During the period commencing May 1998 and ending June 2001, tamilnation.org
invited nominations to a list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century- Tamils who had
made significant contributions to the world and to Tamil togetherness,
whether such contributions were in scientific thought, literature,
political action, personal sacrifice and example, or spirituality. More than 200 names were suggested and they appear in the column on the left, in alphabetical order,
within the separate categories:
History & Social
Science | Language & Literature |
Politics & Society |
Struggle for Tamil Eelam |
Music, Dance & Drama |
Art & Sculpture |
Science & Education |
Sport & Recreation.
A discussion on "Who is a Tamil and also
Criteria for Selection" appears here.
from Australia, commented in August 1999:
"The search for 100 Tamils has produced an interesting array of nominations
from varying fields of endeavour, ranging from science to the arts, to freedom fighters
and philanthropists. How does one pick the most "deserving" of the honour?
How does one use objective measures without the intrusion of subjective judgement? What
criteria does one stipulate? Some that come to mind are:
Tamils who have made a positive
* the worth of which transcends
time. Some may question this too.
* that involves personal
sacrifice beyond measure
* towards a Tamil
"Renaissance" (marumalarchi) in the arts, cultures etc.
* by directing the 'history' of
the Tamils towards freedom and justice for all Tamils?
* by protecting our identities
and preserving it for future generations
It is inevitable that the
relative worth of each of these criteria would vary enormously, depending on the
subjective judgement of the observer. Who is to decide the relative merit of the Tamil
scientist and the Tamil poet? Who are the true "greats" and who are the merely
"distinguished? Is it really necessary to pick and choose? It may be sufficient to
recognise and let it rest..."
respectfully agrees with Thanapalasingham's views and concludes that "it
may be sufficient to recognise and let it rest..."
Prabhakaran, Director (Corporate Planning),
Callista Group of Companies,12
I would like to nominate Dr.M.Natarajan for listing under the 'politics and
society' section. Dr.Natarajan is a visionary leader, author and publisher
of various path breaking books. His service to society has been invaluable
right from his youth where he led anti hindi agitations in the state . He
has been consistently trying to help tamil society in many ways.His details
are available on his website
www.m-natarajan.com . Kindly review the same and you will agree that he
definitely deserves a place in the list of 100 greatest Tamils.
Vasanthan , 27 September 2004
Your nominations to
One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century missed one important person. Mr Ramalingam Muttiah
was the father of Tamil Typewriter who hailed from Chundikuli, Jaffna and lived
in Malaysia until his death in 1959. He designed and produced first Tamil
typewriter which was commercially distributed. His contribution to Tamil
was timely and
From: Senvan@aol.com , 21 May 2004
Please note that Mahesh Bhupathi is from Andra, and is not a Tamil. In his
place I would like to nominate
Sonya Jayaseelan, former world ranked women Tennis player. She has also
the distinction of representing Canada in the last Olympic games.
From: Lloyd Young, USA 3
I would like to nominate Dr. Kingsley Sathiakumar as one of the 100 Tamils of the 20th Century in the field of Science and Education. A native
of Madras (Chennai), Dr. Sathiakumar is currently employed as an expert in
Bio Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction by the Jefferson County
Department of Public Health in Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America. He has lectured at numerous conferences as well as admirably
performing his duties as a Public Health Representative. He has established a reputation for expertise, efficiency,
and honesty throughout the public health system and throughout Alabama. Dr. Sathiakumar is also well-liked and
respected by his colleagues and co-workers because of his professionalism, willingness to help others, and his sense of humor. He is a credit to the
people of India and to all Tamils everywhere and I feel privileged to count
him among my friends.
From: Radha Nagaratnam,USA,15
I would like to nominate Yalpanam N. Veeramani Iyer to the
Music section. Unfortunately I am only familiar with two of his compositions in
Carnatic music. They are "Ennadi Pechhu Sakhiye'' and "Karpagavalli''
(made famous by Pithu Kuli Murgadas). I am sure there are many other such
wonderful compositions. I hope you will be able to find them and include them in
the write up about this wonderful Tamil Eelam citizen.
USA, 7 April 2001
I would like to nominate
A.R Rahman as one of the one hundred
Tamils. There is no Tamil now that does not know him. He
brought Tamil music to the attention of the North Indians and also recently to
the world. He is a very humble and pious Muslim and donates generously to
charitable causes. Through his music, AR Rahman has captured millions of hearts.
Thanks to him, more people know the existence of Tamil.
From: C.R. Selvakumar, Canada, 7 April
vaNakkam.I would like to nominate [அருள்மிகு பங்காரு அடிகள்] aruLmigu bangaaru adikaL of MelmaruvaththUr, near Chennai, India in the category of Spirituality. Undoubtedly,
his movement is one of the most popular in recent times and the service rendered by his organization in the area of health and education
are enormous, apart from spiritual guidance. Under his guidance all the worship is in Tamil and
the role played by women in worship rituals is unprecedented. These are all unique. I would urge
you to include him in the list.
In the category of literature, I believe P.L Samy and irA. iLankumaran would richly deserve a place. P.L. Samy was one of the most substantial
contributors and among his contributions his three books in Tamil ('sanga ilakkiyaththil paRavai ina
viaLakkam, sanga ilakkiyaththil vilangkina viaLakkam, sanga ilakkiyaththil nilaththiNai
viLakkam', published by South India Saiva Siddhanta Publications, TTK Salai, Chennai)
were highly regarded and were seminal publications. Among the literary
writers, I can't think of a better one than thiru irA iLankumaran.
Thiru iLankumaran's contributions about thirukkuRaL, tholkAppiyam
and his compilations of 'iNaiccol akarAthi' etc. are exemplary works.
Under the category of Art and Sculpture,
C.N. Vasudevan would
richly deserve a place. He was with Rabindranath Tagore but left
his group and established as a great true artist in Tamil Nadu.
He lived in kongu naadu (near Anai Malai in Coimbatore, TN ).
His paintings, sculptures, leather work, poems (in English and Tamil), his
music, dance, political satire were unmatched as far as I know.
Some of his works are with ThanjavUr Tamil University. He was
fondly known to thousands of his admirers as vAsaNNaa.
In the area of Music and dance, the great mirudanga maestro
Palani Subramaniam and VazhuvUr Ramiah PiLLai and his daughter,
one of the greatest dancers, SarOja richly deserve to be included.
While I am surprised by the inclusion of some violinists and musicians,
I find it odd that such greats as Madurai Mani Iyer,
Rajamanikkam piLLai (and many others)
are not included. In dance Alarmel vaLLi is next only to
Balasaraswathi and Saroja, in my view.
Among musicologists TAS Sambandamoorthy is unique. He was
held in such high esteem by Rajaratam PiLLai and others.
He fought brilliantly the illogical 72 melakarta raga system, but
because of the backing of the establishment for the sanskrit-based
Venkatamahi's work, his valid arguments did not gain currency
(inspite of the initial support of such heavy weights like
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer,
Chittur Subramania PiLLai). TAS Sambandamoorthy also contributed
beautiful Tamil compositions, which were praised by Rajaratnam
PiLLai and others.
From: Amuthan Selvarajoo , Malaysia.27
I would like to nominate ( Tan Sri )
T.Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia for the Entrepreneurs category.
Krishnan, 59, earned a Harvard M.B.A.; He is a Tamil whose wholly owned Usaha Tegas has investments ranging from sweepstakes to power generation.
His property company KLCC Holdings, has built the world's tallest building, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers.
With a net worth of $4,100 million, he is the richest ethnic Tamil on
From: Selvam Kanniah,
25 March 2001
I propose to nominate Prof. Dr. M. Thambirajah
who is a well known History Professor in Malaysia. His book is a standard reference
for secondary school history in Malaysia. He is also
the founder of
Sri Murugan Center Malaysia - a non-profit
organization providing academic and spiritual related service for
Sebastien, Canada, 26 February 2001
I would nominate Guna of Bangalore. He is one of the most popular
Tamil writer and scholar.
Jagannathan, 26 February
Despite being an Indian Tamil I would
like to nominate Mr.V.Prabhakaran.
as the man of the century. Prabhakaran is striving to achieve a goal which is
the only target in his life. He has devoted and dedicated his life to achieve
this goal. He has also proved that he is a leader who has determination and
tenacity and he has also confronted a great deal of criticism on
several occasions. He has also displayed that he has the capacity to establish a
fully fledged military force.
