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24 June 1927
Sirukoodalpatti, Madras Presidency, British India
(present-day Tamil Nadu, India)
|Died||17 October 1981 (aged 54)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Poet, novelist, lyricist, politician, film producer, literary editor|
|Subject||Poetry and literature|
|Notable works||Arthamulla Indhu Madham|
|Notable awards||National Film Award for Best Lyrics |
Sahitya Academy Award
1980 Cheraman Kadali
(m. 1950–1981; his death); 7 children
(m. 1950–1981; his death); 7 children
(m. 1957–1981; his death); 1 daughter
|Children||Fourteen Children - seven for each of the two wives|
Kannadasan (pronunciation (help·info); 24 June 1927 – 17 October 1981) was an Indian philosopher, poet, film song lyricist, producer, actor, script-writer, editor, philanthropist, and is heralded as one of the greatest and most important lyricists in India. Frequently called Kaviarasu, Kannadasan was most familiar for his song lyrics in Tamil films and contributed around 5000 film lyrics apart from 6000 poems and 232 books, including novels, epics, plays, essays, his most popular being the 10-part religious book on Hinduism, Arthamulla Indhu Matham (Meaningful Hindu Religion). He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Cheraman Kathali in the year 1980 and was the first to receive the National Film Award for Best Lyrics, given in 1969 for the film Kuzhanthaikkaga.
Kannadasan was born to Sathappan and Visalakshi in the year 1927, in Sirukudalpatti, near Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India and was given the birth name Muthiah. He was the eighth child to his parents and had ten siblings. He was adopted by Chigappi Aachi for a sum of INR 7000 at an early age, who brought him up and was responsible for his early stages of school education. He completed his schooling till the 8th standard in Sirukudalpatti and Amaravathipudhur. He worked for a private company in Tiruvottiyur before taking up an editorial post in a Tamil Magazine where for the first time he took up the pseudonym Kannadasan. He died on October 17, 1981.
Muthiaah was a keen follower of the Dravidian atheistic movement. He had great love of Tamil language and its culture, and excelled in Tamil literature, both prose and poetry. He read the Thiruppaavai of Aandaal, and was amazed at its mystic poetry, which had a deep and lasting impact on him. After a lot of introspection, he decided to go back to Hinduism. He renamed himself as Kannadaasan, meaning the servant of Lord Sri Krishna (In Tamil, Kannan means Krishna and in Sanskrit, daasa means servant'. He dug deep into understanding Hinduism, and wrote his series of books on Sanatana Dharma titled Arthamulla Indhu Matham. He was born in the village of Sirukoodalpatti, which is near Karaikudi .
Kannadasan's greatest contribution to Tamil culture is his songwriting. Before Kannadasan, many lyricists like Papanasam Sivan, Kambadasan, Vindhan, A. Maruthakasi, and Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam were sought after in the Tamil music industry, but after the advent of Kannadasan, the scene changed. He quickly became the most sought-after lyricist in the industry and remained so until his death. Kannadasan was so popular that some songs written by other contemporary poets were considered to be written by Kannadhasan. Though, film lyrics have come a long way since his death, many people still consider Kannadasan to be the best songwriter. He is considered to be the greatest modern Tamil poet after Subramanya Bharathi.
He was the producer of the historic Tamil film Sivagangai Seemai portraying Marudhu Pandaiars, one of the pioneers in the Indian freedom struggle "". The song "Santhupottu" from that film remains popular.
