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S Muthiah: Scribe-cum-heritage champion whose writings inspired hard action

For his writers he was 'The Chief', while readers saw him as 'Mr Madras'

S Muthiah  (13 April 1930 - 20 April 2019)
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S Muthiah (13 April 1930 - 20 April 2019)

Ranjita Ganesan
It is poetic that S Muthiah’s first job after returning to Chennai, then Madras, in 1968 was with a firm that made atlases — for he would eventually find purpose in mapping in panoramic detail the story of South India’s preeminent city. More than a dozen books, over 900 columns, and a local magazine were born of him over the next several decades out of an urge to record the genesis of all the built and natural heritage around him. Somewhere along the way, its name changed, but Chennai always remained “Madras, that is Chennai” for him. When he passed

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First Published: Apr 27 2019 | 12:18 AM IST

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