Roll call for Tamil literati | Daily News

Roll call for Tamil literati

We understand that the Lankan Government’s highest literary award for Tamil-speaking writers is known as Sahitya Rathna. So far 17 scholars and writers have been honoured. We are happy and congratulate them. No female has been honoured so far.

How do they select these honourable people is not explained to the ordinary people?

The lucky people are T S Varatharajan (Varathar), Chokkalingam (Chokkan), A Shanmugathaas, Mughammadhu Sameem, K Arunasalam, K Kunarasa (Sengai Aaliyan), Murugaiyan and K Sivathamby who are no more among us. The others remain to be Dominic Jeeva, Pandit K Sachthananthan, Saba Jeyarasa, Nadesu (Theniyaan), Theliwatte Joseph, Subramaniam (Mullaimani), S Jebanesan, Neervai Ponnaiyan and Ponnambalam Mu Po.

Eleven people are established, writers. They are pace-setters in Lankan Tami Literature. Six people are academics involved in research matters.

We also learn that Emeritus Professor S. Tillainathan refused to accept the award when it was offered to him.

Most people do not know the worth of these recipients. I do not know whether it includes a wallet of money too. Therefore, a book has been compiled to educate the uninitiated and young people to get familiar with the great names.

We need a chronicler to work on this.

Gnanam is an outstanding Tamil literary magazine with photographs of the recipients. The back cover has pictures in colour. The editor’s name is T. Gnanasekeran.

T. Gnabnaekeran, a doctor of medicine, is an achiever in many fields: writing novels, short stories, travelogues, a Bachelor of Arts, editor, publishers, religious publications and many more. His family is all over the cultural world.

To me, this book is a ready reference book to gather any information about the people who are on the top rung in Lankan Thamil Literature, all interested in writing will find the book useful.

Here are gleanings on what T. Gnanasekean gives on a scholar of whom I did not have sufficient information.

One is Pandit K. Sachthaanantham, He was knowledgeable in astronomy, astrology and Sanskrit. He went to London in 1978 and received his M.Phil. degree in Psychology. He has taught Math and Thamil in schools in Negombo and Yaalpaanam. He is a father of seven children. He had also worked as a professor in psychology at the teachers training college.

He was employed as a textbook writer during1962-1965.

Entering the field of literature from 1939, he was engaged in creative writing and other works on many other subjects. He was against casteism in the North. He was fond of English literature too.

Taking the period BC 1450- 67, he wrote an epic on the politics of the day. He received several literary awards for the s pic.

His two books in English were well received: Fundamentals of Thamil Prosody and Footprints of our Forefathers.

Research work on the ancient musical instrument discovered by the late Swami Vipulananda was followed by Sachithanantham writing a book titled Yaai Iyal was published in 1997 and received an award by the State.

Many more attributes of the Pandit is added by T.Gnanasekeran. The scholar passed away at his 78th year on March 21, 2008.

The Writer should be congratulated for this enterprise.


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