Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

60th Anniversary of May 1958 Anti-Tamil Riots – Part 2

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 25, 2018 Part 1 Tarzie Vittachi Version Suppose Tarzie Vittachi’s ‘Emergency ‘58’ book on the anti-Tamil riots in Ceylon has to be written as a play or opera, this will be my listing of the credits: Chief Protagonists: Sinhalese hoodlums (Goondas aka Veerayas) Victims: Tamil civilians Supporting Cast: Maithripala Senanayake… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 44

Father’s Lineage and Work in Ceylon by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 11, 2018 I wish to express my thanks for the correction note that I received from fellow MGR biographer and friend Mr. R. Kannan, related to previous Part 43 item on M. Karunanidhi’s alleged role in expelling prominent rankers from the DMK party. Kannan… Read more »

60th Anniversary of May 1958 Anti-Tamil Riots – Part 1

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 20, 2018 In 1958, I was a five year old, living in Mullaitivu town with my parents and younger sister Kanchana. Then, I was in my first grade. That my father was affiliated to the Base Hospital, Mullaitivu, in the government clerical service explains the situation why I was there…. Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 43

Karunanidhi’s Script by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 29, 2018 Part 42 Movie Focus on Attention to the Handicapped  Movies per se, when they originated silently, were primarily 100% visual treats. Nevertheless, when silent movies morphed into ‘Talkies’ with the incorporation of the sound element (with dialogues and songs), it became apparent that even visually-handicapped could… Read more »

King Elala (Elara) – Dutugemunu Conflict

A Review of Recent Thinking by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 3, 2018 In my previous commentary on King Elala, I had provided the thoughts of few 19th and 20th century chroniclers of Ceylon. Here I continue to review the recent thinking of Sri Lanka’s five contemporary historians (two Tamils and three Sinhalese, one among them… Read more »

Ancient Tamil King Elala (aka Elara)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 14, 2018 Objective The impetus for this commentary was provided by a ‘Note’ in a 2003 paper written by Buddhist monk Mahinda Deegalle, on violence and Theravada Buddhism. The ‘Note’ appended to this paper was, “When I delivered an early version of this paper at the St. Petersburg consultation, Wesley… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 42

Importance of Voice and Inspiration of Raja Sandow by Sachi Sri Kantha, Feb. 4, 2018 Part 41 Importance of Voice Nearby, I provide a question and answer item that appeared in the Thuglak weekly (around 1980 I guess, when MGR was Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister), edited by drama-movie actor and humorist Cho Ramaswamy (1934-2016). For… Read more »

‘King Poet’ Kannadasan at 90

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,] 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 »