Sri S Kannan, a Founder Trustee of Tamil Heritage Trust Passes Away


Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) records with deep regret the passing of Sri S Kannan, a founder Trustee of THT on Thursday, January 26, 2023, after a prolonged illness.

Sri Kannan, popularly known as “Music” Kannan in recognition of his contributions to the world of Carnatic music in Chennai, was present at the birth of THT.  He had been proposing an organization to promote the appreciation and dissemination of India’s rich cultural heritage to THT’s other founders including Prof S Swaminathan, Sri Annamalai, Sri Badri Seshadri and others.  When it was decided to set up such an organization, it was only natural for him to come on board as a Trustee.  

In the initial years of THT, Sri Kannan actively guided and supported all aspects of THT’s functioning – from opening a bank account, through recommending topics and speakers for monthly heritage talks, to obtaining sponsors for an initial corpus and much more. 

Sri Kannan was a scholar with a deep love for and knowledge of Tamil, Sri Vaishnavism, and of course, music.  He was also an excellent orator.  Nevertheless, he only acceded on a few occasions to our requests to deliver a Talk to THT’s audiences – once on the saint Ramanuja for the Pechu Kacheri on “Srirangam”, another time on the lives of the Vaishnava Alwars and on a third occasion on place names in Tamil Nadu under the title செந்தமிழ் ஊரெனும் பேரினிலே”.

Over the years Sri Kannan has been a pillar of strength to THT, gently nudging the organization forward with suggestions for improvements, generously sharing his wide network of contacts for the benefit of the Trust, and promoting THT in all the other forums that he participated in. As recently as June 2022, he served as THT’s representative on the Jury to select the winner of the THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award 2022. 

With his passing, THT has lost an irreplaceable well-wisher, guide and friend.  We will forever be inspired by his ideals of selfless service to the cause of Indian and Tamil heritage and hope to continue the good work established by him. 

Note: THT, in association with Madhuradwani, is organizing a Tribute Meeting for Sri S Kannan at 6.15 pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at Arkay Convention Centre, Luz, Chennai. 

Kashi: India's Eternal City. By Prof Rana P B Singh. Feb 4, 2023

Kāshi or Vārānasī is one of the oldest living cities in the world, For over 2,500 years this city has attracted pilgrims and seekers from all over India, renowned sages and householders, sanyasins and widows, bringht young students and the very old who have come to die there. It is the ultimate pilgrimage site for Hindus, with over three thousand temples. According to the Padma Purana "even during crores of kalpas, it would not be possible to describe the holy places situated in Vārāṇasī in detail". In his Talk, "Kashi: India's Eternal City" Prof Rana P B Singh will describe the importance of Kashi in India's sacred geography, take us along some of the sacred routes followed by pilgrims in different contexts and highlight their symbolic meaning. Do join us at 5.30 pm IST on Saturday, February 4, 2023 for this event. The talk is in English. About the Speaker: Prof. Rana P.B. Singh, Ph.D. (BHU), FJF (Japan), FIRFS (Japan), FAAI (Italy), FACLA (Korea), ‘Ganga Ratna’ (GMS Ind), ‘Koshal Ratna’ (Koshal Ins.) is a former Professor of Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Studies at Banaras Hindu University (India). For the last four decades, he has been studying and promoting cultural and sacred landscapes of Hindu and Buddhist sacred places, pilgrimages systems, and Hindu metaphysics. He has also done field studies in Japan, Sweden, Italy, Korea, and China, published thematic research, and lectured on these themes in almost all parts of the world. His publications include 42 books & anthologies and 340 papers. He is the President of Asian Cultural Landscape Association (Korea-India-Italy-Japan); President (Asia)- RWYCReconnecting With Your Culture (-- a charter Euro-Comm. & member UNESCO, centres in 35 countries) and a Visiting Professor at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Gifu Women’s University, Japan.

