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Sat 18 Feb 2023

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

An Introduction to Tamil Literature

INDICA’s Center for Bharatiya Languages welcomes you to a conversation with Pradeep Chakravarthy on the topic An Introduction to Tamil Literature on the 18th of February 2023 at IST 1800 hrs. This conversation, in English, intends to serve as an introduction to some facets of Tamil literature. As some might know, Tamil is one of the six languages indigenous to India and recognised by the Government of India as a ‘Classical’ language. Tamil was recognised as a Classical language by the Government of India (GoI) in 2004, making it the first among six that has been designated as ‘Classical’ by the Government of India. As per this press release found on the Press Information Bureau website (https://pib.gov.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=103014), the criteria to determine the declaration of a language as a Classical language have been: i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years; (ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers; (iii) The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community; (iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.


Pradeep Chakravarthy


Pradeep is a graduate of the London School of Economics and JNU. An award-winning student, he has more than 2 decades of experience, especially in learning and development. His mission is to help people understand the present and future behaviour by understanding the past. His life is immersed in the history and heritage of Tamil Nadu. His passion is connecting his corporate experience in TVS, Infosys, CTS and McKinsey to history. He does heritage tours of Tamil Nadu and has recently opened Anantya In The Village, the first heritage hotel for Tirunelveli-Tuticorin Districts in southern Tamil Nadu. His focus is on making history relevant to children and adults in the corporate world. He has authored 9 books with a focus on the culture of Tamil Nadu and how history can help us improve performance at work. He is passionate about the Pandya kingdom and is working on a PhD on their administration and has recently opened Anantya in The Village, a heritage hotel deep within their kingdom close to one of India's oldest inhabited villages. He lives in Chennai. His most recent book is a translation with Justice Prabha Sridevan (Rtd) on the Essays of U Ve Saminatha Iyer (U Ve Sa). If not for U Ve Sa, much of what is today understood as classical Tamil might have been lost forever. It was largely because of his efforts that the Sangam poems and the great epics have survived to us. The book has several essays that not only look at the history of Tamil and Tamil Nadu but many anecdotes from the Tamil Nadu of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This book has been published by Niyogi books with the support of the Tamil Nadu Text Book Society.


Megh Kalyanasundaram

Host, Director – Special Projects, INDICA

Megh Kalyanasundaram is an Indian citizen with close to nine years of lived experience in China, an alumnus of ISB and is currently Director Special Projects at INDICA. His post-graduate specialization in Strategy, Leadership and Marketing included a study of research methods. His professional experience includes stints as a Market Leader at a Global Fortune 50 firm, as Head of Business Development at a leading Indian talent development multinational and he has served a term on the Board of a Shanghai-based not-for-profit. His academic research interests and 20+ papers span some aspects of ancient Indian chronology, Indian Knowledge Systems, Landscape in Indic texts, Ancient Indian Jurisprudence, Ideas of India and Philosophy. For his creative contribution to the first edition of the International Day of Yoga, he was invited by the Permanent Mission of India in the United Nations to attend the inaugural event at the UN. Other professional and pro-bono pursuits have included building differentiated digital platforms for Indic texts targeted at specific learning and research needs and music. His research-based compositional Sanskrit album 'Bhārata and her Kāśmīra' has been listed by the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA) while his subsequent album 'Indian Knowledge Systems and Yāskācārya's Nirukta' has recently been accepted for listing by the Vedic Heritage Portal. In 2022, Megh was invited by the National Museum Institute (NMI) to contribute content for multiple projects currently underway at NMI, including ones on Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh and Kedarnath.