1. Gnani (K. Palanisamy, b.1-7-1935) was born in a simple family in a village in Coimbatore district in Tamilnadu. He had his school education in Coimbatore and studied Tamil literature in Annamalai University. He worked as a Tamil teacher for 30 years in a distinguished school in Coimbatore. Though he neither served in a college nor got a Doctorate in Tamil literature, his contacts with renowned Tamil scholars and his self-learning which has continued for more than 50 years, have endowed him with a deeper knowledge of Tamil literature, both ancient and modern. His involvement in Marxism and Tamil has shaped him into a critic of Tamil Literature and contemporary Tamil society. Though he has written more than 25 books in a Marxist perspective, he has always remained aloof from the Party Communists. He is always concerned with Tamil Vitue (Aram) and the Tamil way of thinking. In his view, Tamil Virtue implies equality and socialism. We can easily call Gnani a Tamil Marxist.


2.  Though he had a formal education in Tamil, he was always concerned with the Little Magazine movement in Tamilnadu. He regards highly the service of doyens like C.S. Chellappa, Ka. Naa.Su and N. Pichamoorthy in the rejuvenation of Tamil. Though he has sometimes agreed and often differed with the views of Venkat Swaminathan, Pramil and Sundara Ramaswamy, he has always appreciated them for their service. Gnani has been editing little magazines for more than 40 years. First he edited Puthia Thalaimurai and Vaanampadi. Then with a few friends' help, he ran Marxia Ayvithazh, Parimanam and Nigazh. Lastly, he edited Thamizh Neyam. His work with the Tamil Little Magazines has made his knowledge in modern literary movements extensive.         

new-ap4.JPG

3. Gnani has great reverence for old scholars like Maraimalai Adigal, T.P. Meenakshi sundaram and V.Sp. Manickam. Likewise he appreciates the works of Ka. Naa.Su, N. Picha moorthy, Pramil, Jeyakanthan, Sundara Ramaswamy and lately Jayamohan. Like the ancient literature in Tamil, modern literature also has contributed to the growth of Tamil language. Gnani has proved that modern Tamil Literature is not less in richness or resources than the ancient.                                                                                                                                                                       

4.  The views acquired from the Little Magazines have provided the acumen to Gnani to understand the potential of ancient Tamil literature. Tholkappiyar's Thinai Theory can be used for analysing the whole of Tamil literature. Along with Marxism, modern movements like Periyarism, Dalitism, Feminism, Postmodernism can contribute to the growth of Tamil literature. 


5. Mere scholarship in Tamil or worshipping Tamil shall not make Tamil rich. Indian Government's recognition of Tamil as a Classical language is a good opportunity for Tamil's advancement. It could also be taken as the last chance for the rescue of the Tamil race. It is the Tamil scholars' responsibility to ascertain the larger contribution of the Tamil civilization in shaping the Indian civilization. Exploration in various fields like Tamil Music, Tamil Medicine, Tamil architecture and sculpture, technology, agriculture, mathmatics, science and philosopy is the timely need to do this. Also, we can regain the expertise we had in these fields which were lost during the Medieval period. Continuation of the Indus valley excavation and the study of its hieroglyphics might help a lot to understand the Tamil contribution to Indian culture.

6.         True Tamil scholarship will not prostrate before power, money or fame. During the Sangam period, poets and scholars had the power to advise the kings on the political happenings of their times. Today also poets' service in this direction is needed. The perfidy of the political party leaders to Tamil shall be always despised by the Tamil scholars. Tamil Eelam's liberation was ruined by them. What kind of future we can expect from them, for the freedom of the Tamils living in Tamilnadu?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


_PRI3522 copy2.JPG

7.  Tamil research should not be confined to literature and grammar alone. It should be deeply concerned with the day to day problems of the Tamil people. Love for Tamil cannot be limited to language alone. Tamil way of living, Tamil Aram, the landscape, the water and land resources of Tamilnadu, its industrial growth - everything should be keenly attended to. Everybody involved in such matters should keep in mind the fact that we are the heirs of Valluvar, Ilango, Bharati and Bharatidasan. Verily we have to live by Bharatidasan's dictum, Tamil is our soul.                                                                                                                                                                                                               8. One third of Tamil Literature is concerned with Bhakti. Raw rationalist approaches cannot help the study of Bhakti literature. Knowledge of many fields is a necessity. 

Gnani expressess these views in all his writings which extend to more than 5000 pages in print. His life is in accordance to his views.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

9.  Gnani has never sought fame or greatness. He is always concerned with the tribulations of Tamil. In his writings he speaks about how the hard times came over to Tamil and the Tamil race. For example, the Indian government has accepted globalization, and through that, acknowledged the dominance of the world powers. Tamil Language and the Tamil people face destruction because of this move. We cannot agree with the Tamil politicians who cooperate with the Indian government. We have no future without socialism. In the above criticism, we hear the voices of the noble poets of Sangam in Gnani. 


10.  We can reread Tamil literature with the aim of developing a Tamil philosophy and enhancing our lives. We are still in need of Valluvar, Ilango and Seethalai Sathanar. Mere literary appreciation shall not help solve our problems. We have to find our stength and energy from our literature. Literary studies should go beyond language through society and history to philosophy. We can accept existentialist views which delve into the meaning of life. If we can follow Valluvar's moral principles, Ilango's revolutionary views, Kamban's sensitivity,  the Tamil race shall become everlasting and never fade, as Bharati said. 

11.  Because of his great reverence for the Scholars of Tamil Gnani says that he is only a student of Tamil. He works in congruence with the movements on Natural farming, Green movement, People's rights movements and movements on Tamil Nationalism. In this also, he claims to be a student of Tamil.

12.  Just by glancing over his 25 books, the Little magazines he has authored, and the collections of articles and short stories edited by him, and the collection of his writings published by Kavya we know about Gnani's lifelong achievements. We understand that he is deeply concerned with the improvement of the Tamils, their lives and their history. Though his eyesight has been impaired for more than 20 years, we cannot but appreciate the tasks performed by him in this direction, without rest, only with the help of few assistants and friends.


13. Gnani joined hands with institutions like Ilakkiya Ayvarangu, Tamil kalam, Tamil Ariviyakkam, and lastly Tamil peravai. He has spawned a number of creative writers and Tamil scholars around Coimbatore. Though he himself is not a Doctor of philosophy, he has helped a few people in achieving that honour. He has participated and given monographs, beginning speeches and concluding remarks in many seminars and conferences held by almost all the Universities in Tamilnadu. Though he never went seeking awards, the awards (like Vilakku award) came to him voluntarily. The last award to him was the one given by Tamil Thottam, a forum run by the Eelam Tamilians of Canada in 2009. 

books.JPG