Renowned Tamil writer Ki Rajanarayanan dies at 98

Chief Minister MK Stalin paid rich tribute and offered his condolences to the kin and readers of KiRa. "His fame will live in our hearts till the time of this land and the Karisal literature," Stalin said in a statement.

Veteran Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Ki Rajanarayanan popularly known as Ki Ra, passed away at Puducherry on Monday due to age related illness. He was 98.

Ki Ra was born in Idaiseval village near Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu in 1923. He dropped out of school after the seventh standard. He moved to Puducherry after being appointed as a professor of folklore at Puducherry university in the 1980s.

His first short story ‘Maayaman’ was published in 1958 and was an instant hit among the readers. Since then, Ki Ra had an expansive literary career. He was widely recognised for the depiction of the people and culture of ‘Karisal bhoomi’– the hot and dry land of southern Tamil Nadu.

Known as the pioneer of ‘Karisal Literature’, Ki Ra won the Sakitya Akademi award in 1991 for his novel ‘Gopallapurathu Makkal’.

He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores and essays. He has published over 30 books, his short story ‘Kidai’ was made into a Tamil film Orutthi in 2003 and was screened at the International Film Festival of India.

Chief Minister MK Stalin paid rich tribute and offered his condolences to the kin and readers of KiRa. “His fame will live in our hearts till the time of this land and the Karisal literature,” Stalin said in a statement.

He added that the writer will be laid to rest with full state honours.

Several politicians, writers and literary enthusiasts including AIADMK joint coordinator K Palaniswami, PMK founder Ramadoss, MDMK supremo MP Vaiko condoled the death of one of the icons of Tamil Literature.

Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan visited the writer’s residence and paid her last respects to him. Later, she told reporters that a representation was made by Tamil writers that the house where Ki Ra lived be converted into a memorial library. “This request would be considered,” she said.

(With inputs from PTI)

 

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