கருப்பர் நகரம்: மதராஸின் ஆணி வேரை தேடி - ரா .வெங்கடேஷ், Jan 21st, Saturday - 6 PM


அசல் மெட்ராஸ் இதுதான். கோட்டையை கட்டுவதற்க்காக உருவான நகரம். டெல்லியில் ஷா ஜஹானாபாத் என்ற முகலாய தலை நகரம் கட்டப்பட்ட போது தோன்றிய குடியிருப்பு. 300 ஆண்டுகளாக மதராஸ் குடிமக்களின் வாழ்க்கையை கட்டுப்படுத்தியது கருப்பர் நகரம் தான். அவர்களின் பொருளாதாரம், கலாச்சாரம், மதம் மற்றும் அரசியல் எதுவாக இருந்தாலும் சரி, அதை நிர்மாணித்தது இது தான்.இன்று சந்தும் பொந்துமாக இருக்கிறது? இதுவா? என்று கேட்கத் தோன்றும். தொழில் ஸ்தாபனமாய் வந்த கிழக்கிந்திய கம்பெனி உலகின் மிக பெரிய சாம்ராஜ்ஜியமானது ஜார்ஜ் கோட்டையின் மகிமையால் என்றால் அதில் பாதி பொறுப்பு கருப்பர் நகரத்தினையே சாரும். 

பேச்சாளர் வெங்கடேஷ் ராமகிருஷ்ணன் ஒரு வரலாற்று நாவலாசிரியர் மற்றும் கட்டுரையாளர். கல்கியின் பொன்னியின் செல்வனின் தொடர்ச்சியாக "காவிரி மைந்தன்" என்ற நாவலை அவர் எழுதியுள்ளார். அவரது நாவல்கள் அலாவுதீன் கில்ஜி, பாண்டியர்கள், சோழர்கள் மற்றும் பல்லவர்களைக் கையாள்கின்றன என்றாலும், அவருடைய புனைகதை அல்லாத படைப்புக்கள் பெரும்பாலும் சென்னை மற்றும் அதன் வரலாற்றைப் பற்றியவையே. மதராஸின் வரலாறு குறித்து டெக்கான் கிரானிக்கிள் நாளிதழில் வாராந்திர கட்டுரை எழுதி வருகிறார். அவருடைய "கூவம் ஆற்றின் கலாச்சார வரைபடத் திட்டம்" பெரும் ஆர்வத்தையும் விவாதத்தையும் தூண்டியது. அதைப்பற்றி அவர் "டெட் டாக்" ஒன்றும் கொடுத்திருக்கிறார். “மதராஸ் லோக்கல் ஹிஸ்டரி ப்ராஜெக்ட்” என்ற பெயரில் ஃபேஸ்புக்கில் அவர் நடத்தும் குழுவில் 36,000 உறுப்பினர்கள் உள்ளனர். அந்த முயற்ச்சி ‘க்ரவுட்-ஸோர்ஸிங்’ முறையில் உருவாக்கப்பட்ட சென்னை நகரின் கடந்த காலத்தைப் பற்றிய மிகப்பெரிய தகவல் வங்கியாக அங்கீகரிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது

Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age: A Success Story from Odisha. By Prateek Pattanaik. Jan 7, 2023

In January's Monthly Heritage Talk, THT brings you a young independent researcher who is boldly attempting to solve these issues. While many of Odisha's ancient traditions are still thriving, others, especially the intangible aspects, are critically endangered. Preserving the extant bank of traditional knowledge still alive with the last masters of a craft requires immediate and specialised documentation. Our speaker, Prateek Pattanaik, works on several projects to create digital documentation of vulnerable cultural practices of Odisha including performing arts and musical traditions to make cultural history more accessible and understandable and to preserve it for the future. 

In his Talk, "Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age: A Success Story from Odisha" Prateek Pattanaik will talk about some of his documentation projects, especially his efforts in documenting Odissi music in its myriad expressions. He will also share his experiences in leveraging technology to achieve this. Do join us at 5.30 pm IST on Saturday, January 7, 2023 for this event. The talk is in English. About the Speaker: Prateek Pattanaik is an independent researcher and an Odissi musician (vocalist and Binākāra), a disciple of Pt Guru Ramarao Patra. He has finished his Masters in Odia and Physics. He writes and talks on Odia culture and music with a special focus on the Jagannatha Temple of Puri. Prateek's projects include research and documentation of vulnerable cultural practices including performing arts, musical traditions, lesser known monuments, neglected languages and palm leaf manuscripts. As a trained musician, collecting & learning rare songs, tunes, ragas and techniques is his passion. In his "Odissi Project’, he is attempting to create high-quality video renditions by lesser-known artistes. The core of his work is to elevate the power of digital media and through them enhance awareness of and encourage more discussion around endangered traditions.