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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

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Candy Hunt

The departure of a solitary rebel

The sad news of Professor Sucharitha Gamlath's departure came at the time I sat in front of the computer to write the Candy Hunt. Without a doubt it is an unbearable loss for our tiny island. Apart from that reason, some other fact made my heart heavier. In my near twenty years old newspaper encounter, I have not had a single chance (or I would rather say, never attempted) to write about this literary giant of our times.

The guilt strikes harder when I realize that professor Gamlath was a great linguist and translator as well. It is surprising that how great people who are so close to your area of expertise slip out of your writing topics. At this moment, I write this with a heavy heart and a mortified soul.

When they get ill treated or discriminated, most of the academics as well as other professionals generally quit and fly to a destination where they get the fair go. Usually this destination is a first world country which welcomes such professionals with open hands as they recognize them as assets to their developed nation. I am one of them who got drained through the gully of unfairness and currently living caressing scars of wounds which took long time to get healed.

Thinking about professor Gamlath changes my attitudes and drives me to think in a different way. He has been thrown out of the state university system and never gets acquired back to the mainstream education system. As a prominent scholar, he might have got countless offers from the world, but standing firmly on his devoted political grounds, he might have got determined to serve the repressed.

As far as I know he did English tutoring for living. Professor Gamlath was a scholar who embraced English with widely opened hands. The Sinhala - English dictionary he compiled is remarkable product and the money I spent it on was well worthily spent. He was a master coiner. He has introduced a number of Sinhala words for many science and technological terms.

I honor him as the most rebellious critic Sri Lanka has ever produced. Although I have not met him personally he supplied me tons of energy to stand by the point you bring on in a critique. He was a role model who taught me to be armed adequately before you strike someone with your critical review. He knew his Sanskrit, Pali, Western and Oriental philosophy and aesthetics, Marxism and etc. Person who holds such knowledge would never fear in criticism, and so was professor Gamlath.

Following his footsteps, I never bring out a point either in my academic or general writing without having proper resourceful information.

A strong and true criticism will take the creators to a higher position from the where they originally belonged. The problem is a very few are capable of tolerating a true critique. With his harsh but true reviews he made an effort to open eyes of a whole nation. Most fall again to sleep, but some, like me, step into a path which could take you wherever you want.

I have heard that at University of London, he opted Philosophy as his area of research for his PhD. Although he has not done philosophy as a subject for his first degree, university of London has unanimously agreed to offer him the chance. Since then, he seems taking challenges until he lost his battle with cancer. His political view was his religion and he can be claimed as an ardent follower of his philosophy.

I know this is a hard time to Isha Gamlath, the loving daughter of Professor Gamlath, who was a teacher of mine at the University of Kelaniya. Isha, this is not just a loss for you, this is a vacuum which will never be replaced, not in the farthest future.

 

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