Central Institute of Classical Tamil launched

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 20:06:32 UTC 2008

Central Institute of Classical Tamil launched

Special Correspondent

Suggestion to introduce paper on classical Tamil

29 acres of land allotted for the institute

CHENNAI: The Centre has increased the prize money for various awards
given to scholars to promote classical Tamil, Union Human Resource
Development Minister Arjun Singh said on Saturday. Stating that the
Centre agreed with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's suggestion, Mr.
Arjun Singh said the national Tolkappiyar award amount had been
increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. A similar hike had been made
in respect of two international awards–Kural Peetam.  Five young
scholars would be selected for an award of Rs. 1 lakh each for which
steps were to be taken shortly, he told a function in Chennai after
inaugurating the Central Institute of Classical Tamil.

Mr. Singh said the State Government had allotted about 29 acres of
land for the institute. Apart from undertaking research, the institute
should do teaching so that there was availability of students doing
research on classical Tamil. The State Government could introduce a
paper on classical Tamil at graduate and postgraduate levels so that
interested students could feed into the new and highly specialised
institute. A set of Critical Edition of the Classic Tamil texts was
being given final shape to be printed at the Union Government's Press
at Coimbatore and a number of informative television episodes on
Classical Tamil would be produced before the end of the current year,
he said, adding that he would request the Chief Minister to release
them on January 14, 2008, to mark the Tiruvalluvar Day.

Confluence of languages

Calling for a comprehensive understanding of the country's history and
culture, the Union Minister said "our philosophic, literary and
spiritual heritage today has resulted from the confluence of two major
streams represented by the two ancient languages, Sanskrit and Tamil.
During the last two centuries, the Sanskrit contribution has been
exhaustively studied because of the interest shown by many historians,
archaeologists, epigraphists and philologists of both the East and the
West. Tamil, an equal partner in the making of this composite Indian
culture and the fountainhead of the twenty-odd Dravidian languages,
deserves similar attention." Presiding over the function, Mr.
Karunanidhi thanked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United
Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Singh for
declaring Tamil a classical language.

He explained the need for establishing the Central Institute of
Classical Tamil. He honoured Udaya Narayana Singh, Director of the
Central Institute of Indian Languages and K. Ramaswamy, Deputy
Director, for their support in making the institute on Classical Tamil
a reality. K. Anbazhagan, Finance Minister, and V.C. Kulandaisamy,
vice-chairman of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, were among
those who addressed the function.

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