Gurunath Meiyappan of AVM group, who has been arrested in connection with betting allegations, is named after his legendary grandfather AV Meiyappan Chettiyar. And, Meiyappan Chettiyar was known for his discipline, dignity and honesty.
AV Meyyappan was called 'Chettiyar' by his friends and 'Muthalali' by legendary actors like MGR and Sivaji Ganesan.
He always advised his directors to start the movie with a positive note and say no to scenes against the nation or national sentiments. Chettiyar never allowed either a grey or negative scene in his movies. Such were his values. He produced 167 films and did not compromise on the values in the long journey (July 28 1907 - August 12 1979).
His sons AVM Kumaran, AVM Saravanan and AVM Balasubramaniyan dare not stray from these core values of the AVM house, either in movies or in business.
But, one of his heirs, and ironically, named after him, has tarnished the image of the legend.
Gurunath is part of the AVM Productions, AVM constructions, AVM Studios (owned by his father Balasubramaniyam). The AVM family owns the oldest and most popular film studio in South India.
He is a sports lover and known in Chennai social circles as a man of few words. Gurunath has managed to keep a low profile as AVM heir but as son-in-law of N Srinivasan, he became face of Chennai Super Kings during the two-month frenzy of Indian Premier League tournament every year. However, as a sports lover, Gurunath forgot the sportsmanship and fairplay.
His father is an honorary consul for Paraguay and ex-president of Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Gurunath caught facination for golf from his mother Lalitha. She is an avid golfer and has represented the country in the sport.
The arrest has been a big blow to the AVM family and the conservative Chennai is keeping a big distance from the family.