Tamil writer A A Manavalan has been chosen for the 'Saraswati Samman' 2011 for his book on Ramayana, the K K Birla Foundation announced today. Manavalan, 75, a retired professor and head of the department of Tamil in Madras University, will be bestowed with the prestigious award for his 2005 work 'Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum' (Ramakatha and Ramayanas). The Saraswati Samman carries award money of Rs 7.5 lakh, a citation and a plaque. The award-winning book is a comparative study of 48 Ramayanas in the languages of Pali, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tibetan, Tamil, Old Javenese, Japanese, Telugu, Assamese, Thai and Kashmiri.He is the second Tamil writer who receives this award. In 1999 Dr indira Parthasarathy was selected for this award.
The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any Indian language listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India. It is named after an Indian goddess of learning and is considered to be among the highest literary awards in India.The award consists of Rs 7.5 lakh, a citation and a plaque. The Saraswati Samman was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.
Candidates are selected from literary works published in the previous ten years by a panel that included scholars and former award winners. The selected work must have been written in a language listed as an Indian language in the Indian Constitution.