Periyar EVR tried to retrieve Tamil Language from the impact of cultural invasion and make it a secular language said K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam, here on Monday.

Delivering the first Periyar Endowment lecture at Tamil University, Mr. Veeramani said that Periyar's thinking and views on languages could be classified into two types. First, his ideas on language as a whole (all languages), second his thinking on Tamil Language in particular. He wanted to modernise Tamil and introduced reforms in letters. He thought language; particularly Tamil, should renovate itself keeping it attuned to changing times. Only then can it compete with other languages of the world. Periyar was also worried about the cultural invasion- intrusion of words from other languages particularly Sanskrit, and wanted to save Tamil from this cultural invasion. Till Periyar's ideas reformed the Tamil language, Sanskrit words were used profusely in Tamil Nadu, Mr.Veeramani said.

Periyar said that a language cannot grow by attributing divine qualities or waxing eloquence about its antiquity, but it should be modernised, Mr.Veeramani added.

M. Rajendran, Vice Chancellor, Tamil University, said that Periyar wanted not only self respect for Tamil people but also for Tamil language. He described Tamil language as a "war weapon" in the hands of Tamils to compete in the world. He was enraged when people said that Tamil language had the power to open temple gates . It was an irony that Tamil, which is said to have opened the closed temple gates when sung in the form of Devarams, is not allowed as a language of worship in temples, Rajendran regretted..

Ramalingam, who instituted the Periyar Endowment, T.Eswara Pillai, Professor of Department of Literature, spoke.