People

PEOPLE
…………

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INFORMATION BELOW:  Part 1 is from TamilNation.org & Part 2 from Wikipedia




Contents of this section last update  28/09/2007

Government of Tamil Nadu Memorials of Eminent Personalities

Nominations

History & Social Science

  1. Arasaratnam, Sinnappah – சின்னப்பா அரசரத்தினம்
  2. Coomaraswamy, Ananda K.  ஆனந்த குமாரசாமி
  3. Gunasegaram, S.J. குணசேகரம்,
  4. Kanakasabaipillai, V
  5. Kailasapathy, K.
  6. Kirupanantha Variyar – கிருபானந்த வாரியார்
  7. Meenakshisundaram, T.P. 
  8. Nilakanta Sastri, K.
  9. Ramasamy, Professor P
  10. Rasanayagam, Mudaliyar C
  11. Thiru Srinivasa Iyengar
  12. Sivathamby, Dr.K.
  13. Muthiah Sthapathi
  14. Nagarajan Sthapathi
  15. Tambiah, H.W
  16. Tambiah, Stanley. J
  17. Thambirajah, Prof. Dr. M.
  18. Thaninayagam, Rev.Father. S. – தணிநாயக அடிகள்
  19. Vaiyapuri Pillai, S.
  20. Wilson, Professor A.J.

Language & Literature

  1. See.Baa.Adhithanar
  2. Agastiyar, S
  3. Akilan
  4. Ashokamitran
  5. Athi Kumanan
  6. Bharathidasan (Kanaga Subburathinam) – பாவேந்தர் பாரதிதாசன்
  7. PaavaaNar DevanEyan
  8. Elangovan
  9. Gnanapiragasar, Rev.Father S,
  10. Gunaseelan
  11. irA. iLankumaran
  12. Jayakanthan, T.
  13. Ki.Va.Jagannathan
  14. Pattukotai Kalyanasunderam
  15. Kanapathipillai, K
  16. Kanapathipillai, Pandithamani S,
  17. Kavignar Kannadasan
  18. Kanthasami, A.N.
  19. Kasi Ananthan
  20. Kalki Krishnamoorthy –  கல்கி
  21. MaRaimalai AdikaL – மறைமலை அடிகள்
  22. A.Se.Murugaananwtham
  23. Mu.Varatharajan
  24. Namakkal Ramalingam Pillai
  25. Narayan, R.K.
  26. Dr Navtheetham
  27. Papanasam Sivan
  28. Perungkavikko Sethuraman
  29. Periaswami Thooran, M.P.
  30. Perunchiththiranar
  31. Ponnudurai, S.
  32. Pudumai Pitthan (So.Virudhachalam)
  33. Rangarajan, Sujatha
  34. Ramanujam,  A.K.
  35. P.L Samy
  36. Sundara Ramasamy
  37. Puthuvai Rathinathurai
  38. Ratnam, K.P
  39. Rudramoorthy
  40. Pammal Sambantha Mudaliyar
  41. Rev. Fr. David Singarajar
  42. Samy, P.L
  43. Samy Sithamparanar
  44. Sirpi (Balasubramaniam)
  45. Tambimuttu, Meary James Thurairajah 
  46. Tharumu Sivaramu
  47. Navaliyur Somasunthara Pulavar
  48. Koththamangalam Subbu
  49. Subramania Bharathy
  50. Suddhanantha Bharathi
  51. Swaminatha Iyer, U.V.
  52. Thamotherampillai, C.W.
  53. Thalayasingham
  54. Vinayagam Pillai
  55. Swami Vipulananda

Politics & Society

  1. Alavapillai, K
  2. V.V.S.Aiyar
  3. Anbazhagan
  4. Annamalai Chettiar, Rajah Sir.
  5. Amirthalingam, Appapillai 
  6. Annadurai, C.N.
  7. Appudurai, S
  8. Arunachalam, Sir Ponnambalam
  9. Chelvanayakam, S.J.V. 
  10. Chidambarampillai, V.O
    கப்பலோட்டிய தமிழன்
  11. Dhanapalan, Suppiah
  12. Tan Sri Devaki Kirishnan
  13. Eelaventhan, M.K.
  14. Gopalaswamy, V.
  15. Jeyaratnam, J.B.
  16. Kalyanasundaram, Vi
  17. Kamaraj, K
  18. Karunanidhi, M
  19. Krishnamachari, T.T.
  20. Tiruppur Kumaran
  21. Laxman, R.K.
  22. Marudhu Pandian
  23. thevar.htm
  24. Nadesan, Somasunderam
  25. Nagalingam, P
  26. Natarajan, Dr.M.
  27. Navaratnam, V
  28. Nedumaran, P.
  29. Nedunchezhian, V.
  30. Natesa Mudaliar
  31. Handy Perinbanayagam
  32. Peter Pillai, Rev.Father
  33. Ponnambalam, G.G.
  34. Ponnambalam Jr, G.G.
  35. Pulithevan
  36. QUID-E-Milath Mohamed Ismail
  37. Rajagopalachari,C.
  38. Ramachandran, M.G
  39. Rajah, A.P.
  40. Rajaratnam, Sinnathamby
  41. Ramachandran, Janaki
  42. Ramadas, S.
  43. Sir Ponambalam Ramanathan
  44. Joseph Pararajasingham
  45. Periyar E V Ramaswamy
  46. Sabaratnam, N
  47. Tun Sambanthan
  48. Samy Velu
  49. Thamizhavel G. Sarangapani
  50. Sivagnanam, M.P.
  51. Sivanayagam, S
  52. Dharmeratnam Sivaram (Taraki)
  53. Subramaniam, C.
  54. Subramanian, Dr.L
  55. Subramaniam, Dr.P.S.
  56. Subramania Siva
  57. Suntharalingam, C
  58. Thamotheram, C.J.T.
  59. Thuraisingham, Sir E.E.Clough
  60. Thondaman, S
  61. Prof. Thurairajah
  62. Valiamma
  63. Vanniasingham, C.
  64. Veera Vanchi
  65. Veeramani, K
  66. Venkatraman, R 
  67. Ki.A.Pe.Visawanatham Pillai

Struggle for Tamil Eelam

  1. Annai Poopathy
  2. Anthony, Charles Lucas
  3. Appaiah
  4. Balakumar, Velupillai
  5. Balasingam, Anton
  6. நாட்டுப்பற்றாளர் Kanagaratnam Jeyaseelan
  7. Kanthasamy, K
  8. Krishnakumar, Sathasivam
  9. Capt. Malathi
  10. Capt. Millar
  11. Nadesan, Aiyathurai
  12. Navaratnam, V
  13. Pirabaharan, Velupillai
  14. Ponnamman, Lt.Col
  15. Urumpirai Sivakumaran
  16. Thangathurai , Nadarajah
  17. Thiyagee Thileepan
  18. Lt. Col. Victor
  19. Yogachandran, Selvarajah
  20. V. Vigneswaran

Music, Dance & Drama

  1. Arundale, Rukmani Devi
  2. Alarmel Valli 
  3. Bagavathi, T.K. 
  4. Balachandar, K
  5. Balamurali Krishna
  6. Balasaraswati, T
  7. Govindarajan, Sirkali
  8. Ilayaraja
  9. Janaki, V.N.
  10. Kamal Hassan
  11. Kamala Lakshman
  12. Kitappa, S.G.
  13. Krishnan, N.S.
  14. T.N.Krishnan
  15. Lalgudi Jayaraman
  16. Madurai Mani Iyer
  17. Mani Ratnam
  18. Nagesh, S.
  19. க நவரத்தினம்
  20. Palani Subramaniam
  21. என். கே. பத்மநாதன்
  22. Pattammal, D.K
  23. Periyasamy Thooran
  24. Radha, M.R.
  25. Rahman, A.R.
  26. Raja, A.M.
  27. Rajamanikkam piLLai
  28. Rajarathnam Pillai
  29. A.R. Rahman
  30. Ravichandra
  31. Sambandamoorthy,TAS
  32. SarOja Vaidyanathan
  33. Semmangudi SrinivAsa Iyer
  34. Shanmugam, T.K.
  35. Shivaji Ganesan
  36. க.சொர்ணலிங்கம்
  37. Subbulakshmi, M.S.
  38. Kalaimamani Subbu Arumugam
  39. Subrahmanyam, Padma
  40. Suseela
  41. Subramaniam, P.V.
  42. தட்சிணாமூர்த்தி
  43. Kunaakudi Vaidyanathan
  44. Vairamuthu V வி. வைரமுத்து
  45. VazhuvUr Ramiah PiLLai 
  46. Yalpanam N. Veeramani Iyer
  47. Thanjavur Venkatesa Iyengar 
  48. Visvanathan, M.S.

Art & Sculpture

  1. Ganapathy Stapathi
  2. Vasudevan, C.N.

  3. Venugopal Sharma

Spirituality

  1. aruLmigu bangaaru adikaL
  2. Yogi Balakrishnan
  3. Chellappa Swamy
  4. Sri Jayendra Saraswathy
  5. Kanchi Samkarachari
  6. Kundrakudi Adihalar
  7. Most Rev Lourdusamy D.Simon
  8. Sister Mangalam
  9. Ramalinga Vallalaar
  10. Ramana Maharishi
  11. Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj
  12. Swami Sivananda
  13. Yogaswamy

Science & Education

  1. Amirthalingam, Chellappah
  2. Chandrasehkar, C.S
  3. Eliezer, C.J.
  4. Dr Vadivel Ganapathy
  5. Naa Govindasamy
  6. Abdul Kalam
  7. A.Lakshmana Swami Mudaliar
  8. Muttiah, Ramalingam
  9. Raman, C.V.
  10. Ramanujan,  S
  11. Ranganathan, S.R.
  12. Sathiakumar, Kingsley
  13. Murugesu Sivapalan
  14. Shanmugaratnam,S
  15. Somanader, S.V.O.
  16. Swaminathan, Dr.M.S
  17. Uthayamoorthy, Dr M S
  18. Vijayaratnam, Kathiravelu Kanapathipillai

Entrepreneurs

  1. Azhagappa Chettiar
  2. Chandrasekhar, K.B.
  3. M.A. Chidambaram
  4. Gnanam, A.Y.S
  5. Govindasamy Pillai, P.
  6. Krishna, Suresh
  7. Krishnan, Ananda. T.
  8. Annamalai C.Muthiah
  9. Dr.Murugesu Shanmughalingam
  10. Shiv Nadar
  11. Pillay, J.Y
  12. Raja of Chettinad
  13. Raja of Panagal
  14. Sarangapany
  15. Vasan, S.S.(Gemini)

Sport & Recreation

  1. Anand, Vishwanathan
  2. Amritraj, Vijay
  3. Anandan, V.S. Kumar
  4. Ethirveerasingam, N
  5. Francis, K.T.
  6. Ganesan, T
  7. Jayaseelan, Sonya
  8. Krishnan, Ramesh
  9. Krishnan, Ramanthan,
  10. Magendran, M
  11. Mahesh Bhupathi
  12. Mohandass, Nagappan
  13. Muttiah Muralitharan
  14. Navaratnasamy
  15. Saravanan.
  16. Srikanth, Krishnamachari
  17. Venkatraghavan,Srinivas

ONE HUNDRED TAMILS
OF THE 20TH CENTURY

During the period commencing May 1998 and ending June 2001, tamilnation.org invited nominations to a list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century- Tamils who had made significant contributions to the world and to Tamil togetherness, whether such contributions were in scientific thought, literature, political action, personal sacrifice and example, or spirituality. More than 200 names were suggested and they appear in the column on the left, in alphabetical order, within the separate categories:

History & Social Science | Language & Literature | Politics & Society | Struggle for Tamil Eelam | Music, Dance & Drama | Art & Sculpture | Spirituality | Science & Education | Entrepreneurs | Sport & Recreation

A discussion on “Who is a Tamil and also Criteria for Selection” appears hereM. Thanapalasingham, from Australia, commented in August 1999:

“The search for 100 Tamils has produced an interesting array of nominations from varying fields of endeavour, ranging from science to the arts, to freedom fighters and  philanthropists. How does one pick the most “deserving” of the honour? How does one use objective measures without the intrusion of subjective judgement? What criteria does one stipulate? Some that come to mind are:

Tamils who have made a positive contribution:

* the worth of which transcends time. Some may question this too.
* that involves personal sacrifice beyond measure
* towards a Tamil “Renaissance” (marumalarchi) in the arts, cultures etc.
* by directing the ‘history’ of the Tamils towards freedom and justice for all Tamils?
* by protecting our identities and preserving it for future generations

It is inevitable that the relative worth of each of these criteria would vary enormously, depending on the subjective judgement of the observer. Who is to decide the relative merit of the Tamil scientist and the Tamil poet? Who are the true “greats” and who are the merely “distinguished? Is it really necessary to pick and choose? It may be sufficient to recognise and let it rest…”

tamilnation.org respectfully agrees with Thanapalasingham’s views and concludes that “it may be sufficient to recognise and let it rest…”


From: Rajeev Prabhakaran, Director (Corporate Planning), Callista Group of Companies,12 February 2005

I would like to nominate Dr.M.Natarajan for listing under the ‘politics and society’ section. Dr.Natarajan is a visionary leader, author and publisher of various path breaking books. His service to society has been invaluable right from his youth where he led anti hindi agitations in the state . He has been consistently trying to help tamil society in many ways.His details are available on his website www.m-natarajan.com . Kindly review the same and you will agree that he definitely deserves a place in the list of 100 greatest Tamils.

From: Visagaperumal Vasanthan , 27 September 2004

Your nominations to One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century  missed one important person. Mr Ramalingam Muttiah was the father of Tamil Typewriter who hailed from Chundikuli, Jaffna and lived in Malaysia until his death in 1959. He designed and produced first Tamil typewriter which was  commercially distributed. His contribution to Tamil was timely and important.

From: Senvan@aol.com , 21 May 2004

Please note that Mahesh Bhupathi is from Andra, and is not a Tamil. In his place I would like to nominate Sonya Jayaseelan, former world ranked women Tennis player. She has also the distinction of representing Canada in the last Olympic games.

From: Lloyd Young, USA 3 May 2001

I would like to nominate Dr. Kingsley Sathiakumar as one of the 100 Tamils of the 20th Century in the field of Science and Education. A native of Madras (Chennai), Dr. Sathiakumar is currently employed as an expert in Bio Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction by the Jefferson County Department of Public Health in Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America. He has lectured at numerous conferences as well as admirably performing his duties as a Public Health Representative. He has established a reputation for expertise, efficiency, and honesty throughout the public health system and throughout Alabama. Dr. Sathiakumar is also well-liked and respected by his colleagues and co-workers because of his professionalism, willingness to help others, and his sense of humor. He is a credit to the people of India and to all Tamils everywhere and I feel privileged to count him among my friends.

From: Radha Nagaratnam,USA,15 April 2001 

I would like to nominate Yalpanam N. Veeramani Iyer to the Music section. Unfortunately I am only familiar with two of his compositions in Carnatic music. They are “Ennadi Pechhu Sakhiye” and “Karpagavalli” (made famous by Pithu Kuli Murgadas). I am sure there are many other such wonderful compositions. I hope you will be able to find them and include them in the write up about this wonderful Tamil Eelam citizen.

From: Soma USA, 7 April 2001

I would like to nominate A.R Rahman as one of the one hundred Tamils. There is no Tamil now that does not know him. He brought Tamil music to the attention of the North Indians and also recently to the world. He is a very humble and pious Muslim and donates generously to charitable causes. Through his music, AR Rahman has captured millions of hearts. Thanks to him, more people know the existence of Tamil.

