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News |  14 Jul 2015 21:02 |  By IANS

Musicians and policy-makers mourn composer M.S. Viswanathan's death

MUMBAI: Southern music composer M.S. Viswanathan, who has over 750 films in different languages to his credit, died at the age of 87 at a private hospital in Chennai on 14 July, leaving his fans and film fraternity in melancholy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described his demise as a major loss to the industry.

Viswanathan, who was fondly called as MSV by the members of Tamil filmdom, was undergoing treatment at Fortis Malar hospital for old-age related ailments and breathing problem. He breathed his last early Tuesday morning, a family source told IANS.

Condolences poured in from all quarters.

"The unfortunate demise of M.S. Viswanathan is a major loss to music lovers. People across generations enjoyed his compositions. When it came to music, M.S. Viswanathan was always ahead of his time. Condolences to his family and his several admirers," PM Modi said in a statement.

Tamil Nadu CM J. Jayalalithaa said since 1991, when she became the chief minister, she has been recommending Viswanathan's name for the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour.

"The central governments that do not do anything in favour of the states did not lend an ear to this as well," she said.

Meanwhile, superstar Rajinikanth noted that Viswanathan, recipient of Kalamamani and several other music awards, including the 'Isai Perarignar' title given to Tamil musicians, "lived life like a selfless saint".

"You will rarely find someone like MSV in any industry. He lived life like a selfless saint, free from jealousy and lies. He was behind the success of legends like MGR (M.G. Ramachandran) and Sivaji (Ganeshan)," he said.

As a mark of respect, the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) has announced in an official statement that all film-related activities in Tamil filmdom Wednesday stand cancelled.