Tamil gets Classical language status

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Fri May 28 14:32:24 UTC 2004

>>From The Hindu (Madras), Thursday, May 27, 2004


"Tamil to get classical language status"

Chennai, May 27. (UNI). The new Congress-led government at the Centre, of
which the DMK is a key constituent, has consented to accord the 'classical
language' status to Tamil, party supremo M Karunanidhi announced today.

This would be officially announced as part of the new Common Minimum
Programme to be released this evening by Congress President Sonia Gandhi,
he said, addressing a gathering here.

The demand of the DMK as well as its allies in the seven-party Democratic
Progressive Alliance in the state that 'Tamil' should be declared as
classical language, has been endorsed by the Centre, he said.

"I should not be revealing an official secret in advance, but this being a
Tamil marriage gathering, I am happy to tell you that the Centre will
declare Tamil as a classical language," Mr Karunanidhi said.

The DMK, as well as its other allies like the MDMK and the PMK had been
demanding even when they were part of the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government
at the Centre, that this status be accorded to Tamil.

Apparently, this was one of the demands along with repeal of POTA on which
these parties had developed differences with the NDA government and
ultimately pulled out of it.

[Editorial comment (hfs): Tamils have been asking for "classical language
status" since the 1930's, and this now means that Tamil is put on a par
with Sanskrit for this status.]

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