Best remembered as Kappalottiya Tamilan for launching the first swadeshi shipping company, freedom fighter V.O. Chidambaram was also an accomplished Tamil scholar and writer.

Popularly known as VOC, he wrote commentaries on the Tirukkural, Sivagnanabotham and other works, besides translating four books of James Allen into Tamil.

While his other works are in print, his biography of Bal Gangadhar Tilak serialised in the Sunday editions of the Sri Lanka-based Tamil Daily, Veerakesari is being brought out for the first time as a book, thanks to the efforts of Ma.Ra. Arasu, former Tamil professor of Pachaiyappa's College.

Titled ‘Tilaka Mahirishi', the book contains 17 pieces written between May 1933 and June 1934.

VOC's respect

The articles reflect VOC's respect and admiration for his political guru and provide a contemporary's perspective on Tilak's life and his evolution as a political leader.

Mr. Arasu, who had worked on VOC's Tamil works for his Phd., managed to obtain the materials after a long search.

Missing articles

Sri Lankan photographer Devamani Raphael brought him the first set of newspaper clippings in 1998. He brought another set in 2000, Mr. Arasu says.

“Still we are not able to get the whole set. Even in the book there are gaps in the narrative where the missing articles should be,” says Mr. Arasu.

The book will be formally released on Wednesday by senior CPI leader R. Nallakannu.