Coimbatore: Convened to showcase the history
of one of the world`s oldest languages, the Classical Tamil
Conference is seemed to have ended up being yet another show
of strength by ruling DMK ahead of next year`s Assembly polls.
Political commentators and opposition leaders in Tamil
Nadu feel the five-day conference, curtains on which came down
on Sunday, was primarily the DMK`s "family show" and saw only the
praise of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who had left no stone
unturned to make this meet a reality.
The conference, which was inaugurated by President
Pratibha Patil on Wednesday, also clearly demonstrated the
organising skills of two members of the DMK`s first family --
Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and party MP Kanimozhi.
While Stalin shuttled between Chennai and this industrial
city to oversee the arrangements for the successful conduct of
the conference, Karunanidhi`s poet-daughter Kanimozhi made
sure that Tamil scholars from across the globe attend the meet
and present papers on various subjects.
Veteran journalist and political commentator Cho Ramasamy
says the purpose of the conference was only to "praise and
The venue and timing of the conference, just a year
before the state goes to polls, is also significant as the DMK
is trying to make `inroads` into the bastion of arch-rival
AIADMK in east Tamil Nadu. The opposition party had performed
well in this region in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Many family members of Karunanidhi actively participated
in the conference. While his grand daughter and daughter of
Union Minister M K Alagiri, Kayalvizhi Venkatesh showed her
poetic skills, another grand daughter Ezhilarasi enthralled
the audience by her Veena recital.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa had yesterday said that the
conference had only "sung the praise of Karunanidhi" and will
not achieve anything tangible.
At least 20 scholars had presented research papers on
Karunanidhi and his works. Only a few papers were presented on
the Tamil language, the theme of the conference.
A Tamil scholar himself, Karunanidhi has never missed an
opportunity to highlight his language skills or express
strong pro-Tamil feelings.
He was seen criss-crossing the 20 venues, where poet
meets, seminars and symposiums on Tamil had been organised.
Speakers after speakers heaped praise on him for organising
K Sivathambi, a Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka, convenor of
the academic sessions, went to the extent of describing
Karunanidhi as "World Tamils’ leader" and requested him to take
steps for development of Tamils the world over and mitigate