From: C.R. Selvakumar, Canada, 7 April 2001

vaNakkam.I would like to nominate [அருள்மிகு பங்காரு அடிகள்] aruLmigu bangaaru adikaL of MelmaruvaththUr, near Chennai, India in the category of Spirituality. Undoubtedly, his movement is one of the most popular in recent times and the service rendered by his organization in the area of health and education are enormous, apart from spiritual guidance. Under his guidance all the worship is in Tamil and the role played by women in worship rituals is unprecedented. These are all unique. I would urge you to include him in the list.

In the category of literature, I believe P.L Samy and irA. iLankumaran would richly deserve a place. P.L. Samy was one of the most substantial contributors and among his contributions his three books in Tamil (‘sanga ilakkiyaththil paRavai ina viaLakkam, sanga ilakkiyaththil vilangkina viaLakkam, sanga ilakkiyaththil nilaththiNai viLakkam’, published by South India Saiva Siddhanta Publications, TTK Salai, Chennai) were highly regarded and were seminal publications. Among the literary writers, I can’t think of a better one than thiru irA iLankumaran. Thiru iLankumaran’s contributions about thirukkuRaL, tholkAppiyam and his compilations of ‘iNaiccol akarAthi’ etc. are exemplary works.

Under the category of Art and Sculpture, C.N. Vasudevan would richly deserve a place. He was with Rabindranath Tagore but left his group and established as a great true artist in Tamil Nadu.  He lived in kongu naadu (near Anai Malai in Coimbatore, TN ). His paintings, sculptures, leather work, poems (in English and Tamil), his music, dance, political satire were unmatched as far as I know. Some of his works are with ThanjavUr Tamil University. He was fondly known to thousands of his admirers as vAsaNNaa.

In the area of Music and dance, the great mirudanga maestro Palani Subramaniam and VazhuvUr Ramiah PiLLai and his daughter, one of the greatest dancers, SarOja richly deserve to be included. While I am surprised by the inclusion of some violinists and musicians, I find it odd that such greats as Madurai Mani IyerLalgudi JayaramanT.N.Krishnan, Rajamanikkam piLLai  (and many others) are not included. In dance Alarmel vaLLi is next only toBalasaraswathi and Saroja, in my view.

Among musicologists TAS Sambandamoorthy is unique. He was  held in such high esteem by Rajaratam PiLLai and others. He fought brilliantly the illogical 72 melakarta raga system, but because of the backing of the establishment for the sanskrit-based Venkatamahi’s work, his valid arguments did not gain currency (inspite of the initial support of such heavy weights like Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer,  Chittur Subramania PiLLai). TAS Sambandamoorthy also contributed beautiful Tamil compositions, which were praised by Rajaratnam PiLLai and others.


From: Amuthan Selvarajoo , Malaysia.27 March 2001

I would like to nominate ( Tan Sri ) T.Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia for the Entrepreneurs category. Krishnan, 59, earned a Harvard M.B.A.; He is a Tamil whose wholly owned Usaha Tegas has investments ranging from sweepstakes to power generation. His property company KLCC Holdings, has built the world’s tallest building, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers. With a net worth of  $4,100 million, he is the richest ethnic Tamil on Earth.

From: Selvam Kanniah, 25 March 2001 

I propose to nominate Prof. Dr. M. Thambirajah who is a well known History Professor in Malaysia. His book is a standard reference for secondary school history in Malaysia. He is also the founder of Sri Murugan Center Malaysia– a non-profit organization providing academic and spiritual related  service for Malaysian Indians.


From: Samuel Sebastien, Canada, 26 February 2001

I would nominate Guna of Bangalore. He is one of the most popular Tamil writer and scholar.

From: Ashok Jagannathan26 February 2001 

Despite being an Indian Tamil I would like to nominate Mr.V.Prabhakaran. as the man of the century. Prabhakaran is striving to achieve a goal which is the only target in his life. He has devoted and dedicated his life to achieve this goal. He has also proved that he is a leader who has determination and tenacity and he has also confronted a great deal of criticism  on several occasions. He has also displayed that he has the capacity to establish a fully fledged military force. 

I would also like to nominate all the Black tigers who have buried in unmarked graves. I would also like to nominate Vaiko

From: P.Pichaikkannu, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman 10 February 2001

I would like to nominate Dr. Manickam, M.A. M.Litt, Ph.D -a Tamil scholar and a poet. He was the first one to receive his doctorate in Tamil from Usmaniya University, Hyderabad. He retired as professor and head of the Tamil department of Usmania university. He is the founder of the Kamban Kazhakam in Hyderabad/Secunderabad. He wrote many research articles and books and he is a natural poet in Tamil. 

From: Ramanathan S.P, 6 January 2001

I feel the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, our beloved, Dr.Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi (Politics& Society, Tamil Literature) is next best to the best of the Tamizh Thalapathis, Hon’ble Mr.V.Prabhakaran.

From: Vijay Pillai, 30 December 2000 

My best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year 2001 to you and to your team maintaining this website. I would like to nominate a Jaffna Tamil, late Senator Nadesan,Q.C of Ceylon to the list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century. His contribution  is well recorded in the Dictionary of Biography of Ceylon Tamils. ..As a reader of newspapers since the days of Bandaranayake in 1956, I too have had the benefit of reading the late Senator Nadesan’s contributions in the Senate particularly during the arms insurrection in 1971 in Ceylon.

From:  Jayakarthik, 27 December 2000 

I would like to nominate Kalki Krishnamoorthy and V.Gopalaswamy to the list of one hundred Tamils of the 20th century.

From: Sinnathurai Giritharan, Canada, 23 December 2000

I would like to suggest the name of  Rev. Fr. Jegath Gaspar of Radio Veritas to the  list of 100 Tamils of the 20th century.

From: Mano Ratnam21 December 2000 

Vanakkam, I would like to nominate N. Mohanadass and M. Magendren, two Tamils from Malaysia who set foot on the summit of Mt Everest in 23 May 1997.

From: Sivananthan Sivaparan, 11 December 2000

Please include in your list of 100 Tamils, Kathiravelu Kanapathipillai Vijayaratnam, Engineering Consultant whose contributions to engineering practice, education , applied research and sustainable development earned listing in, Who’s Who in Science and  Engineering, Who’s Who in the World, Dictionary of International Biography, and  Asians in the Millennium. His contribution on “Engineering Education in the New Millennium: Towards Sustainable Technology, Infrastructure and Environment” appears at the Engineering MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering New Millennium Colloquium.

From: Kanthasamy Elankumaran USA, 9 December 2000

I would like to nominate Valiamma from the South African Liberation Movement. I could not find much literature on her. The following text was obtained at the following web pagehttp://www.anc.org.za/books/triumphs_part4.html#back2

‘Indian women at the beginning of the century virtually made Gandhi, and proved the efficiency of the new liberation dialectic of satyagraha that he  introduced.’ The Indian resistance movement had remained mainly elitist until the women from two ashrams in Natal and the Transvaal transformed it into a mass movement. In 1912 they defied the anti – Asiatic law, crossed the provincial border from both ends and provoked the miners of Newcastle to lay down their picks and strike. A thousand workers then began the epic march led by Gandhi across the Natal border into the Transvaal. According to  Meer, ‘The great figure of that struggle was not Gandhi, but the emaciated  young Valiamma, who refused to surrender despite her fatal illness following repeated imprisonments. She died in the struggle.”

From: Sivakumar Jayabalan, Muraiyoor Soorakkudi, 6 December 2000

Vanakkathukuriya Nanbarae! Dr Vadivel Ganapathy, Regents Professor, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta,  GA, USA, won several distinguished awards, born in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, India, and was selected three years in a row for the “Best Teacher Award”  by American Medical School students of Medical College of Georgia. He is a renowned scientist in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,  and has published more than 225 research articles in Peer reviewed scientific journals…  I would be happy if your website recognize his feat and get a report on this true Thamizh statesmanship award.


From: USA, 30 November 2000

Can you please include the following in the Hundred Tamils List:

1) Theelaban – Eelam Freedom Fighter. Even as an LTTE cadre, he followed the path of  Satyagragha – following the fast until his death. He added a new dimension to the Eelam Freedom Struggle.

Our Response: Thileepan’s name already appears in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam section – some confusion may have been caused because it appears as ‘Thiyagee Thileepan’. Many thanks for the interest that you have taken.


From: Sachi Sri Kantha, Japan 29 November 2000

Two eminent Eelam scientists whom I wish to nominate to the list of ‘One Hundred Tamils of 20th Century’ are,

1. S.V.O.Somanader (1897-1978), dean of Ceylon’s amateur naturalists and a noted ornithologist.

2. Chellapah Amirthalingam (1903-1982), marine biologist of international renown.

[see also Random Thoughts on Two Eelam Scientists]


From: S.Vasanth Kumar, India,14 November 2000

Literary: R K Narayan 
Music: Thanjavur Venkatesa Iyengar 
Cartoonist : R K Lakshman 


From: Ramanah, 9 October 2000

I would like to nominate Mr. Handy Perinbanayagam and Mr. C. Subramaniam (Orator) to the list of Hundred Tamils as they had contributed greatly to the political consciousness of Jaffna by forming the Student Congress in early thirties. In addition, they were out standing educators who had contributed greatly to the Jaffna society.

I would also like to nominate Dr. C. W. Thamotharampillai under Language and Literature section. Dr. C.W. Thamotharampillai who was a native of Jaffna had his education at Vaddukodai Seminary (Jaffna College). Later he joined University of Madras and became one of the first to graduate from there.

He did yeoman service for Tamil literature by unearthing ancient Tamil literary work which were almost lost to the present generation. I think his contribution to the Tamil Language could be compared to that of Swaminatha Iyer.

From: Suriyanarayanan S8 October 2000

I appreciateyour effort in listing the great Tamils of the 20th century. It gives an opportunity for Indian Tamils to know more about the great Tamil souls spread all over the world, as Indian Tamils are generally ignorant about the achievements of the non-Indian Tamils.

I would like to nominate the following persons:

LiteratureSubramaniya BharathiMaraimalai AdigalarBharthidasan, Sujatha

Science and EducationAbdul Kalam, A.Lakshmana Swami Mudaliar, M.S. Swaminathan, Sir C.V Raman

Music & Dance: Ilayaraja, MS SubbulakshmiSemmangudi Srinivasa IyerPadma Subramaniam

Sports: Anand, Kris Srikanth, Muttiah Muralitharan

SculptureGanapathy Stapathi (the great sculptor who built the grand Valluvar statue
at Kanyakumari)

PoliticsCN AnnaduraiK.KamarajKalaignar Karunanidhi

Spirituality: Kirubanda Variyaar, Kundrakudi Adigalar

I have reservations about the nominations of MGR, R.Venkataraman, Kamal Hassan, Sankaracharya. They have done nothing for our community. I feel that people like VN Janaki, Susheela, Balamurali Krishna, Janaki are not Tamils. But I am happy that Rajinikanth’s name is not in the list. Indian Tamils have at least this maturity not to show their cinema craze in this list.

From: Vidhi Tambiah, US 28 September 2000

I nominate H.W. Tambiah QC, LL.D, Ph.D as an erudite Historian and Tamil scholar as well as being one of the most scholarly of Supreme Court judges who contributed not only to the fabric of Tamil culture but to the legal framework of the Sri Lanka.

From: Vijay Pillai, UK 20 July 2000

Professor P. Ramasamy of Malaysia deserves a place among the greats of Tamils of the world. His grasp of issues on Eelam and the just cause of  Eelam Tamils should be an inspiration to all who aspire to regain that which we lost for more than 5 centuries under the Colonial rulers of Europe and recently for 50 years under ill fated Sinhalese rulers – a conflict  which has reached genocidal proportions in two months. Professor Ramasamy deserves a better place than the late Professor  Wilson, however  eminently he may have served in Canada for the past four decades.

From: Arivazhagan Balasubramanian17 July 2000

I would like to nominate a prominent person for Entrepreneurs – Mr.Shiv Nadar. He is the founder and chairman of HCL Group of companies which was one of the first companies to make a name for it self in the Indian information technology field.his name is one of the prominent names missing in the list of Entrepreneurs.


From: Vaidyanathan, Bharath 12 July 2000

I would like to include film director Mani Ratnam in the list of 100 great Tamils.He is one of India’s greatest directors and all his movies are keenly awaited for not only in Tamil Nadu , but in the entire country.

From: Stephen  29 June 2000

I would like to nominate Mr.Kamararaj for being an honest and simple politician. I would share one of his deeds – as his mother was old and was living in a small home and Kamaraj being a Chief Minister, she requested for a waternear her hou will also have to travel that distance to fetch water, mum. And he refused his mothers personal request. I wish if at least few of our polititions are as patriotic as Mr.Kamaraj.

From: Arul Nathan 28 June 2000

I would like to nominate “Periyar” E.V Ramasamy and C.N Annadurai to the 100 notable Tamils list. When the Tamilians were in a desperate state, enslaved by the   Aryans, trodden down as “sudra” or the “son of a prostitute”, they were the ones who brought self respect and literacy to the people of Tamil Nadu… So they should be surely mentioned in the list…


From: Periyiar Ramasamy, Singapore, 3 June 2000

There have been 55 million Tamils living in Tamil Nadu in India, but they could not create for themselves a defined ethnic recognition – either within the country or outside – despite living in a state that had its very name as Tamil Nadu. In New Delhi and in the North, they continued to be designated as “Madrasis” in the public eye, in a disparaging way, while in the world outside they were simply Indians – like all other Indians.

It is the emergence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and its leader V.Pirabaharan, at the helm and their relentless fight against state terrorism that has today brought to Tamils all over the world – including the non-Brahmin thinking sections of Tamils in Tamil Nadu – a new sense of pride and dignity that was never there before.

 V.Pirabaharan is a star that rises once in a thousand years. The Tamil people are blessed people to witness this star rise in the Zodiac in their lifetime in this 21st. century.


From: Govindarajan Venkatasesha, USA 30 May 2000

I would like to add

(1) K.B. Chandrasekhar, Co-founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, Exodus Communications (biographical sketch)and ( 2 ) Narayanan Murthy,  CEO, Infosys

From: KVijayaratnam, USA 26 May 2000

May I add N.Sabaratnam, former vice president of All Ceylon Union of Teachers  during the fifties. In that capacity he represented Ceylon at International Conferences of Teachers in India and traveled extensively in Europe. During the last decade of his term of office he served as principal of Jaffna Hindu College. I was in the first class he took at JHC when he commenced teaching English in 1962 in his capacity as vice-principal. As a Principal his Friday sermons had always new wisdom injected with all the seriousness of real life experiences. One was about a brilliant engineer but a failure in married life. His journalistic skills were put to good use by the then Eelanadu as Editor after retirement. His autobiography has been published after his untimely death titled ‘Corridors of  Peace’. He must have read ,Corridors of Power by C.P.Snow,1959

From: Thavaraj Subramaniam, 12 May 2000

I would like to nominate all the Tamils who fought  gallantly against the colonialists and imperialists, and those who pioneered economic development in third world countries, those who died in the Burma-Indian Railway, those who died of disease while compelled to serve their masters, those who fought and died in the first and second world wars and all those who sacrificed their lives so that we can have a good future. Thank you


From: M.Reza, Singapore, 30 April 2000 

I would like to support the nomination of Mr. J. Y. Pillay. I had the opportunity to meet the man and he truly is an outstanding individual who regardless of his outstanding achievements, has a great deal of humility and would be an excellent role model for everyone. He’s a brilliant, but more importantly, a kind man.

