Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Speech by Dr Raj Chandran at Tamil Awards 2008

Dr Raj Chandran, one of the best product of KHC organized Tamil Awards 2008 on his 70th birthday. This is the amateur coverage of the event. This consist of short videos - click play sign.

A Poem by Dr. Raj Chandran

Qudsia RajChandran

Tamil Awards 2008 - Winners

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Chandran Foundation

Dr Raj Chandran’s Grand Birthday Celebration on 4th October 2008
Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 9HD

A Journey Through the Life of Dr. Thambithurai Raja Chandran

Birthday 29th September 1938.Raj was born on 29th September 1938 in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia to R.N. Thambithurai M.B.E. and Kanagamany. He was their youngest child. Following his fathers demise at the age of eight years, Raj's mother brought him to live in Kokuvil. He never went back to Malaysia and to him Sri Lanka was home. He enrolled at Kokuvil Hindu College and continued to study there until he entered Colombo Medical College from where he qualified M.B.B.S. At Kokuvil he used to participate in debates and became President of H.S.C. class.In Kokuvil he found himself as part of the Manigaran (Collector of Taxes) and Vidanai (Village Headman) clan, when he made enquiries of the meaning of Manigaran Lane where he lived. The house itself was built a hundred years before with the walls made of limestone and were over two feet thick. He understood that these powerful appointments that were made by the British to help them rule the locals. He found that his clan was also called “Keerai Thuraimar” meaning vegetarian overlords. Raj remembers his cousin who was one of the last Tamil Ambassadors and taking his late mother to visit him in Paris in 1983 on the day of the big riots in Colombo. Raj has lands in Kokuvil which he inherited from his mother and also in Chunnakam, which he inherited from his grandmothers.Recently he has purchased a sixteen-roomed property in Point Pedro, now being rented to and used as Law Courts by the Government. He has also purchased a forty-acre coconut estate in Mullativu and several smaller properties in Mullaitivu from his sister whose late husband was the grandson of the Mudailiar (Chieftan) of Mullaitivu. His sister has migrated to England and decided to sell them, as she did not need them any more. He hopes to retain these properties even though he knows his children may never live in them. When he is no more and when there is peace in Sri Lanka one day, perhaps they will remember that they have their roots in Elam and visit their ancestral homes and properties. Qudsia too has an inherited property in Peshawar, her ancestral home - this makes it dual roots for Kannan, Parosha and Ruban.He has three sisters. Lohes, widow of Chelliah, has two sons Lohendran married to Priya and Nirmal married to Anna. She has grandchildren and also great grandchildren, Rajes widow of Pulendra, has a daughter Shantha married to Villiers and one granddaughter. Ranee widow of Thureiretham, has two daughters Anushya (Dr) married to Thillai (Dr) and Radha married to Kanthan and Ranee has four grandchildren. They all live in England. Raj's brother late Rajasingham, Senior Assistant Commissioner, Malaysian Constabulary, was married to Saras and has two daughters Usha and Uma who live in Malaysia.In the Medical College he was elected unopposed as “Block Chief”, a title given to the Secretary of the Anatomical Society who is the overlord in charge of ragging juniors. He was elected Vice President of the Students Union and was chosen to attend an American Peace Conference in Vietnam when war broke out there and he had to abandon that trip. He later was elected President of the Medical College Hindu Society. This Society, during his term of office, built a Tamil School in Puttalam in Trincomalee.After qualifying as a Doctor he only worked in Tamil areas for three years, as he could not speak Sinhalese. He served in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Mannar. When he was working there he had initiated and built Temples for patients in Batticaloa Hospital, Point Pedro Hospital and one in Jaffna Hospital which is now a thriving Temple giving solace and piety to ill patients and their relatives.He left for England by air in December 1966 and took him fifteen days to reach England. He stopped in Egypt as he wanted to visit Abu Simbel in its original site before the water rose in Aswan. His next stop was in Greece where he visited Marathon which is 150 miles away from Athens where a runner was sent to tell that the Persians were invading Greece. He then flew to Rome where he had the fortune to get an audience with the Pope for a fee of £2 only (quite a lot now!). He was blessed by the Pope who touched his head. Raj thinks that this