Tamil writer and literary critic, who encouraged generations of writers, T. G. Sivasankaran, popularly known as Ti. Ka. Si in the literary world, died on Tuesday night at Tirunelveli, his home town.
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi award, Ti. Ka.Si would have turned 90 years on March 30. He is survived by three daughters and three sons, including writer Vannadasan.
A member of the undivided Communist party, Ti. Ka. Si edited Thamarai, the literary magazine of the Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram, launched by late P. Jeevanantham. He was also a member of the editorial board of the Soviet Seithi Thurai (Soviet publications) of the erstwhile USSR for 25 years.
After the split in the Communist movement in 1964, he continued to maintain a good relationship with both the CPI and the CPI (M) and defended the writers wedded to socialist realism.
Writers of all age, who visited Tirunelveli, would always call on Ti. Ka. Si who lived on the Sudalai Madan Koil Street.
“He gave an identity to the literary movement associated with the Left parties. No one could match him when it comes to encouraging young writers. He would read every literary work published in Tamil and made it a point to write to the author,” said writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Su. Venkatesan.
Mr. Venkatesan said Ti. Ka. Si had read word by word his voluminous Sahitya Akademi award winning novel Kaaval Kottam and spoke at length at a meeting in Tirunelveli. “Two years ago when we organised the State conference of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes’ Association in Virudhunagar, he insisted that he should attend it despite his old age. The setback caused to Communism in Eastern European countries and the USSR had not killed his spirit and he never turned a pessimist,” said Mr. Venkatesan.
Film director and writer Suka said Ti. Ka. Si would judge the capability of a writer by reading his very first work. “He could spot the brilliance, if any, and will write to the author. He will point out the shortcomings without hurting the young writer. He would never indulge in lip service. The words would come from the bottom of his heart,” said Mr. Suka.