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Updated: August 19, 2013 19:26 IST

A forum for Tamil

Subha J Rao
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Poet Vairamuthu
Special Arrangement Poet Vairamuthu

Poet Vairamuthu speaks about the importance of staying in touch with one’s mother tongue

At the inaugural of the Tamil Mandrams of the Sri Krishna Group of Institutions, the chief guest, the much feted poet-lyricist Vairamuthu, got a welcome befitting a literary giant.

Enthused by the rousing reception, Vairamuthu, also a scintillating orator, held forth on his favourite subject — Tamil — to a receptive gathering of about 3,000 students.

“I’m delighted at the importance you give Tamil. In between, an entire generation of children stayed away from Tamil, choosing other subjects over language,” he said.

“Even as you all move on and embrace technology, you must never forget your mother tongue. That is what will rejuvenate you,” he added.

Develop pride in your culture, said Vairamuthu, who has to his credit many novels, poetry collections and thousands of film songs.

“Most technical terms and products have been translated into Tamil. But, have we ever thought of creating a product and giving it a Tamil name so that people across the globe refer to it in Tamil?” he asked. “You must work towards that.”

The poet is famously called Karuppu Vairam (black diamond). “If you called me just a diamond, I would not have been very happy. But, you called me black. That delights me. No one has attained victory sitting in the shade. The black you are speaking about is the result of years of toil. It is the colour of hard work,” said Vairamuthu, who grew up in Vadugapatti village in Theni.

“The body needs physical exertion. Without hard work and sweat, you will achieve nothing,” he stated.

The various office bearers of the mandrams took their oath of office in the presence of the poet and he asked them to conduct debates and other literary events to keep the love for language alive.

Finally, he asked all the students to read. “Not so that it will lull you to sleep, but because it will awaken your intellect.”

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