I was overawed on reading the article “World Classical Tamil Conference — a perspective” (June 3) by Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi. It is a vivid, beautiful and historical narration of how Tamil got the status of a classical language. Although it was a hard-fought battle spanning over one-and-a- half centuries, it needs no emphasis that the movement to get Tamil declared a classical language gained momentum under the leadership of Mr. Karunanidhi. He made every Tamil proud by winning for the language its place in history.
With just about three weeks left for the five-day World Classical Tamil Conference at Coimbatore, it was in the fitness of things for Mr. Karunanidhi, who has rendered yeoman service for the growth of Tamil literature, to provide an insight into not only the efforts made over the years to get the classical language status for the language but also the conference logo, the theme song, and other details of the conference.
Mr. Karunanidhi's article was a curtain-raiser. Under his leadership, the World Classical Tamil Conference is set to become a huge success. He deserves to be lauded for organising this event to showcase the richness and diversity of Tamil culture as mirrored in the Tamil language and literature. The conference logo, pirapokkum ella uyirkkum — all are born equal — encapsulates the Tamil ethos.
G. David Milton,
That Tamil is the first living language to be given the status of a classical language adds to its grandeur. In the wake of globalisation, it is essential that the age-old culture of Tamils be retold in a modern way that reaches the ever changing Tamil Diaspora. Cultural revivalism through the World Classical Tamil Conference can generate participatory activism among the Tamils, promoting its rich cultural heritage. In a sense, this can also be called a modern-day ‘Sangam.'
The Hindu has done a great service to the readers by publishing a comprehensive article on the Tamil conference. I wish to make the following suggestions: All research papers presented in the conference should be made available at affordable cost; the exhibits depicting Tamil art and culture should be kept at the venue for some time after the conference so that people who cannot attend will get an opportunity to see them; the Tamil Internet Conference can be organised on a mini scale in Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchi, Salem and Nagercoil to enable more people to benefit from it; the floats displaying paintings and models should be taken around all district headquarters before they are dismantled; and all cable operators can be asked to cover the proceedings in detail for the benefit of those who may not be able to attend the conference.
K. Bala Sundram,