- Arthamulla Indhu Matham
- Yesu Kaviyam
- Bagavath geethai
- Sri Krishna Kavasam
- Sri Venkatesa Suprabatham - Andal Thirupaavai
- Ambigai Alagu Dharisanam
- Krishna Anthathi
- Sankara Pokisham
- Cheraman kathali
- Aval oru hindhu pen
- Sivappukal mukkuththi
- Ratha pushpangal
- Avalukakga oru padal
- Swarna saraswathi
- Nadantha kathai
- Suruthi seratha rakangal
- Mupadhu naalum pournami
- Arangamum antharangamum
- Kadal konda thennadu
- Ayiram thivu angkayarkanni
- Kamini kanchana
- Kutti kathaigal
- Oru kavinani kathai
- Velangkudi thiruvila
- Ayiramkal mandapam
- Vilaku matuma sivapu
- Aathanathu aathimanthi
- Athaivida ragasiyam
- Paarimalai kodi
- Oru Nathiyin kathai
- Sembagathaman kathai
- Manampola vaalvu
- Sivakangai seemai
- Santhithen sinthithen
- Oomaiyin Kottai
- Sarasuvin soundarya lagari
- Mutruperatha Kaviyangal
- Sri krishna anthathi
- Ambigai alagu dharisanam
- Paadi kudutha mangalam
- Kannadhasan Kavithaigal Parts 1-7
- Enathu Suyasaritham
- Enathu Vasantha Kaalangal
- Naan Partha Arasiyal
- Aayirathil oruvan
- Mannadhi Mannan
- Thaai Sollai Thattadhe
- Thaayai Kaatha Thanayan
- Karuppu Panam
- Paava Mannippu
- Periya Idathu Penn
- Dharmam Thalai Kaakkum
- Anandha Jodhi
- Needhikkuppin Paasam
- Kudumba Thalaivan
- Kaanchi Thalaivan
- Panakkara Kudumbam
- Palum Pazhamum
- Saraswathi Sabatham
- Pattikada Pattanama
- En Kadamai
- Thanga Pathakkam
- Lakshmi Kalyanam
- Paasa Malar
- Moondram Pirai
- Iruvar Ullam
- Dheerga Sumangali
- Naanum Oru Penn
- Varumayin Niram Sivappu
- Deiva Magan
- Kalathur Kannamma
- Paarthaal Pasi Theerum
- Paadha Kaanikkai
- Annai Velankanni
As actor, writer and producer
|1960||Kavalai Illaadha Manithan||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1964||Karuppu Panam||Yes||Yes||No||as blackmailer|
|1973||Suryagandhi||Yes||No||No||as singer in song "Paramasivan Kazhuthilirundhu"|
|1975||Apoorva Raagangal||Yes||No||No||as himself|
|1979||Velum Mayilum Thunai||Yes||No||No|
Kannadasan was the poet laureate of the Tamil Nadu government at the time of his death. He wrote two notable autobiographies, titled Vanavasam, a book about his past life whilst he was atheist, with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and a sequel, titled Manavasam a book about his life after he had left DMK.
Contribution to Tamil literature
Kannadasan was a prolific writer and his writing covered a variety of forms- poems, novels, lyrics for Tamil films and books on spirituality. His series titled Arthamulla Indhu Matham (Meaningful Hindu Religion) is known for its simplicity in explaining the principles of Hinduism. Many of Kannadasan's poems have been translated into French. He wrote and published several volumes of poetry. He was an admirer of Kambar, and wrote a number of poems praising Kambar's artistry, contrary to the satire ("Kambarasam") on the same by C.N. Annadurai. He also spoke at several of the Kambar festivals. He sang the beauty of Sita's gait and the shoulders of Rama; he spoke of beauty intoxicating and dropped me in a vessel of amrut (nectar)" This is one of Kannadasan's tribute to the poet Kambar.
He wrote a book about the life of Jesus Christ "Yesu Kaaviyam" rendered in a pristine poetical Tamil. It was published at Tiruchirapalli in the year 1981. The function was presided over by the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu M.G. Ramachandran. Yesu Kaaviyam was the last literary work of Kannadasan.
Kannadasan died on 17 October 1981 in Chicago, United States, where he had gone from India to attend a Tamil conference organized by the Tamil Association of Chicago. He was aged 54 at the time of his death. The song "Kanne Kalaimane" from the film 'Moondram Pirai', released a few months later, was his last song.
The Government of Tamil Nadu erected a memorial hall as "Kaviarasar Kannadasan Manimandapam" at Karaikudi. The road adjoining Natesan Park in T. Nagar, Chennai was previously called as Hensman Road is where Kannadasan resided from 1958 and it was renamed "Kannadasan street" in his honour after his demise. It was in this house where 7 Chief Ministers from M. Bhaktavatsalam to J. Jayalalithaa had visited Kannadasan. Kannadhasan once owned 14 cars which were parked on either side of the road in front of house and the last remaining one which was given by K. Kamaraj is still at display in this very house.
- "About Us". Kannadasanpathippagam.com. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Dhananjayan, G. (3 November 2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National and International Recognition. Blue Ocean Publishers.
- "Naattuikottai Chettiar chettiar". naattuikottaichettiar.blogspot.in. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- Nagarathaar Heritage (3 April 2017). "Kannadaasan Biography | Kaviarasu | Sirukoodalpatti". YouTube. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- "Kaviarasar Kannadasan Manimandapam". TN DIPR. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Krishnamachari, Suganthy. "Kannadasan's lyrics held a mirror to life". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "தி.நகரில் கண்ணதாசன் வீடு வாங்கியது எப்படி? அங்காடித் தெருவின் கதை 14" [This is How Kannadasan Bought House - Tale of T Nagar-Episode 14]. Vikatan (in Tamil).