Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

‘King Poet’ Kannadasan at 80

Random Thoughts (part 2) by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 17, 2018 Part 1 In this part, I focus on Kannadasan’s productivity: both of, physical and intellectual variety. On physical productivity, Kannadasan had a total of 15 children, from three wives, married in sequence in 1950, 1951 and 1976. Kannadasan’s first wife’s name was Ponnama, from… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 41

Near Death Experience and its Aftermath by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 19, 2017 Part 40 Front Note by Sachi MGR’s 30th death anniversary falls on December 24. It has been five years since I began this series. Curtain will also fall on MGR’s birth centenary in less than two weeks. To the best of my… Read more »

On History Writing by Uncle Sam’s Gumshoes

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 11, 2017 This is a rejoinder to Amit Barua’s commentary in The Hindu daily (Feb. 5, 2017), with the caption “JR: I was Forced into a Deal with India”. In my view, Barua has cherry-picked some items from the so-called declassified CIA documents. The items recorded by Barua are as… Read more »

Ten Tamil Fools – Revisited

by Sachi Sri Kantha, November 25, 2017  Twelve years ago, I wrote a commentary entitled ‘Scholarship on Fools – Inspiration from Orrin Klapp and poet Kannadasan’. In it, I also provided the electronic version of the classic paper of Orrin Klapp (1915-1997), entitled, ‘The Fool as a Social Type’ [American Journal of Sociology, September 1949,… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 40

Political Motive in the Case by Sachi Sri Kantha, November 1, 2017 Part 39 Testimony of Head Constable Lakshmanan One of the vital evidence in the MGR shooting case, which links the political angle of the case was a ‘letter’ or ‘report’ handed by M.R. Radha (prior to his admission to the Royapettah hospital) to… Read more »

S.P. Amarasingam on the 1977 Anti-Tamil Pogrom

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 23, 2017 Front Note by Sachi Available literature on the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom in Sri Lanka is vast, compared to the 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom. Thus, I present below two observations made by Mr. S.P. Amarasingam, one of the respected journalists and attorney, of those days. Both appeared in the September… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 39

Producer M.M.A. Sandow Chinnappah Thevar by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 29, 2017 Part 38 Sandow M.M.A. Chinnappah Thevar (1915-1978) was a colorful personality in the Madras movie world for nearly three decades, after he produced his first movie featuring MGR as the hero. It’s title was ‘Thaikku Pin Thaaram’ (1956; Wife after Mother). He was… Read more »

‘King Poet’ Kannadasan at 80

Random Thoughts (part 1) by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 28, 2017 Kavi Arasu [King Poet] Kannadasan’s 80th birthday passed by on June 24, 2017.  While serializing the biography of his contemporary MGR in this website, I have long wondered how their friendship, cooperation, conflict and rivalry in both cinema and politics, stimulated their creativity.  Both… Read more »

A Birth Centenary Biography on MGR

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 28, 2017   Book Review: R. Kannan, MGR – A Life, Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana, 2017, 495 pages, 599 Indian rupees.  The influence of movie stars as popular heroes has been a theme of academic study in America since the second half of last century. For… Read more »

Why I Write? – A Sequel

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 2, 2017 Two weeks ago, when I visited Tokyo, I bought an old copy of ‘The Journals of Sylvia Plath’, originally published 35 years ago in 1982.  Due to her suicide death in 1963, at the age of 30, the short life of poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) has fascinated me…. Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 38

Testimony of producer K.N. Vasu by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 25, 2017 Part 37 Front Note: I apologize to the readers, for the six month interruption, in continuing this series. Main reason was semi-retirement related loss of my own office room, and its after-effects.  Second reason was the assumption of an editor-in-chief position of a… Read more »

Onomastics of Tamil Personal Names – Part 2

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 22, 2017 More than a year has passed, since part 1 in this series was posted on February 23, 2016. [see, http://sangam.org/onomastics-tamil-personal-names-part-1/] I pick up the thread again now. In mid-1990s, I received an inquiry letter from Prof. Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson (1928-2000), soliciting the recognized names of literati and intellectuals… Read more »

Saiva Temples in the Jaffna Region

During my last visit to Jaffna in March 2004, I had the good fortune to meet Prof. Arunasalam Sanmugadas and his wife Manonmani Sanmugadas. When both of them were living in Tokyo, 30 years ago (circa late 1980s, while carrying out their collaborative research with Prof. Susumu Ohno, on the linguistic and cultural links between… Read more »

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2016

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 15, 2017 This year marks the tenth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007), which falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the list of news-making individuals in South Asia for the year 2016. Ten awards have been chosen. Unfortunately, I could choose only ten humor… Read more »

Memoriam: Dr. Alvapillai Vijayaragavan (1932-2016)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 6, 2017 ‘Better late than never’ has been one of my working mantras. So, I pen this memoriam to one of one of my benefactors and big fans of my writing, Dr. Alvapillai Vijayaragavan, a neurosurgeon of repute among Eelam Tamil doctors. Though a kin and living in Colombo, as… Read more »

Jayalalitha Leveled by an LTTE Fan

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 17, 2016 Recent death of Jayalalitha Jayaram (1948-2016), the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, generated quite a quota of elegies for her services to the cause of Eelam Tamils. These elegies noticeably hid one ugliest contribution of what Jayalalitha and her coterie did in April 2002. This was, after the… Read more »

Fidel Castro and Prabhakaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 4, 2016 Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro bid adieu to millions of his fans, supporters and adversaries on November 25, 2016. Castro had thousands of fans, even in Sri Lanka. Certainly, I was one of them. He had charisma, which many of his political contemporaries (like Richard Nixon or Junius Jayewardene)… Read more »

An English Biography on Jayalalitha by Vaasanthi

by Sachi Sri Kantha Book Review: Amma – Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen, by Vaasanthi, Juggernaut Books, New Delhi, 2016, 175 pages. At last, a short English biography on actress-politician Jayalalitha, the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India, had appeared. The author Vaasanthi, is a noted Tamil woman novelist. Despite the… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 37

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 23, 2016 Part 36 Front Note by Sachi Through the courtesy of Mr. R. Kannan, fellow MGR biographer and friend, early this month, I received a copy of the 263 page book authored by journalist Sudhangan, who had published a book with a title, ‘Suddachu – Suddachu’ [I’ve Shot! I’ve… Read more »

Polymath Charles Santiapillai (1944-2014) Remembered

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 30, 2016 Charles Santiapillai, a brilliant Tamil zoologist of our generation, died on October 29, 2014. It is a pity that I came to know about his death only early this year. Quite a few appreciations about his career and character did appear in a few journals (listed at the… Read more »