ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By A R Venkatachalapathy

C S Subramanyam

C S Subramanyam, one of the founding leaders of the Communist Party of India in the south, died a year ago. With his passing, the last link with the founding generation of communists in India has snapped. While no decent account of his life exists, this tribute is based on information the author recollects from conversations, occasional correspondence, some archival data (of the colonial government of Madras) and a reading of his publications.

In Search of Ashe

It has been almost a century since Robert William D'Escourt Ashe, acting collector of Tirunelveli, Madras Presidency, was killed by R Vanchi Aiyar, an ex-forest guard on 17 June 1911. In 1908 Ashe was stationed in Tuticorin where the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company led by V O Chidambaram Pillai was giving its British rival a run for its money. Workers, merchants and the middle class enthusiastically supported the swadeshis. Ashe was seen as playing a leading part in the government's repression of the swadeshi company and the uprising that followed made national headlines. Vanchi Aiyar who killed himself after shooting Ashe is a patriotic martyr in Tamil Nadu and many radical characters in Tamil fiction and cinema have been named after him.

The 'Classical' Language Issue

We need to remind ourselves that classical language status is not a matter for the State to decide. It is best left to scholars, even though they are not immune from politics, to identify what is classical and what is not. Further the assignation of such a status based on accepted scholarly standards to any language should not also mean the "inferiorisation" of other languages.