I would also like to nominate all the Black
tigers who have buried in unmarked graves. I would also like to nominate
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman 10 February 2001
I would like to nominate Dr. Manickam, M.A. M.Litt,
Ph.D -a Tamil scholar and a poet. He was the first one to receive his
doctorate in Tamil from Usmaniya University, Hyderabad. He retired as
professor and head of the Tamil department of Usmania university. He is the
founder of the Kamban Kazhakam in Hyderabad/Secunderabad. He wrote many research
articles and books and he is a natural poet in Tamil.
S.P, 6 January 2001
I feel the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, our beloved, Dr.Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi
(Politics& Society, Tamil Literature) is next best to the best of the Tamizh
Thalapathis, Hon'ble Mr.V.Prabhakaran.
Pillai, 30 December 2000
My best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year 2001 to you and to your team maintaining this website.
I would like to nominate a Jaffna Tamil, late Senator Nadesan,Q.C
of Ceylon to the list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century. His
contribution is well recorded in the Dictionary of Biography of
Ceylon Tamils. ..As a reader of newspapers since the days of Bandaranayake in 1956,
I too have had the benefit of reading the late Senator Nadesan's
contributions in the Senate particularly during the arms insurrection in 1971 in
27 December 2000
I would like to nominate Kalki Krishnamoorthy and
V.Gopalaswamy to the list of one hundred Tamils of the 20th century.
Giritharan, Canada, 23 December
I would like to suggest the name of
Rev. Fr. Jegath Gaspar of Radio Veritas to the list of 100 Tamils of the 20th
Ratnam, 21 December 2000
Vanakkam, I would like to nominate N. Mohanadass and M.
Magendren, two Tamils from Malaysia who set foot on the summit of
Mt Everest in 23 May 1997.
Sivaparan, 11 December 2000
Please include in your list of 100 Tamils, Kathiravelu Kanapathipillai Vijayaratnam,
Engineering Consultant whose contributions to engineering practice, education ,
applied research and sustainable development earned listing in, Who's Who in Science and
Engineering, Who's Who in the World, Dictionary of International Biography,
Asians in the Millennium. His contribution on "Engineering
Education in the New Millennium: Towards Sustainable Technology, Infrastructure
and Environment" appears at the Engineering MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering New Millennium Colloquium.
From: Kanthasamy Elankumaran USA,
9 December 2000
I would like to nominate Valiamma from the South African Liberation Movement. I could not find much literature on her.
The following text was obtained at the following web page http://www.anc.org.za/books/triumphs_part4.html#back2
'Indian women at the beginning of the century virtually made Gandhi, and proved the efficiency of the new liberation dialectic of satyagraha that he
introduced.' The Indian resistance movement had
remained mainly elitist until the women from two ashrams in Natal and the Transvaal transformed it into a mass movement. In 1912 they
defied the anti - Asiatic law, crossed the provincial border from
both ends and provoked the miners of Newcastle to lay down their picks and strike. A thousand workers then began the epic
march led by Gandhi across the Natal border into the Transvaal. According to
Meer, 'The great figure of that struggle was not Gandhi, but the emaciated
young Valiamma, who refused to surrender despite her fatal illness following repeated imprisonments. She
died in the struggle."
Jayabalan, Muraiyoor Soorakkudi, 6 December 2000
Dr Vadivel Ganapathy, Regents Professor, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA, won several distinguished awards, born in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu,
India, and was selected three years in a row for the "Best Teacher
Award" by American Medical School students of Medical College of
Georgia. He is a renowned scientist in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
and has published more than 225 research articles in Peer reviewed scientific journals...
I would be happy if your website recognize his feat and get a report on this true
Thamizh statesmanship award.
USA, 30 November 2000
Can you please include the following in the Hundred Tamils List:
1) Theelaban - Eelam Freedom Fighter. Even as an LTTE cadre, he followed the
path of Satyagragha - following the fast until his death. He added a new dimension to the Eelam Freedom Struggle.
Our Response: Thileepan's name
already appears in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam section - some confusion may have been caused because
it appears as 'Thiyagee Thileepan'. Many thanks for the interest that you have taken.
Sri Kantha, Japan 29
Two eminent Eelam
scientists whom I wish to nominate to the list of 'One Hundred Tamils of 20th
(1897-1978), dean of Ceylon's amateur naturalists and a noted ornithologist.
Amirthalingam (1903-1982), marine biologist of international renown.
[see also Random
Thoughts on Two Eelam Scientists]
From: S.Vasanth Kumar,
Literary: R K Narayan
Thanjavur Venkatesa Iyengar
R K Lakshman
From: Ramanah, 9 October 2000
I would like to nominate Mr. Handy Perinbanayagam and
Mr. C. Subramaniam
(Orator) to the list of Hundred Tamils as they had contributed greatly to the political
consciousness of Jaffna by forming the Student Congress in early thirties. In addition,
they were out standing educators who had contributed greatly to the Jaffna society.
I would also like to nominate Dr. C. W.
Thamotharampillai under Language and Literature section. Dr. C.W. Thamotharampillai
who was a native of Jaffna had his education at Vaddukodai Seminary (Jaffna College). Later
he joined University of Madras and became one of the first to graduate from there.
He did yeoman service for Tamil literature by unearthing ancient Tamil literary work which
were almost lost to the present generation. I think his contribution to the Tamil Language
could be compared to that of Swaminatha Iyer.
S, 8 October 2000
I appreciateyour effort in
listing the great Tamils of the 20th century. It gives an opportunity for Indian
Tamils to know more about the great Tamil souls spread all over the world, as Indian
Tamils are generally ignorant about the achievements of the non-Indian Tamils.
I would like to nominate the following persons:
Science and Education: Abdul
Swami Mudaliar, M.S. Swaminathan, Sir C.V Raman
Music & Dance: Ilayaraja, MS Subbulakshmi,
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer,
Sports: Anand, Kris Srikanth, Muttiah Muralitharan
Sculpture: Ganapathy Stapathi (the great
sculptor who built the grand Valluvar statue
Politics: CN Annadurai,
K.Kamaraj, Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Spirituality: Kirubanda Variyaar, Kundrakudi Adigalar
I have reservations about the nominations of MGR, R.Venkataraman, Kamal Hassan,
Sankaracharya. They have done nothing for our community. I feel that people like VN
Janaki, Susheela, Balamurali Krishna, Janaki are not Tamils. But I am happy that
Rajinikanth's name is not in the list. Indian Tamils have at least this maturity not to
show their cinema craze in this list.
Tambiah, US 28 September 2000
I nominate H.W. Tambiah QC, LL.D, Ph.D as an erudite Historian and Tamil scholar as
well as being one of the most scholarly of Supreme Court judges who contributed
not only to the fabric of Tamil culture but to the legal framework of the Sri Lanka.
From: Vijay Pillai, UK 20 July 2000
Professor P. Ramasamy of Malaysia deserves a
place among the greats of Tamils of the world. His grasp of issues on Eelam and the just
cause of Eelam Tamils should be an inspiration to all who aspire to regain that
which we lost for more than 5 centuries under the Colonial rulers of Europe and recently
for 50 years under ill fated Sinhalese rulers - a conflict which has reached
genocidal proportions in two months. Professor Ramasamy deserves a better place than the
late Professor Wilson, however eminently he may have served in Canada for the
past four decades.
Balasubramanian, 17 July 2000
I would like to nominate a prominent person for Entrepreneurs - Mr.Shiv
Nadar. He is the founder and chairman of HCL Group of companies which was one of the
first companies to make a name for it self in the Indian information technology field.his
name is one of the prominent names missing in the list of Entrepreneurs.
Bharath 12 July 2000
I would like to include film director Mani Ratnam in the list of
100 great Tamils.He is one of India's greatest directors and all his movies are keenly
awaited for not only in Tamil Nadu , but in the entire country.
From: Stephen 29 June
I would like to nominate Mr.Kamararaj for being an
honest and simple politician. I would share one of his deeds - as his mother was old and
was living in a small home and Kamaraj being a Chief Minister, she requested for a waternear her hou
will also have to travel that distance to fetch water, mum. And he refused his mothers
personal request. I wish if at least few of our polititions are as patriotic as
From: Arul Nathan
28 June 2000
I would like to nominate "Periyar" E.V Ramasamy and C.N Annadurai to the 100
notable Tamils list. When the Tamilians were in a desperate state, enslaved by the
Aryans, trodden down as "sudra" or the "son of a prostitute", they were
the ones who brought self respect and literacy to the people of Tamil Nadu... So they
should be surely mentioned in the list...
