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Former editor of Tamil daily 'Dinamalar,' renowned numismatist R Krishnamurthy no more | Kalvimalar - News

Former editor of Tamil daily 'Dinamalar,' renowned numismatist R Krishnamurthy no more- 4-Mar-2021

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Chennai: Former editor of popular Tamil daily 'Dinamalar' and renowned numismatist R Krishnamurthy died here on Thursday following heart attack.

Krishnamurthy, 88, is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
     
"He suffered a heart attack and passed away at his residence this morning," Dinamalar Editor K Ramasubbu said.      

Known as 'RK', he became the Dinamalar editor in 1977 after joining the daily in 1956, founded by his father T V Ramasubbier.
     
A post-graduate in geology from the Presidency College here, he introduced the now well known 'Periyar' script which has lesser number of Tamil characters in the newspaper's Tiruchirappalli edition in 1977.
     
Later, the Tamil Nadu government came forward to introduce the script in text books and it is widely followed today.
     
Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his Deputy O Panneerselvam and DMK President M K Stalin were among those who offered their condolences to the bereaved family.
     
In his condolence message, Purohit said Krishnamurthy was a 'renowned epigraphist' in Tamil script.
     
"His interests in Tamil script reform led him to trace its origin, which in turn kindled an interest in numismatics making him travel across the world," he said in a Raj Bhavan release.
     
Krishnamurthy published many books on Tamil script epigraphy and numismatics.
     
His demise is a big loss to the people of Tamil Nadu, especially to the readers of 'Dinamalar'.      

"I convey my deep condolences to the bereaved members of the family and pray to the Almighty to rest his soul in peace and give strength to his family to overcome this unfathomable loss," Purohit added.
     
Chief Minister and AIADMK party joint coordinator K Palaniswami, Deputy chief minister and chief coordinator O Panneerselvam said they were "saddened" on hearing the news of the demise of Krishnamurthy.
     
"A journalist, Tamil scholar, Krishnamurthy has written several books on Numismatics and he is a very cultured person.
     
His demise is a huge loss to Indian journalism", the leaders said in a joint party statement.
     
Extending their deep condolences to the bereaved family members, the leaders said they pray to the Almighty for his soul to rest in peace.
     
DMK Chief M K Stalin, who visited the family to pay his last respects said the demise of Krishnamurthy was "a great loss" to Tamil journalism.
     
"Dinamalar and Murasoli (DMK's party organ) played an important role with the use of computers in print journalism in the late 1980s.
     
Krishnamurthy was honoured with the 'Tholkappiar Award' from the President for his research work on Tamil.
     
I extend my deep condolences to his family members," Stalin said in a party statement.
     
Krishnamurthy studied in detail the various inscriptions in 'Vattezhuthu' script in different parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and published three books in Tamil on the data collected by him.
     
"Vattezhuthu is a 'circular' script that evolved out of the Tamil Brahmi script around fifth-sixth century AD.      

RK did outstanding research in not only deciphering the script, but also studied the palaeographical evolution of the Vattezhuthu script," noted archaeologist S Ramachandran told.
     
Krishnamurthy's contribution in discovering several Chera, Roman, and Greek coins had a major role in conclusively establishing that the present day Karur was indeed the Vanji of olden times, he said, condoling his death.
     
During a time when Tamil Nadu historians did not even have an understanding of Tamil coninage during the Sangam period, it was RK who attracted their attention to the state's numismatic study through his pioneering work, he said.
     
"He was instrumental in bringing out the famous Karur ring by organising numismatic seminars," Ramachandran said.
     
His stellar work brought to light coins belonging to the Sangam age, be it one on the Pandian king 'Peruvaluthi,' the Chera silver coins (Maakkothai) or the 'Malaiyaman' coins.
     
To help people outside Tamil Nadu to understand the significance, he published a book 'Sangam age Tamil coins' in English.
     
His participation in various conferences, at regional, national and international level and publication of papers in scholarly journals brought him recognition from scholars and academic bodies.
     
In recognition of his service and contribution to journalism, Tamil script reform, epigraphy and numismatics, the Madurai Kamaraj University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 2004.
     
He was also a recipient of the 'Tholkappiar Award' for his work on Tamil script and numismatics in 2015.
   
The Royal Numismatic Society in London honoured him by electing him as a Fellow and he was president TN Numismatic Society of India since its inception in 1986.


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