The State government has invited President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore in June, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Thursday.
Addressing presspersons after a meeting with chairpersons and members of various committees formed in connection with the Conference, he said Dr.Singh and Ms.Gandhi might also take part in the inauguration of the new Assembly complex.
Replying to a query whether any action plan would be drawn up as part of the World Classical Tamil Conference, Mr.Karunanidhi said that the conference would not just be an exercise of academic discussion. On the basis of the meet’s success and follow up action, the State government would reiterate that Tamil should be made one of the official languages of the Union government.
To another query whether statues of Tamil scholars would be installed as done in the case of the Second World Tamil Conference in Chennai in 1968, the Chief Minister said this was raised in the discussion on Thursday. A favourable decision would be made.
Asked about enlisting the participation of the Opposition in the conference, he said the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam had conveyed in writing that they would not take part.
In what way would the Coimbatore conference be different from the earlier World Tamil Conferences? He replied that the Coimbatore meet would be as special as the Chennai meet that was held under C.N. Annadurai’s leadership.
The Chief Minister added that infrastructure improvement schemes would be taken up in Coimbatore district.
Earlier, concluding the deliberations of the meeting, the Chief Minister said the Conference should be used to foster unity among the Tamils. He was particular that political parties should transcend their differences on occasions that would reflect sentiments of the Tamils and promote the Tamil language.
He clarified that he did not blame Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the delay in the declaration of Tamil as a classical language. What he said was that the delay was due to those individuals in that government who did not like the Dravidian movement.
A total of 1,244 delegates from different countries had confirmed their participation for the conference, Mr.Karunanidhi added.
The meeting was, among others, attended by K. Anbazhagan, Finance Minister; M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister; K.V. Thangkabalu, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president; K.P. Jain, Director General of Police; K. Allaudin, Special Officer for the Conference; M. Anandakrishnan, educationist; M. Rajendran, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil University; Iravatham Mahadevan, veteran archaeologist; N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu; B. Sivanthi Adityan, Chairman of ‘Daily Thanthi’ group of publications; and Kalanithi Maran, Chairman and Managing Director of Sun TV network.