was the beginning of the loss of his hair.In Doncaster, where he began his job, which had already been arranged for him from Sri Lanka, he started working as a budding Obstetrician on 19.1.67. Exactly two weeks later Qudsia arrived straight from Pakistan and joined the same firm. It was love at first sight they married on 19.12.67. Qudsia is a Pathan from Peshawar, which is 40 miles from the Khyber Pass, which borders Afghanistan. She had qualified as a Doctor from Fatima Jinnah Medical College in Lahore one of only two women only Medical Colleges in the world.Her family are well connected in the military and political fields and in the civil service of Pakistan. Her brother and brother-in-law were Generals, her nephew and grandniece were MPs and her nephew was Ambassador to Britain not long ago. A nephew is Director General of Income Tax and another is Director of Engineering Service. A niece is married to the Prince of Chitral a Principality in the Hindu Kush Mountains and another is married to the Raja of Kot Rajgan. A brother-in-law was Managing Director of the largest sugar mill in Asia and her sisters family own hundreds of acres of sugar cane in North West Frontier Province.After qualifying as Obstetricians they decided to live in Britain and went straight into General Practice in Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and started practice on 1.1.69. Raj remembers that when he took Qudsia to Sri Lanka the first time to meet his mother and relatives how they all liked her instantly, just as he was welcomed when he went for the first time to Pakistan with her. The common factor that made this possible was that all their relatives in both countries spoke English fluently. They usually visit Sri Lanka and Pakistan alternatively almost every year and enjoy meeting relations in each country very much. They were in Sri Lanka only in March this year.They have three children Kannan, who is a Dental Surgeon, now a “Dental Mudalali” who has three Dentists working for him. He also has a property portfolio of several luxury flats in Central London. He enjoys converting these flats to his own designs. One of his flats was televised recently Their daughter Parosha is a Human Rights Barrister and married to Clive who is a Chartered Accountant working as a Financial Director to an International Shipping Company. Parosha has also appeared on television on a thrilling live programme as a special guest on how to Save London from terrorist attack entitled “Crisis Command, Could You Run This Country” Her Chambers have nominated Parosha for the title of “Barrister of the Year” for her work against sex slave barons from Eastern Europe whom Parosha has successfully prosecuted. Ruban, their last child is a Chartered Accountant who works for British Petroleum as a Senior Financial Analyst. He has travelled to Australia recently as BP's trouble-shooter.Raj first entered politics as a Councillor. He was later selected by Margaret Thatcher to stand for MP for Preston. When he did not succeed he was appointed Commissioner for Racial 'Equality for Britain. He served for eight years during which time he became a controversial figure, many times attacking the race industry itself as being too anti white. He used to be on television and also had his own column in the Daily Mail. The Guardian, The Telegraph and Times have also written about him. During his term of office as Commissioner he attended The World Diversity Conference in Sydney paying for the trip himself. Qudsia and Raj circumnavigated round the world on this trip. They were away from England for 30 days but they had travelled for 31 days (remember the novel around the world in eighty days?). This was because they crossed the International Date Line in the Pacific and gained a day. He also visited South Africa at the end of Apartheid and met Nelson Mandela but he remembers well his meeting the granddaughter of Mahatma Ghandi a South African MP.He became a Councillor once again and was elected as the Worshipful Mayor of Gedling, Nottingham that he enjoyed very much with Qudsia as his Lady Mayoress. During his term of office he visited Sri Lanka to help the Tsunami victims. As Mayor he also visited twinned cities in Germany and in France.He remembers his visit to Masselongi in Greece at the 150th Anniversary of the death of Lord Byron where he took the salute with the President of Greece at a parade to mark the occasion. Lord Byron who was from Gedling had died in Masselongi during the Greek war with Turkey he is held as a hero by the Greeks. During his term as Mayor's Charity he raised a six-figure sum for D.A.R.E. UK (Drug, Abuse, Resistance, Education), which teaches children to say “No” to drugs. He was made a Trustee when he finished his term of office as Mayor. In August this year he attended a 2,000 delegate World Conference on drugs