Taiwan scholar and poet Dr Yu Hsi (Hung Ching Yu), who has translated Tirukkural and the poems of Subramaniya Bharathi and poet Bharathidasan in Mandarin, was conferred with the Thiruvalluvar award instituted by the Tamil Nadu government, on Wednesday. The founder president of the Tamil Sangam of Taiwan, Dr Yu Hsi is the first foreign scholar to receive this award. At a public function held here, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam presented the award to the scholar. The award carries a gold medal, a cheque for `1 lakh and a citation.
Dr Yu Hsi was born in Taiwan on March 16, 1951 and is a Doctor of Letters. He has authored more than 60 books. The scholar was awarded `5.40 lakh by the State for translating Tirukkural. However, he had donated the amount to Tamil University for setting up of an endowment to propagate Tirukkural.
In his acceptance speech, the scholar said after learning Tirukkural, he found that the teachings of Saint Tiruvallur and Chinese philosopher Confucius were similar with regard to ethics, statecraft, etc. He further said that Tirukkural was a universal scripture as there was no reference to any particular race, religion or rule.
The scholar also praised the three pro-poor welfare schemes being implemented by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu - free rice for the poor, Annadanam in temples and the Amma canteens.
Among the many awards received by Dr Yu Hsi is the Poet Laureate, the highest honour awarded by Seoul World Academy of Arts and Culture in 2004. Yu Hsi’s fifth long-form novel, at almost 6,00,000 words, was written on tradition scrolls, in a unique literary style.
Electricity Minister R Viswanathan presented GOs to 30 elderly Tamil scholars, for a monthly pension of `2,000. Information Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji, School Education Minister KC Veeramani, M Rajaraman, Secretary, Tamil Development and Information were present.