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Sondekoppa Ramachandra-sastri Ramaswamy is a respected Indian journalist, writer, critic, editor, translator, biographer and eco-conservationist with 55 books and close to a thousand articles to his credit. He is recipient of such honours as "Kannada Rajyotsava Award", "Aryabhata Award" and the prestigious "Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award" among others. Well versed in Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, English, French and German - S. R. Ramaswamy's writings tend to cover a range of topics from "Globalisation" to "Ecology and its conservation" both at home and abroad. Having fought numerous battles on behalf of disenfranchised sections of the society both at state and national level, he has paved way for many budding social activisits to carry on the struggle. He was one of the founding members of the "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 has headed many a daily and monthly Kannada periodical in Editorial position from late 1950s till date.
S. R. Ramaswamy was born on 29.10.1937 to brahmin parents Ramachandra Sastri and Saraswatamma of Mulukanadu ancestry at Bangalore. His uncles Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri and S. Srikanta Sastri were intellectual giants in their own right. His own grandfather Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Shankara Sastri was a great exponent of Sanskrit poetry and literature. S. R. Ramaswamy is the younger brother of eminent journalist of yesteryears S. R. Krishnamurthy. Ramaswamy finished his schooling at Bangalore and passed his "intermediate" exam in the year 1953-54.
S. R. Ramaswamy began his career at W. Q. Judge Press, Bangalore in the late 1950s. By 1972, he joined popular Kannada weekly "Sudha" as Chief Sub-Editor and continued there till 1979. Since 1980, he occupies the position of "Chief Editor" at "Rashrottana Sahitya" and "Utthana" - a Kannada monthly.
S. R. Ramaswamy was fortunate in coming in close proximity with such intellectual giants as D. V. Gundappa, Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma, V. Sitaramayya, A. R. KrishnaSastri among others. In fact, his association with
D. V. G for over two decades saw him take dictations for most of D. V. Gundappa's works directly from him. Also, he would play a pivotal role in compilation, editing and often proof-reading many of D. V. G's works. This was fondly remembered in a grateful light by D. V. G himself in his "Jnapakachitra Shale" and "Jeevanadharmayoga". To many of these above mentioned personalities, S. R. Ramaswamy was fondly referred to as "our Ramaswamy"..!
An astute thinker, meticulous biographer and tenacious social activist - S. R. Ramaswamy contributes regularly to "Utthana", "Prajavani" and "Kannada Prabha". His first work "Mahabharatada Belavanige" attracted considerable interest. His review of Paul Valery titled "Paul Valery: The Quintessentialised Intellectual" was published in 1972 in P.E.N. His biography of Subhash Chandra Bose titled "Kolminchu" and collection of brief biographical sketches "Deevatigegalu" covered comprehensively the life and times of many notable personalities such as S. Srikanta Sastri, D. V. Gundappa, Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma among others. A list of his significant works are listed hereunder:
1. "Shatamanada Tiruvinalli Bharata" (1989) - Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award
2. "Kolminchu" (1996)
3. "Arthikatheya Eradu Dhruva" (1994)
4. "Deevatigegalu" (1998)
5. "Deeptimantaru" (2011)
Seminars and Public Speaking
S. R. Ramaswamy is a prolific public speaker and regularly deliveres lectures at various events across the country. His scholarship and insight become apparent at every function where he is called upon to address the gathering. Among the notable of such renditions are "Sharathchandra" (1977), "Towards Understanding Hindu Society" (1990), "Gandhian Concept of Ecology" (1992), "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose" (1996), "The Regime of Sir Mirza Ismail" (1998), "Life and Work of V. Sitaramaiah", "Swadeshi movement of 1905: Historic Turning Point" (2005), "Saga of Patriotism: Martyrs in the Freedom Movement" (2007), "Contribution of Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma to Kannada and Telugu" (2010), "Life and work of D. V. Gundappa" (2011), "Contribution of Sanskritist Professor S. K. Ramachandra Rao" (2013) and "On Belagere Krishna Sastri" (2013).
Awards and Recognition
S. R. Ramaswamy's contribution to the world of literature, journalism and social activism has been recognised both at state and national levels with various awards and accolades. His work in 1989 on the economic, social and ideological realities at turn of the century titled "Shatamanada Tiruvinalli Bharata" was accorded the prestigious "Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award". He has received twice the "Canara Bank Award" for his articles on "Life of Soliga Tribals" (1983) and "State of Land Reforms" (1984). He has also received the "Aryabhata Award" for Journalism in 2006 and the "Karnataka Rajyotsava Award" for his contribution to Literature in 2008. Recently, he was awarded the "Mythic Society Centenary Award for Scholastic Achievments" in 2009. The Karnataka Madhyama Academy awarded S. R. Ramaswamy "Person of the year" for five decades of service to journalism in 2011. The Karnataka State Open University conferred upon S. R. Ramaswamy a Honorary Doctorate "D. Litt" for lifetime contribution to literature and journalism in 2011. (pictured)
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