Parithimar Kalaignar

V. G. Suryanarayana Sastri
Born (1870-08-06)August 6, 1870
Vilacheri near Thirupparankundram, Madura District, British India
Died November 2, 1903(1903-11-02) (aged 33)
Madras, British India
Pen name Parithimar Kalaignar, Dravida Sastri
Occupation Tamil pundit
Language Tamil

Parithimar Kalaignar (born V. G. Suryanarayana Sastri at Vilacheri near Thirupparankundram on July 6, 1870[1] – November 2, 1903), a Professor of Tamil at the Madras Christian College, was the first person to campaign for the recognition of Tamil as a classical language.[2][3]


Suryanarayana Sastri was born at Vilacheri near Thirupparankundram in a Brahmin family.[4] He graduated in Tamil and was soon employed as a Professor of Tamil in the Madras Christian College. In 1895, Suryanarayana Sastri rose to become the Head of Department for Tamil at the Madras Christian College.[2]

Campaign for recognition of Tamil as classical language

Suryanarayana Sastri had immense love for Tamil and wrote plenty of books.[3] He even changed his Sanskrit name to its Tamil translation.[5]

When the Madras University proposed to exclude Tamil from its syllabus, Parithimar Kalaignar vehemently protested against the proposal forcing the authorities to drop the move.[2] In 1902, he proposed that Tamil be designated as a "classical language" thereby becoming the first person to make such a petition.[3] Parithimar Kalignar is also known as Dravida Sastri.[6]

Parithimar Kalaignar was also the first to use the Tamil name Kumarinadu for the mythical lost-land of Lemuria.[7]


Paritihimar Kalaignar died in 1903 due to tuberculosis[3] at the age of 33.[6]


Parithimar Kalaignar is regarded as an inspiration for Tamil enthusiasts as Maraimalai Adigal and the Tanittamil Iyakkam.

In 2006, the Government of Tamil Nadu declared Parithimar Kalaignar's house in his native village of Vilacheri as a memorial and sanctioned a sum of rupees 15 lakh towards nationalizing his books.[3][8]

On August 17, 2007, postage stamps were issued in memory of Saint Vallalar, Parithimar Kalaignar and Maraimalai Adigal.[2][9]

On December 13, 2006, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi extended an amount of Rs. 15 lakh to the Tamil scholar's descendants.[10]

See also


  1. "PARITHIMAR KALAIGNAR NINAIVU ILLAM". Information and Public Relations Department, Tamil Nadu, India. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Contributions of personalities to Tamil enrichment recalled". The Hindu: Tamil Nadu. August 18, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Saravanan, T. (September 11, 2006). "Suryanarayana Sastri's house to be converted into a memorial". The Hindu: Tamil Nadu. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  4. M. Karunanidhi (2006–2007). "TAMIL DEVELOPMENT - CULTURE AND RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS DEPARTMENT, POLICY NOTE 2006 - 2007, Demand No. 46" (PDF). Tamil Nadu Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  5. Sastri, K. S. Ramaswami (1967). The Tamils and Their Culture. Chennai: Annamalai University. p. 47. ISBN 81-7755-405-0.
  6. 1 2 "Parithimar Kalaignar' memorial opened". The Hindu: Tamil Nadu. November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  7. Ramaswamy, Sumathi (2005). Fabulous Geographies Catastropic Histories: The Lost Land of Lemuria. Orient Longman. p. 104. ISBN 978-81-7824-110-4.
  8. "Budget Speech 2007-2008". Government of Tamil Nadu. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  9. Madhukar Jhingan, Savita Jhingan (2007). "The News, Views, & Features on Philately & Postal Services of India" (PDF). Stamps of India Collectors Companion (303): 2.
  10. "பரிதிமாற் கலைஞர் வாரிசுகளுக்கு ரூ15 லட்சம் (CM extends help to Parithimar Kalaignar's family)". Greynium Informnation Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (in Tamil). December 14, 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
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