CHENNAI: Renowned Tamil scholar Avvai Natrajan died on Monday due to an age-related illness. He was 86.
Hailing from Tamil Nadu, he was a former secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu in the Department of Tamil Language Development and Culture.
Born in the Tiruvannamalai district in 1936, he was originally known as Sivapatha Sekaran.
With a PhD in Tamil literature, he worked at Raja Serfoji Government College as a Tamil professor and also as a news reader in All India Radio.
He also served as Vice Chancellor of Tamil University, Thanjavur and a member of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, an institute established for the propagation of classical Tamil language and culture.
Natarajan added the prefix ‘Avvai’ to his name when he was a BA honours student in Tamil at Pachaiyappa’s College.
In his condolence message, Stalin recollected the affection Natarajan shared with Karunanidhi. The Chief Minister also added that the scholar’s demise was a great loss to the Tamil community.
The Raj Bhavan also tweeted, Governor Ravi said he was “deeply saddened by the demise of prominent educationist, scholar and Padma Shri Award-winner Avvai Natarajan.” He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
He is survived by his three sons of which two are doctors.