Pulavar Aadhi alias Rasiannan, a septuagenarian Tamil scholar and poet, will be forever grateful to his mother and the buffaloes, she reared at home. Because, it was his dedicated mother Karuppaathal, who got him educated into a Tamil Pulavar, spending the hard- earned money by selling the buffalo’s milk at her native village Karukanpalayam near Somanur.
“My father, who was a staunch believer in astrology, made me discontinue school after class V and put me to graze sheep for three years after an astrologer told him that I would never be good at studies” recalls Pulavar Aadhi, an author of numerous books and retired Tamil teacher.
In contrast to the present context, where most students aspire to study Medicine and Engineering, Rasiannan studied Tamil after great economic struggles both at school and college. With a quest for studying Tamil, Aadhi wrote a letter to A. Chidhamparanatha Chettiar, who was then a Tamil professor in Annamalai University, requesting him on how to go about the entrance test for Tamil Pulavar course.
“Understanding my flair for studies, Chettiar not only wrote me a reply, but also sent me the necessary books for the entrance test. Moreover, when I later went to the University for writing the test, he arranged me even food and accommodation at the hostel” avers Aadhi.
With his passion for poetry, Aadhi versified the life history of Thavathiru Santhalinga Adigalar, a 17th century Tamil scholar and Shaivite saint, who founded the Perur Mutt. He also performed it through a Villupaattu while he was a student of Tamil Vidhwan course in the Perur Tamil College.
“However, later I became a rationalist after reading magazines like C N Annadurai’s Dravidanadu, Nedunchezhian’s Mandram, M. Karunanidhi’s Murasoli and Mathiazhagan’s Thennagam. When Kaviarasu Kannadasan was in DMK, I also wrote poetry in Thendral, a magazine edited by him” says Aadhi.
But, when Aadhi got the friendship of noted communist leader and Tamil scholar Jeevanandham, he read books like Saminatha Sharma’s Biography of Karl Marx, Maxim Gorky’s Mother and many other progressive literatures and became a Marxist.
As a socialist activist and writer, when Aadhi wrote poetry and articles expressing his support for Communism in China, he was jailed in 1969 and many of his writings were seized by the police.
With his love for dialectics, Aadhi penned Thamizhil Iyangiyal -Oru Paarvai, a book discussing the logic behind the structure of social life of ancient Tamils, depicted in Tholkaappiyam, a very old Tamil treatise. He also penned Keezhaikaattru a book of Tamil poems and wrote commentaries on Thirukural.
“I could have penned many more books, had the police not seized several of my poems and articles” observes Aadhi.
Link to The New Indian Express: http://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/1138692