Tamil Characters: Personalities, Politics, Culture
Tamil's human characters, her literary forms, and cultural figures come to vivid life in this first-of-its-kind work. Venkatachalapathy gives us the inner life of a language of amazing vitality - ageless, pauseless and relentless in its quest for self-expression' GOPALKRISHNA GANDHI
‘Venkatachalapathy is India’s most critical, contemporary Tamil voice. Through this loom of essays he weaves us into the warp and weft of the Tamil cultural fabric’ T. M. KRISHNA
‘As a student of Tamil history, culture and politics, A. R. Venkatachalapathy has no master. Deeply researched and lucidly written, this book is the perfect introduction to the oeuvre and ideas of an outstanding historian and public intellectual of our times’ SRINATH RAGHAVAN
Tamilnadu’s politics and culture befuddle outside observers. Ruled for half a century by two regional parties - DMK and AIADMK - its politics has been marked by language pride, non-Brahmin movement, caste-based reservation, regionalism, welfare populism, and cinema. Despite the negative coverage it tends to get from outside, Tamilnadu is a developed state scoring high on all human development indicators.
In Tamil Characters, noted historian A. R. Venkatachalapathy provides a ringside view of contemporary Tamilnadu beginning with an assessment of political figures such as Periyar and Anna, Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, and significant poets, writers and thinkers including Subramania Bharati and Iyotheethos Pandithar. The final section discusses contentious issues such as language politics, prohibition, jallikattu and Dalit rights.
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