Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tamil as Classical Language

WHEN the Government of India declared Tamil a classical language a year ago, a gathering of educationists, social scientists and technocrats at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) in Chennai issued a clarion call to the intellectual fraternity for the preservation of invaluable literary works of the ancient language using modern tools. While sharing the euphoria over the honour done to the ancient language, MIDS Chairman M. Anandakrishnan observed, "If the language is to be protected, mere status enhancement will not do, the value of [the language's] assets also must be enhanced. They must be made performing assets" (Frontline, November 5, 2004). He said, "Tamil's assets are not only Purananooru, Agananooru and Thirukkural... We have a long tradition of assets in literary works, books on varied subjects, including science, newspapers, journals and so on." Regretting that "there is not even a bibliography of Tamil publications, let alone annotative bibliographies", Anandakrishnan called for "concerted efforts" in such directions. Similar suggestions came from several linguistic scholars and language experts as well.

Frontline link

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