AR Venkatachalapathy on Sunda’s Biography of Kalki Krishnamurthy

AR Venkatachalapathy on Sunda's Biography of Kalki KrishnamurthyIntroduction of Professor AR Venkatachalapathy by Gowri Ramnarayan

Today, there is a great, I would say, indispensable need for fearless voices in the world of writing & literature. We need the critical voices of writers & public intellectuals – raised in support, defense & dissent.

In recent times, one such voice which has not only been raised but heard, belongs to Professor AR Venkatachalapathy. He teaches at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, and has held research assignments in Paris, London, Cambridge & Harvard.

ARV is one of those rare beings – a bilingual historian, writer, and speaker. He has been able to speak with a recognizable authenticity about the politics, personalities, social issues, and cultural history of the Tamil realm – in English

His books in English have served the same cause. Random examples would be his Tamil Characters: Personalities, Politics, Culture, for its portraits of the Dravida leaders – Periyar, CN Annadurai, and Karunanidhi in particular. And In Those Days There Was No Coffee, for its animadversions on the politics of language & identity.

Today, ARV will speak to us about Ponniyin Pudalvar – Sunda-MRM Sundaram’s biography of Kalki Krishnamurthy. This is the book I have been living with – day in and day out – for the past 12 months. Before that, this was the 1000 page book that I relentlessly read aloud to my siblings for 4 months.

No, I will not speak about Sunda except to say that I salute him for his rigorous research, uncompromising fact-checking, objective vision, and density of thought.

Because it is ARV who is going to take us through Sunda’s monumental achievement.
It is with keen interest and eagerness that I invite ARV to share his thoughts on the subject.