First World Classical Tamil conference begins in Chennai
The first World Classical Tamil Conference got off to a rousing start here today with host of leaders led by President Praibha Patil hailing the glory of the language.
Coimbatore: The first World Classical Tamil
Conference got off to a rousing start here today with host of
leaders led by President Praibha Patil hailing the glory of
the language, but the meet costing Rs 380 crore has its own
share of political bickering.
Opposition AIADMK and MDMK have boycotted the conference
on the plea that the DMK government, which has organised the
event, had not done anything to mitigate the sufferings of Sri
Lankan Tamils and failed to take any step for making Tamil as
the functional language of the Madras High Court.
Though the government had extended invitations to all
political leaders in the state, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa
refused to attend on the plea that International Association
of Tamil Research, the only organisation authorised to conduct
the conference, was not involved in organising the meet.
However, PMK, the estranged ally of the DMK, had welcomed
the conference and its founder S Ramadoss was expected to
share a platform with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday
for the first time after both the parties had snapped the
The platform was not only to cement relations between
these parties but to strengthen ties with Congress as TNCC
president K V Thangkabalu is scheduled to attend the session
on that day.
Tamil is one of the first languages in the world to have
a literature on grammar, written by Tolkoppiyar, centuries
back and a glorious past of having literary associations
(Sangams) where scholars sat together to have discussions on
the language. Inaugurating the biggest ever conference of Tamil
diaspora, the President said history of the Tamils was the
nation`s pride. Many concepts intrinsic to India`s society and
basic to its polity were found in Tamil discourse over the
She said Tamil people have greatly enriched the composite
heritage of India and enhanced cultural richness of the world.
Tamil ethos based on pluralism, tolerance and a
humanistic approach has contributed from early times to this
day, in a variety of ways to the progress of the country and
in shaping India`s identity as a nation that was rich in art
and music, architecture and literature.
Tamil language, with its vibrancy and richness, has made
India a proud multilingual society, she said.
She presented the Kalaignar Karunanidhi classical award
to renowned Indologist Asko Parpola, who in his acceptance
speech said the research had found the now defunct original
Dravidian language was very close to old Tamil.
Presiding over the function, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi
said Tamil possess all the qualities for declaring the
language as classical.