Chennai: The State government announced Dravidian scholar and historian K Thirunavukarasu and Retired High Court judge K Chandru as winners of the ‘Thanthai Periyar Award for Social Justice’ and ‘Dr Ambedkar Tamil Nadu Government Award’ respectively for 2021 and increased the prize money from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh.
While the award in the name of Periyar is given every year to honour those striving for social justice in the State, the Ambedkar Award recognizes the work of someone from the State towards the development of Adi Dravidar and Tribal welfare. Both awards carry a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a gold medal and a certificate.
Thirunavukarau has written the history of the Justice Party in two parts, besides authoring a plethora of books on the Dravidian movement, particularly about those who are considered as ‘pillars’ and ‘roots.’ In 2006, the late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi honoured him with the ‘VK award,’ an official press release said.
Chandru, as judge in the High Court, cleared 96,000 pending cases and as a lawyer fought for labour rights and also for the downtrodden communities. He has also written books on his experiences in the judiciary. He has travelled all over the State and lived with marginalized communities.