Topics: Nair, Kerala, Caste system in India Pages: 4 (1154 words) Published: August 10, 2011
Indian poet from around the 16th or 17th century, known as the father of the Malayalam language—which is the principal language of the Indian state of Kerala, spoken by 36 million people in the world.[1] In his era, Vattezhuttu, an old script originally used to write Tamil, was generally used in Kerala to write this language. However, he wrote his Malayalam poems in Arya-ezhuttu, a Grantha-based script originally used to write Sanskrit, so that he could accurately transliterate Sanskrit words into Malayalam. His works became unprecedentedly popular, which also popularized the writing system adopted by him, and that is the current Malayalam alphabet. He was born in Trikkantiyur (തൃക്കണ്ടിയൂര്, Tr̥kkaṇṭiyūr), in the town of Tirur, in Kerala. At that time,it was a part of Vettattnad.[2] His personal name is Ramanujan. Thunchaththu is his “family name”, and Ezhuthachan (schoolmaster) is an honorific title or the last name indicating his caste. His name is transliterated in several different ways, including Thunchath Ezhuthachan, Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, and Thunjath Ezhuthachan. Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan lived in the 16th century,[3][4] or the 16th century.[5] He was born at Trikkantiyur (Trkkantiyur) in the Tirur municipality, Malappuram, Kerala, India. His birthplace is now known as Thunjan Parambu. According to Arthur Coke Burnell, he was “a low-caste man who goes under the name Tunjatta Eḻuttacchan, a native of Trikkaṇḍiyûr in the present [1874] district of Malabar. He lived in the seventeenth century, but his real name is forgotten; Tunjatta being his ‘house’ or family-name, and Eḻuttacchan (=schoolmaster) indicating his caste”.[6] In 1865, Burnell actually saw the manuscript of the Bhagavata translated and adapted by Thunchaththu, allegedly copied by his sister, preserved at Puzhakkal in the Chittur taluk, and wrote in his book published in 1874: “The author’s stool, clogs, and staff are preserved in the same place; it thus looks as if Tunjatta Eḻuttaččhan was...
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