T. P. Meenakshisundaram
Born(1901-01-08)8 January 1901
Thenpattinam, Chengelput district, India
Died27 August 1980(1980-08-27) (aged 79)
Other namesTe Po Meenkshisunadaranar
Years active1923–1980
Known forTamil and English literature
ParentS. Ponnusami Gramani
AwardsPadma Bhushan
TN Sahitya Akademi Award

Thenpattinam Ponnuswamy Meenakshisundaram (1901–1980), popularly known as Te Po Meenkshisunadaranar, was an Indian scholar, writer of Tamil and English literature[1] and the founder vice chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.[2]


Born on 8 January 1901 at Thenpattinam, in the erstwhile Chengelput district of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu to S. Ponnusami Gramani, Meenakshisundaram did his college studies at Pachaiyappa's College from where he secured his BA (1920), BL (1922), MA in History (1923) and a Diploma in Economics.[3] After starting his career in 1923 as a lawyer and serving the Madras Corporation Council in 1924, he shifted his career as a professor of Tamil and served Annamalai University from 1954 to 1958 and the Presidency College, Chennai till 1961. He was serving as the director of the Center for Advanced Study in Dravidian Linguistics of Annamalai University when he was appointed as the founder vice chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University[4] in 1966, a post he held till 1971.[3]

Meenakshisundaram published several works in Tamil and English.[5][6][7] He is best known for his English renderings of the Tirukkural published in 1919, in which he republished the work of his mentor Vadivelu Chettiar, appending it with his own English renderings.[4] His notable works include Philosophy of Tiruvalluvar,[8] A history of Tamil Language,[9] A history of Tamil Literature,[10] and Aesthetics of the Tamils.[11] He was a recipient of several honors such as the Tamil Nadu Sahitya Akademi Award (1975), and honorary doctorates from Madurai Kamaraj University (1967), University of Colombo (1973) and Annamalai University (1976). The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1977, for his contributions to literature and education.[12] He died on 27 August 1980, at the age of 79. Madurai Kamaraj University has since instituted an endowment prize, Dr. T. P. Meenakshisundaram Endowment Prize, in his honor.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Collected works of Prof. T. P. Meenakshisundaram". National Library of Australia. 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ "History of the College". Kamaraj College. 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Life History". Tamil Electronic Library. 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "From merchant to Tirukkural scholar". The Hindu. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  5. ^ Bertold Spuler (1952). Handbook of Oriental Studies. BRILL. pp. 134–. ISBN 90-04-04190-7.
  6. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1992). Companion Studies to the History of Tamil Literature. BRILL. pp. 102–. ISBN 90-04-09365-6.
  7. ^ Stuart H. Blackburn (2006). Print, Folklore, and Nationalism in Colonial South India. Orient Blackswan. pp. 228–. ISBN 978-81-7824-149-4.
  8. ^ T. P Meenakshisundaram (1969). Philosophy of Tiruvalluvar. Madurai University. p. 1969. ASIN B0000D5M8P.
  9. ^ T. P Meenakshisundaram (1965). A history of Tamil Language. Deccan College, Post-graduate and Research Institute. p. 236. OCLC 5228059.
  10. ^ T. P Meenakshisundaram (1965). A history of Tamil Literature. Annamalai University. p. 211. OCLC 4825530.
  11. ^ T. P Meenakshisundaram (1977). Aesthetics of the Tamils. University of Madras. p. 23. OCLC 8280976.
  12. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.

Further reading