Dravidian scholar Iravatham Mahadevan’s bust unveiled

A bronze bust, sculpted by G. Chandrasekaran, of renowned Dravidian scholar Iravatham Mahadevan was unveiled at the Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL) in Chennai on Friday by N. Ram, Chairman, THG Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

Speaking at the event, R. Balakrishnan, honorary consultant, Indus Research Centre, RMRL, recollected that Mahadevan attended a talk on pot route in RMRL last year, a couple of months before he passed away.

“He wasn’t well when he came here. The last words that we remember are: ‘Do you think we should still call it Dravidian hypothesis?’ He said it is indeed Dravidian. I consider him as a teacher,” said Mr. Balakrishnan.

Artist and sculptor Mr. Chandrasekaran said he independently wanted to make a bronze statue because he was a big admirer of Mahadevan’s scholarship.

“I have met and worked closely during Semmozhi Maanadu (organised by the DMK in 2010) in the committee that designed the logo. But I have never discussed the subject with him. Maybe he thought I was not interested,” Mr. Chandrasekaran said.

‘Delve deep’

Mr. Ram narrated how Mahadevan struck a friendship with noted historian Romila Thapar. In her tribute in The Hindu published last year, she had mentioned that Mahadevan called her to borrow a rare book in 1968 while he was the director of Modern Bakeries in New Delhi.

“When he edited Dinamani, he paid a lot of attention to Tamil literature and culture. He went deep into the subject. The advice he would have given journalists is to go deep into subject, acquire knowledge and communicate it in an accessible manner,” he said.

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