“My thoughts preoccupied with events in New Delhi”

Special Correspondent
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Karunanidhi says his focus was not on Kanimozhi, but ‘Semmozhi'


On a day filled with suspense over whether his daughter and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi will be granted bail by the CBI Special Court in New Delhi, the party leader and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Friday that his thoughts were preoccupied with events in the national capital.

However, his mind was not on Kanimozhi, but ‘Semmozhi', or Classical Tamil.

“I write this at a time when my younger daughter Kanimozhi is appearing before a court in Delhi,” began Mr. Karunanidhi in an epistle to his party workers meant for publication in Murasoli, the DMK organ. However, the rest of his letter was about Tamil scholars receiving awards instituted by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil at Rashtrapathi Bhavan from President Pratibha Patil.

Mr. Karunanidhi, who was closeted with senior Cabinet colleagues and party leaders throughout the day at his Gopalapuram residence, did not comment on the developments in the Delhi court, where Ms. Kanimozhi's bail application was argued by senior advocate Ram Jethmalani and the hearing remained inconclusive.

“All these years, scholars in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian were being honoured by being invited to Rashtrapathi Bhavan, but today, for the first time, Tamil scholars are being accorded such honour. This is sweet news to Tamils all over the world,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.

The DMK leader, who successfully appealed to the Centre to accord ‘classical' status to Tamil in 2004, was particularly pleased that renowned scholar, Prof Adigalasiriyar, who was over 100-years-old and had authored 65 books and published more than 100 research papers, was conferred the ‘Tholkappiar Award' for 2005-06 for his contribution to Tamil.

The 2006-07 ‘Kural Peedam Award', given to foreign scholars, went to George L. Hart of the United States, but he could not come to receive it in person for health reasons. Besides, others were honoured with ‘Young Scholar' awards. “The long awaited ‘Classical Tamil' awards are being given away for the first time, and on this occasion, several important events in history flash across my mind,” Mr. Karunanidhi said, and narrated the efforts made by scholars such as Parithimar Kalaignar and Robert Caldwell in establishing the antiquity and classicism of the Tamil language.



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