From: Prasad K Sundar 14 April 2000

I wish to nominate S G Kittappa and Rajarathnam Pillai… S G Kittappa was one of our fore most singers, who was a great artiste in Tamil drama. Rajarathnam Pillai was a great nadaswara vidwan unparalleled for his raga expositions and music. He played on 15th August 1947 in front of the entire country.


From: Vijay K Pillai 1 April 2000

Contribution to the world at large and Tamil togetherness:  If we use Einstein’s theory of general relativity, there is no such thing as pure Tamil and it is a myth. Ethirveerasingham was a household name like Thanthai Chelva during the 50s and 60s. I have seen his athletic performance in Jaffna.

Togetherness in this context means bringing a community of people together both in celebration of achievements as well as in sharing of grief (death of Princes Diana, for instance). In this respect, once Einstein said, if my theory of relativity failed Germany will say I am Jew, France will say I am a German. If my theory is successful, France will say I am  French, and Germany will say I am a German.

Let us not forget there are so many doctors and engineers from Jaffna, but only one Ethirveerasingham who made every Tamil proud … If he were in the West he would have been a rich man at that time.

Ethirveerasingham must be recognised under sports as an outstanding Tamil in bringing together Tamils in celebration of a unique achievement in sport at that time.

I certainly was more proud of him than of many Tamils whose names appear as contributing to Tamils but in fact they collected knighthoods for themselves through their shortsightedness, whereas Jinnah refused such honours but got Pakistan instead…. Ethirveerasingham certainly has a sense of humour and he is very humble about his achievements. His grand mother’s witty remarks made me laugh. She certainly must be proud of her grand son.


From: Giritharan , Canada, 26 March 2000

I wish to nominate Late , ‘Arinjar’ A.N.Kanthasami, a well known Tamil writer from Tamil Eelam. ‘Re-discovering A.N.K is very essential , in my view, for the benefit of Tamil Literature. He is a writer can not be ignored or forgotten. Publishing his works on Tamil Literature (Poetry, Drama, Novel), His poems, His short Stories, His Translations, His English Writings will show his multi-talented personality. During his period as an editor for the well known Tamil news news paper ‘Suthanthiran’ , he published articles on ‘Silappathikaaram’ under one of his pen names, ‘Pandithar Thirumalairajar’. He also translated French Writer Emilie Zola’s ‘Nana’ which was appeared as serial in ‘Suthanthiran’. His English articles on ‘Thirukkural’  appeared in the ‘Tribune’ where he was in the editorial board. He was the pioneer of the Tamil progressive writing in Ceylon. More information about him can be found at the following web sites: Aaramthinai and ANK’s Poems at the Canadian Literature Page.

I also wish to nominate.A.Se.Murugaananwtham for his contributions to the development of Tamil Short Stories and Kavinjar Makaakavi for his contributions to the Modern Tamil Poetry.


From: V.K.Pillai  22 March 2000

I would like to nominate the following Tamils….I have revised the list to 500 since 100 is not sufficient and must be an arbitrary figure. The list has already gone beyond 200. There are examples of Fortune 500. My nominations are:

1. Dr M S Uthayamoorthy –  scholar and prominent chemist who has earned a place in who is who of finance and industry in USA as well as contributing to the upliftment of Tamils through his writings particularly in Tamil Nadu for the past two decades .

2. Tan Sri Devaki Kirishnan – a Jaffna Tamil in Malaysia, she has shown exceptional qualities of leadership amongst the Tamils and women of Malaysia, over half a century.Tan Sri is the  highest honour given by the King of Malaysia for her services few years ago.


From:Humayoon Kabeer Malaysia 5 March 2000

I wish to nominate Seeni Naina Mohamed of Penang, Malaysia and also the editor of Unggal Kural a Tamil literary magazine and who is also a well known Tamil literary critic not only in Malaysia but also through out the world where Tamil is spoken

From: Kannan, Chennai 10 February 2000

Kindly include Mr.See.Baa.Adhithanar owner of the Daily Thanthi in your list for his contribution to Tamil Language…

From: Kannan, 4 February 2000

Kindly include the name of Mr.Kutti Muni under the category of Struggle Thamil Eleam, as he was the  person to first sacrifice his life for the cause of  Tamil Eelam Struggle.

Response by tamilnation: His name already appears in the category as Selvarajah Yogachandran. Please also see Martyrdom of Thangathurai & Kuttimuni


From: Palani Malaysia 29 December 1999

I wish to nominate Mr. Athi Kumanan who is the President of “Malaysian Tamil Writers Association”. His contributions towards Tamil journalism and Tamil literary work is highly remarkable. He has set an unprecedented record as the most successful editor for various Tamil Dailies and Weeklies in Malaysia. He is currently with “Malaysia Nanban Daily” which has the largest readership amongst the Tamil Dailies in Malaysia. His contribution for the well being of the Malaysian Indians through his forceful writing is enormous. He is appreciated as a man who would voice for the rights of the Indians at all times. His untiring contributions towards the Tamils and the Indians are well recognised by the Malaysians as well as many people and organisations abroad. He is the most suitable person to be placed as one of the most influential men of the 20th century from Malaysia for the present theme.


From: Dr.S.Mahendran UK 29 December 1999

I wish to nominate the late K. Kandasamy of  the Tamil Information Centre (UK)   in the category of those who contributed for the struggle for Eelam. He was a pioneer in the field of human rights and self determination of Eelam Tamils. His struggle commenced in 1977 following the pogrom of 77 when he  brought to life the TRRO and went on to bring about the publication of the proceedings of Sansoni commission and then the Saturday review.

Following the Dollar and Kent farm debacle he had to leave the country to avoid imprisonment. While in the UK in spite of his ill health he worked day and night to bring to the notice of the world the plight of Eelam Tamils and the obvious course of action towards Self determination. His work towards  the rehabilitation of Tamil refugees is legendary.

Unfortunately our community fails to appreciate such human beings who were close to making history. He met his tragic end in the hands of a frenzied group of Tamils who did not appreciate the value of such a special person. A callous and violent act ended the life of this cherished man whose body was cast in to a cess pit in Chunnakam.

I nominate him as a “Karma Veeran” who made invaluable contributions towards the struggle for Eelam.


From: Vijay Pillai US  29 December 1999

I would nominate A.P.Rajah, a Jaffna Tamil, born in Malaysia, former High Commissioner for Singapore in the United Kingdom during the early years of Singapore as a new nation, an Oxford educated lawyer, former pro-chancellor of University of Singapore who passed away recently in his eighties….


From: Sivakumaran Sivathillainathan UK, 26 December 1999

I have looked upon your survey with joy. I like to nominate the following Tamils… I have included  short biographical sketches.

1)K.T. Francis
Full name: Kandiah Thirugnansampandapillai Francis
D.O.B.: 15 October 1939
P.O.B.: Kegalle
Career: Cricket player/railway guard, cricket umpire
Umpirical Test Appearences: 25
Umpirical O.D.I. Appearences: 56
Married with one son and one daughter
Retired from Sri Lankan Railway

2)Muttiah Muralitharan
D.O.B.: 17 April 1972
P.O.B.: Kandy
Career: Cricket player
Batting Style: Right hand
Bowling style: Right arm off-break
O.D.I. Debut: vs. India, Colombo (11 August 1993)
Batting Stats: Matches-129, Runs-185,Not outs-28
Bowling Stats: Matches-129, Balls-6930, Wickets-177
Fielding Stats: Matches-129, Catches-60


From: Jasintha Aberg, Sweden 22 December 1999

I wish to nominate Rev. Fr. David Singarajar for “Language and Literature”. As Nallur Swami Gnapragasar passed away Rev. Fr. David Singarajar took over his work to write a dictionary (for details contact Jaffna Bishop’s House). Rev. Fr. David Singarajar donated tens of thousands of books to the Jaffna Public Library. We heard that when the library was burned he died because of the shock from the news. He worked as a rector in England in the 50-ies. Rev. Fr. David Singarajar contributed as much as Rev. Fr. Thaninayagam in language research.


From: Vijay Pillai, Malaysia 16/18 December 1999

I am rather surprised by the comment about nuclear science as destructive. On a positive note, for many countries of the world, a major energy source is nuclear. It is not easy as accountancy or law to master. If you are genuinely interested, contributions to whatever field must be recognised.

Mother Mangalam of the Pure Life Society of Malaysia has been instrumental for the past 50 years in bringing together orphanage children under one roof and helping them to be educated and preserve thier unique culture. She is still active in Malaysia. She was honoured by the King of Malaysia. I have visited her Mission several times and mentioned to her that I regard her as Mother Theresa of South East Asia.

Minister Samy Velu has been an able leader of Tamils and Indians of Malaysia – both Indian and Ceylon origin as well as Malaysian born. He has been a Malaysian Government Minister for several years. He has been a Federal Minister for Public Works in recent times. Preservation of Tamil culture and Hindu religous practices in Malaysia owe a great deal to his contributions within the Malaysian multiracial, multicultural and multi linguistic society.


From: Dushyanth Gnanapragasam, Toronto, Canada 6 December 1999

One notable omission in the History and Social Sciences section, and also from the Language and Literature section, is the name of Nallur Swami Gnanapragasar. I believe his contribution to Tamil is unparalleled by any in this era. His name would be more fitting in one of these categories than in the Spirituality section. A name I would like to add to the spirituality section is that of Ramalinga Vallalaar.


From:Mohamed Backer, Emirates, 2 December 1999

I nominate the following:

1. QUID-E-Milath Mohamed Ismail, who participated in the Indian freedom movement, was the chief of the Indian Muslim League, and was elected several times a Member of Parliament and had a clean public life. When the national language question arose after independence, some suggested English and some suggested Hindi, Sanskrit, Urudu. Quid E-Milath said “If any one of the language can become the national language of India – that is Tamil”.
2. World famous mathematician Dr S. Ramanujan
3. Marudhu Pandian –well known freedom fighter, (a movie also released by
his name)
4. Kamala Hassan (Cinema actor)
5. Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram
Sir C.V. Raman (Scientist)
7. Dr. S.Chandrasekar (Scientist)
Dr Abdul Kalam (Scientist)


From: Kumar24 November 1999

MGR – The man of the masses was born in Kandy Sri Lanka on 17-01-1917. His father was a lawyer and not a plantation worker . He was a teacher in Kandy Law College. He was a man who willed all his properties for poor speech impaired (Deaf) children. Please visit   http://education.vsnl.com/mgr


From: Vasudev, Singapore, 18 November 1999

I would like to nominate “Kappalottia Tamizhan ” V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. He had the courage to compete in the business world in the early century. If every one of us follow his way, we can lead the business world. His freedom fighting movement together with Maha Kavi Subramanya Bharathi and Sivam is worth remembering.


From: Abraham Judah, Singapore, 13 November 1999

Velupillai Pirabaharan is undoubtedly God’s gift to the Dravidian Tamil world.. .(with the rise of this ”Star”) there is a new found respect for the Tamil people all over the world .. There has been a meteorical rise in respect of the Tamil people today, never found before. The Dravidian nation was the cradle of civilisation. .. The Tamils were always a great nation but the world never credited us… (but) with Pirabaharan the world marvels – and is mystified (as to) how a small group of people without outside support have sustained themselves and prevailed against all odds….

J.Y.Pillay is a far better choice than S.Dhanabalan. J.Y.Pillay was the genius that almost single handedly brought Singapore Airlines to where it is today – not Dhanabalan. All Singaporeans know that. The disparity between the two is great. Mr.Pillay was also credited for being the brains behind Singapore’s monetary policy. He was also acclaimed by the former Prime Minister of Singapore as being one of the worlds best brains equal to any in the west. Dhanabalan was a cabinet minister but he is not a Tamil role model to be singled out for the 100 greats…


Sadasivam Maragatham U.S..A. 9 November 1999

Vanakam. My nomination for the 100 most influential Tamils of the 20th century is H.H. Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj of Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville Buckingham, Virginia USA. He is a Poorna Yogi and inspiration of the magnificent LOTUS Temple at Yogaville.


From: V.Thangavelu, Canada, 12 November 1993

Vanakkam. Under literature I find no mention of Mu Va (Mu.Varatharajan). His contribution to Tamil language and literature is enormous. The novels he wrote and the characters he created are house-hold names. Also there is no mention about Samy Sithamparanar. He has written extensively on Sankam literature and have authored more than twenty books. Properly speaking C.N.Annadurai and Kalaignar Karunanidhi should find a place under literature category as well. The names of Es.Po. Sundara Ramasamy, Dr. Kailasapathy, Mu.Thalayasingkam, Ashokamitran do not deserve a place. What about Kasi AnandanPuthuvai Ratnadurai and K.P.Ratnam? Why have their names been omitted?

Under spirituality you have included Kannada Brahmins but not Kunrakkudi Adikal who clamored for archanas in Tamil? In politics please remove the name of G.G.Ponnambalam. How can S.J.V. Chelvanayagam and G.G.Ponnambalam be placed on par? It will be akin to the hero and the villain put on the same platform. V.Navaratnam, ex M.P. and author of the Rise and Fall of Tamil Nation deserves a place.

Under history the name of Mudaliyar C.Rasanayagam should have found a place. He is the author of several books including Ancient Jaffna. So also the name of Dr.Sinnappah Arasaratnam who died last year.

To my mind this exercise should be scrapped since we are not addressing this question to a wider section of Tamils. It is the English educated class which is participating in this exercise. The omission of Kasi Anandan and Puthuvai is entirely due to this factor.

National Leader Pirabaharan is in a class by himself and his name in all fairness should not be included with anyone else.

Response by tamilnation:

Some of the confusion may have arisen because the nominations were placed in two different web pages – this has now been rectified. All the names that have been suggested now appear in this one page.


From: V.Thangavelu, Canada, 31 October 1999

Vanakkam. After reading some (of the nominations) I cannot help feel that some persons are trying to take the Tamil Nation for a ride to satisfy their own whims and fancies and self-interests…

(I cannot agree with the nomination) of a person such as P. Nagalingam, Proctor who was not known beyond Elephant Pass to be counted as one among the “One Hundred”. Nor a person like G.G.Ponnambalam for whose short-sighted… politics we are still paying a heavy price in blood ( his son making ample amends for his father’s sins). It is obvious that some readers are taking undue advantage of the opportunity to promote their kith and kin….

I am disappointed with Sachi Sri Kantha for nominating the names of Koththamangalam SubbuR.Venkataraman and C.Rajagopalachari. … How many Tamils know Koththamangalam Subbu? R.Venkataraaman? What are their worth and what
are their contributions to the Tamil world and to Tamil togetherness?…

One Ramalingam Shanmugalingam while nominating PerungKavikko Sethuraman has given a lengthy bio-data as a back-up. I don’t deny PerunKavikko has in his own humble way contributed to the use and advancement of the Tamil language. But apart from that what are his contributions to merit inclusion? Does anyone remember even one poem he has written?

(…Neither can I agree with the nomination of )  Dr.P.S.SubramaniamJanaki RamachandranS.PonnuduraiN.Ethirveerasingham etc.

Please let us be serious about the whole business of nominating to the list of  “100 Tamils.” Those nominated should have made a difference, brought about profound changes in the life of the Tamil Nation and the Tamil People. I broadly agree with the criteria laid down by M.Thanabalasingham when we come to nominate persons to decide the “One Hundred”.


From: Dr. P.K.Ramasamy , Malaysia, 12 October 1999

“Monkombu Sambasivam Swaminathan – it is sad to note that this outstanding individual who was greatly responsible for India’s Green Revolution and who also recently appeared in the TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential Asians of the 20th century has no mention in your list.”

