Introductory course in Tamil epigraphy conducted

While there is an increasing awareness of monuments, destruction of these treasures is also taking place, knowingly or unknowingly, School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said on Thursday.

Addressing a meeting to distribute certificates to those who underwent an introductory course in Tamil epigraphy, he said it was a cause of concern that stone inscriptions, temple murals and other monuments that had survived hundreds of years were suddenly facing a threat.

The course was conducted by the Academy of Archaeology and Sciences of Ancient India (AASAI), the education wing of REACH foundation.

“They are not mere stones. Time has been preserved in the stones. Our ancestors protected these monuments despite the socio-political changes and wars. Now, it is our duty to protect and preserve them for the next generation.”

“Mere awareness will not serve any purpose,” he said stressing, “We should join our hands to protect the monuments.”

Recalling the announcement for creating heritage clubs in schools, the Minister said after the Classical Tamil Conference he would see to it that the task was completed.

Noted archaeologist and Director, AASAI, T. Satyamurthy, said the course was to make more people read the inscription so that they would not treat monuments as unwanted material. “Once they are able to read it they will realise what is written on the wall in beautiful Tamil.”

S. Rajavelu, Associate Professor, Thanjavur Tamil University, stressed the need for effective co-operation from people to protect monuments. “At least treat temples as a place of cultural importance if not treating them as place of worship.”

Ravi Sam, Chairman, AASAI, said the students who underwent the course had already emerged as a watchdog group for protection of monuments.

Swami Padmasthananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, and S. Ramachandran, epigraphy faculty, AASAI, participated.