Tokyo professor helps to digitalise diaries of ‘pioneer of Coimbatore history’….

Interesting bit of news.

‘Kovai Kizhar’ C M Ramachandran was a man who wore many hats. He was a writer, educationist, institution builder, teacher and a social worker. These aspects of him have been studied to an extent, but his another facet is still largely unknown. He was a diarist too.

Kizhar, who was born in 1888, had documented his daily life in the early 20th century in around 30 volumes of handwritten journals. These volumes, which are kept in the library of Thavathiru Santhalinga Adigalar Arts, Science and Tamil College, Perur, are now being digitised, thanks to Tsukasa Mizushima, professor of the department of the orient history, University of Tokyo.

Mizushima has been working on the socio-economic history of India from 18th century onwards to today. He has now taken up a project to study the historical changes in three cities in Tamil Nadu – Chennai, Kanchipuram and Coimbatore – in the last two centuries.

When almost a month ago, Mizushima had been searching for historical records of Coimbatore, Y Subbarayalu, an associated researcher at the French Institute of Pondicherry informed him about Kovai Kizhar’s writings.

“I suggested that he take a look at the diaries of Kovai Kizhar,” said Subbarayalu. “Not many had written diaries in the last century, so we thought we might find something useful in them,” added Subburayalu, who said he has known Mizushima for the past 30 years. Mizushima visited the college’s library on January 9 and arranged for the diaries to be scanned and digitised. Subbarayalu said they expect to complete the work in two months.

Thanks Mizushima..


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