Our Response: 

Many thanks for pointing out the omission. This has now been set right.


From: Kannan Swamy, India 28 September 1999

I applaud your effort in trying to compile a list of 100 Tamilians who have contributed to our heritage. I found a glaring omission in the Music, Dance, Drama Category. Kamal Hassan, the most versatile and the best actor ever on the Indian screen does not find any mention in your listings. Is there any prejudice here? Currently, there is no Tamilian who is more popular than him in India. He is the most talented film personality not only in the Tamil film world but also in the Indian film world. Please include Kamal Hassan in your list as he is the only Tamilian, who has put the Tamil film industry on the world map with his efforts in producing, acting and directing quality films that stands the test of time. He has created a niche for Tamil films all over which was earlier restricted to South India.


From: Sushila Krishnamurthi 20 August 1999

I recommend Dr.M.S. Swaminathan to be listed as one of the 100 Tamils of the century. He has been awarded the Roman Magsaysay award. Apart from that he along with his wife Mrs Mina Swaminathan have founded the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and have been trying to bring about changes in our education system.


From: Niranjan Ramakrishnan 12 August 1999

I nominate the great Tamil music critic, Subbudu (P.V.Subramaniam). He is the doyen of Carnatic Music criticism, reviewing music and dance performances for Swadeshamithiran, Kalki, Kumudam, Dinamani Kadir and Ananda Vikatan, among journals. He has been responsible for encouraging and bringing to the forefront many of the musicians we know today, including Mandolin Srinivas, Bombay Sowmya and Shashank.  Many may be unaware that Subbudu is also an institution in New Delhi, being one of the first Tamils to settle there (1943). He participated in founding most of the early Tamil institutions in New Delhi, including the Madrasi school, the South Indian Cultural Association, and the South Indian Theatres. Shri Subbudu, a fine mimic and actor himself, has directed several Tamil plays as well.


From:  John Joshva Raja 4 August 1999

I would nominate:

For Music – Kunaakudi Vaidyanathan, Ilayaraja
For Nationalism – Kattapomman, Pulithevan, Veeravanchinathan, V.O.Chidambarampillai
For Religion – Kanchi Samkarachari, Kundrakudi Adihalar


From: Vamanan Sundar18 July 1999

I would like to nominate the following two persons… to honour their courage, and dedication. They had a huge vision about the future Tamil Eelam.

1. Lt. Col. Victor: He was born in Mannar to a middle class family that actively participated in the struggle for Tamil Eelam. It is very appropriate to point out that Victor’s father was one of those who was  injured during thesatygraha at Galle Face against the Sinhala Only  language policy …Victor joined the L.T.T.E in the early 80’s. L.T.T.E leader V. Pirabaharan appointed him as the area leader of the Mannar region. Victor led  many attacks against the Sri Lankan government armed forces. Later when, V. Pirabaharan started the L.T.T.E’s first Women’s Brigade it was at the early stage under Victor’s supervision. … Part of the credit for the success of Women’s Tigers goes to Victor. ….

2. Lt. Col. Ponnamman

He was born in Jaffna and studied in Jaffna Hindu College. He joined the L.T.T.E in the early 80’s and soon won the trust and respect of V. Pirabaharan. Pirabaharan appointed Ponnamman as head of the Training camp in India. Many who joined the L.T.T.E in the early 80’s were trained by Ponnamman. Ponnamman set the path for creating courageous, dedicated, and disciplined cadres – this  paved the way for the L.T.T.E ‘s success.


From: Sivaraj D 14 July 1999

I would like to nominate writer “Sujatha” Rangarajan for “One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century ” in Language & Literature section.

He was one of the most influential Tamil writers of the later part  of the 20th Century in India. He is a role model for many aspiring and now popular writers. He was the first and most prominent writer of Science fiction in Tamil. He propagated scientific awareness through his articles in Dinamani Sudar, Ananda Vikatan, Junior Vikatan and other Tamil magazines. He was awarded the prestigious B.D.Goenka award for his contribution in “Popularizing Science among the Public”.

He also served in various committees of the Government of Tamilnadu for standardizing and popularizing Tamil computing.

His significant works include:
Science – General:
En? engE? Eppadi? (Questions and answers about everyday science)
Silicon Sillup Puratchi (Story of silicon chips)
Computerin kathai  (Basic computer knowledge)
Thalaimai Ceyalagam (Functions of brain)

Science Fiction:
En Iniya Iyanthira
Meendum Jini
Aakaayam
2082 (?)

He has also authored numerous novels, short stories, and movie screenplay/stories, and various articles in popular magazines.


From Manoharan Ratnam  8 July 1999

I do not agree with the nomination of the following:

a) M.G Ramachandran , unlike EVR and Vaiko, though non Tamils but are technically Tamils as they were born in Tamilnadu, MGR does not qualify to be Tamil.

b) Sinnathamby Rajaratnam & Suppiah Dhanabalan – both ex-cabinet ministers of Singapore. Though they were brilliant politicians their contribution to the Tamil culture, language etc is nil. Both married non Tamils and S.Dhanabalan is well known in Singapore for his comments against the Tamil culture and religion. His nomination would be an insult to Singaporean Tamil Hindus.

c) In my opinion, I feel Tamils who contributed to nuclear science should not be nominated, as their contribution is one of a destructive energy.

d) Lastly there has been an over emphasis on sport personnel, particularly in Tennis and Cricket. It appears that (Tamilnadu/Eelam) Tamils excel only in this elite sports. There are many excellent Tamil sports men/women from Malaysia and Singapore who have created Asian records. e.g.  Malaysian G. Saravanan, the Gold Medallist in 50 km walk in the recent Commonwealth games. His victory created national headlines. FYI, Malaysia has some outstanding  Tamil athletes.


From  Aru Thedchanamoorthy 4 July 1999

I had a chance to view the above list and I am a little dissappointed that Mr. A. Amirthalingam’s name was not there. I would like to nominate Mr. A. Amirthalingam’s name to the above list.

– while he was a… student he was choosen by Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayagam …and was a back bone of the Federal Party which fought Sinhala Only and Government assisted Sinhalese settlements (in the Tamil homeland)
– no Tamil would forget Amirthalingam’s role in the 1956 protest at Galle Face and his speech with a bloody wound on his head.
– the struggle  for Tamil Eelam really surfaced with the Pannakam Conference and the roles of  the TULF and Amir are unforgettable
– role of Amir as the only Tamil opposition leader and his messages to the world at that time brought us considerable recognition.

Response by tamilnation: The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in a list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century is examined in a separate article.


From Mano Ratnam, Australia 2 July 1999

I would like to make the following nominations

Temple architecture

a) Muthiah Sthapathi, Tamilnadu
b) Nagarajan Sthapathi, Tamilnadu – please refer
www.gov.sg/heb/sivantemple/tem_architecture.html

Music/Drama/Dance

a) Dr Navtheetham, Tamilnadu – for her extensive research on Tamil folk music
b) Kalaimamani Subbu Arumugam, Tamilnadu – Villupattu
c) Dr L. Subramanian, America – renown violinist
d) Kunagudi Vaithiyanathan, Tamilnadu
e) Elangovan, Singapore- Highly acclaimed contemporary Tamil play writer & director
f) Ravichandra, Australia – Mrdangam Vidvan & promoter of Carnatic music in Australia

Society

Sister Mangalam, Malaysia – dedicated social worker

Late Sarangapany, Singapore – Founder of Singapore’s only Tamil daily – Tamil Murasu & Tamilar Thirunal

Late P Govindasamy Pillai, Singapore – Philanthropist who contributed to the renovation and construction of temples and kalyana mandapams in Singapore, Malaysia & India, e.g Srinivasa Perumal Temple Rajagopuram & Kalyana Mandapam (Singapore), Andal Sanithi in Srivilliputtur

Politics

Tun Sambanthan, Malaysia – Pioneer in Malaysian Politics & has the honour of a road in Kuala Lumpur named after him.

Spirituality

Swami Sivananda, Malaysia  – Founder of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, India

Yoga

Yogi Balakrishnan, Malaysia, Singapore – A yoga exponent


From Murali Murugavelu India 19 June 1999

Greetings.  I checked the section on Tamil scholars and writers. In this regard I would like to nominate: Mr. M. P. Periaswami Thooran. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Kalaimamani award and a host of awards and titles like ” Esai Perarignyar”, “Sentamil Kalaichelvar”  for his contributions in the field of Music, Drama and Poetry.

He was also the Chief Editor of  the Tamil Encyclopaedia, a mammoth work spanning 10 Volumes and a Junior Tamil Encylopedia for Children, paving way for the growth of Science in Tamil Nadu.He is best remembered for his works on Children.

His Carnatic compositions like ” Muruga Muruga “, ” Gana Nadhanae “and ” Murli dhara gopala ” have entralled audiences worldwide. He also edited the Underground , pro Independence anti British publication ” Pithan “.  He definitely deserves a place among the top 100 Tamils. I request you to research  this legendary, unassuming personality.


From: Ramkumar USA 11 June 1999

Please consider Kamal Hassan, … Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram, and writer Sujatha who influences contemporary Tamil youth with his science based Tamil novels.

I think we should have famous entrepreneurs and industrialists sections too. Azhagappa Chettiar may be listed under this category.

Actually Mahesh Bhupathi was born in Madras and is a Tamilian and I guess he should be added to the sports section (remember, recently he won the grand-slam with Leander Paes).

I am not sure why J.Krishnamurthy is not added under spirituality section. May be you consider him a Telugu.

Political section : One can consider, T.T.Krishnamachari (once a Cabinet Minister under Nehru), P.Chidambaram (ex Finance Minister), Amirthalingam (a Tamil moderate who got killed by the LTTE for reasons that no Tamil in Tamilnadu knows about, but neverthless considered as a great soul), Anbazhagan (eternal no 2 to Karunanidhi, but neverthless a staunch Dravidian conformist), Muthuramalinga Thevar, R.Venkatraman (Former President of India).

Science section: Dr. Chidamabaram (famous colleague of Abdul Kalam)

Response by tamilnation:

J.Krishnamurthy was not included because he was not a Tamil. The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in a list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century is examined in a separate article.


From  Harigopal Raghavan 24 May 1999

It is heartening to note that people are interested in learning about the past. History when used in the right way, tells us about the pitfalls to avoid, and the contributions which lead to a fruitful life. A common quality which our freedom fighters had, was ‘simplicity and thoughtfulness’ of these people. They were interested not only in freedom from the British, but also freedom from evil social bondages of caste inequality, gender inequality, and economic exploitation. It is appropriate to remember here that these people never did anything only to be in the limelight, but their actions automatically brought them to the limelight.

Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, qualifies as a gem among Tamils, for his contribution to the freedom struggle, to gender, caste equality, to literature and also to Hindu religion through simplicity in communicating lofty ideals.

In the political arena, EVR and Rajaji qualify due to their selfless work for the Tamil people. The clearly visible friendship between these two, despite their having opposing ideologies, brings out the best in these two leaders. It is ofcourse impossible to forget the greatness of Kamaraj, and CNAnnadurai for their service to the society. Among the later Tamil politicians, MGR and Kalangyar Karunanidhi are worshiped for their political maturity and sincerity. Among the literary giants, Avvaiyar, Alwars, Nayanmars are also to be remembered. The great contributors to science and technology, like CVRaman, and Srinivasa Ramanujam also qualify to the list. Present day greats like Sujatha, Cho Ramaswamy and artists like MSS also qualify to the list because of their prominence in Tamil life.


From Theivendran Vigneswaran, Canada 22 May 1999

I would like to nominate late Mr. Appapillai. Amirthalingam, the leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) … Especially on this day, May 22nd each Tamil have to remember this “Black Day” in our history when we faced the grave danger to our freedom, self respect and fundamental rights by the promulgation of the Republication constitution by the Sinhala government on May 22, 1972.

Mr. Amirthalingam fought for Tamil rights in and out in the Parliament in a democratic way till his death on 13 July 1989. He became the undisputed leader of Tamils after death of his political guru, “Thanthai Chelva”( Late Mr. S.J.V Chelvanayagam. Q.C.) in 1977. Amirthalingam was Thanthai Chelva’s chief lieutenant. Amirthalingam was the hero of the Tamil youths, he was popular among the youths as “Amir Annai”.

Amir annan always admired and respected the Tamil militants. He had toiled for the unity of the militant leaders. Once he told V.P. Vaidak   that the militant leaders used to meet him and consult him whenever it was necessary. Mr. V Pirabaharan, LTTE leader and Uma Maheswaran PLOTE leader used to keep in touch. (Ethnic Crisis in Sri Lanka – India’s Options  by V.P.Vaidak) Amir annai is no more with us to carry out our struggle against the Sinhala Government. As we get closer to remember his 10th death anniversary, let us all join together to achieve our goal. by, Theivendram. Vigneswaran. Cambridge, Ont. Canada.

Response by tamilnation:

The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in a  list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century is examined in a separate article


From V.Thangavelu Canada 8 May 1999

I will nominate E.V.K.Ramasamy otherwise known as Thathai Periyar as the leader who made a difference in the life of millions of Tamils who suffered the humiliation of being called sutras. Through the self-respect movement Periyar restored the lost dignity and status of the Tamil people. Though Periyar himself lamented the fact that he is leaving the Tamils as Sutras – he had done enough for the Tamil people to regain their dignity and past glory.


From  Siva 6 May 1999

My nominations are as follows

C.Vanniasingham MP Kopay 1948~1956 – the one who convinced Mr S.J.V. Chelvanayakam to form the Ilankai Tamil Arasukk Katchi in 1948 and the only one to be elected to retain his seat (in the north) in parliament from the party in 1952. His efforts on Thamil Arasu and devotion brought the party to be the one which promted and led the Tamils for self determination.

Veuppillai Pirabaharan without any doubt what ever to be # 1 on the list for having unified the ideals of all Tamils and leading them with bravery, devotion and instilling self respect in every one of them.

C.N Annadurai the leader who revolutionized Tamil thinking.

M.S. Subbulaxmi – the one who proved that TAMIL SONGS fit well into classical music. And her acceptance as the benchmark for a melodious voice.

S.Thondaman – the leader of the largest trade union in his country. In Sri Lanka any party can be the ruling party Thondaman will always be a minister and he will do it his way.

T.Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia the Financial Wizard behind the tallest building in the world – the petronas towers in Malaysia.

Sri Jayendra Saraswathy of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam the religious guru


From SooriyajeevanU.S.A. 21 April 1999

I would nominate, Appaiah the Senior Most Defence Scientist of the Tamil Nation in 20th century.

Throughout the history of the world,  major technological innovations and breakthroughs happened during the times of war. Necessity made countries to dedicate enormous amount of resources to achieve technological advantage against the enemy. The Internet, super-computers, rocket technology, geographical positioning systems and nuclear power are a few notable contributions among a large pool of innovations that the defence industry opened to civilian use.

Defence scientists and their contributions are some of the best-kept secrets in all countries. Appaiah of Tamil Eelam is not an exception. From the inception of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam until he retired in the late nineties, his contributions from improvised landmines to homemade aircrafts, are a legend. However, because of the secretive nature of his contributions only a few details can be found in public media about him.

“And Appaiah Annai who, in terms of seniority, comes next is already in his sixties, though essentially a military man – the one who was initially responsible for the LTTE expertise in landmines.” Taraki, After Prabha: question of succession, The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) ISSN: 1391-0531, October 20, 1996.

