Native speakers of Tamil are not taking efforts to develop the language; they are oblivious of its richness, Madras High Court Judge Justice V. Ramasubramaniam said here on Monday after inaugurating “Thayagam Kadantha Tamil”, a three-day conference organised by the Center for Tamil Culture.

The conference brings together Tamil writers, academics, media persons and experts to discuss works by Tamils and non-Tamils who were outside Tamil Nadu. Tamil scholars from other countries such as Canada, China and Singapore are also participating in the event.

The growth of English, a comparatively young language, was aided largely by the industrial revolution. And, in the last 300 years, it had borrowed heavily from other languages and spread across the world because of political and economic reasons.

In the process, English had learnt the art of survival and was now being improved by non-native speakers. But, in the case of Tamil, even the native speakers were not striving for its development. Tamil scholar Silampoli S. Chellappan said people in Tamil Nadu were not bothered about developing Tamil. One way to bring Tamil back in the mainstream was to encourage children to speak in the language.

Conference Convener and senior journalist Maalan said the objective of the event was to bring together writers, academics, translators, journalists and experts from more than 12 countries to discuss their works, share ideas and take Tamil to the next level, to the next generation.