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Glimpses of south India, lifestyle and culture

Staff Reporter

Ananda Ranga Pillai tercentenary celebrations held

Photo: T. Singaravelou

Tributes: Vice-Chancellor of Tamil University, Thanjavur, M. Rajendran addressing the valedictory of the tercentenary celebrations of Ananda Ranga Pillai in Puducherry on Thursday. —

PUDUCHERRY: The private diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai gave an insight into the history of south India, lifestyle and culture of the people during his period, the Vice-Chancellor of Tamil University, Thanjavur, M. Rajendran, said.

Speaking on the 18th century work of Ananda Ranga Pillai during the valedictory session of the two-day tercentenary celebrations, which was organised by the Pondicherry University, on Thursday, he observed the diary served as “basic evidence” to the history of the region during his period.

Tracing out various works, which documented the history of the different periods, he said Ananda Ranga Pillai’s diary was first published in 1904 in English.

“The diary, which was written in Tamil, was translated into English. But the original text in Tamil was published only in 1948, after 44 years of the English publication. Till 1963, eight collections of the diary have been published. There was delay in publishing the work,” he stated.

The V-C noted that the English translation had published 70 per cent of the work.

“Even the remaining 30 per cent of the work has not been published in Tamil,” he observed.

He discussed various aspects on why Ananda Ranga Pillai had thought of writing a private diary.

“The diary has been useful in many ways. It has helped to understand and know about ourselves. It showed the situation prevalent in Puducherry in that period,” he opined.

As part of the celebration, a national seminar on “Sri Ananda Ranga Pillai’s Contribution to History and Society” looked at various aspects of Ananda Ranga Pillai and his diary including human rights situation in the 18th century as gleaned by the diary, politics and Tamil society, cultural values during the period, trade and commerce, caste and culture in Puducherry.

Seven departments of the university – Ananda Ranga Pillai Library, Library and Information Science, History, Anthropology, Tamil, French and Centre for Foreign Languages – organised the event. Registrar of the university S. Loganathan spoke on the occasion.

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