Technological ingenuity is crucial for any military force that fights an enemy with superior human resources and firepower. Victory by the LTTE against Sri Lanka’s armed forces and India’s armed forces was possible primarily because of the  technological ingenuity of the LTTE and the dedicatin of its cardres. And it was the senior most defence scientist of the LTTE, Appaiah, who ensured that the military technology of the LTTE was at its best all the time.

“On July 23 night, an army patrol codenamed ” Four Four Bravo” and comprising 15 men moved out of Gurunagar camp in a jeep and a half truck. It reported at 23:28 hrs that it was moving towards Urumpurai and it was very quiet. Moments later the patrol neared Tinneveli, where the Tigers lay in wait. Chellakilli, Victor and Appaiah had placed detonators on the road and had been giving final touches when the patrol neared the site. ” M. R. Narayan Swamy, Tigers of Lanka from Boys to Guerrillas, South Asia Books; ISBN: 8122003869, August 1995, p. 89

Appaiah is the senior most defence scientist of  the  Tamil nation in 20th century. Any other defence scientists of his calibre in the Tamil nation can only be found in 15th century or before…. Therefore the senior most defence scientist of Tamil Eelam Appaiah should also be included among the One Hundred Tamils of the Twentieth Century.


From Sethuraman Subbaraj 11 April 1999

I would like to nominate the great chess player Vishwanathan Anand. His biography:

Viswanathan Anand, popularly known as “Vishy, the Tiger from Madras”   learnt chess at the tender age of six. His  lightning speed of play and intuition saw him become the youngest National Champion at the age of 16.

In 1987 he became the First Asian to win the World Junior Championship. He also earned the coveted Grandmaster title. He carved  a special place on the chessboard by winning the strongest tournament at that time, the “Reggio Emilia” in Italy in 1991 ahead of Kasparov and Karpov.

He was a World Championship challenger in the PCA (New York 1995)  & FIDE (1997 Lausanne) cycles. He has the distinction of winning the strongest knock out tournament in recent chess history in Groningen in December 1997.

He also won the Linares Super Torneo in 1998, the strongest tournament at this point. His other great victories include the Melody Amber tournament (1994 & 1997), the Credit Suisse Masters (1997), Dos Hermanas (1997) and Wijk Aan Zee(1998).

Anand is currently rated NUMBER Two in the World in both the rating lists, namely, the PCA & the FIDE lists.

Anand was awarded many prestigious titles in India like the Arjuna Award, the Padmashri (the youngest recipient of the title), the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Soviet Land Nehru award, the BPL Achievers of the World, Sportstar, and the Sportsworld “Sportsman of the year 1995” Award.

Anand holds a degree in commerce, his other hobbies are reading,  swimming & listening to music. Anand, known as the “One man Indian chess revolution,” keenly promotes the game, through innovative methods in the country, where the game first originated. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with his wife Aruna.


From Nagarajan Pichumani 2 April 1999

VaNakkam. I would like to suggest the following persons:

1) Semmangudi SrinivAsa Iyer : an eminent in carnatic music, titled as “sangeetha thAththA”; the youngest to get “sangeetha kalAnidhi” award, and the oldest “sangeetha kalAnidhi” living among us.

2) KAnchi MahA swAmigaL Sri Chandra SEkarEndra Saraswathi swAmigaL – who lived 100 years and was worshipped by many other saints also. His lectures are compiled in the name “dheivaththin kural”; a great compilation that includes literature to vEdhAs, daily life practices to yAgams etc etc. A great mahaan of the 20 th century. Even though His ancestors were Kannada Brahmins, He was born and lived in Thamizh nAdu as a Tamilian.

3) Important freedom fighters like Thiruppoor KumaranVeera VAnchi must be included. I am not sure of their timeline, but, if we forget them, it is a shame to us, to enjoy the freedom that they gifted to us.


From Vamanan Sundar, USA

I have the following names for the “One Hundred Tamil List” nomination:

Vellupillai Balakumar – He was the leader of another Tamil Eelam liberation movement, EROS. He later joined with LTTE to strengthen the Tamil fighting power.  This unselfish person showed to all the Tamil parties that our goal is the same and we only need one united movement to win our freedom. He  sacrificed his leadership for the freedom of Tamils.

Dr. Anton Balasingam
He is one of the highly educated people who works with LTTE since the inception of LTTE. In addition, he has also got his Australian born wife to support for our cause. Their commitment is an example to all the Tamils that regardless of our education, wealth or status in the society, we owe it to our homeland.

Thangathurai and Kuttimani 
They started TELO and worked hard for the freedom of the Tamils until they were captured and jailed in Wellikadai and eventually murdered by the Sinhalese thugs. The speech given by these two on the eve of their verdict reinforces that even in the last minute of their lives, they were clear of their dream. Their hard work and determination are something that we can look up to.

P.Nedumaran, S.Ramadas, K. Veeramani and V.Gopalaswamy
These four people are re-creating the Tamil renaissance in Tamil Nadu. Their hard work is beginning to pay off now. They have demonstrated to us that we have to be determined to break the barriers that stand in the way to reaching our goals.

Actor Nagesh – He was the Charlie Chaplin of the Tamils’ world. He is the best comedy actor the Tamil cinema world has produced in the 20th century.

Capt. Millar – First suicide bomber who has come forward to give up his life in the maximum way to free Vadamaratchi (his village) when the Sri Lankan forces captured Vadamaratchi in Operation liberation. His initiative is a role model for many Tamil fighters and they have begun to play critical roles in recent fights.

Capt. Malathi – First woman fighter to die in the struggle for freedom. Now we see hundreds and hundreds woman fighters leading combats. They have changed the way that Tamil women are viewed in Sri Lanka. Soon, the rest of the world will come to know of it as well. Her last day on the earth is commemorated as Women’s Day in Tamil Eelam.


From N.Mahadeva USA

I nominate the following:

P. Nagalingam – Proctor and leading Trade Unionist during his time. Founding member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, which fought for equality for all races in Sri Lanka,  S R Kanaganayagam – Leading Advocate and member of UNP and later Tamil Congress and G. G. Ponnambalam – no need for any introduction


From: Senthil, Oklahoma, USA

I would like to nominate the following ….

Political Leaders:
V.O.Chidambaram Pillai,  Subramania Siva,  Thirupur Kumaran , E.V.Ramasamy(Perriyar) , Natesa Mudaliar , Kamaraj, Nedumaran , Annadurai , Karunanithi , Ramadas
Literature:
Bharathiar , Bharathi Dasan (Kanaga Subburathinam) , Pudumai Pitthan (So.Virudhachalam) , U.Ve.Sa , Kannadasan , Sirpi(Balasubramaniam) , Thalaiya Singam , Tharumu Sivaramu , Sundara Ramasamy , Mu.Varatharasanar ,Maraimalai AdigalVinayagam Pillai , Vanna Nilavan , Ka.Na.Subramaniam , Pazhamalai , Pirabanchan , Ki.Raja Narayanan
General(Statesman like)
Ki.A.Pe.Visawanatham Pillai , C.Subramaniam , Thiru.Vi.Kalyanasundaram , Raja of Chettinad , Raja of Panagal
Performing Arts:
Kalaivanar (NS Krishnan) , Shivaji Ganesan , Suseela , A.M.Raja , M.R.Radha , M.G.Ramachandran , Kalaingar Karunanithi, MS Viswanathan , Illaiyaraja


From mgr@vsnl.com

I would nominate Janaki Ramachandran, V.N.Janaki and Papanasam Sivan


From Ottawa, Canada

I would like to suggest the following:

1. Prof. Thurairajah
Prof. Thurairajah was a great scholar who lived in the 20th century. He had many accomplishments in the academic field. He also contributed to strengthen the Eelam struggle …. To honour his contributions to the Eelam struggle, Tamil  Eelam leader Vellupillai Pirabaharan honoured him by the name, “Mamanithan Thurairajah.”

2. Annai Poopathy
She is one of the few people who fasted to death like Thiyagee Thileepan to protest against Indian government’s actions that severely hurt numerous innocent Tamils in Tamil Eelam.

3. Kirushnamachari Srikanth
He is the one and only Tamil who captained the Indian cricket team. He is one of people who made cricket interesting …. He contributed significantly to the success of the Indian  cricket team at the world cup in England in the 80’s. When West Indies   captain Vivian Richards was asked who was the very difficult player to  handle in the world, he replied, Srikanth.  “No one can  predict where he will hit the ball when he is batting and it is very difficult to arrange the field” said Vivian Richard.

4. Puthuvai Rathinathurai and Kasi Anandan
Both have written so many poem and songs portraying the Tamil Eelam struggle. Their songs are very much enjoyed by many Tamils.


From Norway: Benjamin Raja Philip

“I suggest seven names

– Charles Lucan Anthony alias Seelan – he acted as the Commander when Pirabaharan was away and he was a trusted associate.
– Sivakumaran, the first Tamil militant hero
– Ethirveerasingham, the first Tamil to win a gold medal at the Asian Games
–  Rev. Father Peter Pillai Senior , educationist
– V Vanniasingam (Kopay M. P) a Founder of the Federal Party
– Sir Ponambalam Ramanathan 
– Rev Lourdusamy, D. Simon, First Tamil Catholic Cardinal Bishop


From Tamil Nadu: Sundarrajan.G, Anna Nagar, Chennai-50

My nominee is Periyar E.V.Ramasamy. He is the man who made the Tamils realise about their significance, tradition and brought out the evil designs fostered by the people who came through Kyber and Bolan passes. Real Tamilian should accept him as fore runner of the  Tamil cause


From Thambirajah Ravikularam raviram@compuserve.com

I would like to recommend – Azhikkumaran Anandan – for his contributions in breaking the Guinness world records in swimming and dancing etc.


From the Emirates:

I would like to make an observation on the classification of political activism. It would be more appropriate if you could make a new category named “Liberation leaders or Independence leaders ” to include people likeMr.V.PirabaharanMr.S.Krishnakumar, Mr.Thileepan etc.whose names should not be listed along with other politicians.


From Raghavan T: rahavan.thurairajah@gte.net  

I genuinely admire the mission of Tamil Nation, and I wish you good luck for further growth and success. One of the things that interests me is the One Hundred Tamils List. I would like to nominate “Thiyagee Thileepan” for the courageous approach he took in the liberation fight of Tamil Eelam. As a fighter, he used both arms and “ahimsa” for the freedom of Tamils. Ultimately, he fasted to death without even drinking water. He believed that people will realise why he gave up his own life in this cruel way and eventually a people’s revolution will occur sooner or later, and Tamil Eelam will become a reality. For this unique approach he took in the struggle for freedom, he should be recognised for his effort. Thus, I strongly feel that he qualifies to be one of the special one hundred Tamils.


From London: Women’s Development and Information Unit – wdiu@womendiu.force9.co.uk writes on 15/9/98:

The greatest Tamils to liberate Tamil language and people namely Pavanar (Deveneya Pavanar), Perumchitiranar, Gunaseelan, Pattukotai Azhagiri, are somehow missing.?

Response from tamilnation: It will be very helpful, if you would (if possible) give the dates of birth/death of these Tamils and also (if possible) some further biographical details. In the meantime, your email will be included at the next update of the Hundred Tamils Forum page. Mikka Nanri.


From Japan: Sachi Sri Kantha writes:

My selections for 100 Influential Tamils of the 20th Century are:

Legislators

C.Rajagopalachari (1879-1972)/India – Governor General

S.J.V.Chelvanayakam (1898-1977)/ Eelam – Federal Party Leader

K.Kamaraj (1903-1975)/ India – Congress Party leader

R.Venkatraman (1910- ) India – Congress Party leader and President

C.Subramaniam (1910- )India – Congress Party Finance Minister

S.Thondaman (1913- )India-born, Sri Lanka – Ceylon Workers Congress leader

Sinnathamby Rajaratnam (1915 – )/ Eelam-born, Singapore – Foreign Minister

J.B.Jeyaratnam (1926- )/ Eelam-born, Singapore – Opposition leader

A.Amirthalingam (1929- ) Eelam – Federal Party leader and Leader of Opposition

Social Activists

U.Ve.Swaminatha Aiyar (1855-1942)/ India – Tamil literature archivist

Maraimalai Adikal (1875?-1950) /India- ‘Pure Tamil’ activist

Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (1879-l973)/ India – Self Respect Movement leader

C.N.Annadurai (1909-1969)/India- founder of DMK and polymath

M.P.Sivagnana Gramani / India- leader of Congress and Tamil activist

V.Nedunchezhian (1920- )/ India – leader of DMK and later AIADMK

M.Karunanidhi (1924- )/India – leader of DMK

V.Prabhakaran (1954- )/Eelam – founder of LTTE

Literati

Subrahmanya Bharati (1882- 1921)/India -poet

Bharathidasan (1891-1964)/India – poet

Kalki Krishnamoorthy (1899-1954) India-novelist, journalist

R.K.Narayan (1906- )India- novelist, essayist

M.Varatharajan (1912-1974)/ India – novelist’ essayist

Koththamangalam Subbu / India – poet

Sandilyan / India – novelist

Akilan /India – novelist

Kavignar Kannadasan /India – poet

S.Ponnudurai (Es.Po) /Eelam-novelist

Artistes/Entertainers

Pammal Sambantha Mudaliyar /India – dramatist

Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan ( -1956) / India – humorist, movie actor

‘Avvai’ T.K.Shanmugam –T.K.Bagavathi brothers /India – dramatists

Rukmani Devi Arundale / India – Bharata Natyam dancer, teacher

M.S.Subbhulakshmi (1916- )/India – Carnatic Musician

M.G.Ramachandran (1917-1987)/ Sri Lanka-born, India – movie actor and founder of AIADMK

T.Balasaraswathi (1914-1984)/ India – Bharata Natyam dancer

Sivaji Ganesan (l928- )/ India- movie actor

K.Balachandar / India – movie director]

Sirkali Govindarajan / India – popular vocalist

M.S.Visvanathan /India- music director

Padma Subrahmanyam /India – Bharata Natyam dancer]

Entrepreneurs

‘Gemini’ S.S.Vasan/ India – movie entrepreneur, publisher

A.Y.S.Gnanam (St.Anthony’s Group) / Sri Lanka

Suresh Krishna (TVS Group)/India

Annamalai C.Muthiah (M.A.Chidambaram Group)/ India

T.Ananda Krishnan / Eelam-born, Malaysia [see also Petronas Twin Towers]

Suppiah Dhanapalan / Singapore – Cabinet Minister and President of Singapore Air Lines

Commentators/ Critics/Caricaturists

Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1947)/ Sri Lankan-born/British-American – critic

Swami Gnanaprakasar/ Eelam – commentator

Fr.S.Thaninayagam/ Eelam – commentator

R.K.Laxman/ India -cartoonist

A.K.Ramanujam/India – translator

K.Kailasapathy/Eelam – journalist, critic

Natural Scientists

S.Ramanujan (1887-1920)/India – mathematician

C.V.Raman (1888-l970)/India – physicist

S.Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)/India – physicist

C.J.Eliezer (1918- )/Eelam – mathematician

Moncombu S.Swaminathan (1925- )/India – agronomist

Abdul Kalam ( )/India – nuclear scientist

Social Scientists

K.Nilakanta Sastri /India – historian

Stanley J.Tambiah /Eelam – anthropologist

Religious Dignitaries

Swami Vipulananda/ Eelam – music scholar

Suddhanantha Bharathi/ India – composer

Kirupanantha Vaariyar/ India – popular expositor

Kunrakkudi Adigal/ India- popular expositor

Sportsmen

Ramanathapurarn Krishnan/ India – tennis

Srinivas Venkatraghavan/ India- cricket

Krishnamachari Srikanth/ India – cricket

Vijay Amritraj/ India – tennis

Ramesh Krishnan/ India – tennis

Muttiah Muralitharan/ Eelam – cricket


From U.S.A: Ramalingam Shanmugalingam writes:

vanhakkam, I am pleased to give some information about Perungkavikko Sethuraman who you may find qualifies as one of the  hundred Tamil greats of the twentieth century…. He is not only a poet of international fame, he is a warrior…


From New Mexico: Vasan writes:

வணக்கம்.
சிறப்பான முதல் நூறு தமிழர்கள் பட்டியலில் தமிழக அரசியல் தலைவர்கள் சிலர் பெயர்களும் இருப்பதை கண்டேன். என்னுடைய தாழ்மையான ஒரு விண்ணப்பம் – அந்த பட்டியலில் அமரர்.காமராசரின் பெயர் இல்லாதது ஆச்சிரியமாய் உள்ளது,உடன் அவர் பெயரையும் இணைக்கக் கேட்டுக் கொள்கிறேன். – மிக்க நன்றி.