Ramasamy, Singapore, 3 June 2000
There have been 55 million Tamils living in Tamil Nadu in India, but they could not
create for themselves a defined ethnic recognition - either within the country or outside
- despite living in a state that had its very name as Tamil Nadu. In New Delhi and in the
North, they continued to be designated as "Madrasis" in the public eye, in a
disparaging way, while in the world outside they were simply Indians - like all other
It is the emergence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and its leader
V.Pirabaharan, at the helm and their relentless fight against state
terrorism that has today brought to Tamils all over the world
- including the non-Brahmin thinking sections of Tamils in Tamil Nadu - a new sense of pride and dignity that was never there before.
V.Pirabaharan is a star that rises once in a thousand years. The Tamil people are
blessed people to witness this star rise in the Zodiac in their lifetime in this 21st.
Venkatasesha, USA 30 May 2000
I would like to add
(1) K.B. Chandrasekhar, Co-founder and
Chairman, Board of Directors, Exodus Communications (biographical
sketch)and ( 2 ) Narayanan Murthy, CEO, Infosys
USA 26 May 2000
May I add N.Sabaratnam, former vice president of All Ceylon
Union of Teachers during the fifties. In that capacity he represented Ceylon at
International Conferences of Teachers in India and traveled extensively in Europe. During
the last decade of his term of office he served as principal of Jaffna Hindu College. I
was in the first class he took at JHC when he commenced teaching English in 1962 in his
capacity as vice-principal. As a Principal his Friday sermons had always new wisdom
injected with all the seriousness of real life experiences. One was about a brilliant
engineer but a failure in married life. His journalistic skills were put to good use by
the then Eelanadu as Editor after retirement. His autobiography has been published after
his untimely death titled 'Corridors of Peace'. He must have read ,Corridors of
Power by C.P.Snow,1959
Subramaniam, 12 May 2000
I would like to nominate all the Tamils who fought gallantly against the
colonialists and imperialists, and those who pioneered economic development in third world
countries, those who died in the Burma-Indian Railway, those who died of disease while
compelled to serve their masters, those who fought and died in the first and second world
wars and all those who sacrificed their lives so that we can have a good future. Thank you
Singapore, 30 April 2000
I would like to support the nomination of Mr. J. Y.
Pillay. I had the opportunity to meet the man and he truly is an outstanding
individual who regardless of his outstanding achievements, has a great deal of humility
and would be an excellent role model for everyone. He's a brilliant, but more importantly,
a kind man.
From: Prasad K Sundar
14 April 2000
I wish to nominate S G Kittappa and Rajarathnam Pillai... S G Kittappa was one of our fore most
singers, who was a great artiste in Tamil drama. Rajarathnam Pillai was a great nadaswara
vidwan unparalleled for his raga expositions and music. He played on 15th August 1947 in
front of the entire country.
From: Vijay K Pillai 1
Contribution to the world at large and Tamil togetherness: If we use Einstein's
theory of general relativity, there is no such thing as pure Tamil and it is a myth. Ethirveerasingham was a household name like
Thanthai Chelva during the 50s and 60s. I have seen his athletic performance in Jaffna.
Togetherness in this context means bringing a community of people together both in
celebration of achievements as well as in sharing of grief (death of Princes Diana, for
instance). In this respect, once Einstein said, if my theory of relativity failed Germany
will say I am Jew, France will say I am a German. If my theory is successful, France will
say I am French, and Germany will say I am a German.
Let us not forget there are so many doctors and engineers from Jaffna, but only one
Ethirveerasingham who made every Tamil proud ... If he were in the West he would have been
a rich man at that time.
Ethirveerasingham must be recognised under sports as an outstanding Tamil in bringing
together Tamils in celebration of a unique achievement in sport at that time.
I certainly was more proud of him than of many Tamils whose names appear as
contributing to Tamils but in fact they collected knighthoods for themselves through their
shortsightedness, whereas Jinnah refused such honours but got Pakistan instead.... Ethirveerasingham certainly has a sense of humour
and he is very humble about his achievements. His grand mother's witty remarks made me
laugh. She certainly must be proud of her grand son.
From: Giritharan , Canada, 26 March 2000
I wish to nominate Late , 'Arinjar' A.N.Kanthasami, a well known Tamil writer from Tamil Eelam.
'Re-discovering A.N.K is very essential , in my view, for the benefit of Tamil Literature.
He is a writer can not be ignored or forgotten. Publishing his works on Tamil Literature
(Poetry, Drama, Novel), His poems, His short Stories, His Translations, His English
Writings will show his multi-talented personality. During his period as an editor for the
well known Tamil news news paper 'Suthanthiran' , he published articles on
'Silappathikaaram' under one of his pen names, 'Pandithar Thirumalairajar'. He also
translated French Writer Emilie Zola's 'Nana' which was appeared as serial in
'Suthanthiran'. His English articles on 'Thirukkural' appeared in the 'Tribune'
where he was in the editorial board. He was the pioneer of the Tamil progressive writing
in Ceylon. More information about him can be found at the following web sites: Aaramthinai
and ANK's Poems at the
Canadian Literature Page.
I also wish to nominate.A.Se.Murugaananwtham for his
contributions to the development of Tamil Short Stories and Kavinjar Makaakavi for his
contributions to the Modern Tamil Poetry.
From: V.K.Pillai 22 March
I would like to nominate the following Tamils....I have revised the list to 500 since 100
is not sufficient and must be an arbitrary figure. The list has already gone beyond 200.
There are examples of Fortune 500. My nominations are:
1. Dr M S
Uthayamoorthy - scholar and prominent chemist
who has earned a place in
who is who of finance and industry in USA as well as contributing to the upliftment of
Tamils through his writings particularly in Tamil Nadu for the past two decades .
2. Tan Sri Devaki Kirishnan - a Jaffna Tamil in Malaysia,
she has shown exceptional
qualities of leadership amongst the Tamils and women of Malaysia, over half a
century.Tan Sri is the highest honour given by the King of Malaysia for her services
few years ago.
Kabeer Malaysia 5 March 2000
I wish to nominate Seeni Naina Mohamed of Penang, Malaysia and also the editor of Unggal
Kural a Tamil literary magazine and who is also a well known Tamil literary critic not
only in Malaysia but also through out the world where Tamil is spoken
Chennai 10 February 2000
Kindly include Mr.See.Baa.Adhithanar owner of the
Daily Thanthi in your list for his contribution to Tamil Language...
From: Kannan, 4 February 2000
Kindly include the name of Mr.Kutti Muni under the category of Struggle Thamil Eleam, as
he was the person to first sacrifice his life for the cause of Tamil Eelam
Response by tamilnation: His
name already appears in the category as Selvarajah
Yogachandran. Please also see Martyrdom of Thangathurai
Malaysia 29 December 1999
I wish to nominate Mr. Athi Kumanan who is the President of
"Malaysian Tamil Writers Association". His contributions towards Tamil
journalism and Tamil literary work is highly remarkable. He has set an unprecedented
record as the most successful editor for various Tamil Dailies and Weeklies in Malaysia.
He is currently with "Malaysia Nanban Daily" which has the largest readership
amongst the Tamil Dailies in Malaysia. His contribution for the well being of the
Malaysian Indians through his forceful writing is enormous. He is appreciated as a man who
would voice for the rights of the Indians at all times. His untiring contributions towards
the Tamils and the Indians are well recognised by the Malaysians as well as many people
and organisations abroad. He is the most suitable person to be placed as one of the most
influential men of the 20th century from Malaysia for the present theme.
UK 29 December 1999
I wish to nominate the late K. Kandasamy of
the Tamil Information Centre (UK) in the category of those who contributed for the
struggle for Eelam. He was a pioneer in the field of human rights and self determination
of Eelam Tamils. His struggle commenced in 1977 following the pogrom of 77 when he
brought to life the TRRO and went on to bring about the publication of the proceedings of
Sansoni commission and then the Saturday review.
Following the Dollar and Kent farm debacle he had to leave the country to
avoid imprisonment. While in the UK in spite of his ill health he worked day and night to
bring to the notice of the world the plight of Eelam Tamils and the obvious course of
action towards Self determination. His work towards the rehabilitation of Tamil
refugees is legendary.
