Popular Tamil writer, Sahitya Akademi winner Ki.Ra passes away, TN CM announces state funeral


Chennai, May 18 (UNI) Sahitya Akademi award winner and the grand old man of Tamil literature Ki.Rajanarayanan, popularly called as 'Ki.Ra', died in Puducherry in the early hours of Tuesday. He was 98.
He is survived by two sons.Family sources said he died of old age-related ailments.His body was kept at Lawspet Government quarters residence, where Puducherry Lt Governor Ms Tamilisai Soundararajan paid her homage. 
Tami Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin condoled his death and said his funeral will take place with full State honours. 
“A pioneer in writing stories in dialects, Ki.Ra. authored a dictionary of dialect--Karisal Kaatu Sollagarathi--which paved way for similar dictionaries from other regions of the state. 
In his young age, he was affected by tuberculosis. He had dropped out of school after seventh standard and started his literary career after nearly two decades after the age of 30. His first short story ‘Mayamaan’, published in 1959 in the magazine ‘Saraswathi’, heralded the arrival of a new writing. 
His works captured the lives of the people of Karisal Bhoomi — hot and dry land — of southern Tamil Nadu in their authentic language. 
He won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1991 for his novel ‘Gopallapurathu Makkal’ depicting the Telugu people who had migrated to southern parts of Tamil Nadu. It was followed by another novel ‘Andaman Naicker.’ Apart from Mr Stalin, MDMK leader Vaiko, PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss and leader of various parties also condoled the death of Ki.Ra.