Rajam Krishnan

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Rajam Krishnan (Tamil: ராஜம் கிருஷ்ணன்; 1924[1] or 1925 – 20 October, 2014), was a feminist Tamil writer from Tamil Nadu, India.


Rajam Krishnan was born in Musiri, Tiruchirapalli district. She had very little formal education and appears to have been largely an autodidact.[2]

She started publishing in her twenties. She is known for writing well researched social novels on the lives of people usually not depicted in modern Tamil literature - poor farmers, salt pan workers, small-time criminals, jungle dacoits, under-trial prisoners and female labourers. She has written more than 80 books.[3] Her works include forty novels, twenty plays, two biographies and several short stories. In addition to her own writing, she was a translator of literature from Malayalam to Tamil.[4] In their anthology of Women's Writing in India in the 19th and 20th Century, Susie J Tharu and K Lalita credit Krishnan with "having set a new trend in Tamil literature," referring to the extensive research that Krishnan did in evaluating social conditions as background for her writing.[5]

In 1973, she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for her novel Verukku Neer.[6] In 2009, her works were nationalised by the Government of Tamil Nadu, for a compensation of Rs. 300,000. It was a rare occurrence as only works of dead writers are usually nationalised in Tamil Nadu.[7][8][9]


Rajam was left poor and destitute in her later years and had to be admitted to an old age home.[1] She died on 20 October 2014.[1]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Uthara Kaandam - (உத்தர காண்டம்)
  • Kurinji Then - (குறிஞ்சித்தேன்)
  • Valaikaram - (வளைக்கரம்)
  • Verukku Neer - (வேருக்கு நீர்)
  • Malargal - (மலர்கள்)
  • Mullum Malarndhadhu - (முள்ளும் மலர்ந்தது)
  • Paadaiyil Padinda Adigal - (பாதையில் பதிந்த அடிகள்)
  • Alaivaai Karayile - (அலைவாய் கரையிலே)
  • Karippu Manigal - (கரிப்பு மணிகள்)
  • Mannakattu puntulikal - (மண்ணகத்துப் பூந்துளிகள்)
  • Sathiya Velvi - (சத்திய வேள்வி)
  • Suzhalil Mithakkum Deepangal (Lamps in the Whirlpool)(1987)

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • New York Herald Tribune International Award for a short story (1950)
  • Kalaimagal award (1953)(நாவல் 'பெண் குரல்')
  • Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for Verukku Neer (Water for the Roots) (1973)
  • Thiru. Vi. Ka award (1991)
  • 'Malargal' (Flowers) Ananda Vikatan Novel Prize Winner(1958)('மலர்கள்' ஆனந்த விகடன் பரிசு நாவல் 1958)
  • Soviet Land Nehru Award (1975) for Vailaikkaram (Wrist with Bangles)[10]


  1. ^ a b c Kolappan, B. (22 October 2014). "Writer Rajam Krishnan dead". The Hindu. 
  2. ^ Tharu, (ed), Susie (1993). Women Writing in India: The Twentieth Century. Feminist Press at CUNY. pp. 205–207. ISBN 9781558610293. 
  3. ^ "Open to life and art". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 4 January 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Susie Tharu and K Lalita, Women Writing In India Feminist Press at CUNY, 1993) 203-206
  5. ^ Susie Tharu and K Lalita, Women Writing In India Feminist Press at CUNY, 1993) 203-206
  6. ^ Tamil Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955-2007 Sahitya Akademi Official website.
  7. ^ "Works of writer Rajam Krishnan to be nationalised". Times of India. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  8. ^ C. S. Lakshmi (4 January 2004). "Metaphor for a generation". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Kumar, Sampath (17 July 2003). "India rights campaign for infanticide mothers". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Susie Tharu and K Lalita, Women Writing In India (Feminist Press at CUNY, 1993) 203-206

External links[edit]