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PIL seeks withdrawal of consent to encode 55 characters in unicode standard

 A Public interest Litigation was filed in the Madras High court today seeking withdrawal of the consent given for encoding 55 special characters in the Unicode Standard as it would lead to 'adulteration' of the ancient Tamil language.

Madurai: A Public interest Litigation was filed in the Madras High court today seeking withdrawal of the consent given for encoding 55 special characters in the Unicode Standard as it would lead to 'adulteration' of the ancient Tamil language.

Petitioner M.Ananda Pandian submitted that the Director of Tamil Virtual Academy of Anna University had forwarded the proposal to encode 55 Tamil ancient symbol characters, which, he said, would affect classical Tamil language. The characters actually conveyed special meanings in shorter form, which was in practice for more than 1000 years, he submitted.

He said the consent had been given without consulting the experts, scholars in history, archaeology, mathematics and anthropology. The Director had sent communication to the Unicode consortium to give a new unicode format to the language by adding 55 more symbols to extend the Tamil part of the Unicode standard.

This would also 'wipe out' the distinct quality of the Tamil language script. The Director had not even considered expert opinion on the issue and simply forwarded the proposal given by a member of the high-level committee, he said.

The loss of any language in any form was thus a loss for all humanity. It was the duty of the Secretaries, Tamil Development, Department of Information and Technology and computing division to preserve the ancient and rich Tamil language, the petitioner said.

The case had been posted for hearing next week.