Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography

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Selected biographies list[edit]

Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/1

V. S. Srinivasa Sastri in 1940

Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri was an Indian politician, administrator, educator, orator and Indian independence activist. He was acclaimed for his oratory and command over the English language. Srinivasa Sastri was born to a poor temple priest in the village of Valangaiman near Kumbakonam, India. He completed his education at Kumbakonam and worked as a school teacher and later, headmaster in Triplicane, Madras. He entered politics in 1905 when he joined the Servants of India Society. Srinivasa Sastri served as a member of the Indian National Congress from 1908 to 1922, but later resigned in protest against the Non-Cooperation movement. Sastri was one of the founding members of the Indian Liberal Party. In his later days, Srinivasa Sastri was strongly opposed to the partition of India. Srinivasa Sastri served as a member of the Madras Legislative Council from 1913 to 1916, Imperial Legislative Council of India from 1916 to 1919 and the Council of State from 1920 to 1925. Sastri also functioned as India's delegate to the League of Nations, as member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and agent to the Republic of South Africa.

He gained worldwide fame for his prowess in the English language. Sastri was a close follower of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He was also a close friend and associate of Mahatma Gandhi who addressed Sastri as his "elder brother" in writings. Sastri was made a "Companion of Honour" in 1930. In 1921, the Freedom of the City of London was conferred on Srinivasa Sastri followed by the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1931.


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/2
Srīnivāsa Aiyangār Rāmānujan better known as Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician and self taught genius who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. Born and raised in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, Ramanujan first encountered formal mathematics at age 10. He demonstrated a natural ability, and was given books on advanced trigonometry written by S L Loney. He had mastered them by age 12, and even discovered theorems of his own. He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning accolades and awards. By 17, Ramanujan conducted his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam, but lost it when he failed his non-mathematical coursework. He joined another college to pursue independent mathematical research, working as a clerk in the Accountant-General's office at the Madras Port Trust Office to support himself. In 1912–1913, he sent samples of his theorems to three academics at the University of Cambridge. Only G. H. Hardy recognized the brilliance of his work, subsequently inviting Ramanujan to visit and work with him at Cambridge. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, dying of illness, malnutrition and possibly liver infection in 1920 at the age of 32. During his short lifetime, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostly identities and equations). Although a small number of these results were actually false and some were already known, most of his claims have now been proven correct. He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan prime and the Ramanujan theta function, and these have inspired a vast amount of further research. However, some of his major discoveries have been rather slow to enter the mathematical mainstream. Recently, Ramanujan's formulae have found applications in crystallography and string theory. The Ramanujan Journal, an international publication, was launched to publish work in all areas of mathematics influenced by his work.


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/3


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/4
Periyar Erode Venkata Ramasamy also known as Ramaswami, EVR, Thanthai Periyar, or Periyar, was a Dravidian social activist, who founded the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam. Periyar was born in the Town of Erode, Tamil Nadu to a wealthy Nayakar family. At a young age, he witnessed numerous incidents of racial, caste and gender discrimination. Periyar married when he was 19, and had a daughter who lived for only 5 months. His first wife, Nagammai, died in 1933. Periyar married for a second time in July 1948. His second wife, Maniammai (also called Maniammai Ammaiyar), continued Periyar's social work after his death in 1973, but still his thoughts and ideas were being spread by Dravidar Kazhagam.

Periyar propagated the principles of rationalism, self-respect, women’s rights and eradication of caste. He opposed the exploitation and marginalization of the non-Brahmin indigenous Dravidian peoples of South India and the imposition of, what he considered, Indo-Aryan India. His work has greatly revolutionized Tamil society and has significantly removed caste-based discrimination. He is also responsible for bringing new changes to the Tamil alphabet. However, at the same time, Periyar is also held responsible for making controversial statements on the Tamil language, Dalits and Brahmins and for endorsing violence against Brahmins. The citation awarded by the UNESCO described Periyar as "the prophet of the new age, the Socrates of South East Asia, father of social reform movement and arch enemy of ignorance, superstitions, meaningless customs and base manners".


