V. Raghavan (1908-1979), Born in 1908 at Tiruvarur, Tanjore District; Graduated from Presidency College, Madras in 1930 with 3 College Prizes and 5 University Medals. Specialized in Alankara and Natya Sastras; earned his Doctorate in 1934-35. Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Madras University, till 1968. Toured Europe (1953-54); tours for Lecture-Conference-Study and Examination of Mss. collections to U.S.S.R (1958,74), Countries of the East, South East Asia, Australia, Mauritius, U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, and Burma. Member, Govt. Sanskrit Commission, and several Central Sanskrit boards; Member, Sahitya and Sangeet Natak Akademies; Secretary, Music Academy (1942-79); Director/Secretary, Kuppuswamy Sastri Research Institute; Founder-President, Samskrita Ranga; Editor, several Journals of Oriental Research including the Samskrita Pratibha (Sahitya Akademi); AIOC-Secretary (1951-59), General President (2I st session), Chairman, 1st World Sanskrit) Conference; President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies.
P.V.Kane‘Gold Medal (Asiatic Society, Bombay), Titles of Kavi-Kokila and Sakala Kala Kalapa from H. H. Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya; Padma Bhushan, (1962), Nehru fellowship 1969-71; 'Vacaspati' (D.Litt.) from S.Sanskrit University, Varanasi, first awards from U.P. and M.P. Govts., for his original Sankrit Play. Fellow-Sahitya and Sangeet Natak Akademies, Author of over 180 books and 1200 papers.
Nandini Ramani, b.1950, daughter of the multi-faceted Sanskrit Scholar, Dr.V.Raghavan, is a senior Bharatanatyam Exponent from the legendary T.Balasaraswati tradition. Nandini is well-trained in Carnatic music. Her illustrious father has led her into the realms of Sanskrit theatre under the banner, Samskrita Ranga. Over the years Nandini has straddled the world of performance and scholarship; she continues the propagation of dance, music, theatre, research and publication, as the Managing Trustee of the Dr. V.Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts, at Chennai. Author of two books and several articles, Nandini is a Dance Critic of The Hindu and Senior Associate of the well-known Sruti magazine. Natya Kala Sikhamani Nandini is a recipient of several awards and recognition for her contribution to the field of Performing Arts, prominent among them being the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar in 2012.
Dr.V.Raghavan occupies a unique place among the galaxy of scholars of the world for his invaluable contributions to Sanskrit language, Indian Heritage and all its allied branches of study. His works are timeless, precious gems which remain a perennial source of information for generations of scholars, researchers and students. His meticulous ,methodical and masterly technique of research and the dissemination of the knowledge he acquired are worthy of emulation; he was a perfect blend of Sastra(Text) and Prayoga(Practice) in himself as much as he was a firm traditionalist with a modern perspective, both fused seamlessly into all his scholarly endeavors. His erudition, impeccable resourcefulness and his endearing nature to share his knowledge with great generosity to any seeker who came to him, marked him as the most sought after Scholar. There would be hardly anyone in the fields of Sanskrit and Indology who did not come into contact with him or his writings in the course of their research.
As the longtime Editor of the Samskrita Pratibha of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi(1958- 79), Raghavan made monumental contribution to Sanskrit, and its literature through this journal, opening up venues and encouraging several younger scholars, in addition to contributing his own writings, original poems etc.
The decision of the Sahitya Akademi to include the Biography of Dr.V.Raghavan under its "Makers of Indian Literature" Series is an apt, rich tribute to this illustrious Son of the Soil. I wish to thank the Sahitya Akademi for its hind gesture in this regard and for assigning me this work, which has been a pleasant burden. I deem it a great privilege to write the Biography of Dr.V.Raghavan, my father, whom I venerate as my own Adi Guru, and pay my humble homage to him; being a daughter of a renowned parent like Dr.V.Raghavan, has been a blessing of the Almighty for which I am forever grateful in this birth. Not all can claim to have such a unique opportunity in one's own life. I thank the Sahitya Akademi again for not only entrusting me with this work but also giving me ample time to complete the project.
I have based the Biography on several accounts that include Raghavan's own recollections of his life and work, his writings, and extensive material from his archives; my own close association and observations made during the last two decades of his life are cherished by me very much, having been the only child among the four, to live close to him in Chennai all along. These experiences gave me a deep insight into most of his activities and productive work during those periods; these assumed further depth after Dr.Raghavan's untimely demise in 1979, when I had to stand by my mother to take care and shoulder the responsibility with regard to all his remaining works; and that enlarged my insight into all his writings and scholarly commitments still further. While these experiences have given me the strength to attempt on his Biography, the inputs from my elder siblings, namely, my brothers, Sri. R.Kalidas, Chemical Engineer, now based at Egypt and Dr.R.Charudattan, Emeritus Professor, University of Florida, USA and my sister Smt. Priyamvada, Senior Bharatanatyam Exponent, Scholar and Home maker residing in Montreal, Canada, have provided ample material, support and encouragement. Their memories and experiences during the early life of Dr. Raghavan have helped to establish several links to the scholar-father's work and career in the biographical account.
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