Aringnar Anna had left his imprint on Tamil soil and history. No one disputed the claim of Kalaignar M.Karunanithi to be the descendent of the legacy of Aringnar Anna. But with deep anguish I have to place on record that Kalaignar M.Karunanithi, the ruler of Tamilnadu had not done justice to his mentor. Dravida Peravai wrote to him in 2005 urging him to emulate the example of Maharastra Government by publishing Collected Works of Aringnar Anna in all Indian languages. I wrote when in newspapers I read about Tamilnadu Government nationalization of Panmozhip Pulavar K.Appathuraiyar. I as student leader had spoken on same platform in Nehru Girls High School of Chrompet near Chennai in 1969, when the Chengelput Student DMK Secretary Jagathratchakan had organized that meet. It is to be borne in mind that Appathuraiyar’s writings played highlighting Tamil culture and history thereby strengthening the roots of Dravidian Movement. Further Appathuraiyar is a product of DMK. Yet only nationalizing the works of Tamil scholars, offering assistances to their family thereby earning praises in return alone was practiced, sorry to say by my forever leader Kalaignar. Leaving the sharks in publishing industry to publish scholarly works will not yield revenue for the publishers who will keep the price high enough only to sell to libraries and never the common man, or to quote Anna in Tamil, the samaniyan for whose sake this Dravidian Movement came to redeem from ignorance and illuminate his brain, will not be able to buy at market prices. Hence Dravida Peravai while stressing the need to publish Aringnar Anna’s Collected Works also urged Tamilnadu Government to publish at Government cost all works of all scholars whose works Tamilnadu Government had nationalized or is going to be nationalized.
Dravida Peravai urged that Murasoli Maran’s Maanila Suyatchi [State Autonomy] book be nationalized and published by Government of Tamilnadu. This appeal appeared in Tamil dailies like Dinamani and Dinakaran in 2005. Thereafter umpteen number of occasions I had stressed this, the last one being the Ahamadabad DMK organized Anna Centenary Conclusion Function on January 26 th of 2010, where I was chief guest.
Last year Marumalarchi DMK Publications Secretary A.Vanthiyathevan wanted to bring out all Parliamentary Speeches of Anna in English. We know that Mr.Panruti S.Ramachandran, current Chairman of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam had published in English a book Anna Speaks. But that was incomplete.Hence we both were talking and talking for over a year to compile all English writings and speeches of Anna to bring out the Collected English works of Anna.
Recently Industrialist Gem Granites Veeramani wrote a nice article in center page of Dinamani. Reacting to it, I wrote a letter to him and my other close friend Chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology Mr.G.Viswanathan on the need to publish all works of all Dravidian leaders including Navalar, N.V.Natarajan, AVP.Asaithambi, Professor Kandappan, K.A.Mathialagan, K.Rajaram , Rama Arangannal, SS Thennarsu, CP Citrarasu, Kanchi Kalyanasundaram etc and not leaving anyone, collecting whatever is available. If I had money I would not have made appeals. Under Aringnar Anna Foundation headed by me I would have done it. DMK grew by educating Tamils through numerous magazines and every writer who had sown the seeds for this movement should be remembered not by way of statues but by way of their writings reaching Tamils. When DMK did not have an office, it is Nadipisai Pulavar K.R.Ramasamy who through his drams collected funds to buy the first DMK office Arivagam at Royapuram of Chennai. Now that DMK is on the right track to build party offices in Districts, the sychophancy-gunia , a new desease like chickengunia caught DMK leaders who started naming all offices after Kalaignar. Kalaignar who knew the pulse of the people recently had offered course correction at Villupuram, when he announced that in Districts the DMK offices will be named after DMK stalwarts who laid the foundation for the party. We hope in Madurai, Madurai S.Muthu Arivagam will be set up. In Tanjore Mannai V.Narayanasamy Arivagam be built. In Cuddalore Ira.Ilamvazhuthi Arivagam will come up. Let us hope these and more wonders will happen.
Having said all these I am now to justify that KOSOVO KANNAN had beaten KALAIGNAR in the race to win the Cup for Upholding Anna’s legacy. With immense delight and joy beyond bounds I read THE TIMES OF INDIA story by Shalini Umachandran who wrote “TAKING ANNA TO ENGLISH AUDIENCE “. She said that R.Kannan’s biography of C.N.Annadurai tells the story of the man who transformed the social and political landscape of Tamilnadu. Who is this Kannan? Anna’s followers know him through his writings. He works in the United Nation Mission in Kosovo. That is why the title of this blog speaks of KOSOVO KANNAN versus KALAIGNAR in the contest to prove who had done what to uphold Anna’s legacy.
