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|Born||A. L. Muthiah
June 24, 1927
Sirukoodalpatti, Tamil Nadu, India
|Died||October 17, 1981
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Pen name||Karaimuthu Pulavar, Vanangamudi, Kamakappriya, Parvathi Nathan, Arokkiya Saamy|
|Occupation||poet, novelist, lyricist, politician, film producer, editor|
|Notable work(s)||artha mulla indu madham|
|Notable award(s)||National Film Award for Best Lyrics
Sahitya Akademi Award
1980 Cheraman Kadali
Kannadasan (Tamil: கண்ணதாசன்) (24 June 1927 – 17 October 1981) was a Tamil poet and lyricist, heralded as one of the greatest and most important writers in the Tamil language. Frequently called Kaviarasu (English: King of Poets), Kannadasan was most familiar for his song lyrics in Tamil films and contributed around 5000 lyrics besides 6000 poems and 232 books, including novels, epics, plays, essays, his most popular being the 10-part religious essay on Hinduism, captioned Arthamulla Indhumatham (English: Meaningful Hindu Religion). He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Cheraman Kadali in the year 1980 and was the first ever to receive the National Film Award for Best Lyrics, given in 1969 for the film Kuzhanthaikkaga.
Kannadasan worked in "Thiraioli", a Cine magazine run by Rama.Thiyagarajan in Rayavaram. Pudukkottai Distt and in Chennai. He also worked for "Thirumagal" magazine in Ramachandrapuram, Pudukkottai Distt.
Atheism to Hinduism
Muthiah was a staunch atheist and a follower of the Dravidian atheistic movement. He had great love for the Tamil language and culture, and excelled in Tamil literature, prose and poetry. He once read the Thiruppavai of Andal, and was amazed at its mystic poetry, that was to have a deep and everlasting impact on him. After a lot of introspection, he decided to reconvert back into Hinduism, renamed himself as Kannadasan, meaning the servant of Lord Krishna (In Tamil Kannan means Krishna, and in Sanskrit, Dasa means servant), dug deep into understanding Hinduism, and wrote his series of books on Hinduism titled "Arthamulla Indhu Matham".
Kannadasan's greatest contribution to Tamil culture is his songwriting. Lyrics with simple words but having a philosophical message is his trademark style. Before Kannadasan, many lyricsists like Papanasam Shivam, Kambadasan, Vindhan, Maruthakasi, and Ku.Ma.Balasubramanian were sought after in Tamil music industry, but after Kannadasan the scene changed. He quickly became the most sought after, which he was till his death. Kannadasan was so popular that though there were many excellent poets like Vaali, Pulamaipittan, Alangudi Somu, Avinasimani, Panchu Arunachalam and Jayakanthan during that period, their hits are wrongly considered by many of Kannadasan fans as songs written by him. Though, after his death, film lyrics have come a long way from Vairamuthu to Tamarai, many people still consider Kannadasan to be the best songwriter. New songs trend for some time and eventually fade away after a months or even days, but Kannadasan's songs are still popular in Tamil Nadu. He is considered to be the greatest modern Tamil pet after Subramanya Bharathi. He was the producer of historic Tamil film "Sivagangai Seemai" portraying the pioneers of the Indian freedom struggle "Marudhu Pandaiars". The song "Santhupottu"in that film is popular even today.
