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The numismatist newsman
R Krishnamurthi, editor of Tamil daily Dinamalar , was conferred the Tholkappiyar award for 2012-13, instituted under the President’s award for classical Tamil.

R Krishnamurthi has been making immeasurable  contribution to unravelling  the history of Tamils. U Ve Swaminatha Iyer did this by collecting, retrieving and publishing  palm leaf-manuscripts that remained unattended for centuries; Iravatham Mahadevan did this through unravelling inscriptions in stone  in different Tamil scripts. RK has been doing this through his rich knowledge and interest in numismatics.

Krishnamurthi, president of the Tamil Nadu Numismatic Society and South Indian Numismatic Society, received the award for his contributions to the field of numismatics.

For years historians were giving the impression that the Chera, Chola and Pandiya kings were not familiar with the technology of issuing coins. In 1985 RK discovered a coin with the engraving Peruvazhuthi  released by a Pandiya king, gave a turning point in the history of numismatics. His discovery enriched Tamil history.  He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (FRNS) by the Numismatics Research Society of London for his contribution.     

RK has discovered several coins of the ancient Chera, Chola, Pandiya and even Greek kings in Karur and has written several books on numismatics. He has also published several papers on numismatics from 1985 that were published by the Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies...

When EVR introduced reformed characters (letters) in Tamil that greatly simplified type setting and printing, there was a strong opposition from Tamil pundits. RK was the first editor to introduce these new Tamil characters in Dinamalar which was later followed by all other Tamil dailies.

RK also researched and transformed the Tami computer typing system; he introduced the Srilipi Tamil font for the computer. This has become the foundation for computer - based Tamil letters.

The extensive research work by RK was a help in Tamil getting the classical language status (Semmozhi). Soft spoken, RK is known for his humility and belongs to the class of newspaper editors of the state, not much seeking limelight.

RK received recognition fom the Tamil University for his invaluable contributions to research on ancient Tamil civilisation with special reference to numismatics.

Dinamalar, founded by his father Ramasubbaiyer, faced stiff competition from a large number of reputed Tamil newspapers like Sudesamitran, Dinamani and Dina Thanthi. By  bold and independent policy, the paper has built a niche readership of its own. How effectively RK is guiding this!

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