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"Vallikannan, a rare phenomenon"

Special Correspondent

Demise of noted Tamil writer condoled

TIRUCHI: Lovers of Tamil literature and people from other walks of life have condoled the demise of noted Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee, Vallikannan, and said he was a beacon light of Tamil literature and a role model for young writers.

The convener of the Sahitya Akademi Tamil Section and its Executive Board member, R. Balachandran Bala, said that Vallikannan was a writer of rare talent of Gandhian era, but was quite accommodative and receptive to new movements and trends in the world of letters. He remained a writer by profession. Dr. Bala said the writer launched himself as a short story writer during Manikodi-era and published `new poetry' when the new genre arrived in Tamil Nadu.

However, his book on criticism fetched him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award in the 1970s. "In Tamil literary world, he is a rare phenomenon." His welcome lines and encouraging notes to creations of young writers always enabled them to gain the much-needed confidence. Vallikannan nurtured many writers of modern days with his positive notes by way of letter and introduction, Dr. Bala added.

The president of the Tiruchi District Progressive Writers' Association, Nandalala, said that the main strength of Vallikannan was: he did not identify himself to any group. He recognised the writings of all ages and encouraged them without any prejudice.

Even before the people could get an idea of the modern poetry, he identified its tremendous potential and played a major role in popularising it through his book, `Origin and Development of Modern Poetry'. Mr. Nandalala regretted that the State Government had not paid homage in a fitting manner to such a great writer.

The president of the Pudukottai district unit of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers' Association, Thangam Moorthy, said that against all odds, Vallikannan continued to earn only through his writings. Both literary as well as popular magazines took pride in publishing his works.

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