'Yesudas pulled the rug from under Devarajan Master's feet'


Playback singer Lathika's brother and mediaperson S Rajendrababu has come up with a serious allegation against veteran playback singer K J Yesudas. He recalled in a recent interview what music composer Devarajan Master had once told him about Yesudas and how he cheated him.

“If this was said by someone else, I wouldn’t have believed,” he said. “Devarajan Master told this personally to me and he bore the wound till the time of his death,” he recounted to Onmanorama.

Deals for grand event

“Once when I visited Devarajan Master, he shared to me his dream of organising a celebration to mark 50 years of Malayalam film music. His plan  was to bring together all music directors, lyricists and singers alive at that time and conduct a grand event. The money to be collected from it  was meant for use in a pension scheme for the benefit of musicians who were in despair due to illness and otherwise. An active organising committee was formed and the preparations were on,” he said.


Unexpected twists

Devarajan Master, as he was popularly known, had planned such an event with Yesudas as the prime personality.

“His presence was inevitable. But at the last minute he informed Master that he would be going to Gulf for some show and asked to change the date of the event. Devarajan Master was attending a meeting in Trivandrum when this unexpected message reached him. The shock was too much for him to handle and he collapsed. He was carried to the Sree Chitra Thirunal hospital. It took him a long while to regain health. Soon after he left the hospital, he started working towards the event which was finally held at the Senate Hall of the University of Kerala, Trivandrum, for three days. The event was a grand success,” Rajendrababu narrated.

Rajendrababu also revealed another development linked to the event.


“(Film producer) Johny Sagarika had offered Rs 16 lakh to buy the audio and video of the event and the deal was confirmed. Johny had told me personally about this. But, a few days before the event, Yesudas asked Devarajan Master to sell the audio and video rights to him for Rs 8 lakh. He said he wouldn’t cooperate with the event if otherwise. Devarajan Master cancelled the deal with Johny Sagarika and confirmed the same to Yesudas,” the media personality claimed, adding, “Devarajan Master told me about all these at his Kodambakkam home after the programme. I felt bad as such a big effort did not achieve the intended result.”

Belated apology?

Yesudas reportedly met Devarajan Master after one year and apologised. He reasoned that he had to pull out from the event as he faced financial issues. Reportedly, Yesudas offered an envelope with a cheque of Rs 2 lakh inside. When Yesudas was about to leave the composer told him to keep the money for himself.

“I do not know why Yesudas did this to Devarajan Master. May be he has his own justifications for it. However, Devarajan Master was haunted even on the death bed by the fact that he couldn’t do anything for the miserable musicians despite of his efforts,” he said.

The allegation of Rajendrababu is becoming a sensation online. Rajendrababu had already mentioned about the incidents in his book.

When Yesudas was asked about the same by the media before, he said that the allegation was concocted by people who do not know the depth of relationship he shared with Devarajan Master. But he has not responded to the matter clearly.

Paravoor Govindan Devarajan, aka Devarajan Master, passed away in Chennai on March 15, 2006.

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