Kalaignar: An exceptional performer of the poetic and the politic for equity

Dickens Leonard M

An Inimitable, Immeasurable Life – Vidai Petraai Engal Kalaignanae!

To think of Kalaignar as an insurrectionary calls for a radical rethinking of the very idea itself. Simply because what is a revolution without the artist?

Kalaignar is neither a Periyar nor a Babasaheb; not a Mandela or a Martin Luther. Nor is he a Lenin or a Mao. Obviously, he would not match them.

Perhaps, he is none of them; because he is a singular poetic presence amongst the prosaic few. The lonely drummer amongst executioners and gravediggers.

Moreover, as an exceptional performer of the poetic and the politic for equity, he is the death-defying jongleur against those life-denying ascetics. A worldly crusader par-excellence!

His life is indeed an event – variously as a poet, script-writer, politician, administrator, scholar, and also as a man of families – that belie an eventual death. Some two-hundred years lived within the counted nineties, probably.

Rightly so, insurrectionary is his death, as it had generated many lives in the one lived.

As the one who lived an immeasurable life, his death is unmatched. Irreplaceable. Thus, he is an inimitable desire for the oppressed-many.

To me, none compares; simply because he is the only Kalaignar amongst them all.

The only artist amongst revolutionaries. The Shakespeare of Elizabeths. The Chaplin of Lincolns.

Our Kalaignar – the One amongst the very few.
Let your life tear away … Death.

Dickens Leonard M is currently a Guest Faculty, CCL, University of Hyderabad.

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