in Texas, America representing Britain. Once again, paying for the trip himself. The British National Party (BNP) had written a slandering article about him on their web page. Raj took the BNP to court in London and won substantial damages. He donated the entire sum that he received to D.A.R.E. UK, as he is passionately keen to see young British children protected from drugs.Qudsia herself has been actively involved in women's affairs, she was Chairman of the Women's Conservative Committee in Sherwood for ten years. She was also Vice Chairman of Trent Overseas Doctors Association for eight years. She was also a leading member of the Pakistan Women's Association of Nottingham. In 1996 she was awarded “Woman of the Year” by the Marchiness of Lothian (Woman of the Year Organisation is based in London and has been running for fifty years. It is one of the most prestigious women's organisations in the country.Raj and Qudsia both enjoy travelling and Qudsia keeps a diary of all her trips and Raj hopes that one day her diaries will be published. They have visited every continent in the world, some in luxury, and many enduring hardship. Raj has visited Pakistan several times. He thinks his visits to the Khyber Pass, Mohonjadaro and Harrappa were very educative but his most exciting trip was driving over the Himalayas in Pakistan with Qudsia. The Karakurum Highway from Peshawar to China is the highest mountain road in the world (16,000 ft above sea level). It was a five-day and five nights driving ordeal to reach China. It was not a tourist route and there were no proper hotels.Perhaps they are one of a few who have broken the record to having also driven across the second highest mountain in the world when they drove from Chile to Argentina over the Andes Mountains (10,000 ft). On this trip they visited Brazil and enjoyed seeing the “biggest show on earth” the Rio Carnival where 60,000 people participated in a most glamorous pageant. On an earlier visit to Peru they not only climbed Machu Picchu they both travelled in a dug out boat for five hours on the crocodile infested Amazon River and stayed at a Head Hunters' primitive village. Luckily the headhunters are now quite civilised!They had a wonderful trip to Vancouver in the luxury “Gold Leaf Rocky Mountaineer Railway” journey across the Rocky Mountains. They later sailed to Alaska where the highlight of the trip was seeing whales in their breeding grounds and having a close encounter with an iceberg.A typical example of how Raj celebrates milestones in his life is illustrated by their grand trip to the North Pole to celebrate their Ruby Anniversary. They stayed in the Ice Hotel 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle. On the night of 19thDecember 2007 the night they were married 40 years earlier they slept at this Ice Hotel in a large room decorated with ice figurines of dancing girls. The temperature inside the room was 5 deg C (anything warmer would melt the whole hotel). The temperature outside was 30 deg C. They slept inside a sleeping bag and the warmth was only each other's company! Next day they went by dog sledge to see the Northern Lights, which they thought, were quite an incredible sight to see.On their return to England their children and Clive gave them a surprise and took them on a “no expense spared” holiday with their own luxury coach, driver and guide to Jordan. They all spent Christmas Day floating on the Dead Sea and New Years Eve in the pink city of Petra. Qudsia and Raj enjoyed this so much that they think all children should be encouraged to take their parents on such exotic holidays.Until his retirement Raj served as a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps for may years. Like the proverbial “join the Navy and see the world” he has seen almost every part of the fledging British Empire. He was the last British Medical Officer to hand over the British Hospital in Singapore. He has also served in British Military Hospitals in Cyprus, Gan Island, Al Mazira in Arabia, Hong Kong, Germany and Belgium. He served for a short period in Belize, and he relates his most frightening experience when he had to evacuate a wounded soldier from the Guatamalan Border in an open helicopter over the jungles of Central America. During an expedition through the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with his soldiers he visited many Mayan ruins and had to step over snakes while cutting through the jungles.This is as much as this booklet allows Raj to say about his journey through life. Qudsia has been his Mentor, Companion and Guide throughout this journey.No one will know how much longer his journey on this earth is going to last.Until then, he wishes everyone who has read this booklet and their families, good fortune and good health and a long life.

Recipients of Tamil Awards

Posthumous Awards