Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Dr Chowdary’s Memories of and Tributes to Lt. Col. S. Paul , Principal , College of Engineering, Guindy

Dt:  27/2/23

Dr Chowdary’s Memories  of   and  Tributes to

 Lt. Col. S. Paul , Principal ,  College of  Engineering, Guindy

Dr T.H.Chowdary*

Today 28th Feb 2023  is the  125th Jayanti of the  late Lt. Col. S. Paul, Engineering educationist and  administrator  and moulder of  young minds into leaders .  He was the first principal of the College of  Engineering, Guindy following India’s independence in 1947. I was in the  batch 1948-52, the first from Guindy in fully independent India . In 2012, sixty years after I left that college I took the initiative to create an endowment  fund to commemorate  Col. Paul the  principal under whose  nurture, I and  several others of my batch  and a  few more  batches after me rose to heigh positions, as leaders and  persons of eminence in our careers, all over India .


2. Let me quote  some lines of the  great English  poet James Shirley ( 1599-1666) .


The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things

There is no armour against fate

Death lays his icy hands on kings

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down

And in the dust be equal made

With the poor, crooked scythe and spade…

Only the actions of the just

Smell sweet and blossom in the dust



3. The actions of Col. Paul as educator and  principal were just, sweet and  generative of  initiative and leadership  among students. He led  students to form  societies, associations and  clubs  to promote cooperative initiatives and actions.  These covered not only engineering but also  arts  dramatics, sports, dance, languages , social service , messes, recreation, NCC and  exhibitions.


4. All India  Radio , Chennai used to have a program , “Youth Forum” to discuss  students and youth affairs.  I was invited to talk  on  28 Jan 1952 . While discussing about discipline among students I said  that, “ discipline would have to be cultivated rather than enforced; that appeals to uphold the  fair name of the institutions and seeing that students take  pride in belonging to the institutions would serve better  to maintain  discipline than all the restrictive and punitive  rules of colleges. This is the  way in which my principal, Col . Paul has been successfully maintaining  discipline”.  After my talk many principals in Chennai called Col. Paul and congratulated him for  eliciting  public acclaim from a student leader. I am mentioning  this  because Col. Paul was apprehensive as to what I as a known communist in the college would  say about him.  He was of course, happy that I publicly  lauded him over the  Radio.

5. How  Col. Paul defused a sensitive issue  is worth mentioning. In the   1952 general elections scores of communists who were  under ban until then were elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly. reducing the Congress to  minority. I arranged a reception to the  communist MLAs in the college campus. Somebody rang up the police. They descended into  our gathering.  Col. Paul was informed by the police that a communist meeting was going on in the college. Col. Paul came to us,  greeted us and  admonished  us lovingly for not inviting him.  The police noticed the bon homie displayed by the   Principal towards us and the guests . Col. Paul said that this was part of education and leadership training, he was inculcating in us. The police were dis-armed.  They had tea and went away.

6. Col. Paul was  not only a teacher and principal. He and his wife were parent -figures to students. After graduation I went to Delhi and   joined the AIR. My wife was studying in the Ethiraj College  for Women in Chennai. Col & Mrs Paul used to visit her in the hostel, counselled her,  inquired of her progress and made the Principal and the  warden  know  that she, my wife was their ward!

7. Col. Paul loved his students.  He delighted in their  progress after they left the college. He  came up to  what Arjuna spoke of Krishna in Bhagawad Gita.

Piteva putrasya ( A father to his sons)

sakheya sakyuha ( A friend to companions)

Priyah priyayaha arhasi….  (A lover to the fiancée)


8. I am happy that  the Alumni of the  famed College of Engineering, Guindy which  has a history of more than a century,  are organizing these Col. Paul memorial lectures.

9. I thank them,  in particular Sri Rupchander and Sri Mathew Paul   for  organizing this lecture and  Sri Suresh for delivering this commemorative lecture.  May the children of Col. Paul and Mrs.Paul cherish  the memory of their  elders.  (716 words)