Industrialist M.A.M. Ramaswamy disowns adopted son
Industrialist and former Rajya Sabha member M.A.M. Ramaswamy, 84, on Tuesday disowned his adopted son M.A.M.R. Muthiah.
Ramaswamy also declared that Muthiah should not perform any ceremonies or obsequies on his demise.
Ramaswamy said the adoption has been nullified as per the practice of the Chettiar community and steps are being taken to void the adoption on the legal side as well.
"I have disowned him and do not wish to call him my son. Whatever the law may be, he is no more my son. According to me he can be only S. Ayyappan (original name) and not M.A.M.R. Muthiah," Ramaswamy told the media here at his residence.
Ramaswamy said Ayyappan has not performed the annual rituals for his late wife Sigappi Achi which had affected him emotionally.
According to Ramaswamy, though a substantial part of his properties is with Ayyappan, whatever is remaining should go to two charitable trusts - Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy Chettiar of Chettinad Charitable Trust and Dr.M.A.M. Ramaswamy Chettiar Trust- in which Ayyappan will have no part to play or have a say.
"I have also written and registered a will that all the assets which may be left at the time of my death would go only to the said trusts and not to Ayyappan or M.A.M.R. Muthiah or any one claiming on his behalf or under him," Ramaswamy said.
An emotionally disturbed Ramaswamy against whom several cases have been filed by his adopted son said Ayyappan should not perform any ceremonies or obsequies on his demise.
The Ramaswamys did not have any biological children and hence adopted Ayyappan, natural son of R.M. Sekkappa Chettiar, in 1995 when he was around 26 years old and named him as M.A.M.R. Muthiah.
According to Ramaswamy and his industrialist cousin A.C. Muthiah of the SPIC group, the adoption of Ayyappan did not follow the tradition of the Nagaratha community.
"In our community adoption is valid only when the adopted boy belongs to the same temple to which the person who adopts belong. In this case Ayyappan belongs to a different temple," Muthiah said.
"My father (M.A. Muthiah Chettiar) has stated in his will that his entire wealth should go only to a grandson adopted according to the traditions of the Nattukottai Nagarathar Community (Chettiar community) and not otherwise," Ramaswamy said.
He said the adoption was done without following the mandatory customs of the Nattukottai Nagarathar community.
Ramaswamy alleged that Ayyappan transferred a substantial part of his and his wife's properties and powers in business to himself.
"He also forced me to make him the managing director of the Chettinad Cement Corporation and also pressurised me to induct him and his wife Geetha Ayyappan and also the employees nominated by him in the various trusts and societies," Ramaswamy said.
The problems between Ramaswamy and his adopted son had been there for some time and aggravated after the demise of the former's wife.
According to Ramaswamy, his adopted son's miserly attitude did not gel with his philanthropic one.
"I am maintaining this home from my own resources. Around 60 people work here and Ayyappan wanted the staff to be pruned. Many of these people are hereditary workers and they have families to support," Ramaswamy said.
He said his grandchildren are sweet and loved him very much. But it has been a long time since they saw him.
Ramaswamy was ousted as the chairman of Chettinad Cements and other group companies.
The group has interests in cement, logistics, education among other things.
"I am left with this residence and some properties," Ramaswamy said.
On the other hand Ayyappan/Muthiah in a recent statement said since 1995 certain vested interests were inimical to his adoption as the fourth generation descendant of the Chettinad family and they never wanted the father-son relationship to take root and blossom and had always come in the way of the father-son relationship.
"Consequently, my father M.A.M. Ramaswamy's affection towards me and my family was constrained. In fact, even the grandchildren were not allowed to get close to my father and it almost gave an impression that my father was closer to his attendants than his grandchildren," he said.
According to Ramaswamy, all Ayyappan had to do was to wait for a couple of years to inherit all his properties after his demise, but it is not known why he is in a hurry.
The aged industrialist with a passion for horse racing categorically said that there is no space for a compromise with his adopted son.