Let me quote what Shalini Umachandran of Times of India wrote:
Being in the political office of the UN Mission in Kosovo involves writing a number of detailed often in consequential reports. So Kannan decided to do something to engage himself in free time-write books on C.N.Annadurai, former Tamilnadu Chief Minister and founder of DMK.“There are no biographies in English of South Indian leaders with the exception of Rajaji, and that was written by his grandson Rajmohan Gandhi. Periyar, Kamaraj, Anna, PT Thiyagarayar….. there are roads [ shalini, sorry I cut the caste suffix, because even my street name is caste name but I had made it sound like that wise-all street…. No caste please ] named after these heroes of the Dravidian Movement but no decent biographies of them in English says the 48 year old who was born in Chennai and practiced law here before joining UN. [DMK has its Shashi Taroor to send to Loksabha and Union Cabinet but that will happen when extempore orators like Nanjil K.Manoharan get party tickets, otherwise like Dr Maithreyan of Anna DMK, sorry Amma DMK who dutifully read DMK too will choose men of such ilk]
His new book ANNA: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF C.N.ANNADURAI to be released on March 19 is aimed at bringing Anna into English for the non-Tamil audience. He adds that there are number of young people who speak but are unable to read or write Tamil. “And that means they have no clue who this man was who created a feeling of Tamil unity.” Says Kannan, in the city for the launch of his book. “Anna is ritually invoked but largely forgotten” adds Kannan, whose biography blends scathing criticism with generous praise to tell the story of the man who transformed the social and political landscape of Tamilnadu.
“Every community with a separate linguistic, cultural or ethnic identity is jostling for space in India. It is like a mother with many children, there is always a scramble to feed them all together. In this race for attention, Anna introduced a sense of Tamil cultural identity which was not emphasized before” he says .The DMK which Anna founded after he broke away from Periyar appealed to the fringe elements.
“The Dravidian movement brought to fore the pedestrian, the labourer, the slum dweller, and the people who never had a political voice. But the question we need to ask is: having brought them to forefront, has there been a real improvement, so did the movement serve its cause? Kannan says.Though he is quite critical, his admiration for the Dravidian Movement, though not Dravidanadu is evident. “As a student, I heard Karunanithi and MGR speak. They had a way of captivating the masses. My father introduced me to the writings and speeches of Anna. I handle Tamil and English well and in 2004-05 did a serious of articles on Anna for a newspaper which gave me the idea of doing an entire book” he explains.
Kannan drew on Anna’s speeches, writings and articles, as well as memoirs of his disciples and associates like Karunanithi, MGR, Arangannal and Navalar Nedunchezhian. “A lot of material I used is being translated into English for the first time, says Kannan, who also introduces readers to Periyar, Karunanithi, MGR, and a whole cast of characters.‘Whether in professional or personal life, it is the person who has good language skills and presents the ideas well who succeeds…… and Anna is a classic case of this” he says. ““He was a simple man who reached huge heights. It is not clear whether he is failing or the failing of others that not a single one of his disciples has been able to emulate his simplicity and humility’ says Kannan, who hopes to write books on Periyar and the history of Dravidian movement in the future. He also plans to return to India in five years and dedicate himself to public life as he believes politics needs more people who just speak the truth and are not in it as career.
THANKS FOR TIMES OF INDIA: BUT FOR ME TO THANK TAMILNADU CHIEF MINISTER KALAIGNAR M.KARUNANITHI the following steps are needed.
1. Collected Works of Anna must be published in Tamil, English and Hindi and spread throughout India, just as Maharastra Government did with regard to Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar.
2. Mr.R.Kannan’s book: ANNA: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF C.N.ANADURAI must be bought in thousands by Tamilnadu Government and distributed to all major libraries of India. No cut outs for R.Kannan, no shawls for R.Kannan, let the practice of installing statues and memorials give way to publishing and popularizing the works of Anna and other Dravidian leaders begin as befitting tribute to Mr.R.Kannan.
3. The MGR Government entrusted the work to writing a book on Periyar to a team lead by famous educationist Mr.N.D.Sundaravadivelu, who after 7 years of labour gave manuscript which MGR gave to one educationist of self financing college along with money to publish it. But it went missing. Like tracing Nithyananda CD’s the CBCID police must trace and manuscript, redeem it and publish. My friend Editor Mr Rao of Suryakathir had allowed me to write on Nethaji, wherein I wrote that Pandit Nehru entrusted the work of writing the history of INA to Mr Radha Vonod Pal and that manuscript must be unearthed by CBI so as to see the light. As alliance partner DMK leader Kalaignar M.Karunanithi had to persuade Centre to publish the history of INA.
4. Having said I have a feeling that Kalaignar will be unhappy with my open expression. I would like to recall my recent Ahamadabad speech where I said DMK is like BJP and my party DP is like RSS, which I further elaborated and said DMK is my religion and DP my party. In the same meeting I spoke of those days when in Malaysia, Singapore and Ceylon DMK existed. I am reproducing a photograph of Anna in Malaysia where he said DMK’s meetings are like evening colleges to educate masses. This photo is from National Archives of Singapore. I popularized it in net. Tamil Sunday Indian Editor Asokan gave me lot of photographs of Anna which are in my orkut site. Why not Government of Tamilnadu launch Anna Archives on line? The Jharkand Governor M.O.H.Farook Maricar during his recent visit went to Thirunallar temple. Over cell phone I commented to his friend AST Ansari Babu that Farook went as Maraicar to Jharkand and came back to Karaikal as Iyyengar. When this comment was passed on to His Excellency M.O.H.Farook, he had said “by making such comments only Nandhivarman who could have scaled heights politically is in the lowest strata. I have no regrets. Kalaignar knows me and my comments he will take it sportively. Over my catacomb if it is written herein remains one staunch disciple of Anna that is enough as credit to my life.
N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai 53 B Calve Subburayar Street Puducherry 605001