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Academic year 2007-08:
150 year celebration special:
Sister institution:
Life Sketches

Dewan Bahadur M.O. ParthaSarathy Iyengar,
M.A.., M.L.

Life Sketches - Dewan Bahadur M.O. ParthaSarathy Iyengar The late Dewan Bahadur M.O.Parthasarathy Iyengaqr shares the honour of making the Hindu High School great and as first-class institution, along with the founder, the late Rao Bahadur M.A.Singarachariar. His services to the institution were as invaluable as those of the founder.

He was born in Madras in the year 1857 of a family of orthodox Sri Vaishnava Brahmins originally hailing from Mysore.He graduated from the Christian College in 1877 and passed his B.L. In 1879. After being apprenticed to the late Raja T. Rama Rao, one of the Ex-Presidents of the Hindu High School Committee, he joined the Bar as a High Court

Vakil in 1880. A year later he became a Master of the Laws, the first M.L. Of the Madras University. In 1884, he became an advocate of the Madras High Court, a rank in those days definitely superior to that of a Vakil. He also took the degree of Master of Arts in the same year. His academic career was full of distinction and he obtained the Cobden Club Medal for the highest number of marks in Political Economy in the M.A. Degree Examination.

A scholar by instinct, Sri Parthasarathy Iyengar was naturally learned in Law. His interests were, however, by no means cinfined to his chosen profession. The study of Sanskrit was a person with him and the rich treasures of English literature were by no means neglected. He has more over the gift of humour, and both as a judge and advocate, he made the fullest use of it.

With these endowments, it is no wonder that he enjoyed a lucrative practise at the Bar. He was appointed a Judge of the Court of Small Causes in 1896; he presided over that Court as Officiating Chief Justice in 1896-97. Later he became the City Civil Judge and in 1906 went over to Rajahmundry as District and Sessions Judge, a post which he held with distinction till his retirement in 1912. After spending his retirement in quite unassuming public service and study of Hindu Philosophy, he passed away at the ripe age of sixty-nine in December 1926, leaving behind him his wife and a large circle of friends and admirers to mourn his loss.

Distinguished as was his career at the Bar and on the Bench, Sri Parthasarathy Iyengar is more likely to be remembered by the memories that he left behind him as an unostentatious philanthropist. He was generous to a fault and long before he made in 1913, a formal trust of a greater part of his estate for chartiable benefactions, he made philanthrophy a part of his life and tru to the old precept, "His left hand never knew what his right hand gave." There would not be many in Triplicane where he spent practically the whole of his life, who had not received some help from him at some time or other, and few could be found who could say that they had applied to him for assistance in vain.

For over three decades he was actively connected with the administration of the Hindu High School and was in a great measure responsible for the pride of place that it holds today among the Secondary Schools in the Presidency. During the year 1921 when the non-co-operation movement was very active, incessant propoganda by non-co-operators was carried on among the immature pupils of the School to give up their studies. The Dewan Bahadur by his tact and skill maintained not only order and discipline in the school, but advised the pupils to stick on to their studies. He greatly succeeded in his efforts and thereby averted what would otherwise have been a crisi.

Though he was temperamentally averse to the active life of a politician, the fire of patriotism burned in him steadily, and when repression greeted the uprise of Nationalism
in India, Sri Parthasarathy Iyengar gave expression to his righteous indigation by renouncing the title of Dewan Bahadur.

In fitting recognition of the services he rendered to the institution for over a period of thirty years, the public of Triplicane presented to the Hindu High School Committee a bromide enlargement of his, which now adorns the Singarachariar Hall.


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