Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday presented 10 awards, instituted by the Tamil Nadu government in honour of Tamil scholars and late leaders, to eminent personalities during a function at Valluvarkottam. The awards are given as part of the Thiruvalluvar Day celebrations. The CM paid floral tributes to saint Thiruvalluvar at his statue at Valluvarkottam.
Bharathidasan award, Bharathiyar award, Kamarajar award, KAP Viswanatham award, Anna award, Thiru.Vi.Ka award and Devaneya Pavanar award for 2022, and Thiruvalluvar award for 2023 carry a gold medal, Rs 2 lakh and a citation each. Periyar award and Ambedkar award for 2022 carry a gold medal, Rs 5 lakh and a citation each.
Ambedkar award went to SV Rajadurai. Writer, translator, and civil rights activist, Rajadurai was born on April 10, 1940, at Dharapuram in Tirupur district, he has written and translated 85 books in Tamil and English and has been writing on various topics. A long-time member of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, Rajadurai has been active in the campaign against the death penalty.
Bharathiyar award went to AR Venkatachalapathy. Born in Vellore district on June 30, 1967, received his doctorate in 1995 from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi for the thesis in ‘A social history of Tamil Book Publishing between the years 1850 and 1938. During the past three decades, he has authored many books in Tamil on numerous topics, particularly on poet Subramania Bharathi. He has also translated many works into Tamil and English and submitted numerous research papers in Tamil and English besides essays on various topics. Tamil Kalaikalanjiathin Kathai, U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer Kaditha Karuvoolam, Tamil Characters: Personalities, Politics, Culture and Pan Macmillan. His areas of research include social history, cultural history, intellectual history, literary historiography, and social and cultural changes.
KAP Viswanatham award went to veteran poet Mu Metha. Born at Periyakulam in Theni district on September 5, 1945, he served as a Tamil professor for 35 years. His collection of poems titled Akayathukku Adutha Veedu won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2006. Metha has written Marapu Kavithaigal (legacy poems), Puthukavithaigal (free verses), novels, and essays on various topics. He is also a well-known lyricist.
Devaneya Pavanar award went to Dr R Mathivanan. Born on July 1, 1936, at Pennagaram in Dharmapuri district, he served as a professor at government Salem arts college. He was closely associated with Tamil scholar Devaneya Pavanar for a long time and took over as the director of the Agara Mudali Tamil Lexicon Project and published 10 volumes of the lexicon. He has also authored books on Tolkappiyam, Kodakarai tribal people, From Lemuria to Harappa, etc.
Kamarajar award went to EVKS Elangovan. Son of late leaders EVK Sampath and EVK Sulochana Sampath, he was born on December 21, 1948, in Erode. He served as an MLA representing the Sathyamangalam constituency in 1984-87 and was elected from the Gobichettipalayam Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 and served as a Union Minister of State.
Periyar award went to poet Kali Poongundran. He was associated with Periyar, Maniammai, and Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani for a long time and authored 23 books. Poongundran has been propagating the ideals of Periyar.
Thiru.Vi.Ka award went to Namakkal P Velsami. He has authored many books including Koyil-Nilam-Sadhi, Poyyum Vazhuvum, and Porkalankalum Irunda Kalangalum. He also published the book Bharathakanda Puranam, a work of Tamil scholar Robert Caldwell.
Thiruvalluvar award for 2023 went to Eranian NK Ponnusamy. Ponnusamy was born on September 6, 1950, in Naranavalasu in Tirupur district and served as a Tamil teacher for a long time. He has authored many works on Sangam literature, and books including Periyarin Tamil Desiyam and Katrum Thuduppum (poetry collection).
Bharathidasan award went to Valajah Vallavan. He worked with V Anaimuthu, a close associate of Periyar. He has authored many books on the Dravidian movement and published the collection of Pudhuvai Murasu edited by poet Bharathidasan. He is now deputy general secretary of the Marxist Periyarist Communist Party.
Anna award went to SNM Ubayadullah. Born at Abiramam in Ramanathapuram district on June 16, 1941, he was attracted by the works of Arignar Anna during school days. He served as an MLA of the DMK four times and served as Commercial Taxes Minister between 2006-11.
Periyar award went to SV Rajadurai: Writer, translator, and civil rights activist, Rajadurai was born on April 10, 1940, in Dharapuram in Tirupur district, he has written and translated 85 books in Tamil and English and has been writing on various topics – socialism, anti-caste radicalism, literature, art, and revolution in many journals including a few internationally reputed ones. A long-time member of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, Rajadurai has been active in the campaign against the death penalty. He was a professor with the Centre for Periyar Studies at Bharathidasan University in Trichy. From his school days, he was attracted to the Dravidian movement and the works of Periyar and Arignar Anna and later turned towards ideologies of the Left movement. In the 1990s, he concentrated on the Mandal Commission, or the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission, awakened. Rajadurai believes that without Dr Ambedkar and Periyar, Marxism in India will not be applicable to Indian conditions.