Response from tamilnation: Many thanks for your suggestion. We will include Kamraj (at the next) update


From Canada: Senthuran Nadarajah suggests for inclusion in list of Hundred Tamils:

1) Valvettithurai Sea Farers 2) Navaratnasamy who swam the Palk Straits  for the first time. 3) Kumar Anandan  who entered the Guinness record book seven times and also made many other records which were amazing. 4)Velupillai Pirabaharan, leader of Tamil Eelam

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Tamil people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tamils
திருவள்ளுவர்.jpgRamanujan 140x190.jpgமுத்தையா முரளிதரன்.JPG
Viswanathan Anand 08 14 2005 140x190.jpgRaraja detail 140x190.jpgஅப்துல் கலாம்.JPG
AR Rahman 140x190.jpgபேரறிஞர் அண்ணா.jpgMs subbulakshmi 140x190.jpgBodhidharmaYoshitoshi1887.jpg
Thiruvalluvar • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Muttiah Muralitharan
Viswanathan Anand • Rajaraja Chola •Bodhidharma
Abdul Kalam • A. R. Rahman
C. N. Annadurai • M. S. Subbulakshmi
Total population
77,000,000  [1]
Regions with significant populations
 India 60,793,814 (2001)[2]
 Sri Lanka 3,092,676 (2001)[3]
 Malaysia 1,392,000 (2000)[4]for others see Tamil diaspora
Languages
Tamil
Religion
88% Hindu, 6% Christian, 5.5% Muslim (forTamil Nadu alone)[5]
Related ethnic groups
Dravidians · Telugus  · Kannadigas · Tuluvas  ·Malayalis  · Giraavarus[6]Sinhalese[7]

Tamil people (Tamil: தமிழர், tamiḻar ?), also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil NaduIndia and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably MalaysiaSingaporeMauritiusSouth AfricaAustraliaCanadaRéunion (France) and the UK. Since the early BCE, urbanization and mercantile activity along the western and eastern coast of what is today Kerala and Tamil Nadu led to the development of four large Tamil political states (CheraCholaPandya and Pallavas) and number small petty states that were warring amongst themselves for dominance. During 2nd century BCE and 13th BCE Tamil People also produced native literature that came to be called Sangam literature. This was also the period of advent of religions such as JainismBuddhism, and Vedic religion.

Tamilians were noted for their military, religious and mercantile activities beyond their native borders. Pandyas and Cholas were historically active in Sri Lanka. Pallava traders and religious leaders travelled to South East Asia and played an important role in the cultural Indianisation of the region. Locally developed scripts such as Grantha and Pallava script induced the development of many native scripts such as KhmerJavanese and Thai.

Tamil visual art is dominated by stylized Temple architecture in major centers and the productions of images of deities in stone and bronze. Chola bronzes, especially the Nataraja sculpture of the Chola period, have become notable as a symbol ofHinduism. Tamil performing arts are divided into popular and classical. Classical form is Bharatanatyam whereas the popular forms are known as Kuthus and performed in village temples and on street corners. Tamil cinema known as Kollywood is an important part of the Indian cinema industry. Music too is divided into classical Carnatic form and many popular genres. Although most Tamilians are Hindus, most practice what is considered to be folk Hinduism, venerating a plethora of village deities. A sizeable number are Christians and Muslims. A small Jain community survives from the classical period as well. Tamil cuisine is informed by varied vegetarian and non vegetarian items usually spiced with locally available spices. The music, the temple architecture and the stylized sculptures favored by the Tamil people as in their ancient nation are still being learnt and practiced. Thus, Tamilians have been referred to as the last surviving classical civilization on Earth.[8]

Contents

Etymology

It is unknown as to whether the term Tamilar and its equivalents in Prakrit such as Damela, Dameda, Dhamila and Damila was a self designation or a term denoted by outsiders. Epigraphic evidence of an ethnic group termed as such is found in ancient Sri Lanka where a number of inscriptions have come to light datable from 6th to 5th century BCE mentioning Damela or Dameda persons. In the well-known Hathigumpha inscription of the Kalinga ruler Kharavela, refers to a Tramira samghata(Confederacy of Tamil rulers) dated to 150 BCE. It also mentions that the league of Tamil kingdoms had been in existence 113 years before then.[9] In Amaravati in present day Andhra Pradesh there is an inscription referring to a Dhamila-vaniya (Tamil trader) datable to the 3rd century CE.[9] Another inscription of about the same time in Nagarjunakonda seems to refer to a Damila. A third inscription in Kanheri Caves refers to a Dhamila-gharini (Tamil house-holder). In the Buddhist Jataka story known as Akiti Jataka there is a mention to Damila-rattha (Tamil dynasty). Hence it is clear that by at least the 300 BC, the ethnic identity of Tamils has been formed as a distinct group.[9] Tamilar is etymologically related to Tamil, the language spoken by Tamil people. Southworth suggests that the name comes from tam-miz > tam-iz ‘self-speak’, or ‘one’s own speech’.[10] Zvelebil suggests an etymology of tam-iz, with tam meaning “self” or “one’s self”, and “-iz” having the connotation of “unfolding sound”. Alternatively, he suggests a derivation of tamiz < tam-iz < *tav-iz < *tak-iz, meaning in origin “the proper process (of speaking).”[11]

History

Tamils in India

Pre-historic period

Possible evidence indicating the earliest presence of Tamil people in modern day Tamil Nadu are the megalithic urn burials, dating from around 1500 BC and onwards, which have been discovered at various locations in Tamil Nadu, notably in Adichanallur in Tirunelveli District[12][13][14] which conform to the descriptions of funerals in classical Tamil literature.[15]

Various legends became prevalent after the 10th century CE regarding the antiquity of the Tamil people. According to Iraiyanar Agapporul, a 10th/11th century annotation on the Sangam literature, the Tamil country extended southwards beyond the natural boundaries of the Indian peninsula comprising 49 ancient nadus (divisions). The land was supposed to have been destroyed by a deluge. The Sangam legends also added to the antiquity of the Tamil people by claiming tens of thousands of years of continuous literary activity during three Sangams.[16]

Classical period

Grey pottery with engravings,Arikamedu, 1st century CE.

From around the 3rd century BC onwards, three royal dynasties—the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas—rose to dominate the ancient Tamil country.[14] Each of these dynasties had its own realm within the Tamil-speaking region. Classical literature and inscriptions also describe a number of Velirs, or minor chieftains, who collectively ruled over large parts of central Tamil Nadu.[17] Wars between the kings and the chieftains were frequent, as were conflicts with ancient Sri Lanka.[18][19] These wars appear to have been fought to assert hegemony and demand tribute, rather than to subjugate and annex those territories. The kings and chieftains were patrons of the arts, and a significant volume of literature exists from this period.[17] The literature shows that many of the cultural practices that are considered peculiarly Tamil date back to the classical period.[17]

Agriculture was important during this period, and there is evidence that irrigation networks were built as early as 2nd century AD.[20] Internal and external trade flourished, and evidence exists of significant contact with Ancient Rome.[21] Large quantities of Roman coins and signs of the presence of Roman traders have been discovered at Karur and Arikamedu.[21] There is also evidence that at least two embassies were sent to the Roman Emperor Augustus by Pandya kings.[22] Potsherds with Tamil writing have also been found in excavations on the Red Sea, suggesting the presence of Tamil merchants there.[23] An anonymous 1st century traveler’s account written in GreekPeriplus Maris Erytraei, describes the ports of the Pandya and Chera kingdoms in Damirica and their commercial activity in great detail. Periplus also indicates that the chief exports of the ancient Tamils were peppermalabathrumpearlsivorysilkspikenarddiamondssapphires, and tortoiseshell.[24]

The classical period ended around the 4th century AD with invasions by the Kalabhra, referred to as the kalappirar in Tamil literature and inscriptions.[25] These invaders are described as evil kings and barbarians coming from lands to the north of the Tamil country.[26] This period, commonly referred to as the Dark Age of the Tamil country, ended with the rise of the Pallava dynasty.[25][27][28] According to Clarence Maloney, during the classical period Tamils also settled the Maldive Islands.[6]

Imperial and post-imperial periods

Although the Pallava records can be traced from the 2nd century AD, they did not rise to prominence as an imperial dynasty until the 6th century.[29] The dynasty does not appear to have been Tamil in origin, although they rapidly adopted the local culture and theTamil language. The Pallavas sought to model themselves after great northern dynasties such as the Mauryas and Guptas.[30] They therefore transformed the institution of the kingship into an imperial one, and sought to bring vast amounts of territory under their direct rule. The Pallavas were followers of the Hinduism, though for a short while one of their kings embraced Jainism and later converted to Hinduism.[31] The Bhakti movement in Hinduism was founded by Tamil saints at this time, and rose along with the growing influence of Jainism and Buddhism.[32] The Pallavas pioneered the building of large, ornate temples in stone which formed the basis of the Dravidian temple architecture.

The Varaha cave bas relief atMahabalipuram built by the Pallava kingNarasimhavarman II in 7th century CE

The Pallava dynasty was overthrown in the 9th century by the resurgent Cholas.[29] The Cholas become dominant in the 10th century and established an empire covering most of southern India and Sri Lanka.[29] The empire had strong trading links with China and Southeast Asia.[33][34] The Cholas’ navy conquered the South Asian kingdom of Sri Vijaya in Sumatra and continued as far as Thailand and Burma.[29] Chola power declined in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the Pandya dynasty enjoyed a brief period of resurgence thereafter during the rule of Sundara Pandya.[29] However, repeated Muslim invasions from the 15th century onwards placed a huge strain on the empire’s resources, and the dynasty came to an end in the 16th century.[35]

The western Tamil lands became increasingly politically distinct from the rest of the Tamil lands after the Chola and Pandya empires lost control over them in the 13th century.[36] They developed their own distinct language and literature, which increasingly grew apart from Tamil, evolving into the modern Malayalam language by the 15th century.[37]

Tamils in Sri Lanka

Main article: Sri Lankan Tamils

There is little scholarly consensus over the presence of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, also known as Cinkalam[38][39] and Eelam in early Tamil literature, prior to the medieval Chola period (c. 10th century AD). One theory states that there was not an organized Tamil presence in Sri Lanka until the invasions from what is now South India in the 10th century AD; another theory contends that Tamil people were the original inhabitants of the island.[40][41]

Pre-historic period

The indigenous Veddhas are physically related to Dravidian language-speaking tribal people in South India[who?] and early populations of Southeast Asia, although they no longer speak their native languages.[42][not in citation given (See discussion.)]It is believed that cultural diffusion, rather than migration of people, spread the Sinhalese and Tamil languages from peninsular India into an existing Mesolithic population, centuries before the Christian era.[43]

Settlements of people culturally similar to those of present-day Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in modern India were excavated at megalithic burial sites at Pomparippu on the west coast and in Kathiraveli on the east coast of the island, villages established between the 5th century BC and 2nd century AD.[44][45] Cultural similarities in burial practices in South India and Sri Lanka were dated by archeologists to 10th century BC. However, Indian history and archaeology have pushed the date back to 15th century BC, and in Sri Lanka, there is radiometric evidence from Anuradhapura that the non-Brahmi symbol-bearing black and red ware occur at least around 9th or 10th century BC.[46]

Historic period

Inscription dated to 1100 AD left by Tamil soldiers inPolonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Potsherds with early Tamil writing from the 2nd century BC have been found in excavations in north of the island in Poonagari, bearing several inscriptions including a clan name – vela, a name related to velir from ancient Tamil country.[47] Tamil Brahmi inscribed potsherds have also been excavated in the south of the island in Tissamaharama. There is epigraphic evidence of people identifying themselves as Damelas or Damedas (the Prakrit word for Tamil people) in Anuradhapura, the capital city of Rajarata, and other areas of Sri Lanka as early as the 2nd century BC.[48] Historical records establish that Tamil kingdoms in modern India were closely involved in the island’s affairs from about the 2nd century BC.[18][19] In Mahavamsa, a historical poem, ethnic Tamil adventurers such as Elara invaded the island around 145 BC.[49] Tamil soldiers from what is now South India were brought to Anuradhapura between the 7th and 11th centuries AD in such large numbers that local chiefs and kings trying to establish legitimacy came to rely on them.[50] By the 8th century AD there were Tamil villages collectively known as Demel-kaballa (Tamil allotment), Demelat-valademin (Tamil villages), and Demel-gam-bim (Tamil villages and lands).[51]

Medieval period

In the 9th and 10th centuries AD, Pandya and Chola incursions into Sri Lanka culminated in the Chola annexation of the island, which lasted until the latter half of the 11th century CE.[50][52][53][54]

The decline of Chola power in Sri Lanka was followed by the restoration of the Polonnaruwa monarchy in the late 11th century AD.[55] In 1215, following Pandya invasions, the Tamil-dominant Arya Chakaravarthi dynasty established an independent Jaffna kingdom[56] on the Jaffna peninsula and parts of northern Sri Lanka. The Arya Chakaravarthi expansion into the south was halted by Alagakkonara,[57] a man descended from a family of merchants from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. He was the chief minister of the Sinhalese king Parakramabahu V (1344–59 AD). Vira Alakeshwara, a descendant of Alagakkonara, later became king of the Sinhalese,[58] but he was overthrown by the Ming admiral Cheng Ho in 1409 AD. The Arya Chakaravarthi dynasty ruled over large parts of northeast Sri Lanka until the Portuguese conquest of the Jaffna Kingdom in 1619 AD. The coastal areas of the island were taken over by the Dutch and then became part of the British Empire in 1796 AD. The English sailor Robert Knox described walking into the island’s Tamil country in the publication An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, annotating some kingdoms within it on a map in 1681 CE.[59] Upon arrival of European powers from the 17th century CE, the Tamils’ separate nation was described in their areas of habitation in the northeast of the island.[60]

The caste structure of the majority Sinhalese has also accommodated Hindu immigrants from South India since the 13th century AD. This led to the emergence of three new Sinhalese caste groups: the Salagama, the Durava and the Karava.[61][62][63] The Hindu migration and assimilation continued until the 18th century AD.[61]

Modern period

British colonists consolidated the Tamil territory in southern India into the Madras Presidency, which was integrated into British India. Similarly, the Tamil parts of Sri Lanka joined with the other regions of the island in 1802 to form the Ceylon colony. They remained in political union with India andSri Lanka after their independence, in 1947 and 1948 respectively.

When India became independent in 1947, Madras Presidency became the Madras State, comprising present-day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, northern Kerala, and the southwest coast of Karnataka. The state was subsequently split along linguistic lines. In 1953, the northern districts formed Andhra Pradesh. Under the States Reorganization Act in 1956, Madras State lost its western coastal districts. The Bellary and South Kanara districts were ceded to Mysore state, and Kerala was formed from the Malabar district and the former princely states of Travancore and Cochin. In 1968, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu.

