Popular Tamil writer Gnani Sankaran died suddenly at 12.30 am on Monday at his home in KK Nagar in Chennai at the age of 64. Close friends say that he had been suffering from kidney ailments for a few years now and had been undergoing regular dialysis. His body has been kept at his home in KK Nagar and will be donated to a hospital. Gnani is survived by his wife, also a journalist and writer, and a son.
Gnani was known for his views on politics and culture, which he has expressed in the media for 30 years. For several years, he was the go-to political commentator on Tamil Nadu for English news media. He dabbled in TV shows and plays as well, besides writing books and magazines. Gnani was the editor of a Tamil magazine Dheemtharikida, which was first published in printed form and later in electronic format.
Gnani’s sudden demise has shocked journalists, writers and activists in Tamil Nadu. Tributes have been pouring in online from readers and colleagues.
Reacting to his death, T Ramakrishnan, senior journalist, The Hindu said on FB, “Shocked to learn Gnani has passed away. For years, he had been a source of great strength, support and guidance to me and my family.”
“More than anything else, the way he conducted himself for all these years was exemplary. He led a principled, spirited life. He did not compromise on what he believed, at the given point of time, right, even though he may have changed his position on a given issue later. He was, truly, a role model to anyone who aspires to lead an ethical life,” Ramakrishnan said.
Another journalist TV Srikumar Balakrishnan said on FB, “My friend, philosopher and senior journalist who guided many young journalist in Chennai. I have many unforgettable memories with him in my journalist career. He was versatile in his thinking and writing. We lost a great journalist. Bid Adieu Sir. Bye Bye with tears. RIP.”