Unfortunately our community fails to appreciate such human beings who were
close to making history. He met his tragic end in the hands of a frenzied group of Tamils
who did not appreciate the value of such a special person. A callous and violent act ended
the life of this cherished man whose body was cast in to a cess pit in Chunnakam.
I nominate him as a "Karma Veeran" who made invaluable contributions towards
the struggle for Eelam.
From: Vijay Pillai US 29
I would nominate A.P.Rajah, a Jaffna Tamil, born in Malaysia,
former High Commissioner for Singapore in the United Kingdom during the early years of
Singapore as a new nation, an Oxford educated lawyer, former pro-chancellor of University
of Singapore who passed away recently in his eighties....
From: Sivakumaran Sivathillainathan UK, 26
I have looked upon your survey with joy. I like to nominate the following
Tamils... I have included short biographical sketches.
Full name: Kandiah Thirugnansampandapillai Francis
D.O.B.: 15 October 1939
Career: Cricket player/railway guard, cricket umpire
Umpirical Test Appearences: 25
Umpirical O.D.I. Appearences: 56
Married with one son and one daughter
Retired from Sri Lankan Railway
D.O.B.: 17 April 1972
Career: Cricket player
Batting Style: Right hand
Bowling style: Right arm off-break
O.D.I. Debut: vs. India, Colombo (11 August 1993)
Batting Stats: Matches-129, Runs-185,Not outs-28
Bowling Stats: Matches-129, Balls-6930, Wickets-177
Fielding Stats: Matches-129, Catches-60
From: Jasintha Aberg, Sweden 22 December 1999
I wish to nominate Rev. Fr. David Singarajar for
"Language and Literature". As Nallur Swami Gnapragasar passed away Rev. Fr.
David Singarajar took over his work to write a dictionary (for details contact Jaffna
Bishop's House). Rev. Fr. David Singarajar donated tens of thousands of books to the
Jaffna Public Library. We heard that when the library
was burned he died because of the shock from the news. He worked as a rector in
England in the 50-ies. Rev. Fr. David Singarajar contributed as much as Rev. Fr. Thaninayagam in language research.
From: Vijay Pillai, Malaysia 16/18
I am rather surprised by the comment about nuclear science as destructive. On a positive
note, for many countries of the world, a major energy source is nuclear. It is not easy as
accountancy or law to master. If you are genuinely interested, contributions to whatever
field must be recognised.
Mother Mangalam of the
Pure Life Society of Malaysia has been instrumental for the past 50 years in bringing
together orphanage children under one roof and helping them to be educated and preserve
thier unique culture. She is still active in Malaysia. She was honoured by the King of
Malaysia. I have visited her Mission several times and mentioned to her that I regard her
as Mother Theresa of South East Asia.
Minister Samy Velu has been an able leader of
Tamils and Indians of Malaysia - both Indian and Ceylon origin as well as Malaysian born.
He has been a Malaysian Government Minister for several years. He has been a Federal
Minister for Public Works in recent times. Preservation of Tamil culture and Hindu
religous practices in Malaysia owe a great deal to his contributions within the Malaysian
multiracial, multicultural and multi linguistic society.
From: Dushyanth Gnanapragasam, Toronto, Canada 6 December 1999
One notable omission in the
History and Social Sciences section, and also from the Language and Literature section, is
the name of Nallur Swami Gnanapragasar. I believe
his contribution to Tamil is unparalleled by any in this era. His name would be more
fitting in one of these categories than in the Spirituality section. A name I would like
to add to the spirituality section is that of Ramalinga
From:Mohamed Backer, Emirates, 2 December
I nominate the following:
1. QUID-E-Milath Mohamed Ismail, who participated in the
Indian freedom movement, was the chief of the Indian Muslim League, and was elected several
times a Member of Parliament and had a clean public life. When the national language
question arose after independence, some suggested English and some suggested Hindi,
Sanskrit, Urudu. Quid E-Milath said "If any one of the language can become the
national language of India - that is Tamil".
2. World famous mathematician Dr S. Ramanujan
3. Marudhu Pandian --well known freedom fighter, (a movie
also released by
4. Kamala Hassan (Cinema actor)
5. Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram
6 Sir C.V. Raman (Scientist)
7. Dr. S.Chandrasekar (Scientist)
8 Dr Abdul Kalam
From: Kumar, 24
MGR - The man of the masses was born in Kandy Sri Lanka on
17-01-1917. His father was a lawyer and not a plantation
worker . He was a teacher in Kandy Law College. He was a man who willed all his
properties for poor speech impaired (Deaf) children. Please visit http://education.vsnl.com/mgr
Singapore, 18 November 1999
I would like to nominate "Kappalottia Tamizhan " V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. He had the
courage to compete in the business world in the early century. If every one of us follow
his way, we can lead the business world. His freedom fighting movement together with
Maha Kavi Subramanya Bharathi and Sivam is worth remembering.
From: Abraham Judah, Singapore, 13
Velupillai Pirabaharan is undoubtedly God's gift to the Dravidian Tamil world.. .(with
the rise of this ''Star'') there is a new found respect for the Tamil people all over the
world .. There has been a meteorical rise in respect of the Tamil people today, never
found before. The Dravidian nation was the cradle of civilisation. ..
Tamils were always a great nation but the world never credited us... (but) with
Pirabaharan the world marvels - and is mystified (as to) how a small group of people
without outside support have sustained themselves and prevailed against all odds....
J.Y.Pillay is a far better choice than
S.Dhanabalan. J.Y.Pillay was the genius
that almost single handedly brought Singapore Airlines to where it is today - not
Dhanabalan. All Singaporeans know that. The disparity between the two is great. Mr.Pillay
was also credited for being the brains behind Singapore's monetary policy. He was also
acclaimed by the former Prime Minister of Singapore as being one of the worlds best brains
equal to any in the west. Dhanabalan was a cabinet minister but he is not a Tamil role
model to be singled out for the 100 greats...
Sadasivam Maragatham U.S..A. 9 November 1999
Vanakam. My nomination for the 100 most influential Tamils of the 20th century is H.H.
Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj of Satchidananda
Ashram-Yogaville Buckingham, Virginia USA. He is a Poorna Yogi and inspiration of the
magnificent LOTUS Temple at Yogaville.
From: V.Thangavelu, Canada, 12 November 1993
Vanakkam. Under literature I find no mention of Mu Va (Mu.Varatharajan).
His contribution to Tamil language and literature is enormous. The novels he wrote and the
characters he created are house-hold names. Also there is no mention about Samy Sithamparanar. He has written extensively on Sankam
literature and have authored more than twenty books. Properly speaking C.N.Annadurai and
Kalaignar Karunanidhi should find a place under literature category as well. The names of
Es.Po. Sundara Ramasamy, Dr. Kailasapathy, Mu.Thalayasingkam, Ashokamitran do not deserve
a place. What about Kasi Anandan, Puthuvai Ratnadurai and K.P.Ratnam? Why have their names been omitted?
Under spirituality you have included Kannada Brahmins but not Kunrakkudi Adikal who clamored for
archanas in Tamil? In politics please remove the name of G.G.Ponnambalam. How can S.J.V.
Chelvanayagam and G.G.Ponnambalam be placed on par? It will be akin to the hero and the
villain put on the same platform. V.Navaratnam, ex M.P. and
author of the Rise and Fall of Tamil Nation deserves a place.
Under history the name of Mudaliyar
C.Rasanayagam should have found a place. He is the author of several books including
Ancient Jaffna. So also the name of Dr.Sinnappah Arasaratnam
who died last year.
To my mind this exercise should be scrapped since we are not addressing
this question to a wider section of Tamils. It is the English educated class which is
participating in this exercise. The omission of Kasi
Anandan and Puthuvai is
entirely due to this factor.
National Leader Pirabaharan is in a class by himself and his name in all
fairness should not be included with anyone else.
Response by tamilnation:
Some of the confusion may have arisen because the nominations were placed
in two different web pages - this has now been rectified. All the names that have been
suggested now appear in this one page.
Canada, 31 October 1999
Vanakkam. After reading some (of the nominations) I cannot help feel that some persons are
trying to take the Tamil Nation for a ride to satisfy their own whims and fancies and
(I cannot agree with the nomination) of a person such as P. Nagalingam, Proctor who was not known beyond
Elephant Pass to be counted as one among the "One Hundred". Nor a person like
G.G.Ponnambalam for whose short-sighted...
politics we are still paying a heavy price in blood ( his son making ample amends for his
father's sins). It is obvious that some readers are taking undue advantage of the
opportunity to promote their kith and kin....