There was some initial demand for an independent Tamil state following the adoption of the federal system.[64] In Sri Lanka, however, the unitary arrangement led to legislative discrimination of Tamils by the Sinhalese majority. This resulted in a demand for federalism, which in the 1970s grew into a movement for an autonomous Tamil country. The situation deteriorated into civil war in the early 1980s. A ceasefire in effect since 2002 broke down in August 2006 amid shelling and bombing from both sides; in 2009 the Tamil Tigers were defeated amid accusations of war crimes committed against the Tamil populace by the Sri Lankan state. Today Tamils make up 18% of Sri Lanka’s population (3.8 Million).[65]

Geographic distribution

Indian Tamils

Most Indian Tamils live in the state of Tamil Nadu. Tamils are the majority in the union territory of Pondicherry, a former French colony. Pondicherry is a subnational enclave situated within Tamil Nadu. Tamils account for at least one-sixth of the population in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

There are also Tamil communities in other parts of India. Most of these have emerged fairly recently, dating to the colonial and post-colonial periods, but some—particularly the Hebbar and Mandyam Tamils of southern Karnataka (2.9 million), PuneMaharashtra (1.4 million), Andhra Pradesh (1.2 million), Palakkad in Kerala (0.6 million), and Delhi (0.1 million) — date back to at least the medieval period.[66]

Sri Lankan Tamils

Distribution of Tamil speakers in South India and Sri Lanka (1961).

There are two groups of Tamils in Sri Lanka: the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils (or Ceylon Tamils) are descendants of the Tamils of the old Jaffna Kingdom and east coast chieftaincies called Vannimais. The Indian Tamils (or Hill Country Tamils) are descendants of bonded laborers sent from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in the 19th century to work on tea plantations.[67] Furthermore, there is a significant Tamil-speaking Muslim population in Sri Lanka; however, unlike Tamil Muslims from India, they are not ethnic Tamils and are therefore listed as a separate ethnic group in official statistics.[68][69]

Most Sri Lankan Tamils live in the Northern and Eastern provinces and in the capital Colombo, whereas most Indian Tamils live in the central highlands.[69] Historically both groups have seen themselves as separate communities, although there is a greater sense of unity since 1980s.[70]

Under the terms of an agreement reached between the Sri Lankan and Indian governments in the 1960s, about 40 percent of the Indian Tamils were granted Sri Lankan citizenship, and many of the remainder were repatriated to India.[71] By the 1990s, most Indian Tamils had received Sri Lankan citizenship.[71]

Tamil diaspora

Kavadi dancers in HammGermany in 2007

Significant Tamil emigration began in the 18th century, when the British colonial government sent many poor Tamils as indentured labourers to far-off parts of the Empire, especially MalayaSouth AfricaFijiMauritius and the Caribbean. At about the same time, many Tamil businessmen also immigrated to other parts of the British Empire, particularly to Burma and East Africa.[72]

Batu Caves temple built by Tamil Malaysians in circa 1880s

Many Tamils still live in these countries, and the Tamil communities in SingaporeReunion IslandMalaysia and South Africa have retained much of their culture and language. Many Malaysian children attend Tamil schools, and a significant portion of Tamil children in Mauritius and Reunion are brought up with Tamil as their first language. In Singapore, Tamil students learn Tamil as their second language in school, with English as the first. To preserve the Tamil language, the Singapore government has made it an official language despite Tamils comprising only about 5% of the population, and has also introduced compulsory instruction of the language for Tamils. Other Tamil communities, such as those in South Africa and Fiji, no longer speak Tamil as a first language, but still retain a strong Tamil identity, and are able to understand the language, while most elders speak it as a first language.[73]

A large emigration also began in the 1980s, as Sri Lankan Tamils sought to escape the ethnic conflict there. These recent emigrants have most often fled to AustraliaEuropeNorth America and Southeast Asia.[74]Today, the largest concentration of Tamils outside southern Asia is in TorontoCanada.[75]

Culture

Further information: South Indian culture

Language and literature

An idol in Madurai representing the Tamil language as a goddess; The caption on the pedestal reads Tamil Annai (“Mother Tamil”).

Tamils have strong feelings towards the Tamil language, which is often venerated in literature as “Tamil̲an̲n̲ai“, “the Tamil mother”.[76] It has historically been, and to large extent still is, central to the Tamil identity.[77]Like the other languages of South India, it is a Dravidian language, unrelated to the Indo-European languages of northern India. The language has been far less influenced by Sanskrit than the other Dravidian languages, and preserves many features of Proto-Dravidian, though modern-day spoken Tamil in Tamil Nadu, freely uses loanwords from Sanskrit and English.[78] Tamil literature is of considerable antiquity, and is recognised as a classical language by thegovernment of IndiaClassical Tamil literature, which ranges from lyric poetry to works on poetics and ethical philosophy, is remarkably different from contemporary and later literature in other Indian languages, and represents the oldest body of secular literature in South Asia.[79]

Visual art and architecture

See also: Chola Art

Most traditional Tamil art is religious in some form and usually centres on Hinduism, although the religious element is often only a means to represent universal—and, occasionally, humanist—themes.[80]

Dancing Siva or Nataraja is a typical example of Chola bronze

The most important form of Tamil painting is Tanjore painting, which originated in Thanjavur in the 9th century. The painting’s base is made of cloth and coated with zinc oxide, over which the image is painted using dyes; it is then decorated with semi-precious stones, as well as silver or gold thread.[81] A style which is related in origin, but which exhibits significant differences in execution, is used for painting murals on temple walls; the most notable example are the murals on the Kutal Azhakar and Meenakshi temples of Madurai, the Brihadeeswarar temple of Tanjore.[82]

Tamil sculpture ranges from elegant stone sculptures in temples, to bronze icons with exquisite details.[83] The medieval Chola bronzes are considered to be one of India’s greatest contributions to the world art.[84][85] Unlike most Western art, the material in Tamil sculpture does not influence the form taken by the sculpture; instead, the artist imposes his/her vision of the form on the material.[86] As a result, one often sees in stone sculptures flowing forms that are usually reserved for metal.[87]

The Brihadeshswara Temple at Thanjavur, also known as the Great Temple, built by Rajaraja Chola I

.

Performing arts

TamilFolkMusicInFuneral.ogg
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Folk artists performing at a funeral

Ancient Tamil works, such as the Cilappatikaram, describe a system of music,[88] and a 7th-century Pallava inscription at Kudimiyamalai contains one of the earliest surviving examples of Indian music in notation.[89] Contemporary dance forms such as Bharatanatyam have recent origins but are based older temple dance forms known as Catir Kacceri as practiced by courtesans and a class of women known as Devadasis[90]

Young Bharatanatyam dancer

One of the Tamil folk dances is karakattam. In its religious form, the dance is performed in front of an image of the goddess Mariamma.[91] The kuravanci is a type of dance-drama, performed by four to eight women. The drama is opened by a woman playing the part of a female soothsayer of the kurava tribe(people of hills and mountains), who tells the story of a lady pining for her lover. The therukoothu, literally meaning “street play”, is a form of village theater or folk opera. It is traditionally performed in village squares, with no sets and very simple props. The performances involve songs and dances, and the stories can be either religious or secular.[92] The performances are not formal, and performers often interact with the audience, mocking them, or involving them in the dialogue. Therukkūthu has, in recent times, been very successfully adapted to convey social messages, such as abstinence and anti-caste criticism, as well as information about legal rights, and has spread to other parts of India.[93] Tamil Nadu also has a well developed stage theater tradition, which has been influenced by western theatre. A number of theatrical companies exist, with repertoires including absurdistrealist, and humorous plays.[94]

The Tamil film industry, commonly dubbed Kollywood, is the second-largest film industry in India.[95] Several Tamil actresses such as VyjayanthimalaHema MaliniRekha GanesanSrideviMeenakshi Sheshadri, and Vidya Balanhave acted in Bollywood and dominated the cinema over the years.[96]

Religion

A village shrine dedicated toAyyanar, c.a. 1911

About 88%[5] of the population of Tamil Nadu are Hindus. Muslims and Christians account for 5.5% and 6% respectively.[5] Most of the Christians are Roman Catholics. The majority of Muslims in Tamil Nadu speak Tamil,[97] with less than 40% reporting Urdu as their mother tongue.[98] Tamil Jains number only a few thousand now.[99] Atheistrationalist, and humanist philosophies are also adhered by sizable minorities, as a result of Tamil cultural revivalism in the 20th century, and its antipathy to what it saw as Brahminical Hinduism.[100]

The most popular deity is Murugan, also known as Karthikeya, the son of Siva.[101] The worship of Amman, also called Mariamman, is thought to have been derived from an ancient mother goddess, is also very common.[102]Kan̲n̲agi, the heroine of the Cilappatikār̲am, is worshipped as Pattin̲i by many Tamils, particularly in Sri Lanka.[103] There are also many followers of Ayyavazhi in Tamil Nadu, mainly in the southern districts.[104] In addition, there are many temples and devotees of VishnuSivaGanapathi, and the other Hindu deities. Muslims across Tamil Nadu follow Hanafi and Shafi’i schools. Most Tamil muslims are ShadhilisErwadi in Ramanathapuram district and Nagore in Nagapattinam district[105] are the major pilgrimage centres for muslims in Tamil Nadu.

Grave of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed in Erwadi who first brought Islam to Tamil Nadu.

The most important Tamil festivals are Pongal, a harvest festival that occurs in mid-January, and Varudapirappu, the Tamil New Year, which occurs around mid-April. Both are celebrated by almost all Tamils, regardless of religion. The Hindu festival Deepavali is celebrated with fanfare; other local Hindu festivals include Thaipusam, Panguni Uttiram, and Adiperukku. While Adiperukku is celebrated with more pomp in the Cauvery region than in others, the Ayyavazhi Festival, Ayya Vaikunda Avataram, is predominantly celebrated in the southern districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, and Thoothukudi.[106]

In rural Tamil Nadu, many local deities, called aiyyan̲ārs, are thought to be the spirits of local heroes who protect the village from harm.[107] Their worship often centers around nadukkal, stones erected in memory of heroes who died in battle. This form of worship is mentioned frequently in classical literature and appears to be the surviving remnants of an ancient Tamil tradition.[108]

Velankanni Our Lady of Good Health Church, a Marian church popular with adherents across all religions

The Saivist sect of Hinduism is significantly represented amongst Tamils, more so among Sri Lankan Tamils, although most of the Saivist places of religious significance are in northern India. The Alvars and Nayanars, who were predominantly Tamils, played a key role in the renaissance of Bhakti tradition in India. In the 10th century, the philosopher Ramanuja, who propagated the theory of Visishtadvaitam, brought many changes to worshiping practices, creating new regulations on temple worship, and accepted lower-caste Hindus as his prime disciples.[109]

Cuisine

Main article: Tamil cuisine

Martial arts

Main article: Dravidian martial arts

Various martial arts including Kuttu VarisaiVarma KalaiSilambam NillaikalakkiMaankombukkalai (Madhu) and Kalarippayattu, are practised in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[110] The weapons used include Silambam,MaankombukkalaiYeratthai Mulangkol (double stick), Surul Pattai (spring sword), Val Vitchi (single sword), and Yeretthai Val (double sword).[111]

