(Tamil Heritage Trust)
HISTORY OF SOUTH INDIA DURING COLONIAL RULE
(AS GLEANED FROM INDIGENOUS LITERATURE)
Mr. KRA Narasiah
at 5.30pm on Saturday, March 1st, 2014
at Vinoba Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.
About the Topic:
The History of Colonial South India and Madras available to us is mainly from the western writers’ notes and the records meticulously maintained by the authority be it the Company or the Crown. There are local Kavyas and folklore poetry that are available in good number of the same period. However most of those writings lack in clarity as the main purpose is lost in eulogizing the protagonists. Even so, there are embedded in them the stories of the places and people that are essentially true and convey the sense of historical writing.
Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703) was a Member of Parliament well known for having kept a diary from 1660 to 1669 which was considered as the most honest eye witness of events and people. His influence on the Admiralty was so much that though he had no maritime experience he was appointed the Chief Secretary of the Admiralty under Kings Charles II and James II. Anandaranga Pillai, Dubashi of Dupleix Governor of Pondicherry, maintained diaries in Tamil and Telugu from 1736 to 1760 and C. S. Srinivasachari says Ananda Ranga Pillai was the Samuel Pepys of French India. Thus the diaries of Pillai form the important source of colonial history. Similarly, some Sanskrit kavyas are available which have been introduced to the public by Dr. V. Raghavan, like the Sarvadeva Vilasa and Champu kavyas. These Kavyas tell us the story of the place and people of the colonial times which are true records. This talk is mainly based on such indigenous sources.
About the Speaker:
Born in Berhampur Orissa, Narasiah, a marine engineer by profession who has spent 14 years at sea sailing, 10 of which in men-of-war and the rest in merchantmen. He spent some time in Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast while Vikrant, the first Aircraft Carrier of India was fitted out and took over as its first flight deck Chief. While in Port service his services were requisitioned by the Navy for Bangladesh Liberation.
After sea service he joined the Port of Vizag as a marine Engineer and retire as its Chief Mechanical Engineer. He was a consultant with the World Bank for Cambodian Emergency Rehabilitation work from 1994 to 1996. .
He writes both in Tamil and English and is passionate about marine History.
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