CHENNAI: Postal stamps in memory of three important personalities who contributed to the enrichment of the Tamil language and culture were released at a function in Chennai on Friday.
The personalities were Saint Vallalar (Ramalinga Adigal), who lived in the northern parts of the State during the 19th century and professed spiritual purity and non-killing, Parithimar Kalaignar (V.G. Suryanarayana Sastri) who demanded as early as 1902 classical language status for Tamil and Maraimalai Adigal, who spearheaded the “pure Tamil movement” in the early half of the 20th century.
Releasing the stamps Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan recalled the services rendered by the three personalities for the promotion of Tamil.
All the three had laid the foundation for the modernity of the language.
At a time when certain sections of society considered Tamil an inferior language, Vallalar’s ‘Arutpa’ highlighted the greatness of Tamil.
When Madras University proposed to exclude Tamil from its syllabus about 100 years ago, it was the strong case presented by Parithimar Kalaignar [who had become the Head of Tamil Department in the Madras Christian College in 1895] that forced the authorities to drop the move.
Maraiamalai Adigal, despite being a staunch theist, associated himself with the anti-Hindi agitations organised by non-believers. This showed his commitment to the cause of Tamil, the Minister added.
A. Raja, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, received the first copies of the stamps. Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, Minister for Information and Urban Development, L.K. Tripathy, Chief Secretary, Indira Krishna Kumar, Principal Chief Postmaster General, and Sharada Nambi Arooran, scholar, participated.