Even since its inception in 1952, it has been the endeavour of the Department of Hindi, University of Madras, to strengthen the bound of national integration through literature especially, translation into Hindi of Tamil classics and comparative studies of Tamil and Hindi literature. With this aim, it has already brought out SIX publications and the present treatise Treatment of Love of Hindi Riti Poetry and Tamil Sangam Poetry A Comparative Study is the latest addition in that direction.
In the History of Tamil Literature, Sangam Period is regarded as the ‘Golden Age’ when Tamil culture and literature shone in their pristine pure glory almost free from the touches of outside influence or religious impact that we find in the Tamil literature of later period. And Akam poetry , comprising nearly 80% of the extant Sangam literature has been unanimously acclaimed as the best part of Sangam classics. Though a body of secular love poem, depicting various moods and situation connected with the universal theme of love, it has a structure and style of its own not to be found anywhere else. Beside it is bound by umpteen number of literacy convention codified in the Porulathikaram of Tolkappiyam which reflect the life ethos and more of the Tamils that lived some 2,000 years ago.
Hindi Riti Poetry on the other hand flourished in the Hindi heart land during the period 1650-1850 A.D. Interesting it also constitutes of a body independent classical poem having Sringara or love as their central theme. And it is also bound by several well defined literary convention all codified in works on poetics or kavya sastra. However these convention as well as the convention Riti poems are said to have evolved from the Prakrit Sanskrit traditions, developed in the course of several centuries in the North.
It is obvious that, for many centuries, both the Southern classical love-poems and their Northern counterparts have co-existed side-by-side. Yet, they did not recognise each other. Scholars on Indology have all along been viewing Tamil Akam poems and Sanskrit Hindi Sringara muktakas as poems of totally different origins and traditions. Hence, no attempt was ever made to compare them both and ascertain their identities.
I am happy to note that this long overdue and much needed work has now been accomplished by Dr.T.S. Kuppusamy, Reader and Head-in-Charge, Department of Hindi, University of Madras, who is an acknowledged scholar in both Hindi and Tamil. In the process, I understand that, he has also authentically presented, for the first time through the medium of Hindi, an elaborate exposition of Sangam Akam poetry with all its intricate literary conventions as enunciated in Tolkappiyam and other Tamil grammatical works, for the benefit of Hindi readers. His conclusion that, thematologically as well as generically, the entire classical love muktakas of India (whether they belong to the South or North) have originated from one and the same source (i.e. Tamil Akam poetry) is of vital importance both from the literary point of view, as also from a wider national perspective.
I should congratulate Dr. T.S. Kuppusamy for accomplishing this very difficult but important task. I am sure that this outstanding research work on comparative literature, which reinforces the national integration of our country, by bringing out the hitherto unknown genetic relationship between Tamil and Hindi classical love lyrics, will be well appreciated by .scholars in Hindi and Indology, and lovers of Comparative Literature.
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