Glittering tribute to a glorious heritage
  • Glittering tribute to a glorious heritage

    There is every reason for the people of Tamil Nadu, as also India as a whole,
    to take pride in the just-concluded five-day long Ulagath Thamizh Chemmozhi
    Maanaadu (World Classical Tamil Conference) as a spectacular celebration of the
    scintillating Tamil language whose origins are contemporaneous with, or maybe
    even more ancient than, those of Sanskrit.
    Indeed, the Indus civilisation itself bears the imprint of Dravidian influence
    and the famous scholar, Mr Iravatham Mahadevan, holds that the Indus script is
    Dravidian and linguistically and culturally closer to the old Tamil polity.
    I am reasonably familiar with Sanskrit and four other Indian languages, and
    have read the classical literature of Greek and Latin in English translations.
    I can testify, without exaggeration, to the magnificence of the Tamil classical
    traditions going back to four thousand years or more.
    Few languages touch so many aspects of human existence, go so deep into the
    recesses of human thought or weave such a grand cultural tapestry stretching
    all the way from ethical values, philosophy, epistemology, worldly wisdom and
    human relations.
    Works dating back to centuries before Christ contain brilliant insights about
    the nature and scope of prose, poetry and drama and lay down the norms of
    grammar with exactitude and precision. The stringent standards that Tirukkural
    prescribes for a ruler cannot be improved upon even with all the phenomenal
    growth of knowledge that has taken place since.
    For all that, the ignorance that prevails among the people of other States,
    especially those of the North, of the history of the Tamils and their language
    and culture can only be described as shocking.
    Surprisingly, there are sections of Tamils themselves who flaunt their
    inability to speak in, or even read, Tamil, and those who have had English
    education consider it ‘infra dig' to conduct discussions and meetings in their
    mother tongue. I can only say that, falling between the two stools of a carping
    nature and insulated lives, they fail to understand the role inspiration and
    self-esteem play in getting the best out of a people.
    as Chief Minister, has done a tremendous service by lifting the spirits of the
    Tamil people as a way of motivating them to scale still greater heights.
    Incredible feat
    There are those, of course, who turn their noses up at such ‘wasteful
    extravaganzas'. Remember, the money has not gone down the drain but has, in its
    own way, had its multiplier effect by providing livelihoods to innumerable
    artisans and craftsmen, giving a push to the local economy through increased
    orders for goods and services, and contributing to the improvement and
    expansion of the infrastructure of every description.
    Finally, the Maanaadu was an incredible feat of organisation. Considering the
    stupendous scale — 2,605 delegates (including 840 foreigners), 913 papers on 55
    subjects, food for four lakh people, five lakh watching the pageantry with an
    average daily attendance of 1.5 lakh at various events held in so many venues —
    everything went off like clockwork. Not a little praise for all this is due to
    the devoted band of officials and non-officials who did a marvellous job under
    the leadership of the Chief Secretary, Mr K. S. Sripathi.

    It is now the paramount and inescapable duty of those behind the monumental
    effort to bridge the broadening gulf between ancient precepts and present-day
    practice in respect of accountability, rectitude, tolerance and harmony which
    Tamil classical literature holds sacrosanct. They had better start with
    corruption, in which Tamil Nadu has been ranked among the second most corrupt
    set of States by Transparency International (next to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and
    Jammu and Kashmir).
  • It may be a glittering tribute in the eyes of people who can afford to be
    spectators in such occasions at a cost of nearly Rs.600 crores!

    What about thousands of Tamil population in panchayats and towns starving
    without basic amenities e.g. people in Dharmapuri and
    other districts where drinking water is a scarce commodity! When Tamilians are
    rotting where is the need for spending such a whopping
    sum for celebrating the language they speak! Is it not an irony? The govt.
    exchequer is already in "red " running to several thousands of
    crores of rupees! At whose request and cost such celebrations are conducted ?

    The celebration fever might exist for a few days. People forget things very
    easily. And this is one such occasion. Thanglish will continue to
    haunt the media, particularly in their own channels ! It is nothing but a
    reminder of the dead era when kings and queens indulged in regular
    celebrations on one side and execute innocent public on the other side ! Arre
    baba, it is nothing but noisy gimmicks, just to strengthen
    the weak areas in that part of Tamilnadu for the ensuing elections !

  • hmmm....the sangam literature, based on which we boast of our 'semmozhi' is
    the outcome of the hard work of a ripe old man named U.Ve. Swaminatha

    and in 5 days with 1000 papers mention of this old man's

    'nandri marapathu nandrandru....' - Tirukural....
    vaazhga semmozhi....

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