A. S. Gnanasambandan

A. S. Gnanasambandan
Born Arasankudi Saravana Gnanasambandan
10 November 1916
Arasankudi, Tiruchirapalli district, Tamilnadu
Died August 27, 2002(2002-08-27) (aged 85)
Nationality Indian
Occupation Writer, Scriptwriter

A. S. Gnanasambandan (Tamil: அ. ச. ஞானசம்பந்தன்; 10 November 1916 – 27 August 2002), was a Tamil writer, scholar and literary critic from Tamil Nadu, India. He is also known by his Tamil initials as Aa. Sa. Gna.


Gnanasambandan was born in Arasankudi near Kallanai in Tiruchirapalli district. His parents were Aa. Mu. Saravana Mudaliar and Sivakami. His father was a noted Tamil scholar, who had co-authored a commentary on Thiruvilayadal Puranam, a Saivite devotional epic. Gnanasambandan finished his schooling at Board High School, Lalgudi and signed up for intermediate classes in Physics at Annamalai University.

His Tamil knowledge was noticed by the Tamil scholar Somasundara Bharathi, who was a professor of Tamil at the university. He convinced Gnanasambandan to switch his major to Tamil. During his time at Annamalai University, he befriended noted scholars like V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Thiru. Vi. Ka and The. Po. Meenakshi Sundaram. He graduated with a masters in Tamil and joined Pachaiyappa's College as a lecturer of Tamil in 1942, where he worked till 1956.

Writing career

A. S. Gnanasambandan's first noted book Ravanan, Maatchiyum Veezhchiyum was published in 1945. This book along with Kamban Kalai (1950) and Thambiyar Iruvar (1961) cemented his reputation as a scholar of Kambaramayanam. After leaving Pachaiyappa's he served as the production-in-charge of dramas in the Madras office of All India Radio during 1956–61. In 1959, he became the secretary of the Bureau of Tamil Publications. He was the head of the Tamil Nadu Text Book Society during 1969–72. In 1970, he returned to teaching and became the head of the Tamil department at Madurai Kamaraj University. He retired from the university in 1973 but later returned to become the Tagore Emeritus professor of Tamil. He spent his later years at Chennai and was involved in literary research. Gnanasamban is most noted as a saivite scholar, preparer of Tamil textbooks and lecturer on Tamil literature. His published works include 35 research books, 3 translations, a large number of textbooks and essays. 1985, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for his literary criticism - Kamban: Putiya Parvai (lit. Kamban - A fresh view).[1][2][3][4][5]

Awards and recognitions

Partial bibliography


  1. "Tamil Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955-2007". Sahitya Akademi Official website. Archived from the original on Jan 24, 2012.
  2. "அறிவுப் புதையல் அ.ச.ஞா!". Dina Mani (in Tamil). Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  3. "A man of many parts". Chennai Online. 2001. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  4. Datta, Amaresh (2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume Two) (Devraj To Jyoti), Volume 2. Sahitya Akademi. p. 1428. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0.
  5. An Album of Indian writers: issued on the occasion of Frankfurt World Book Fair. Sahitya Akademi. 1986. p. 173.
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