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Updated: March 11, 2014 13:05 IST

Book on revolutionary poet Vanidasan released in Puducherry

Kavita Kishore
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Anthology of Vanidasan Poems by Maharandan released by the Sahitya Akademi to commemorate Vanidasan's birth centenary, in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou
The Hindu Anthology of Vanidasan Poems by Maharandan released by the Sahitya Akademi to commemorate Vanidasan's birth centenary, in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Vanidasan has published over 17 collections of poetry, including several novels in poetry form

Although most people have heard the name Vanidasan, especially in Puducherry, not many people are familiar with his work. Others only know him as a revolutionary who followed the movement of E.V. R. Periyar, founder of the Dravidar Kazhagam .

Now, on the occasion of Vanidasan’s birth centenary, the Sahitya Akademi has released an anthology of his works that showcase his poetry.

The book is compiled by former general council member of the Sahitya Akademi I. Ganapathy alias Maharandan.

“Vanidasan was born as Rangasamy in Seliyamedu in Villianur. He started writing under the pen name ‘Ra-Mi’ and brought out a poem on Subramania Bharathiar. It was then that an editor of a magazine asked him to consider changing his name to Vanidasan and that name stuck,” he said.

In the literary circles, rather than being known as a revolutionary, Vanidasan is recognised for his poems on nature.

Vanidasan has published over 17 collections of poetry, including several novels in poetry form.

“The reason Vanidasan’s writing is so important is that he brings out modern ideas in traditional poetry form. He started writing at a time when poetry was transforming from the traditional to the modern, and he stuck to the traditional rules of poetry,” Mr. Ganapathy added.

Although he started out writing on nature and love, his poems took a turn under the influence of another Puducherry-based poet, Bharathidasan.

It was through him that Vanidasan entered Periyar’s movement and later went on to join C.N. Annadurai, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, as well.

Political ideology

His poetry then began to reflect his political ideology, he said.

The Tamil Nadu government awarded him the title ‘Paavendar’ and he also received the Chevalier from the French Government for his works.

Mr. Ganapathy, the compiler of the book, is the founder of Vallinam Publications and now works in the Department of Information and Publicity.

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