There is no political motive behind the move to hold the International Conference on Classical Tamil slated for June next year in Coimbatore, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Wednesday.
This is well known to those who have been associated from the beginning in this effort. Being the leader of the principal opposition party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalailthaa should realise her responsibility and conduct herself accordingly in issues concerning research and development of Tamil and Tamil scholars, Mr. Karunanidhi said, reacting to her statement that the AIADMK would boycott the meet.
After the World Tamil Conference in Thanjavur in January 1995, there was a grievance that no such meet was organised all these years anywhere. The State government had come forward to host the proposed conference as this would provide a platform for researchers in Tamil language, literature and culture and for enabling research works on the Tamil language and literature in the wake of findings in the areas of archaeology, history and linguistics, Mr. Karunanidhi explained.
In light of the declaration of Tamil as a classical language, Tamil scholars and researchers felt that it would be appropriate if the proposed meet were held as a conference on Classical Tamil. It was on the basis of their opinion that the preparations for the meet had begun.
Noboru Karashima, International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) president, was for holding the conference in January 2011. But, there would be difficulties in implementing his suggestion as Assembly elections were due in April-May 2011. This was explained to the Tamil scholars who had also agreed to cooperate with the State government. Six out of nine persons holding positions in the IATR were, among others, who welcomed the government’s move, Mr. Karunanidhi said.
Responding to Ms. Jayalalithaa’s statement that the IATR should have announced the World Tamil Conference, the Chief Minister recalled that when the AIADMK was in power [during 1991-1996], the then government, in its Budget for 1993-1994, announced that the eighth edition of the conference would be held in 1994. But, the meet did not take place that year. Again, in the Budget for 1994-1995, an announcement was made that the conference would begin on January 1, 1995. Both these announcements were made by the AIADMK regime unilaterally, not the IATR.
In another statement, Mr. Karunanidhi gave an account of the steps taken by his government to perpetuate the memory of Parithimarkalaignar who first gave the call for making Tamil a classical language. He said President Pratibha Patil would present the awards instituted for scholars in classical Tamil.