Eminent writer T. Padmanabhan on Friday said language played a crucial role in defining political geographies.

Taking strong exception to the idea that nationalities were shaped on religious, caste and racial lines, the reclusive writer with a piquant tongue said language had a much greater role in defining political nationalistic geographies.

Mr. Padmanabhan was inaugurating the week-long ‘Malayalam Language’ celebrations organised by the Samstha Kerala Sahitya Parishad in connection with Kerala Formation Day.

The writer commended Samastha Kerala Sahitya Parishad for providing a platform for all writers and thinkers regardless of allegiance and perceptional difference, a rare quality lacked by top literary institutions like the Sahitya Akademi.

On Malayalam’s currency, he said the language, its culture and arts found better reflection in English dailies, with The Hindu in the lead, while the Malayalam media largely cold-shouldered the State’s cultural and linguistic heritage.

A poetry session held later in the day was inaugurated by poet-lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi. Over 40 poets recited their poems.

The Malayalam lexicon should be developed to include scientific and technological terms, said Minister for Culture K.C. Joseph. Efforts were also being made to make Malayalam the language of the courts, he said.

The Minister was speaking at a function to mark the celebration of the classical status accorded to the language.

The programme included a seminar on ‘Language and History’. C.M. Pappukutty Bhagavathar, K.L. Mohana Varma, Prof. M. Achuthan, and Prof. M. Thomas were felicitated at the function for their contributions to Malayalam language.

The seminar on language and history was inaugurated by K. Babu, MLA. He said the classical status obtained by Malayalam had paved the way for teaching the language in Central Universities. Historian M.G.S. Narayanan delivered the introductory speech.

Writer M. Leelavathy said all languages were equally important and that the term ‘classic’ had to be treated with caution.

She was speaking at the Malayalam Day celebration organised by the Kerala Press Academy.

Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar inaugurated the fortnight-long DC International Book Fair and Cultural fest at the Marine Drive ground here on Friday.

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