Renowned Tamil writer, novelist, and recipient of Sahitya Akademi award K Rajanarayan, popularly known as Ki Ra, died on 17 May, family sources said.
He was 98 and is survived by two sons. Rajanarayanan was ailing from age-related health conditions for some time and breathed his last at the government quarters here Monday night. Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Tuesday visited the writer’s residence and paid her last respects to him.
Later, she told reporters that a representation was made by Tamil writers that the house where Rajanarayanan lived be converted into a memorial library. “This request would be considered,” she said.
Rajanarayanan served as Professor of Folklore Department at Pondicherry University in the 1980s. He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores, and essays.
He won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1991 for his novel Gopallapurathu Makkal. He was known for the depiction of the people and culture of Karisal bhoomi — the hot and dry land of southern Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin condoled the veteran’s death and said the final rites of Rajanarayanan, a native of the neighbouring state, will be held with state honours. The DMK leader paid rich tributes to the writer and said his demise has put a “full stop to Karisal literature.”
Ki Ra was born in Idaiseval village near Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district in 1923.
“We have lost the greatest storyteller of Tamil… His fame will live in our hearts till the time of this land and the Karisal literature,” Stalin said in a statement in Chennai.
Rajanarayanan has not died but continues to live through his words, he said, and expressed his sympathies with the family of the author and others.
Stalin further said that the last rites of the writer will be held with state honours.
AIADMK joint coordinator K Palaniswami, PMK founder Ramadoss, and MDMK supremo and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko condoled Rajanarayanan’s death.