N. Palanivelu



N. Palanivelu (b. 1908, Tanjore district, Sikkal, Tamil Nadu, India−d. 11 November 2000, Singapore) was a novelist, playwright and poet who had been an active writer for more than 50 years. His short stories and poems reflected political and social changes over the years.1

On 11 November 2000, Palanivelu passed away, leaving behind four sons and three daughters.2

Early life and work
When he was 21, Palanivelu arrived in Malaya to work as a check-roll clerk in Bagan Pasir coconut palm estate in Teluk Anson estate in the morning. He taught at the estate primary school in the afternoon.3

A year later in 1930, Palanivelu came to Singapore and joined the Singapore Traction Company as a ticket clerk.4 He devoted his spare time to writing poems, plays, and short stories. His works were published in Tamil Murasu as well as other newspapers.5 In 1931, he published his first poem “Valimai” (“Strength”) in the magazine Navaneetham.6

A turning point in Palanivelu’s literary life came when he befriended Thamizhavel G. Sarangapani, the founder of Tamil Murasu, Singapore’s Tamil daily. Sarangapani published many of Palanivelu’s poems and stories in Tamil Murasu.7

As Palanivelu was a member of the Tamils Reform Association, his works reflected the Association’s philosophies, such as the need for marriage ceremonies to be conducted in Tamil, the emphasis on children’s education, and the need to eliminate superstitious beliefs.8 He also staged plays that dealt with social reform. Suguna Sundaram and Gowri Shankar were two plays he staged to raise building funds for the Tamils Reform Association.9

Palanivelu’s first stage play was Jhonny Aalam, which was staged in 1934, and which he described as being one of the first few local Indian productions here.10

In 1949, Palanivelu joined the then Radio Malaya as a broadcaster and translator. He produced numerous radio plays and poetry readings in his 20 years of service at Radio Malaya. His poetic work Sakunthalam was broadcasted as a serial.11

Major works published
1947: Kavithai Malargal (a collection of poems published by G. Sarangapani).
1976: Kathal Kiliyum Thiyaka Kuyilum (A Love Story).
1981: Kaliyin Nalivu (a play).
1985: “Emaatram” (This poem, translated as “Fragrance Unspoken”, was selected for Singa, a publication produced by the Ministry of Culture to promote literature in all four official languages of Singapore. The poem was also published in the anthology The Poetry of Singapore.)12
1990
: Paapa Paadalkal13

1997: Na Palaniveluvin Padaippuk Kalanjiam Volume 1 (Collection of his works published by his family).14
1999: Na Palaniveluvin Padaippuk Kalanjiam Volume 2 (Collection of his works published by his family).15

Awards

1978:
“Nadaga Sigamani” (Master Playwright) by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy
1980: “Muthamizh Semmal” by the Tamil Association16
1986: Cultural Medallion for Drama by the Government of Singapore17
1987: “Kala Rethna” by the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society18
1997: “Tamizhavel” by the Association of Singapore Tamil Writers19



Author
Sundari Balasubramaniam



References
1.
National Library Board. (2006). Singapore Literary Pioneers Gallery guide. Singapore: National Library Board Singapore, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 809 SIN)
2. 
Obituary. (2000, 12 November). The Straits Times, p. 48. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3.
Chiew, D. (Interviewer). (1985, September 6). Oral history interview with Palanivelu Natesan [Transcript of cassette recording no. 000588/05/13, pp. 48–49]. Retrieved 2018, October 16 from National Archives of Singapore website:http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
4. Chiew, D. (Interviewer). (1985, September 6). Oral history interview with Palanivelu Natesan [Transcript of cassette recording no. 000588/06/13, p. 67]. Retrieved 2018, October 16 from National Archives of Singapore website:http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/

5. Chiew, D. (Interviewer). (1985, September 6). Oral history interview with Palanivelu Natesan [Transcript of cassette recording no. 000588/10/13, p. 107]. Retrieved 2018, October 16 from National Archives of Singapore website:http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
6. ஆண்டியப்பன், நா. (Ed.) (2001). சிங்கப்பூர் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர்கள். சிங்கப்பூர்: சிங்கப்பூர் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர் கழகம், பக் 1. (Call no.: RSING 894.8118710095957 SIN)
7.
The Esplanade. N. Palanivelu. Retrieved 2018, October 25 from The Esplanade’s TributeSG website: https://www.esplanade.com/tributesg/performing-arts/n-palanivelu
8. Chiew, D. (Interviewer). (1985, September 6). Oral history interview with Palanivelu Natesan [Transcript of cassette recording no. 000588/08/13, pp. 83–86]. Retrieved 2018, October 16 from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
9. Raman, A.P. (1984, November 9). Living by his pen. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Ngui, C. (1987, February 11). Drama. The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Raman, A.P. (1984, November 9). Living by his pen. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Nagpal, J. (1981, 4 January). Enter Singa, the pride of Spore's writers. The Straits Times, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Thumboo, E., et al. (Eds.). (1985). The Poetry of Singapore, pp. 160–161. Singapore: Published under the sponsorship of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (Call no.: RSING S821 POE)
13. ஆண்டியப்பன், நா. (Ed.). (2001). சிங்கப்பூர் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர்கள். சிங்கப்பூர்: சிங்கப்பூர் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர் கழகம், பக் 1. (Call no.: RSING 894.8118710095957 SIN)
14. பாலகிருட்டிணன், ப. (1997). கவிஞர் ந. பழனிவேலுவின் படைப்புக் களஞ்சியம். தொகுதி 1. (Call no.: S894.81171 PAL)
15. பாலகிருட்டிணன், ப. (1999). கவிஞர் ந. பழனிவேலுவின் படைப்புக் களஞ்சியம். தொகுதி 2. (Call no.: S894.81171 PAL)
16. Chiew, D. (Interviewer). (1985, September 6). Oral history interview with Palanivelu Natesan [Transcript of cassette recording no. 000588/12/13, p. 128]. Retrieved 2018, October 16 from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
17. Hoe, I. (1987, 10 February). Cultural Medallion for 7. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Dass, P. (1987, 25 September). Jewel award for two fine arts pioneers. The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. சிங்கப்பூர்த் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர் கழகம். தமிழவேள் விருது. Retrieved 2018, 25 October from website: http://singaporetamilwriters.com/tamilvelviruthu/



The information in this article is valid as at December 2018 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


 

 

Subject
Pal̲anivēlan̲, Peri. Nīla
Indian writers
Palanivelu, N.
Arts>>Literature>>Tamil Literature
Authors, Tamil--Singapore
Personalities>>Biographies>>Authors