Son of the Soil

Maraimalai Adigal

Maraimalai Marail Malai Adigal Adikal was born on 15 July 1876 at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. He studied Tamil under Ve. Narayanasamy Pillai. He had his schooling in the Wesleyan Christian High School. He enjoyed the friendship of Sundaram Pillai, author of Manonmaniyam. He settled in Madras thanks to the efforts of Sandamarutam Somasundara Nayakar. He joined the Madras Christian College as a Tamil teacher. He founded the Saiva Siddhanta Maha Samajam. He edited ‘Gnanasagaram’ in which appeared Kokilambal’s letters, and Kumudavalli. He edited the English journal, ‘Oriental Mystic Myna.’ He was a research scholar proficient in Tamil, Sanskrit and English. He translated Kalidasa’s Sakuntalai into Tamil. He advocated purism in Tamil and changed his very name ‘Vedachalam’ into ‘Maraimalai Adikal’. He later renounced family life. Contrary to practice, he began writing a commentary on the Thiruvasagam. His famous research work is Manikkavacakarin varalarum kalamum. He passed away on 15 September 1950.

His original name was Vethachalam. He was one of the earliest proponents of the pure Thamizh movement which stood against the Sanskritization of pure Thamizh words. Because the name, VEthachalam was Sanskrit, he changed his name to the pure Thamizh equivalent, MaRaimalai. In his literary works also he used pure Thamizh words. He was proficient in Sanskrit and English and was influenced by the style of English authors. He is well remembered for his excellence in writing in prose. He was one of the earliest Thamizh authors who showed interest in research especially in the field of literary policy. Like his contemporaries he was a staunch Saivaite but had a social reforming motif.

S R Ranganathan

Siyazhi S R RanaganathanRamamirtha Ranganathan, A Scholor from Sirkazhi is known to have democratised access to knowledge by postulating five laws of library science and the colon system of classification’ followed by libraries throughout the country.

His birth anniversary on August 12 is observed as the library day throughout the country.Ranganathan, born on 9 August 1892, came from a moderate background in British-ruled India. He was born in the small town of Shiyali (now known as Sirkazhi), in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India.

Ranganathan began his professional life as a mathematician; he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in mathematics from Madras Christian College in his home province, and then went on to earn a teaching license. His lifelong goal was to teach mathematics, and he was successively a member of the mathematics faculties at universities in Mangalore, Coimbatore and Madras (all within the span of five years). As a mathematics professor, he published a handful of papers, mostly on the history of mathematics and his career as an educator was somewhat hindered by a handicap of stammering (a difficulty Ranganathan gradually overcame in his professional life). The Government of India awarded to Dr. S.R. Ranganathan for valuable contributions to Library Science.