சனி, 28 மே, 2016

Professor Kanagaratnam succumbs to accident and heart attack in Jaffna

Professor Kanagaratnam succumbs to accident and heart attack in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 May 2016, 00:11 GMT]
Veteran Eezham Tamil academic, Professor Ramanathar Vaithilingam Kanagaratnam passed away in Jaffna on Tuesday, after meeting with an accident and succumbing to heart attack. He was 70. Professor Kanagaratnam was one of the rare personalities produced by the Eezham Tamil nation, who were silently but rigorously contributing to studies in Saivism, Tamil and folklore. He devoted an entire life and has made a significant mark especially in the study of the genre of the cultural heritage of Eezham Tamils that was responding to European colonialism. Coming from the grassroots, his academic mission was on the memory and awakening of the grassroots culture of Eezham Tamils, and he did that contributing practically to the people in the land when they needed it the most. His funeral is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Jaffna.
Professor R.V. Kanagaratnam
Professor R.V. Kanagaratnam (23 August 1946 - 24 May 2016) [Photo Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sithamparanathan Ramesh]
Professor Kanagaratnam, already suffering from kidney ailment, was riding motorbike alone from Jaffna to Vanni when he met with an accident. Not seriously injured, he was admitted at the Jaffna hospital where he succumbed to heart attack on Tuesday.

Born on 23 August 1946 at Neduntheevu (Delft), the farthest islet off Jaffna, he had his early education in his own islet before coming to Jaffna to study at Muthuthamby School in Thirunelveali (an institution run by Hindu Board Rajaratnam), and at Senkuntha Hindu College in Nalloor, to enter the Colombo University in 1964.

Joining the Kelaniya University in Colombo in 1975, as lecturer teaching Hindu Civilization and Tamil, and later teaching at the Peradeniya University in Kandy, he became professor in 1999.

He was a key person in preparing Saivism textbooks for schools in the island.

Writing and publishing since 1976, Professor Kanagaratnam with a conviction in his mind, has delved into an amazing realm of topics that would not have been recorded and studied otherwise. He had close familiarity with material and personalities of traditional culture.

A list of publications in Tamil reproduced herewith would show the dimensions and cultural-historical importance of the contributions of Prof Kanagaratnam.

He was a person committed to his discipline at his heart and he represented the continuity of a generation that was contributing to the society from indigenous foundations and outlook. A compiled publication of all his papers would be a useful document for future.