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/5
Murali Kartik born September 11, 1976 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India) is an Indian cricketer who sporadically represented the India national cricket team since 2000. He is a specialist slow left arm orthodox bowler known for his loopy trajectory and ability to spin and bounce, but has found international selection blocked during his prime years by the presence of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. He is also a left-handed batsman, and although he has had some success with the bat at first-class level with 11 half-centuries, he has not been able to repeat this at international level. After starting out in the Delhi junior system, Kartik moved through the age group ranks at Railways, was selected for the Indian Under-19 team. He made his first-class debut in 1996–97 and after a few productive seasons at domestic level, made his Test debut in early-2000 as Kumble's bowling partner. However, he ran into disciplinary problems and was expelled from the National Cricket Academy in the same year, while new national captain Sourav Ganguly was reluctant to entrust him with responsibility. Ganguly called for off spinner Harbhajan to be recalled in 2001, and was rewarded with a series-winning performance against Australia. This entrenched the off spinner in the team and left Kartik on the outer. For the next four years, Kartik was on the fringes of selection. He made his ODI debut in 2002 and had a short stint before being dropped and missing the 2007 Cricket World Cup. He was recalled in late-2003 for limited overs matches and played in around half of India's matches for a sic-month period, as well as one Test after Harbhajan suffered a serious injury. In late-2004 Kartik played in three Tests as India fielded three spinners, and claimed his only man-of-the-match award in Tests against Australia in Mumbai, but was again dropped two matches later. In late-2005, Kartik became a regular member of the ODI team for a few months when the International Cricket Council introduced an experimental rule that allowed one substitute to be used, opening an extra vacancy in the national team. However, Kartik was unable to secure his position in the team and the rule was later revoked. In late-2007, Kartik broke back into the ODI team and took 6/27 in one victory over Australia, but lost form soon after and was again dropped. He has not represented India since then. Aside from domestic cricket, Kartik plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and has been in demand in English county cricket as an overseas player, representing Lancashire and then Middlesex.


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/6

Krishnakumar Dinesh Karthik

Krishnakumar Dinesh Karthik (born 1 June 1985 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India) is a wicketkeeper-batsman who has made his debut for the Indian cricket team in 2004 and has been a regular member of the team for varying periods since then, including a stint in 2007 as a specialist opening batsman and non-wicket-keeper. Karthik was a batsman in his junior career, but turned to wicket-keeping in order to improve his future prospects. Throughout his career, Karthik has been criticised for unreliable glovework symptomatic of a non-specialist wicket-keeper.

Rising through the junior ranks, Karthik made his first-class debut in late-2002 for Tamil Nadu as a 17-year-old, and was dropped in his first season despite his healthy run-scoring because of his problematic glovework. He fought his way back into the team and after playing for India at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, made his ODI and Test cricket debut in late-2004. This came after India had struggled to find a reliable gloveman in the past few years. Karthik was the regular wicket-keeper in Tests, making rare appearances in ODIs. During this period, Karthik struggled and averaged less than 20 with the bat, and he was replaced as Test wicketkeeper by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had been prolific and destructive with the bat in ODIs, in late-2005. After donning the mantle of an opener for Tamil Nadu and raising himself to the standard of a specialist batsman at domestic level, he was recalled to the national squad as a batsman in late-2006 after injuries and form slumps hit other batsmen, playing occasional matches in both forms of cricket on the tour to South Africa, and scoring a half-century in a Test as an opener. Following India's elimination from the first round of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the selectors made multiple changes, and Karthik became a non-wicket-keeping opening batsman in the Test team and regularly played ODIs, batting in the middle order. He made his maiden Test century against Bangladesh and then was India's leading scorer in the Test tour of England, helping India to win their first series in England in 21 years. However, Karthik suffered a form slump in late-2007 and was dropped from the Test team, and since then has only made sporadic international appearances, although he continues to score heavily in domestic cricket. These have come in occasional appearances as a specialist batsman when other players were rested or injured, or as a wicket-keeper when Dhoni was sidelined. Karthik's glovework for India continues to be criticised.


Portal:Tamil People/Selected biography/7
Ilaiyaraaja (born Gnanadesikan on 2 June 1943) is an Indian film composer, singer, lyricist and the first Asian composer to score a symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a gold medallist from Trinity College of Music, London, and has composed over 4500 songs and provided film scores for more than 900 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years. He is usually referred to by the title Isaignani (literally meaning 'a man with great knowledge in music'), or as "The Maestro". He is based in Chennai, the centre of the Tamil film industry. He is a recipient of prestigious Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India.

Ilaiyaraaja has been a prominent composer of film music in southern Indian cinema since the late 1970s. His work integrated Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. He has thrice won the Indian National Film Award for best film scoring. In the 2000s, he composed a range of non-film music, including religious and devotional songs, an oratorio, and world music. He is married to Jeeva, and the couple's two sons (Karthik Raja and Yuvan Shankar Raja) and daughter (Bhavatharini) are film composers and singers.