(Last Updated on : 25-02-2012)
Maraimalai Atikal, alternatively known as Maraimalai Adigal, was a Tamil author and a reputed scholar whose literary works has strongly influenced the modern era in Tamil literature
. He was a scholar Tamil
and English and lived from the year 1876 to 1950. Maraimalai Atikal was born as Carni Vetacalam (Sanskrit), but later he changed his name into a more analogous and pure Tamil term. The scholar has written several articles for journals in during his early years and these works reveal his deep pious interest Shaivism
. The literary works in Tamil language
also depict his approach to Shaivism from the aspect of social reform. Maraimalai Atikal also composed many poetical works such as Comacuntarak Kanciyakkam and Murukar Mummanikkovai, following the earlier traditions and patterns in Tamil literature. The poetical compositions are concise and contain profundity of meaning. Atikal was primarily responsible for the development and progress of research and analytical works in modern Tamil literature. The research works of Pattinappalai Araycci and Mullaippattu Araycci have gained much popularity amongst other scholars and readers.
Since the year 1916, the renowned author and scholar wrote his works in pure Tamil without the use of loan words and terms from other languages. As Carni Vetacalam changed his name into Maraimalai Atikal, which is pure Tamil, thus the name of the journal edited by him became Arivukkatal from Nanacakaram, to conform to his thought of genuine Tamil language. It was through his efforts of eradicating Sanskrit loan words from Tamil literature
that Pure Tamil Movement
originated and progressed further. His works were composed in a rich and ornate prose style and eulogized about the munificence and the greatness of Lord Shiva
and Shaivism. He also mentioned about the culture and heritage of the Tamil people.
Maraimalai Atikal translated the popular Sanskrit
into Tamil. Further more he wrote another play titled Ampikapati Amaravati which was inspired from the life of a Tamil poet. He wrote two novels in Tamil, namely Kokilampal Katitahkal and Kumutavalli. The style of Tamil prose which he implemented mirrored his craving to accomplish excellence and discipline in his attempts. Atikal had an enduring interest in the literary works that were written by the renowned English authors. Although the approach of the English writers was reflected the research papers of Maraimalai Atikal, but still his creativity functioned within the confines set up by the Tamil literary tradition. As an outcome of this, the works of the Tamil author and scholar enhanced the richness and affluence of Tamil language.
Some of his other renowned and outstanding literary and research works include Manikkavacakar Varalarum Kala Araycciyum, Arivuraik Kottu, Makkal Nurantu Uyirvaltal Eppati, Murkalap Pirkalat Tamilp Pulavar, Tamilnattavarum Melnattavarum, Ampalavanar Tirukkuttu, Tamilttay, Tamilar Matam and Palantamilk Kolkaiye Caivacamayam. At the present era, Maraimalai Atikal is considered as the father of the Tani or Pure Tamil movement.