I am disappointed with Sachi Sri Kantha
for nominating the names of Koththamangalam
Subbu, R.Venkataraman and C.Rajagopalachari. ... How many Tamils know
Koththamangalam Subbu? R.Venkataraaman? What are their worth and what
are their contributions to the Tamil world and to Tamil togetherness?...
One Ramalingam Shanmugalingam while nominating PerungKavikko
Sethuraman has given a lengthy bio-data as a back-up. I don't deny PerunKavikko has in
his own humble way contributed to the use and advancement of the Tamil language. But apart
from that what are his contributions to merit inclusion? Does anyone remember even one
poem he has written?
(...Neither can I agree with the nomination of ) Dr.P.S.Subramaniam, Janaki Ramachandran, S.Ponnudurai, N.Ethirveerasingham etc.
Please let us be serious about the whole business of nominating to the
list of "100 Tamils." Those nominated should have made a difference,
brought about profound changes in the life of the Tamil Nation and the Tamil People. I
broadly agree with the criteria laid down by M.Thanabalasingham
when we come to nominate persons to decide the "One Hundred".
P.K.Ramasamy , Malaysia, 12 October 1999
"Monkombu Sambasivam Swaminathan - it is sad to note that
this outstanding individual who was greatly responsible for India's Green Revolution and
who also recently appeared in the TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential Asians
of the 20th century has no mention in your list."
Many thanks for pointing out the omission. This has now been set right.
From: Kannan Swamy, India 28 September 1999
I applaud your effort in trying
to compile a list of 100 Tamilians who have contributed to our heritage. I found a glaring
omission in the Music, Dance, Drama Category. Kamal Hassan, the most versatile and the
best actor ever on the Indian screen does not find any mention in your listings. Is there
any prejudice here? Currently, there is no Tamilian who is more popular than him in India.
He is the most talented film personality not only in the Tamil film world but also in the
Indian film world. Please include Kamal Hassan in your list as he is the only Tamilian,
who has put the Tamil film industry on the world map with his efforts in producing, acting
and directing quality films that stands the test of time. He has created a niche for Tamil
films all over which was earlier restricted to South India.
Krishnamurthi 20 August 1999
I recommend Dr.M.S. Swaminathan to be
listed as one of the 100 Tamils of the century. He has been awarded the Roman Magsaysay
award. Apart from that he along with his wife Mrs Mina Swaminathan have founded the M.S.
Swaminathan Research Foundation and have been trying to bring about changes in our
From: Niranjan Ramakrishnan 12 August 1999
I nominate the great Tamil music
critic, Subbudu (P.V.Subramaniam). He is the doyen of
Carnatic Music criticism, reviewing music and dance performances for Swadeshamithiran,
Kalki, Kumudam, Dinamani Kadir and Ananda Vikatan, among journals. He has been responsible
for encouraging and bringing to the forefront many of the musicians we know today,
including Mandolin Srinivas, Bombay Sowmya and Shashank. Many may be unaware that
Subbudu is also an institution in New Delhi, being one of the first Tamils to settle there
(1943). He participated in founding most of the early Tamil institutions in New Delhi,
including the Madrasi school, the South Indian Cultural Association, and the South Indian
Theatres. Shri Subbudu, a fine mimic and actor himself, has directed several Tamil plays
From: John Joshva Raja 4
I would nominate:
For Music - Kunaakudi Vaidyanathan, Ilayaraja
For Nationalism - Kattapomman, Pulithevan,
For Religion - Kanchi Samkarachari, Kundrakudi Adihalar
From: Vamanan Sundar, 18
I would like to nominate the following two persons... to honour their courage, and
dedication. They had a huge vision about the future Tamil Eelam.
1. Lt. Col. Victor: He was born in Mannar to a middle
class family that actively participated in the struggle for Tamil Eelam. It is very
appropriate to point out that Victor's father was one of those who was injured
during the satygraha at Galle Face against the
Sinhala Only language policy ...Victor joined the L.T.T.E in the early 80's.
L.T.T.E leader V. Pirabaharan appointed him as the area leader of the
Mannar region. Victor led many attacks against the Sri Lankan government armed
forces. Later when, V. Pirabaharan started the L.T.T.E's first
Women's Brigade it was at the early stage under Victor's supervision. ... Part of the
credit for the success of Women's Tigers goes to Victor. ....
2. Lt. Col. Ponnamman
He was born in Jaffna and studied in Jaffna Hindu College. He joined the L.T.T.E in the
early 80's and soon won the trust and respect of V. Pirabaharan. Pirabaharan appointed
Ponnamman as head of the Training camp in India. Many who joined the L.T.T.E in the early
80's were trained by Ponnamman. Ponnamman set the path for creating courageous, dedicated,
and disciplined cadres - this paved the way for the L.T.T.E 's success.
From: Sivaraj D 14 July
I would like to nominate writer "Sujatha"
Rangarajan for "One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century " in Language &
He was one of the most influential Tamil writers of the later part of the 20th
Century in India. He is a role model for many aspiring and now popular writers. He was the
first and most prominent writer of Science fiction in Tamil. He propagated scientific
awareness through his articles in Dinamani Sudar, Ananda Vikatan, Junior Vikatan and other
Tamil magazines. He was awarded the prestigious B.D.Goenka award for his contribution in
"Popularizing Science among the Public".
He also served in various committees of the Government of Tamilnadu for standardizing
and popularizing Tamil computing.
His significant works include:
Science - General:
En? engE? Eppadi? (Questions and answers about everyday science)
Silicon Sillup Puratchi (Story of silicon chips)
Computerin kathai (Basic computer knowledge)
Thalaimai Ceyalagam (Functions of brain)
En Iniya Iyanthira
He has also authored numerous novels, short stories, and movie screenplay/stories, and
various articles in popular magazines.
From Manoharan Ratnam 8 July 1999
I do not agree with the nomination of the following:
a) M.G Ramachandran , unlike EVR and Vaiko,
though non Tamils but are technically Tamils as they were born in Tamilnadu, MGR does not
qualify to be Tamil.
b) Sinnathamby Rajaratnam & Suppiah Dhanabalan - both ex-cabinet ministers of
Singapore. Though they were brilliant politicians their contribution to the Tamil culture,
language etc is nil. Both married non Tamils and S.Dhanabalan is well known in Singapore
for his comments against the Tamil culture and religion. His nomination would be an insult
to Singaporean Tamil Hindus.
c) In my opinion, I feel Tamils who contributed to nuclear science should not be
nominated, as their contribution is one of a destructive energy.
d) Lastly there has been an over emphasis on sport personnel, particularly in Tennis and
Cricket. It appears that (Tamilnadu/Eelam) Tamils excel only in this elite sports. There
are many excellent Tamil sports men/women from Malaysia and Singapore who have created
Asian records. e.g. Malaysian G. Saravanan, the Gold
Medallist in 50 km walk in the recent Commonwealth games. His victory created national
headlines. FYI, Malaysia has some outstanding Tamil athletes.
Thedchanamoorthy 4 July 1999
I had a chance to view the above list and I am a little dissappointed that Mr. A.
Amirthalingam's name was not there. I would like to nominate
Mr. A. Amirthalingam's name to the above list.
- while he was a... student he was choosen by Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayagam
...and was a back bone of the Federal Party which fought Sinhala Only and Government
assisted Sinhalese settlements (in the Tamil homeland)
- no Tamil would forget Amirthalingam's role in the 1956 protest at Galle Face and his
speech with a bloody wound on his head.
- the struggle for Tamil Eelam really surfaced with the Pannakam Conference and the
roles of the TULF and Amir are unforgettable
- role of Amir as the only Tamil opposition leader and his messages to the world at that
time brought us considerable recognition.
