The letter from Prof. Chaman Lal on the Tamil conference (June 24) was educative and inspiring. The most spectacular part of it is that it has come from a person whose mother tongue is not Tamil. It carries a strong message for the Tamils who, despite being born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, are still wedded to “Daddy-Mummy” culture.
Let us not forget the fact that Tamil will survive and grow only if we give up the superfluous glamour we have for English. English can and should live, but not at the cost of Tamil. One should see the countries in Europe to understand this principle.
J. Eden Alexander,
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi should be congratulated without any bias. Globalisation imposes a ‘consumer culture' as the only culture for humanity and forces us to assimilate it through the media. Indigenous cultures around the world become victims of this process and Tamil language is no exception. Most of our print and visual media channels are ample proof of this deterioration. Though Tamil ethos spoke of universal fraternity, it is important to preserve the identity of the language and the values professed by it by living the Tamil culture, as stated by Mr. Karunanidhi.
The World Tamil Conference must come out with practical solutions to preserve the heritage of the language instead of mere resolutions and empty slogans. Any solution has to include the youth who form the majority of the population.
M. J. Ruben,
It is a pity that the name of Henry Heras (1888-1955) does not figure in the current celebration of Tamil's link with the Indus Valley. A Spanish-born Jesuit priest who taught at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, he was the first to suggest that the Indus seals must be interpreted using Tamil. He read the fish symbol as “meen”. That was more than 60 years ago when all other scholars, Indian and foreign, were trying to interpret the seals using Sanskrit — and getting nowhere.
The celebrations on classical Tamil are in full swing. Every one on the stage adores the hoary past of the language. But no one seems to think or bother about its present status. It is painful to see that the language is getting crucified day after day. It is moving fast towards a spoken language liberally mixed with English words. It eventually faces death.
If the language is to be saved, Tamil shall be made the compulsory medium of instruction up to XII standard in all the schools of Tamil Nadu with English as a subject as it existed before. In higher studies, if and when necessary, one can achieve fluency in English. Did not many excel in English language in yesteryear after their school education through the Tamil medium?
M. K. Natarajan,