundation, welcomed the gathering.