My Book, The Tamils in India, Ceylon and Malaya

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My book, The Tamils in India, Ceylon and Malaya, was published this year. It is currently available at MPH Bookstores in Malaysia. The book can also be ordered via the Internet through my distributors, Gerak Budaya. I am very grateful for all of their kind advice and assistance in distributing my book. I am currently involved in a project to convert it into an E-Book format. This will be announced shortly.


It has been the result of much research and dedication to the subject. It harnessed all the knowledge I have gleaned over the years on the subject, which is very dear to me and my conscience.

I have received a lot of help from various people. My brother-in law Mr S.Sivanathan got me all seven volumes of Thurston’s Castes and Tribes of Southern India. My nephew R.Tharmaraj obtained many books from India. My children Punita, Vishnu Kumar and Sumitra also got me a lot of books. So did my friend Mr A.Poobalan who got me many books from Ceylon. I owned the set of Encyclopedia Britannica that was used. The circumstances did not permit me to do research from primary sources.

In the project, I have adopted both the chronological and topical approach. This appeared to be the most suited. The Tamils have settled in various parts of the world. Let others compliment it. The typing was done mainly by my children particularly my son Vishnu Kumar who in spite of other important duties spent quite a lot of time typing my work. The project has taken a long time. The subject was wide and it required sufficient reading. I had to present a truthful and unbiased account.

In writing the history of Jaffna, I had to depend on the research findings of Dr Paul Peiris and Mudaliar C.Rasanayagam. Mudaliar C.Rasanayagam has dismissed Kailayamalai, Yarlpana Vaipava Malai and Vyapadal as unreliable. But the Vanni conquest during the early years of Chakravarthy rule, the Vyapadal appears reliable. I have considered all South Indians as Tamils. The people of Andhra Desa, Karnataka and Kerala were once part of the Tamil cultural region. The Singhalese too have been defined as Tamils as most are Tamils of South India with a springkling of Kalingans.

The cover design is my own. My printer has helped me in many ways and I am very thankful. My friends Dr V.Selvaratnam, Mr Veloo Saminathan and Dato’ R.Kumarasingham have been constant sources of encouragement.

My book is dedicated to the memory of my loving wife, Rasawathy. It is my hope that this will be one of the legacies that I can leave for my granddaughter, Divhya.


Rasawathy Nadason Visvanathan