Experts came together at the Tamil conference to further the cause of the language.

Let's take a look at the World Classical Tamil Conference that concluded in Coimbatore recently. This was the first such conference. Previous international events were World Tamil Conferences. And this conference was held after the Government of India granted the classical language status to Tamil.

For a World Tamil Conference to be held, the International Association for Tamil Research has to give a call. The first World Tamil Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1966. The second was two years later in Madras (now Chennai).

The third conference was in 1970 in Paris, France; the fourth was in 1974 in Jaffna, Sri Lanka; the fifth was in 1981 in Madurai; the sixth was in 1987 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; the seventh was in 1989 in Port Louis, Mauritius, and the last and eighth was in 1995 in Thanjavur.

Award to scholar

At the World Classical Tamil Conference the State Government conferred the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award to Asko Parpola, a scholar on Indian studies from Finland. Mr. Parpola, who researches on Indus Valley Civilisation scripts, said that the language people of those days used was Proto-Dravidian. He also said that the language used by people of Harappan Civilisation was related to Dravidian languages.

Scholars from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other countries where Tamils lived participated. There were also representatives from the U.S. and a few other countries who researched on Tamil and other Indian languages.

As part of the conference, the Tamil Nadu Government also conducted the Ninth Tamil Internet Conference. Software engineers and Tamil experts came together to discuss ways to promote Tamil on the Internet.

Bloggers in Tamil, teachers and others shared their experiences. The Government of India distributed free Tamil software. India Posts issued stamps to commemorate the event.

In all, 913 papers were presented at the conference. Around 1.5 lakh persons visited the conference and exhibition on each of the five days.