Biography of Kannadasan-TamilCinema Lyricist-“Kaviyarasar”

Name: A.L.Muthiah
Pen-Name/Known As: ‘Kaviyarasar’- Kannadasan

Other ‘Pen’Names: Karaimuthu Pulavar, Vanangamudi, Kamakappriya, Parvathi Nathan, Arokkiya Saamy

Date of Birth: 24th June 1927 (Sirukoodalpatti, Tamilnadu)

Date of Death: 17th October 1981 (At Chicago, USA)

Occupation: Tamil Poet, Tamil Cinema Lyricist, Novelist and Writer.

Famous For:
Kannadasan has written around 5000 lyrics besides 6000 poems and 232 books, including novels, epics, plays, essays, especially, “Arthamulla Indhumatham”/ (English: Meaningful Hindu Religion) Essays in 10 Parts.

Awards Won By Kannadasan:
Kannadasan has been the  first Lyricist  ever to receive the National Film Award for Best Lyrics for the Tamil film “Kuzhanthaikkaga”- in the year 1961.

Kannadasan won the “Sahitya Akademi Award” for his novel ‘Cheraman Kadhali’- in the year 1980 .

In Tamil Cinema the following  Lyricists had been popular and dominating at the time when Kannadasan entered Tamil Cinema Field for Songs Writing as a Lyricist and started writing his ever-green hit songs:
  • Papanasam Shivam,
  • Kambadasan,
  • Vindhan,
  • Maruthakasi and
  • Ku.Ma.Balasubramanian.

However, after Kannadasan’s entry into the Tamil Cinema Field as a lyricist, he had become the only ‘uncrowned emperor’ of Tamil Cinema Lyricists till his death,by his unique Tamil songs, inspite of the following popular and talented Tamil Cinema Lyricists had been writing Tamil Cinema songs:

  • Vaali,
  • Pulamaipittan,
  • Alangudi Somu,
  • Avinasimani,
  • Panchu Arunachalam and
  • Jayakanthan.
Kannadasan’s Autobiographies:
Kannadasan has written four autobiographies, each one pertaining to a certain period of his life. The following are the 4 auto-biographies written by Kannadasan:
  • Enathu Vasantha Kalangal,   
  • Enathu Suyasaritham,   
  • Vanavasam and
  • Manavasam.

About Kannadasan’s “Vanavaasam”: 

In the year 1949,  A.L.Muthiah was influenced by the DMK Founder-Leader, ‘Perarignar. C.N.Annadurai / Anna’s speech and policies against-“Brahminism” and Hindu Religions  and became a founder-member of DMK.

After 10 years of un-recognized  and fruitless political life, he realized that politics and atheism were not for him and ended his 10 years’ vanavasam and he re-converted himself to Hinduism/God-Belief.  After reading ‘Aandaal’s Thiruppavai’, he returned back to Hinduism / Belief in God and changed his name as “Kannadasan”.  

After re-converting to the belief of God, Kannadasan read and even studied the “Holy Bible” of the Christians and the “Holy Qur’an” of the Muslims and he got satisfied himself that all religions lead only to “God” and he became a very strong believer in God and the Hindu Religion.
Kannadasan wrote a series of essays in 10 parts,on the Hindu Religion- “Arthamulla Hindu Madham”/Meaningful Hindu Religion. The message contained in the 10 parts of the book are also available in “Audio” in Kannadasan’s own voice.

Kannadasan studied the “Holy Bible” of the Christians and the Veeramaamunivar’s “Thembaavani” and wrote the ‘Life of Jesus Christ” in the name of “Yesu Kaaviyam” by staying at Tiruchirappalli.

Kannadasan wrote his auto-biography- for the period from 1949 to 1960 in the name of-“Vanavaasam” in the year 1961  after he quitted his political life and re-entered into religious life.

“Vanavasam means a very hard life in a forest. Similar to  the 13 years’ vanavasam of the Paandavas and the 14 years vanavasam of Lord Sri Rama and Seetha.

In A.L.Muthiah’/Kannadasan’s case, it had been a vanavasam of 10 years. 
In his auto-biography-“Vanavaasam”, Kannadasan has written in brief:
“When suffering people come together, they become friends,
When greedy people come together, they become enemies,   
Goalless and unplanned life will not take us anywhere and   
Unidentified people live peacefully when compared to identified people”.
Kannadasan has written dialogues for many Tamil Movies. He has appeared in Sivaji Ganesan’s “Raththa Thilagam” in the song “Oru Koppaiyile Enn Kudiyiruppu Oru Kola Mayil Enn Thunaiyiruppu”, expressing his own character. The song is shown as being sung in a college function by the ex-student Muthiah.
Also, in a Muthuraman and Jayalalitha Movie “Soorya Gandhi” he has appeared and sung a song “Paramasivan Kazhuthil Irundhu Pambu Kettadhu Garudaa Sowkyamaa”.

Many of the Tamil Movie Songs written by Kavignar Kannadasan became super-hits, due to his meaningful lyrics and the unique voice of the popular Tamil Cinema Play-back Singer T.M.Soundararajan/TMS and by the sensational acting with wonderful lips-movements by “Nadigar Thilagam”-Sivaji Ganesan

and the people-popular acting of “Makkal Thilagam” M.G.Ramachandran/MGR.

Kannadasan’s Tamil Movie Songs for other heroes and actors, like Gemini Ganesan, Muthuraman and Chandra Baabu of Tamil Cinema also have become popular.

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