Response by tamilnation:
The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in a list of 100
Tamils of the 20th Century is examined in a
From Mano Ratnam, Australia 2
I would like to make the following nominations
a) Muthiah Sthapathi, Tamilnadu
b) Nagarajan Sthapathi, Tamilnadu - please refer
a) Dr Navtheetham, Tamilnadu - for her extensive research on
Tamil folk music
b) Kalaimamani Subbu Arumugam, Tamilnadu -
c) Dr L. Subramanian, America - renown violinist
d) Kunagudi Vaithiyanathan, Tamilnadu
e) Elangovan, Singapore- Highly acclaimed contemporary Tamil play
writer & director
f) Ravichandra, Australia - Mrdangam Vidvan & promoter of
Carnatic music in Australia
Sister Mangalam, Malaysia - dedicated social worker
Late Sarangapany, Singapore - Founder of Singapore's only Tamil
daily - Tamil Murasu & Tamilar Thirunal
Late P Govindasamy Pillai, Singapore - Philanthropist
who contributed to the renovation and construction of temples and kalyana mandapams in
Singapore, Malaysia & India, e.g Srinivasa Perumal Temple Rajagopuram & Kalyana
Mandapam (Singapore), Andal Sanithi in Srivilliputtur
Tun Sambanthan, Malaysia - Pioneer in Malaysian Politics
& has the honour of a road in Kuala Lumpur named after him.
Swami Sivananda, Malaysia - Founder of the Divine Life
Society in Rishikesh, India
Yogi Balakrishnan, Malaysia, Singapore - A yoga exponent
From Murali Murugavelu India 19 June 1999
Greetings. I checked the section on Tamil scholars and writers.
In this regard I would like to nominate: Mr. M. P.
Periaswami Thooran. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Kalaimamani award and a host
of awards and titles like " Esai Perarignyar", "Sentamil
Kalaichelvar" for his contributions in the field of Music, Drama and Poetry.
He was also the Chief Editor of the Tamil Encyclopaedia, a mammoth work spanning 10
Volumes and a Junior Tamil Encylopedia for Children, paving way for the growth of Science
in Tamil Nadu.He is best remembered for his works on Children.
His Carnatic compositions like " Muruga Muruga ", " Gana
Nadhanae "and " Murli dhara gopala " have entralled audiences worldwide. He
also edited the Underground , pro Independence anti British publication " Pithan
". He definitely deserves a place among the top 100 Tamils. I request you to
research this legendary, unassuming personality.
From: Ramkumar USA
11 June 1999
Please consider Kamal
Hassan, ... Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram, and
writer Sujatha who influences
contemporary Tamil youth with his science based Tamil novels.
I think we should have famous entrepreneurs and industrialists sections too. Azhagappa Chettiar may be listed under this category.
Actually Mahesh Bhupathi was born in Madras and is a
Tamilian and I guess he should be added to the sports section (remember, recently he won
the grand-slam with Leander Paes).
I am not sure why J.Krishnamurthy is not added under
spirituality section. May be you consider him a Telugu.
Political section : One can consider, T.T.Krishnamachari
(once a Cabinet Minister under Nehru), P.Chidambaram (ex Finance Minister), Amirthalingam (a Tamil moderate who got killed by the LTTE for
reasons that no Tamil in Tamilnadu knows about, but neverthless considered as a great
soul), Anbazhagan (eternal no 2 to Karunanidhi, but neverthless a
staunch Dravidian conformist), Muthuramalinga Thevar, R.Venkatraman (Former President of India).
Science section: Dr. Chidamabaram (famous colleague of Abdul Kalam)
Response by tamilnation:
J.Krishnamurthy was not included because he was not a Tamil.
The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in a list of 100
Tamils of the 20th Century is examined in a
From Harigopal Raghavan 24 May 1999
It is heartening to note that people are interested in learning about
the past. History when used in the right way, tells us about the
pitfalls to avoid, and the contributions which lead to a fruitful life. A common quality
which our freedom fighters had, was 'simplicity and thoughtfulness' of these people. They
were interested not only in freedom from the British, but also freedom from evil social
bondages of caste inequality, gender inequality, and economic exploitation. It is
appropriate to remember here that these people never did anything only to be in the
limelight, but their actions automatically brought them to the limelight.
Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi,
qualifies as a gem among Tamils, for his contribution to the freedom struggle, to gender,
caste equality, to literature and also to Hindu religion through simplicity in
communicating lofty ideals.
In the political arena, EVR and Rajaji qualify due to their selfless
work for the Tamil people. The clearly visible friendship between these two, despite their
having opposing ideologies, brings out the best in these two leaders. It is ofcourse
impossible to forget the greatness of Kamaraj, and CNAnnadurai for their service to the
society. Among the later Tamil politicians, MGR and Kalangyar Karunanidhi are worshiped
for their political maturity and sincerity. Among the literary giants, Avvaiyar, Alwars,
Nayanmars are also to be remembered. The great contributors to science and technology,
like CVRaman, and Srinivasa Ramanujam also
qualify to the list. Present day greats like Sujatha, Cho Ramaswamy
and artists like MSS also qualify to the list because of their prominence in Tamil life.
Vigneswaran, Canada 22 May 1999
I would like to nominate late Mr. Appapillai. Amirthalingam, the leader
of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) ... Especially on this day, May 22nd each
Tamil have to remember this "Black Day" in our history when we faced the grave
danger to our freedom, self respect and fundamental rights by the promulgation of the
Republication constitution by the Sinhala government on May 22, 1972.
Mr. Amirthalingam fought for Tamil rights in and out in
the Parliament in a democratic way till his death on 13 July 1989. He became the
undisputed leader of Tamils after death of his political guru, "Thanthai
Chelva"( Late Mr. S.J.V Chelvanayagam. Q.C.) in 1977. Amirthalingam was Thanthai
Chelva's chief lieutenant. Amirthalingam was the hero of the Tamil youths, he was popular
among the youths as "Amir Annai".
Amir annan always admired and respected the Tamil
militants. He had toiled for the unity of the militant leaders. Once he told V.P. Vaidak
that the militant leaders used to meet him and consult him whenever it was
necessary. Mr. V Pirabaharan, LTTE leader and Uma Maheswaran PLOTE leader used to keep in
touch. (Ethnic Crisis in Sri Lanka - India's Options by V.P.Vaidak) Amir annai is no
more with us to carry out our struggle against the Sinhala Government. As we get closer to
remember his 10th death anniversary, let us all join together to achieve our goal. by,
Theivendram. Vigneswaran. Cambridge, Ont. Canada.
Response by tamilnation:
The question whether Mr.Appapillai Amirthalingam should be included in
a list of 100 Tamils of the 20th Century is examined
in a separate article
From V.Thangavelu Canada 8 May 1999
I will nominate E.V.K.Ramasamy otherwise known as Thathai Periyar as the leader who made a
difference in the life of millions of Tamils who suffered the humiliation of being called
sutras. Through the self-respect movement Periyar restored the lost dignity and status of
the Tamil people. Though Periyar himself lamented the fact that he is leaving the Tamils
as Sutras - he had done enough for the Tamil people to regain their dignity and past
From Siva 6 May 1999
My nominations are as follows
C.Vanniasingham MP Kopay 1948~1956 - the one who convinced Mr S.J.V. Chelvanayakam to form the Ilankai Tamil
Arasukk Katchi in 1948 and the only one to be elected to retain his seat (in the north) in
parliament from the party in 1952. His efforts on Thamil Arasu and devotion brought the
party to be the one which promted and led the Tamils for self determination.
Veuppillai Pirabaharan without any doubt what ever to be # 1 on the list for having unified
the ideals of all Tamils and leading them with bravery, devotion and instilling self
respect in every one of them.
C.N Annadurai the leader who revolutionized Tamil thinking.
M.S. Subbulaxmi - the one who proved that TAMIL SONGS fit well into classical music. And
her acceptance as the benchmark for a melodious voice.
S.Thondaman - the leader of the largest trade union in his
country. In Sri Lanka any party can be the ruling party Thondaman will always be a
minister and he will do it his way.
T.Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia the Financial Wizard behind the
tallest building in the world - the petronas towers in Malaysia.
Sri Jayendra Saraswathy of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam
the religious guru
From Sooriyajeevan, U.S.A. 21
I would nominate, Appaiah the Senior Most Defence Scientist of
the Tamil Nation in 20th century.
Throughout the history of the world, major technological innovations and
breakthroughs happened during the times of war. Necessity made countries to dedicate
enormous amount of resources to achieve technological advantage
against the enemy. The Internet, super-computers, rocket technology, geographical
positioning systems and nuclear power are a few notable contributions among a large pool
of innovations that the defence industry opened to civilian use.
