Thursday, December 5, 2013

S. R. Ramaswamy - Journalist, Writer, Intellectual & Environmentalist

S. R. Ramaswamy
Sondekoppa Ramachandrasastri Ramaswamy is a renowned Indian journalist, writer, environmentalist and intellectual with more than 50 books and 1000 articles to his credit. His writings essentially mirror the literary, cultural, nationalist and developmental realities that are contemporaneous to the present day scenario. His outstanding support to "Voluntary Rural Development Initiatives" in the Indian state of Karnataka bear testament to his sense of social responsibility. He has additionally come to spear-head the renewed "Swadeshi" movement in the nation. Among his major campaigns was a movement which he led for restoration of people's customary rights over community lands threatened by ill-planned Governmental forestry policies. One such crusade saw him take an uphill battle against a well known conglomerate all the way to the Supreme Court of India accompanied by noted litterateur Shivaram Karanth - which ended in thousands of tribal populace being protected against eviction from their native region in the state of Karnataka. S. R. Ramaswamy is the founder of "Samaja Parivartana Samudaya", a voluntary organization working in Karnataka towards social transformation, tribal upliftment, citizen rights' empowerment among other issues at rural as well as urban levels.

S. R. Ramaswamy hails from a Brahmin family of Mulukanadu ancestry. His parents 
Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri
S. Ramachandra Sastri and Sarasvatamma belong to the Vellala Motaganahalli clan. He was born on 29.10.1937 at Bangalore, where later on he completed his schooling upto "Intermediate" qualification by 1953-54. Grandson of Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Shankara Sastri and nephew of Dr S. Srikanta Sastri & Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri, S. R. Ramaswamy has inherited a scholastic tradition of research and erudition.

His forays into the world of journalism began with a short stint at William Quan Judge Press at Bangalore in the late 1950s. By 1972, S. R. Ramaswamy was a Chief Sub-Editor at popular Kannada weekly "Sudha' and continued there till 1979. Since 1980 till date, he serves as Editor-in-Chief at "Utthana" and "Rashrottana Sahitya" at Bangalore. S. R. Ramaswamy has
S. R. Ramaswamy with D.V.G
dedicated close to five decades to the world of journalism, writing, literature, environmental issues and social movements across the country. Across the decades spanning from 1960s to 1990s, S. R. Ramaswamy came in close proximity to such intellectual giants as D. V. Gundappa, 
V. Sitaramayya, A. R. Krishnasastri, P. Kodanda Rao, Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma and Yadav Rao Joshi. His association with D. V. Gundappa over two decades saw him penning many of D. V. G.'s oral ruminations, thus becoming his "eyes" & "ears", so to speak. ! Such a close embrace over the years led D. V. G to acknowledge S. R. Ramaswamy in his book "Jnapaka Chitrashale" as the brother he possibly had in an earlier life..!

At home in a number of languages ranging from Sanskrit, German, French, English, Kannada & Telugu - S. R. Ramaswamy's works defy boundaries of culture, nationality or regional identity. In fact, his earliest piece - a review of "Paul Valery: The Quintessentialised Intellectual" (published in P.E.N in 1972 serves to illustrate his scope of intellect: -

"It is one of the curiosities of Paul Valery's many sided literary activity that not withstanding the versatality of his writings and the steadily increasing sway he gained over the French mind during the first three decades of the present century (21st), the clue to an understanding of his life and work is found to be in what is probably one of his earliest works - "Une Soiree avec. M. Teste" (An Evening with Mr. Teste) published so far back as 1896"

Here is a short list of his works: -

  1. "Mahabharata Belavanige" (1972)
  2. "Svetoslav Roerich" (Ed.) (1974)
  3. "Patra-guccha-Nehru" - co-translated with K. S. Narasimha Swamy (1975)
  4. "D. V. G. - a biography" (1976)
  5. "Udaya Shankar" - a biography (1979)
  6. "Sripad Damodar Satwalekar" - a biography (1980)
  7. "Dr Hedgewar: The Epoch Maker" (translated from Kannada) (1981)
  8. "Manobodha" of Samarth Ramadas (translated from Marathi) (1982)
  9. "Aravinda" - Pt. Seshadri Gawai Felicitation Voulme (Ed.) (1985)
  10. "Samaja-Chikitsaka Ambedkar" - co-authored with Chandrashekhar Bhandary (1990)
  11. "Bharatadalli Samajakarya" (Ed.) (1992)
  12. "Swadeshi Jagruti" (1994)
  13. "Swadeshi: Ondu Samvada" (1994)
  14. "In The Woods of Globalisation" (1995)
  15. "Matantara: Ondu Samvada" - co-authored with Chandrashekhar Bhandary (1999)
  16. "Kargil-Kampana" - co-authored with Du. Gu. Lakshmana & Bhandary (1999)
  17. "Jayaprakash Narayan" - a biography (2000)
  18. "Sardar Vallabhai Patel" - a biography (2000)
  19. "Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya" - a biography (2000)
  20. "Magadi Lakshmi Narasimha Sastri" - a biography (2001)
  21. "Nagarikategala Sangarsha" (2009)
  22. "Sahitya Samarayana - Sarvabhouma Krishnadevaraya" (2009)
  23. "Kautilyana Arthashastra" (2009)
  24. "Sookti-Saptati" (Anthology of Sanskrit Verses) (2010)
  25. "Kelavu Itihasa Parvagalau" (2010)
  26. "Bharatha Bhaskara Rabindranath Tagore" (2011)
  27. "Deeptimantaru" (2011)
  28. "Dhruvajala"(2011)
  29. "Yajurveda Belakinalli Jeevana Paripoornate" (2012)
  30. "Navothhanada Pathadarshaka Swami Vivekananda" (2013)
  31. "Kavalige" (2013)
For the complete article, click here.

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