'Kalki' Krishnamurthy was a multi-faceted personality and could aptly be described as a "renaissance man" for his progressive ideas, Cleveland–based businessman and patron of arts V.V. Sundaram observed here on Friday.

Speaking at the 112th birthday celebrations of the illustrious writer and freedom fighter, organised by the Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial Trust at the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Mr. Sundaram recalled how Krishnamurthy refused to swerve from his principles.

He was an art critic, novelist, dramatist, scriptwriter for movies, and above all, one who twice courted incarceration in his quest for the freedom of the motherland. His was a style which could attract even the common man.

“Whatever he wrote, he had historical evidence to support it. Even his magnum opus ‘Ponniyin Selvan' had characters whose names are found in the inscriptions of the Thanjavur temple.”

Referring to the period in which Krishnamurthi was at his peak (1930-50), he said it was virtually a period of a “revolution of sorts” in the State's history. Then he had the courage and conviction to harbour revolutionary thoughts encouraging ideas like widow remarriage, women's emancipation and freedom from bondage despite stout opposition. His ‘Thyagabhoomi' spoke of women's emancipation and ‘Alai osai' the thirst for freedom. Later, Mr. Sundaram handed over the Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial Awards to Saketharaman, a budding Carnatic vocalist, and Nagai Sriram, a violinist.

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012