Defence scientists and their contributions are some of the best-kept secrets in all
countries. Appaiah of Tamil Eelam is not an exception. From the inception of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam until he retired in the late nineties, his contributions
from improvised landmines to homemade aircrafts, are a legend. However, because of the
secretive nature of his contributions only a few details can be found in public media
"And Appaiah Annai who, in terms of seniority, comes next is already in his
sixties, though essentially a military man - the one who was initially responsible for the
LTTE expertise in landmines." Taraki, After Prabha: question of succession, The
Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) ISSN: 1391-0531, October 20, 1996.
Technological ingenuity is crucial for any military force that fights an enemy with
superior human resources and firepower. Victory by the LTTE against Sri Lanka's armed
forces and India's armed forces was possible primarily because of the technological
ingenuity of the LTTE and the dedicatin of its cardres. And it was the senior most defence
scientist of the LTTE, Appaiah, who ensured that the military technology of the LTTE was
at its best all the time.
"On July 23 night, an army patrol codenamed " Four Four Bravo" and
comprising 15 men moved out of Gurunagar camp in a jeep and a half truck. It reported at
23:28 hrs that it was moving towards Urumpurai and it was very quiet. Moments later the
patrol neared Tinneveli, where the Tigers lay in wait. Chellakilli, Victor and Appaiah had
placed detonators on the road and had been giving final touches when the patrol neared the
site. " M. R. Narayan Swamy, Tigers of Lanka from Boys to Guerrillas, South Asia
Books; ISBN: 8122003869, August 1995, p. 89
Appaiah is the senior most defence scientist of the Tamil nation in 20th
century. Any other defence scientists of his calibre in the Tamil nation can only be found
in 15th century or before.... Therefore the senior most defence scientist of Tamil Eelam
Appaiah should also be included among the One Hundred Tamils of the Twentieth Century.
Subbaraj 11 April 1999
I would like to nominate the great chess player Vishwanathan
Anand. His biography:
Viswanathan Anand, popularly known as "Vishy, the Tiger from Madras"
learnt chess at the tender age of six. His lightning speed of play and intuition saw
him become the youngest National Champion at the age of 16.
In 1987 he became the First Asian to win the World Junior Championship. He also earned the
coveted Grandmaster title. He carved a special place on the chessboard by winning
the strongest tournament at that time, the "Reggio Emilia" in Italy in 1991
ahead of Kasparov and Karpov.
He was a World Championship challenger in the PCA (New York 1995) & FIDE (1997
Lausanne) cycles. He has the distinction of winning the strongest knock out tournament in
recent chess history in Groningen in December 1997.
He also won the Linares Super Torneo in 1998, the strongest tournament at this point. His
other great victories include the Melody Amber tournament (1994 & 1997), the Credit
Suisse Masters (1997), Dos Hermanas (1997) and Wijk Aan Zee(1998).
Anand is currently rated NUMBER Two in the World in both the rating
lists, namely, the PCA & the FIDE lists.
Anand was awarded many prestigious titles in India like the Arjuna Award, the Padmashri
(the youngest recipient of the title), the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
award, the Soviet Land Nehru award, the BPL Achievers of the World, Sportstar, and the
Sportsworld "Sportsman of the year 1995" Award.
Anand holds a degree in commerce, his other hobbies are reading, swimming &
listening to music. Anand, known as the "One man Indian chess revolution,"
keenly promotes the game, through innovative methods in the country, where the game first
originated. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with his wife Aruna.
Pichumani 2 April 1999
VaNakkam. I would like to suggest the following persons:
1) Semmangudi SrinivAsa Iyer : an eminent in
carnatic music, titled as "sangeetha thAththA"; the youngest to get
"sangeetha kalAnidhi" award, and the oldest "sangeetha kalAnidhi"
living among us.
2) KAnchi MahA swAmigaL Sri Chandra SEkarEndra
Saraswathi swAmigaL - who lived 100 years and was worshipped by many other saints also.
His lectures are compiled in the name "dheivaththin kural"; a great compilation
includes literature to vEdhAs, daily life practices to yAgams etc etc. A great mahaan of
the 20 th century. Even though His ancestors were Kannada Brahmins, He was born and lived
in Thamizh nAdu as a Tamilian.
3) Important freedom fighters like
Thiruppoor Kumaran, Veera VAnchi must be included. I am not sure of their timeline,
but, if we forget them, it is a shame to us, to enjoy the freedom that they gifted to us.
From Vamanan Sundar, USA
I have the following names for the "One Hundred Tamil List" nomination:
Vellupillai Balakumar - He was the leader of another
Tamil Eelam liberation movement, EROS. He later joined with LTTE to strengthen the Tamil
fighting power. This unselfish person showed to all the Tamil parties that our goal
is the same and we only need one united movement to win our freedom. He sacrificed
his leadership for the freedom of Tamils.
Dr. Anton Balasingam
He is one of the highly educated people who works with LTTE since the inception of LTTE.
In addition, he has also got his Australian born wife to support for our cause. Their
commitment is an example to all the Tamils that regardless of our education, wealth or
status in the society, we owe it to our homeland.
Thangathurai and Kuttimani
They started TELO and worked hard for the freedom of the Tamils until they were captured
and jailed in Wellikadai and eventually murdered by the
Sinhalese thugs. The speech given
by these two on the eve of their verdict reinforces that even in the last minute of their
lives, they were clear of their dream. Their hard work and determination are something
that we can look up to.
P.Nedumaran, S.Ramadas, K. Veeramani and V.Gopalaswamy
These four people are re-creating the Tamil renaissance in Tamil Nadu. Their hard work is
beginning to pay off now. They have demonstrated to us that we have to be determined to
break the barriers that stand in the way to reaching our goals.
Actor Nagesh - He was the Charlie Chaplin of the Tamils' world.
He is the best comedy actor the Tamil cinema world has produced in the 20th century.
Capt. Millar - First suicide bomber who has come forward to
give up his life in the maximum way to free Vadamaratchi (his village) when the Sri Lankan
forces captured Vadamaratchi in Operation liberation. His initiative is a role model for
many Tamil fighters and they have begun to play critical roles in recent fights.
Capt. Malathi - First woman fighter to die in the struggle for
freedom. Now we see hundreds and hundreds woman fighters leading combats. They have
changed the way that Tamil women are viewed in Sri Lanka. Soon, the rest of the world will
come to know of it as well. Her last day on the earth is commemorated as Women's Day in Tamil
I nominate the following:
Nagalingam - Proctor and leading Trade Unionist during his time. Founding member of
the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, which fought for equality for all races in Sri Lanka, S
R Kanaganayagam - Leading Advocate and member of UNP and later Tamil Congress and
G. G. Ponnambalam - no need for any introduction
From: Senthil, Oklahoma, USA
I would like to nominate the following ....
V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Siva, Thirupur
Kumaran , E.V.Ramasamy(Perriyar) , Natesa Mudaliar ,
Kamaraj, Nedumaran ,
Bharathi Dasan (Kanaga Subburathinam) ,
Pudumai Pitthan (So.Virudhachalam) , U.Ve.Sa ,
Kannadasan , Sirpi(Balasubramaniam) ,
Singam , Tharumu Sivaramu ,
Maraimalai Adigal, Vinayagam Pillai , Vanna Nilavan , Ka.Na.Subramaniam , Pazhamalai ,
Pirabanchan , Ki.Raja Narayanan
Ki.A.Pe.Visawanatham Pillai , C.Subramaniam
, Thiru.Vi.Kalyanasundaram , Raja
of Chettinad , Raja of Panagal
Kalaivanar (NS Krishnan) , Shivaji Ganesan , Suseela , A.M.Raja , M.R.Radha ,
Kalaingar Karunanithi, MS Viswanathan , Illaiyaraja
I would nominate Janaki Ramachandran, V.N.Janaki and Papanasam Sivan
From Ottawa, Canada
I would like to suggest the following:
1. Prof. Thurairajah
Prof. Thurairajah was a great scholar who lived in the 20th century. He had many
accomplishments in the academic field. He also contributed to strengthen the Eelam
struggle .... To honour his contributions to the Eelam struggle, Tamil Eelam leader Vellupillai Pirabaharan honoured him by the name, "Mamanithan
2. Annai Poopathy
She is one of the few people who fasted to death like Thiyagee Thileepan to protest
against Indian government's actions that severely hurt numerous innocent Tamils in Tamil
3. Kirushnamachari Srikanth
He is the one and only Tamil who captained the Indian cricket team. He is one of people
who made cricket interesting .... He contributed significantly to the success of the
Indian cricket team at the world cup in England in the 80's. When West Indies
captain Vivian Richards was asked who was the very difficult player to handle in the
world, he replied, Srikanth. "No one can predict where he will hit the
ball when he is batting and it is very difficult to arrange the field" said Vivian
4. Puthuvai Rathinathurai and
Both have written so many poem and songs portraying the Tamil Eelam struggle. Their songs
are very much enjoyed by many Tamils.
