A hundred years ago | November 28, 1918. Archives

From the Archives: The Tamil Lexicon.(From an Editorial)

‘Time is one thing and eternity is another’, and lovers of the Tamil language have reasons to doubt if ever the Tamil Lexicon will see the light of day, if the present blundering policy is persisted in. The public have been following the progress (or the lack of it) of this grand enterprise with feelings bordering on disgust. Up to April 1918, a sum of Rs. 53,500 had been placed, we are told, at the disposal of the University for expenditure on the Lexicon. The Local Government have been further pleased to say that, according to present calculations, the Lexicon will not be ready for the press before January 1921 and that it is not possible to forecast with accuracy the further expenditure that may have to be incurred. If we are not mistaken, the first estimate of cost of the Lexicon was one lakh of rupees, and now that more than half that amount has been expended, may we ask the Syndicate and the Government whether any appreciable progress has been made with the work. All that we have heard about the grossly inefficient way which has characterised the management of the compilation cannot obviously be published, but if public apprehensions on this score are faulty and exaggerated, it is quite open to the authorities responsible to come forward to publish an accurate account of the progress made so far. The probabilities are, however, that the worst fears of the public will be realised, if the whole matter is thoroughly investigated by a committee, internal evidence available to the public goes to confirm this impression.

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