- Aval oru hindhu pen (1992)
- Sivappukal mukkuththi (1992)
- Raththa pushpangkal (1992)
- Swarna saraswathi (1992)
- Nadantha kathai (1992)
- Mica (1992)
- Suruthi ceratha rakangkal (1992)
- Muppadhu nalum pournami (1992)
- Kadal konda thennadu (1992)
- Arangamum antharankamum (1992)
- Ayiram thIvu angkayarkanni (1992)
- Theivath thirumanangkal natakam (1992)
- Ayirangaal mandapam (1992)
- Athaivida rakasiyam (1992)
- Kathal konda thennadu (1992)
- Oru kavingnanin kadhai (1978)
- Singkai partha chennai (1992)
- Velangkattiyur vizha (1992)
- Vilakku mattuma sivappu (1992)
- Vanavasam (1981)
- Athaivida ragasiyam (1981)
- Birunthaavanam (1994)
Cheraman Kathali Sandhithen Sindhithean
- Yesu kaviyam
- Arthamulla indhu madham
- Enathu Vasantha Kalangal
- Enathu Suyasaritham
- Aayirathil oruvan
- Mannadhi Mannan
- Thai sollai thattathey
- Thayai katha thanayan
- Periya idathu pen
- Dharmam Thalaikakkum
- Ananda Jothi
- Neethikkupin passam
- Kanchi thalaivan
- Panakkara kudumbam
- Sarswathi Sabatham
- Paatikada Paatanama
- En Kadamai
- Moondram pirai (kanne kalaimaane song) is the last song from the great poet.
Kannadasan was the poet Laureate of the Tamil Nadu Government at the time of his death.Template:Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poet laureate He wrote two notable autobiographies, titled Vanavasam, a book about his past life whilst he was atheist, with the DMK and a sequel, titled Manavasam a book about his life after he had left DMK
His contribution to Tamil literature
Kannadasan was a prolific writer and his writing covered a variety of forms- poems, novels, lyrics for Tamil films and books on spirituality. His series titled அர்த்தமுள்ள இந்து மதம் Arthamulla indu matham or The meaning of Hinduism is known for its simplicity in explaining the principles of Hinduism.He wrote a number of spiritual works in the later part of his life including இயேசு காவியம் Yesu kaviyam the story of Jesus told in the poetic form.
His film songs were full of vivid imagery and he excelled in conveying the underlying emotions through simple and graphic imagery.While his love songs were most popular among the masses, his philosophical songs captured the imagination of the intelligentsia of the Tamil people. Some of the songs that have stood the test of time are: சிரிப்புப் பாதி அழுகை பாதி சேர்ந்ததல்லவோ மனித ஜாதி இருட்டுப் பாதி வெளிச்சம் பாதி இணைந்ததல்லவோ உலக நீதி The human race is a blend of laughter and tears just as the world is a blend of light and darkness in equal proportions Or this one : ஏழு ஸ்வரங்களுக்குள் எத்தனை பாடல் இதய சுரங்கத்துள் எத்தனை கேள்வி காணும் மனிதருக்குள் எத்தனை சலனம் வெறும் கற்பனை சந்தோஷத்தில் அவரது கவனம் How many songs are born from the seven swaras (of music) and how many questions are there in the mine of heart, see the frivolations in people, how their attention is focused on fantasies...
He wrote and published several volumes of poetry. He was an admirer of Kambar  and wrote a number of poems praising Kambar's artistry,contrary to the satire ("Kambarasam") on the same by C.N.Annadurai. He also spoke at several of the Kambar festivals. சீதை நடையழகும் ஸ்ரீராமன் தோளழகும் போதை நிறைந்ததெனச் சொல்லி எனைப் போட்டான் மதுக்குடத்தில் அள்ளி "He sang the beauty of Seethai's gait and the shoulders of Rama; he spoke of beauty intoxicating and dropped me in a vessel of amrut(liquour)" This is one of Kannadasan's tribute to the poet Kambar.
He will be remembered for his immense contribution to modern day Tamil literature. He also appears in screen for "Oru koppaiyile en kudiyiruppu" song.
Kannadasan died on 17 October 1981 in Chicago, United States, where he had gone from India to attend a Tamil conference organised by the Tamil Association of Chicago. A house in Sirukoodalpatti is now a memorial for the Tamil film music's evergreen favourites. The Kannadasan memorial museum was inaugurated on October 21, 1992.
www.kannadasan.co.in for his books