From Norway: Benjamin Raja
"I suggest seven names
- Charles Lucan Anthony alias Seelan - he acted as the Commander when Pirabaharan was
away and he was a trusted associate.
- Sivakumaran, the first Tamil militant hero
- Ethirveerasingham, the first Tamil to win a gold medal at the Asian Games
- Rev. Father Peter Pillai Senior , educationist
- V Vanniasingam (Kopay M. P) a Founder of the Federal Party
- Sir Ponambalam Ramanathan
- Rev Lourdusamy, D. Simon, First Tamil Catholic Cardinal Bishop
From Tamil Nadu: Sundarrajan.G, Anna Nagar, Chennai-50
My nominee is Periyar E.V.Ramasamy. He is the man who made the Tamils realise about
their significance, tradition and brought out the evil designs fostered by the people who
came through Kyber and Bolan passes. Real Tamilian should accept him as fore runner of
the Tamil cause
From Thambirajah Ravikularam email@example.com
I would like to recommend - Azhikkumaran Anandan - for his contributions in breaking the
Guinness world records in swimming and dancing etc.
From the Emirates:
I would like to make an observation on the classification of political activism. It would
be more appropriate if you could make a new category named "Liberation leaders or
Independence leaders " to include people like
Mr.Thileepan etc.whose names should not be
listed along with other politicians.
From Raghavan T: firstname.lastname@example.org
I genuinely admire
the mission of Tamil Nation, and I wish you good luck for
further growth and success. One of the things that interests me is the One Hundred Tamils
List. I would like to nominate "Thiyagee Thileepan"
for the courageous approach he took in the liberation fight of Tamil Eelam. As a fighter,
he used both arms and "ahimsa" for the freedom of Tamils. Ultimately, he fasted
to death without even drinking water. He believed that people will realise why he gave up
his own life in this cruel way and eventually a people's revolution will occur sooner or
later, and Tamil Eelam will become a reality. For this unique approach he took in the
struggle for freedom, he should be recognised for his effort. Thus, I strongly feel that
he qualifies to be one of the special one hundred Tamils.
From London: Women's Development
and Information Unit - email@example.com
writes on 15/9/98:
The greatest Tamils to liberate Tamil language and people namely
Pavanar (Deveneya Pavanar),
are somehow missing.?
It will be very helpful, if you would (if possible) give the dates of birth/death of these
Tamils and also (if possible) some further biographical details. In the meantime, your
email will be included at the next update of the Hundred Tamils Forum page. Mikka Nanri.
From Japan: Sachi Sri Kantha writes:
My selections for 100 Influential
Tamils of the 20th Century are:
(1879-1972)/India - Governor General
S.J.V.Chelvanayakam (1898-1977)/ Eelam - Federal
K.Kamaraj (1903-1975)/ India - Congress Party leader
R.Venkatraman (1910- ) India - Congress Party leader and
C.Subramaniam (1910- )India - Congress Party Finance
S.Thondaman (1913- )India-born, Sri Lanka - Ceylon Workers Congress leader
Sinnathamby Rajaratnam (1915 - )/ Eelam-born,
Singapore - Foreign Minister
J.B.Jeyaratnam (1926- )/ Eelam-born,
Singapore - Opposition leader
A.Amirthalingam (1929- ) Eelam - Federal Party leader and Leader of Opposition
U.Ve.Swaminatha Aiyar (1855-1942)/
India - Tamil literature archivist
Maraimalai Adikal (1875?-1950) /India- 'Pure Tamil'
Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (1879-l973)/ India - Self Respect Movement leader
C.N.Annadurai (1909-1969)/India- founder of DMK and
M.P.Sivagnana Gramani / India- leader of
Congress and Tamil activist
V.Nedunchezhian (1920- )/ India - leader of DMK and later
M.Karunanidhi (1924- )/India - leader of DMK
V.Prabhakaran (1954- )/Eelam - founder of LTTE
Subrahmanya Bharati (1882- 1921)/India -poet
Bharathidasan (1891-1964)/India - poet
Kalki Krishnamoorthy (1899-1954) India-novelist,
R.K.Narayan (1906- )India- novelist, essayist
M.Varatharajan (1912-1974)/ India - novelist' essayist
Koththamangalam Subbu / India - poet
Sandilyan / India - novelist
Akilan /India - novelist
Kavignar Kannadasan /India - poet
S.Ponnudurai (Es.Po) /Eelam-novelist
Pammal Sambantha Mudaliyar /India - dramatist
Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan ( -1956) / India -
humorist, movie actor
'Avvai' T.K.Shanmugam -T.K.Bagavathi
brothers /India - dramatists
Rukmani Devi Arundale
/ India - Bharata Natyam
M.S.Subbhulakshmi (1916- )/India - Carnatic Musician
M.G.Ramachandran (1917-1987)/ Sri Lanka-born, India - movie actor and founder of AIADMK
T.Balasaraswathi (1914-1984)/ India - Bharata Natyam
Sivaji Ganesan (l928- )/ India- movie actor
K.Balachandar / India - movie director]
Sirkali Govindarajan / India - popular vocalist
M.S.Visvanathan /India- music director
Padma Subrahmanyam /India - Bharata Natyam dancer]
'Gemini' S.S.Vasan/ India - movie entrepreneur,
A.Y.S.Gnanam (St.Anthonys Group) / Sri Lanka
Suresh Krishna (TVS Group)/India
Annamalai C.Muthiah (M.A.Chidambaram Group)/ India
T.Ananda Krishnan / Eelam-born, Malaysia
[see also Petronas Twin Towers]
Suppiah Dhanapalan / Singapore - Cabinet Minister and
President of Singapore Air Lines
Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1947)/ Sri
Lankan-born/British-American - critic
Swami Gnanaprakasar/ Eelam - commentator
Fr.S.Thaninayagam/ Eelam - commentator
R.K.Laxman/ India -cartoonist
A.K.Ramanujam/India - translator
K.Kailasapathy/Eelam - journalist, critic
S.Ramanujan (1887-1920)/India - mathematician
C.V.Raman (1888-l970)/India - physicist
S.Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)/India - physicist
C.J.Eliezer (1918- )/Eelam - mathematician
Moncombu S.Swaminathan (1925- )/India - agronomist
Abdul Kalam ( )/India - nuclear scientist
K.Nilakanta Sastri /India - historian
Stanley J.Tambiah /Eelam - anthropologist
Swami Vipulananda/ Eelam - music scholar
Suddhanantha Bharathi/ India - composer
Kirupanantha Vaariyar/ India - popular expositor
Kunrakkudi Adigal/ India- popular expositor
Ramanathapurarn Krishnan/ India - tennis
Srinivas Venkatraghavan/ India- cricket
Krishnamachari Srikanth/ India - cricket
Vijay Amritraj/ India - tennis
Ramesh Krishnan/ India - tennis
Muttiah Muralitharan/ Eelam - cricket
From U.S.A: Ramalingam Shanmugalingam writes:
vanhakkam, I am pleased to give some information about
Sethuraman who you may find qualifies as one of the hundred Tamil greats of the
twentieth century.... He is not only a poet of international fame, he is a warrior...
From New Mexico: Vasan writes:
சிறப்பான முதல் நூறு தமிழர்கள் பட்டியலில் தமிழக அரசியல் தலைவர்கள் சிலர்
பெயர்களும் இருப்பதை கண்டேன். என்னுடைய தாழ்மையான ஒரு விண்ணப்பம் - அந்த
பட்டியலில் அமரர்.காமராசரின் பெயர் இல்லாதது ஆச்சிரியமாய் உள்ளது,உடன் அவர்
பெயரையும் இணைக்கக் கேட்டுக் கொள்கிறேன். - மிக்க நன்றி.
Response from tamilnation: Many thanks
for your suggestion. We will include
Kamraj (at the next) update
From Canada: Senthuran Nadarajah suggests for inclusion in
list of Hundred Tamils:
1) Valvettithurai Sea Farers 2) Navaratnasamy who swam the
Palk Straits for the first time. 3)
who entered the Guinness record book seven times and also made many other records which
were amazing. 4)
Velupillai Pirabaharan, leader of