The ancient Tamil art of unarmed bullfighting, popular amongst warriors in the classical period,[112][113] has also survived in parts of Tamil Nadu, notably Alanganallur near Madurai, where it is known as Jallikaṭṭu or mañcuviraṭṭu and is held once a year around the time of the Pongal festival.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ “Top 30 Languages by Number of Native Speakers: sourced from Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005)”,Vistawide – World Languages & Cultures, retrieved 3 April 2007
  2. ^ “Indian Census – Abstract of Strength of Mother Tongues”Indian Census, 2001, retrieved 7 January 2008
  3. ^ “Brief Analysis of Population and Housing Characteristics” (PDF), Sri Lanka census of population and housing 2001, retrieved 7 January 2008
  4. ^ “Ethnologue report for language code tam”Ethnologue: Languages of the World, retrieved 31 July 2007
  5. a b c “Census 2001 – Statewise population by Religion”. Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  6. a b Maloney, Clarence, Maldives People, retrieved 22 June 2008
  7. ^ Kshatriya, G.K. (1995), “Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations”, Human Biology (American Association of Anthropological Genetics) 67 (6): 843–66, PMID 8543296
  8. ^ “Michael Wood, BBC”. Bbc.co.uk. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  9. a b c Indrapala, K The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p.155-156
  10. ^ Southworth, Franklin C. (1998), “On the Origin of the word tamiz”, International Journal of Dravidial Linguistics 27 (1): 129–132
  11. ^ Zvelebil, Kamil V. (1992), Companion Studies to the history of Tamil literature, Leiden: E.J. Brill at pp. x–xvi.
  12. ^ John, Vino (27 January 2006), Reading the past in a more inclusive way: Interview with Dr. Sudharshan Seneviratne,Frontline, retrieved 9 July 2008, “But Indian/south Indian history/archaeology has pushed the date back to 1500 B.C., and in Sri Lanka, there are definitely good radiometric dates coming from Anuradhapura that the non-Brahmi symbol-bearing black and red ware occur at least around 900 B.C. or 1000 B.C.”
  13. ^ K. De B. Codrington (October 1930), “Indian Cairn- and Urn-Burials”, Man (Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland) 30 (30): 190–196, doi:10.2307/2790468JSTOR 2790468, “…at Perambair & Pallavaram a second type of burial exists in legged urns…”
  14. a b Comparative excavations carried out in Adichanallur in Thirunelveli district and in Northern India have provided evidence of a southward migration of the Megalithic culture – K.A.N. Sastri, A History of South India, pp49–51
  15. ^ K. De B. Codrington (October 1930), “Indian Cairn- and Urn-Burials”, Man 30 (30): 194, JSTOR 2790468, “It is necessary to draw attention to certain passages in early Tamil literature which throw a great deal of light upon this strange burial ceremonial…”
  16. ^ Nilakanta Sastri, A history of South India, p 105
  17. a b c K. Sivathamby (December 1974), “Early South Indian Society and Economy: The Tinai Concept”, Social Scientist (Social Scientist) 3 (5): 20–37, doi:10.2307/3516448JSTOR 3516448, “Those who ruled over small territories were called Kurunilamannar. The area ruled by such a small ruler usually corresponded to a geographical unit. In Purananuru a number of such chieftains are mentioned;..”
  18. a b de Silva 1997, pp. 30–32
  19. a b Mendis, G.C.Ceylon Today and Yesterday, pp. 24–25
  20. ^ “Grand Anaicut”Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 3 May 2006
  21. a b M. G. S. Narayanan (September 1988), “The Role of Peasants in the Early History of Tamilakam in South India”, Social Scientist (Social Scientist) 16 (9): 17–34, doi:10.2307/3517170JSTOR 3517170
  22. ^ “Pandya Dynasty”Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 3 May 2007
  23. ^ “Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Maritime Spice Route Between India, Egypt”Veluppillai, Prof. A., (dickran.net), retrieved 15 November 2006
  24. ^ The term Periplus refers to the region of the eastern seaboard of South India as Damirica – “The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century”Ancient History source book
  25. a b The Indian Geographical Journal, Indian Geographical Society, 1941, p. 69, “These Kalabhras were thrown out by the powerful Pallava dynasty in the fourth century AD … this period is aptly known as “Dark Ages” of Tamil Nadu. …”
  26. ^ ‘Kalabhraas were denounced as ‘evil kings’ (kaliararar) – K.A.N. Sastri, A History of South India, pp 130
  27. ^ K.A.N. Sastri, A History of South India
  28. ^ Marilyn Hirsh (1987), “Mahendravarman I Pallava: Artist and Patron of Mamallapuram”Artibus Asiae 48 (1/2): 122, retrieved 3 May 2007
  29. a b c d e Smith, Vincent Arthur (1904), The Early History of India, The Clarendon press, pp. 336–358, ISBN 8171566189
  30. ^ V., Venkayya (1907), Annual Report 1906–7, Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi: reprint Swati Publications, pp. 217–243
  31. ^ (Source- K.A.Nilakanta Sastri’s “History of South India”)
  32. ^ Chandra, Satish (1997), Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals (1206–1526) – I, Har-Anand Publications, p. 250,ISBN 8124110646, “…Starting from the Tamil lands under the Pallava kings, bhakti spread to different parts of south India…”
  33. ^ Srivastava, Balram (1973), Rajendra Chola, National Book Trust, India, p. 80, “The mission which Rajendra sent to China was essentially a trade mission,…”
  34. ^ D. Curtin, Philip (1984), Cross-Cultural Trade in World History, Cambridge University Press, p. 101, ISBN 0521269318
  35. ^ K.A.N. Sastri, Srinivasachari, Advanced History of India, pp 296–297
  36. ^ Freeman, Rich (February 1998), “Rubies and Coral: The Lapidary Crafting of Language in Kerala”, The Journal of Asian Studies (Association for Asian Studies) 57 (1): 38–65, doi:10.2307/2659023JSTOR 2659023 at pp. 41–43.
  37. ^ “Malayalam first appeared in writing in the vazhappalli inscription which dates from about 830 CE.” “Writing Systems and Languages of the world”Omniglot (Omniglot.com), retrieved 15 November 2006
  38. ^ Ethnicity and social change in Sri Lanka: papers presented at a seminar organised by the Social Scientists Association, December 1979 page 4
  39. ^ [1] University of Madras Tamil Lexicon
  40. ^ Natarajan, V., History of Ceylon Tamils, p. 9
  41. ^ Manogaran, C. Ethnic Conflict and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka, p. 2
  42. ^ Vedda, London: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008, retrieved 23 June 2008
  43. ^ Indrapala, K. The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, pp. 53–54
  44. ^ de Silva 1997, p. 129
  45. ^ Indrapala, K. The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p. 91
  46. ^ Subramanian, T.S. (27 January 2006), “Reading the past in a more inclusive way: Interview with Dr. Sudharshan Seneviratne”Frontline, retrieved 9 July 2008
  47. ^ Mahadeva, I. Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D., p. 48
  48. ^ Indrapala, K., The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p. 157
  49. ^ Nadarajan, V., History of Ceylon Tamils, p. 40
  50. a b Spencer, George W, “The politics of plunder: The Cholas in eleventh century Ceylon”, The Journal of Asian Studies(Association for Asian Studies) 35 (3): 408
  51. ^ Indrapala, K The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sr Lanka, pp. 214–215
  52. ^ de Silva 1997, pp. 46, 48, 75
  53. ^ Mendis, G.C. Ceylon Today and Yesterday, pp. 30–31
  54. ^ Smith, V.A. The Oxford History of India, p. 224
  55. ^ de Silva 1997, p. 76
  56. ^ de Silva 1997, pp. 100–102
  57. ^ de Silva 1997, pp. 102–104
  58. ^ de Silva 1997, p. 104
  59. ^ Knox, Robert (1681), An Historical Relation of the Island CeylonLondon: Robert Chiswell, p. 166, ISBN 1406911410, 2596825
  60. ^ Upon arrival in June 1799, Sir Hugh Cleghorn, the island’s first British colonial secretary wrote to the British government of the traits and antiquity of the Tamil nation on the island in the Cleghorn Minute: “Two different nations from a very ancient period have divided between them the possession of the island. First the Sinhalese, inhabiting the interior in its Southern and Western parts, and secondly the Malabars [another name for Tamils] who possess the Northern and Eastern districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language, and manners.” McConnell, D., 2008; Ponnambalam, S. 1983
  61. a b de Silva 1997, p. 121
  62. ^ Spencer, Sri Lankan history and roots of conflict, p. 23
  63. ^ Indrapala, K., The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p. 275
  64. ^ Vinoj Kumar, P.C., Tamil Nadu at the Crossroads, http://www.tehelka.com, retrieved 2 December 2006
  65. ^ “Population of Sri Lanka – Srilanka People”. Tourism-srilanka.com. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  66. ^ “Almost 5 million Tamils live outside Tamil Nadu, inside India”. Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  67. ^ de Silva 1997, pp. 177, 181
  68. ^ de Silva 1997, pp. 3–5, 9
  69. a b Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka (PDF), Population by Ethnicity according to District, statistics.gov.lk, retrieved 3 May 2007
  70. ^ V. Suryanarayan (2001), “In search of a new identity”Frontline, retrieved 2 July 2008
  71. a b de Silva 1997, p. 262
  72. ^ Christophe Z Guilmoto (1993), “The Tamil Migration Cycle 1830–1950”, Economic and Political Weekly (Economic and Political Weekly) 28 (3): 111–120, JSTOR 4399307
  73. ^ Tamil diaspora – a trans state nation, Tamilnation.org, retrieved 4 December 2006
  74. ^ McDowell, Chris (1996), A Tamil Asylum Diaspora: Sri Lankan Migration, Settlement and Politics in Switzerland, New York: Berghahn Books, ISBN 1571819177
  75. ^ Foster, Carly (2007). “Tamils: Population in Canada”Ryerson University. Retrieved 2008-06-25. “According to government figures, there are about 200,000 Tamils in Canada”
  76. ^ See Sumathi Ramasamy, Passions of the Tongue, ‘Feminising language: Tamil as Goddess, Mother, Maiden’ Chapter 3.
  77. ^ (Ramaswamy 1998)
  78. ^ Kailasapathy, K. (1979), “The Tamil Purist Movement: A Re-Evaluation”, Social Scientist (Social Scientist) 7 (10): 23–51,doi:10.2307/3516775JSTOR 3516775
  79. ^ See Hart, The Poems of Ancient Tamil: Their Milieu and their Sanskrit Counterparts (1975)
  80. ^ Coomaraswamy, A.K., Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought
  81. ^ “Tanjore – Painting”tanjore.net (Tanjore.net), retrieved 4 December 2006
  82. ^ Nayanthara, S. (2006), The World of Indian murals and paintings, Chillbreeze, ISBN 8190405519 at pp.55–57
  83. ^ “Shilpaic literature of the tamils”V. Ganapathi (INTAMM), retrieved 4 December 2006
  84. ^ Aschwin Lippe (December 1971), “Divine Images in Stone and Bronze: South India, Chola Dynasty (c. 850–1280)”,Metropolitan Museum Journal (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) 4: 29–79, doi:10.2307/1512615JSTOR 1512615, “The bronze icons of Early Chola period are one of India’s greatest contribution to world art…”
  85. ^ Heaven sent: Michael Wood explores the art of the Chola dynasty, Royal Academy, UK, retrieved 26 April 2007
  86. ^ Berkson, Carmel (2000), “II The Life of Form pp29–65”, The Life of Form in Indian Sculpture, Abhinav Publications,ISBN 8170173760
  87. ^ Sivaram 1994
  88. ^ Nijenhuis, Emmie te (1974), Indian Music: History and Structure, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 9004039783 at pp. 4–5
  89. ^ Widdess, D. R. (1979), “The Kudumiyamalai inscription: a source of early Indian music in notation”, in Picken, Laurence,Musica Asiatica2, London: Oxford University Press, pp. 115–150
  90. ^ Leslie, Julia. Roles and rituals for Hindu women, pp.149–152
  91. ^ Sharma, Manorama (2004). Folk India: A Comprehensive Study of Indian Folk Music and Culture, Vol. 11
  92. ^ Tamil Art History, eelavar.com, retrieved 5 December 2006
  93. ^ Striving hard to revive and refine ethnic dance form, Chennai, India: hindu.com, 11 November 2006, retrieved 5 December 2006
  94. ^ “Bhagavata mela”The Hindu, 30 April 2004 (Chennai, India: hindu.com), 30 April 2004, retrieved 5 December 2006
  95. ^ Templeton, Tom (26 November 2006), “The states they’re in”Guardian, 26 November 2006 (London: guardian.com), retrieved 5 December 2006
  96. ^ “Southie actresses who invaded Bollywood!”. Filmysouth.com. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  97. ^ More, J.B.P. (2007), Muslim identity, print culture and the Dravidian factor in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad: Orient Longman,ISBN 8125026320 at p. xv
  98. ^ Jain, Dhanesh (2003), “Sociolinguistics of the Indo-Aryan languages”, in Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh, The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge language family series, London: Routledge, pp. 46–66, ISBN 0700711309 at p. 57.
  99. ^ Total number of Jains in Tamil Nadu was 88,000 in 2001. Directorate of Census Operations – Tamil Nadu, Census, archived from the original on November 30, 2006, retrieved 5 December 2006
  100. ^ Maloney, Clarence (1975), “Religious Beliefs and Social Hierarchy in Tamiḻ Nāḍu, India”, American Ethnologist 2 (1): 169,doi:10.1525/ae.1975.2.1.02a00100 at p. 178
  101. ^ M. Shanmugam Pillai, “Murukan in Cankam Literature: Veriyattu Tribal Worship”First International Conference Seminar on Skanda-Murukan in Chennai, 28–30 December 1998. This article first appeared in the September 1999 issue of The Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies, retrieved 6 December 2006
  102. ^ “Principles and Practice of Hindu Religion”Hindu Heritage Study Program, archived from the original on November 14, 2006, retrieved 5 December 2006
  103. ^ PK Balachandran, “Tracing the Sri Lanka-Kerala link”Hindustan Times, 23 March 2006, archived from the original on December 10, 2006, retrieved 5 December 2006
  104. ^ Dr. R.Ponnus, Sri Vaikunda Swamigal and the Struggle for Social Equality in South India, (Madurai Kamaraj University) Ram Publishers, Page 98
  105. ^ http://www.aulia-e-hind.com/Cities.htm
  106. ^ Information on declaration of holiday on the event of birth anniversary of Vaikundar in The Hindu, The holiday for three Districts: Daily Thanthi, Daily(Tamil), Nagercoil Edition, 5 March 2006
  107. ^ Mark Jarzombek“Horse Shrines in Tamil India: Reflections on Modernity”Future Anterior 4 (1): 18–36
  108. ^ “‘Hero stone’ unearthed”The Hindu, 22 July 2006 (Chennai, India), 22 July 2006, retrieved 5 December 2006
  109. ^ “Redefining secularism”The Hindu, 18 March 2004 (Chennai, India), 18 March 2004, retrieved 5 December 2006
  110. ^ Zarrilli, Phillip B. (1992) “To Heal and/or To Harm: The Vital Spots in Two South Indian Martial Traditions
  111. ^ Raj, David Manuel (1975), Silambam fencing from India (2nd ed.), Palayamkottai: Fatima Printing Press at pp. 54–62
  112. ^ Gautier, François (2001), Google books version of the book A Western Journalist on India: The Ferengi’s Columns by François GautierISBN 9788124107959, retrieved 24 May 2007
  113. ^ Grushkin, Daniel (22 March 2007), “NY Times: The ritual dates back as far as 2,000 years…The New York Times, retrieved 24 May 2007

References

  • Bowers, F. (1956). Theatre in the East – A Survey of Asian Dance and Drama. New York: Grove Press.
  • Casson, L. (1989). The Periplus Maris Erythraei: Text with Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Princeton, Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04060-5.
  • Chaitanya, Krishna (1971). A history of Malayalam literature. New Delhi: Orient Longman. ISBN 81-250-0488-2.
  • Coomaraswamy, A.K. (1946). Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought. London: Luzac & Co.
  • de Silva, Chandra Richard (1997), Sri Lanka — A History (2, illustrated ed.), Vikas Pub. House, ISBN 0951071025
  • Gadgil, M. & Joshi, N.V. & Shambu Prasad, U.V. & Manoharan, S. & Patil, S. (1997). “Peopling of India.” In D. Balasubramanian and N. Appaji Rao (eds.), The Indian Human Heritage, pp. 100–129. Hyderabad: Universities Press. ISBN 81-7371-128-3.
  • Hart, G.L. (1975). The Poems of Ancient Tamil: Their Milieu and their Sanskrit Counterparts. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02672-1.
  • Hart, G.L. (1979). “The Nature of Tamil Devotion.” In M.M. Deshpande and P.E. Hook (eds.), Aryan and Non-Aryan in India, pp. 11–33. Michigan: Ann Arbor. ISBN 0-89148-014-5.
  • Hart, G.L. (1987). “Early Evidence for Caste in South India.” In P. Hockings (ed.), Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in honor of David B. Mandelbaum. Berlin: Mouton Gruyter.
  • Mark Jarzombek“Horse Shrines in Tamil India: Reflections on Modernity”, Future Anterior, (4/1), pp 18–36.
  • Mahadevan, Iravatham (2003). Early Tamil Epigraphy from the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D. Cambridge, Harvard University PressISBN 0-674-01227-5.
  • Parpola, Asko (1974). “On the protohistory of the Indian languages in the light of archaeological, linguistic and religious evidence: An attempt at integration.” In van Lohuizen, J.E. de Leeuw & Ubaghs, J.M.M. (eds.), South Asian Archaeology 1973, pp. 90–100. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  • Parpola, Asko (2003). Deciphering the Indus script (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79566-4.
  • Pillai, Suresh B. (1976). Introduction to the study of temple art. Thanjavur: Equator and Meridian.
  • Ramaswamy, Sumathi (1998). Passions of the Tongue: language devotion in Tamil India 1891–1970. Delhi: Munshiram. ISBN 81-215-0851-7.
  • Sastri, K.S. Ramaswamy (2002). The Tamils: The People, Their History and Culture, Vol. 1: An Introduction to Tamil History and Society. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. ISBN 81-7755-406-9.
  • Sharma, Manorama (2004). Folk India: A Comprehensive Study of Indian Folk Music and Culture, Vol. 11: Tamil Nadu and Kerala. New Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan. ISBN 81-7574-141-4.
  • Sivaram, Rama (1994). Early Chola Art: Origin and Emergence of Style. New Delhi: Navrang. ISBN 81-7013-079-4.
  • Subramanian, T.S. (17 February 2005), ‘Rudimentary Tamil-Brahmi script’ unearthed at Adichanallur, Chennai, India: The Hindu
  • International Tamil Organisation (2011). “Tamil Society Organisation”
  • Suryanarayan, V. (2001), “In search of a new identity”Frontline 18 (16): 2.
  • Swaminatha Iyer, S.S. (1910). A Brief History of the Tamil Country, Part 1: The Cholas. Tanjore: G.S. Maniya.
  • Varadpande, M.L. (1992). Loka Ranga: Panorama of Indian Folk Theatre. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-278-0.
  • Wells, Spencer (2002). The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey. Princeton University Press.
  • Zvebil, K. (1974). The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-03591-5.
  • Indrapala, K (2007). The evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Vijitha Yapa. ISBN 978-955-1266-72-1.
  • Leslie, Julia (June , 1992), Roles and rituals for Hindu women, South Asia Books, ISBN 8120810368.

Population data

All population data has been taken from Ethnologue, with the exception of the data for Sri Lanka, which was taken from the CIA World Factbook‘s Sri Lanka page.

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