The former Member of Parliament for Nuwara Eliya, Mylvaganam Thilagarajah is also a young literary figure known by his pen name Malliyapoo Santhi Thilagar.
Eighteen years ago, he was one of the enterprising students in the journalism class at Colombo University. As an intelligent politician and a purposeful writer of promoting the activities of what is happening in the central hills (Which the Tamil word Malaiyaham denotes), he has established his identity.
He has a publishing company of his own called Bhagiyaa Printers. During the Covid 19 lockdown period, he spent time reading serious valid books in English relating to his environ and thought it would be productive if he could interpret the essential unknown facts which even most of us do not know, leave alone the educated people from Malayalam.
What he did was to write a book in Tamil, of 110 pages calling it Malaikalai Varaithal. Malaikal means mountains, here it also means the hills in upcountry. Varaithal means drawing or sketching, but here it means writing too. He will launch his book shortly on his birthday that falls on the 29th of this month
What he did was to write a book in Tamil, of 110 pages calling it Malaikalai Varaithal. Malaikal means mountains, here it also means the hills in upcountry. Varaithal means drawing or sketching, but here it means writing too. He will launch his book shortly on his birthday that falls on the 29th of this month.
First, I shall give the names of his sourcebooks, which even serious students of contemporary history and sociology might have not read or hear as general information. There are 20 books in all which an average person cannot read at stretch and then put the ideas in flexible Tamil. It is a stupendous task.
The books in English are:
Time will write a song for you, (Contemporary Tamil Writing from Sri Lanka),
Afro-Asian Poems (Anthology -Vol-1, Part -1)
Tea & Solidarity (Tamil Women & Work in Post War Sri Lanka)
The Indo-Lankans (Their 200-year Saga)- With photograph Illustrations- Part -1& Part-2
Charred Lullabies (Chapter in an Autobiography of Violence)
Endless Inequality (The Right of the Plantation Tamils in Sri Lanka)
Archive of Memory (Reflections on 70 Year of Independence)
Alienated Every Where (As the story on the condition of the Indian origin in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan repatriates in India)
Sri Lankan Repatriates in Tamil Nadu (Rehabilitation and Integration)
The Epic of Tea (Politics in the Plantations of Sri Lanka)
Analysis of Ages of Lives on Earth and Dravidian Culture (Shakthi Baliah’s research from Ravana till upcountry)
Social Development and Poverty in the Plantation in Sri Lanka)
Peoples and Cultures of Early Sri Lanka (A Study based on Genetics and Archaeology)
Rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Repatriated- Acritical Appraisal- edited by Prof.V. Soorya Narayanan)
Hill Country Tamil of Sri Lanka: Towards Meaningful Citizenship (a research report jointly presented by ISI+VR)
Upcountry Tamils: Charting a New Future in Sri Lanka (Compiled by Daniel Pass and P Skanda Kumar- an Introduction)
The Implementation of Outgrowing system in Selected Tea Plantation sector in Sri Lanka (a research study by Prof A Chandrabhose)
A History of the Up-Country Tamil People in Sri Lanka (Leftist S Nadesans research book)
The drum of a Herald (Collection of articles by S Jeyashankar)
My purpose here is not to evaluate the translations or to give an opinion on the contents but to let know the existence of such reading matter in both in English (and now) in Tamil so that interested researchers will make them as sourcebooks.
However, I came across some names which interested me. For example, one of the first Parliamentarians (1947), an English poet and Trade Unionist, C. V. Velupillai.
Author of Born to Labour, and Human Cargo he has written mainly in English.
He was married to a Sinhalese lady. In later stages, he wrote in Tamil too. Another name is famous journalist S. Muttiah who was the Features Editor of the Sunday Times (Not the present one).
Souljah and Rodrigo were the versatile subeditors then. They wrote on the Lankan Arts field widely.
Should I mention that my pieces on the Tamil literary scene also appeared in the late ‘50s & 60s.
Mutthiah later went back to India and wrote a few illustrated books on tourist interests and wrote a column on Chennai (then Madras) in The Hindu.
Both these gentlemen knew me. And so was M. Vamadevan, who was in the SLAS and worked for the Planning Ministry and held high posts there.
Thilagar also mentions Sri Lanka born academics in the US- Maithree Jegatheesan, Valentine Daniel, Yogewary Vijayabalan, a lawyer (Now living in London), Geetha Ponkalan, Daniel Baas and Dr Siva Thiyagarajan.