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Adithanar awards for Tamil scholar, poet

By Our Staff Reporter



Madras University Vice-Chancellor, S.P. Thiagarajan, presenting the Adhithanar Award to M.R.P. Gurusamy at a function in Chennai on Monday. Looking on from the left are Daily Thanthi director B. Sivanthi Adithan, Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan an d poet Ponmudian. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI, SEPT. 27. The `S.P. Adithanar Senior Tamil Scholar Award,' of Rs. 1.5 lakh was today presented to M.R.P. Gurusamy and the `S.P. Adithanar Literary Prize,' of Rs. 1 lakh was presented to Tamil poet Ponnadiyan for his `Ponnadiyan Kavithaigal,' an anthology of poems.

The Director of Daily Thanthi, B. Sivanthi Adithan made a surprise announcement hiking the prize money at the commencement of the centenary celebrations of S.P. Adithanar, the founder of the newspaper and his father.

"On account of the 100th birth anniversary celebrations the S.P. Adithanar Senior Tamil Scholar Award which was Rs. 1 lakh will henceforth be made Rs. 1.5 lakh and the S.P. Adithanar Literary Prize which was Rs. 50,000 will be made Rs. 1 lakh."

It came as a complete surprise because the invitation for the programme carried the old amounts as prize money.

P.R. Gokulakrishnan, former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, presiding over the evening's programme at the Rani Seethai Hall, said that after the arrival of Daily Thanthi, many Tamils, who did not know Tamil learnt the language to read the newspaper. Recalling S.P. Adithanar's tenure as a barrister in Singapore and his contribution to the Tamil language, as a Minister in the State Government and Speaker in the Assembly, he said that the schools were not working enough to promote Tamil.

Presenting the awards to the recipients, S.P. Thiagarajan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras, said the Government and the media should arrange the conclusion of the centenary celebrations of Adithanar in a grand manner.

Justice T.N. Vallinayagam and Prof. Ramar Elango who judged the best book for the literary award offered their felicitations to the prize winners.

Mr. Gurusamy said in his acceptance speech that it was Adithanar who changed the Anglicised Tamil popular in newspapers to a purer Tamil, which was accessible to rickshaw pullers too.

Mr. Ponnadiyan suggested that the Daily Thanthi group should start a college for journalism and Tamil historical research in the name of Adithanar.

The evening's programme began with a folk dance by the Dindigul Sakthi Kalaikuzhu.

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