It is a project that took noted Tamilian scholar AA Manavalan almost five years to research and publish. Now, his magnum opus Irama Kanthaiyum Iramayakalyum, a comparative study of 48 Ramayanas, has won him the prestigious Saraswati Samman award, the annual award bestowed by the KK Birla Foundation.
The ceremony that took place in Delhi on Wednesday, had in attendance Union Minister for Power and Corporate Affairs M Veerappa Moily, who handed the prestigious award — comprising a citation plaque and memento along with a cheque for Rs 7.5 lakh. “This recognition will help me continue my work. After my second volume on the Ramayana, I now plan to work on the Mahabharata,” said 77-year old Manavalan.“Intolerance, disregard for others, usurping others’ property — these are happening all around us, yet we don’t learn from what the epics try to teach,” added the Chennai-based scholar, who, in the award-winning project, has referred to the Ramayana available in languages such as Prakrit, Kashmiri, Marathi, Persian, Burmese, Maranao, Thai and Laotian.