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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1587

The Classical Tamil Conference in different hues and colours: the five-day programme

From Gopal Ethiraj
Chennai, 23 June (

The World Classical Tamil Conference will be inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil today (June 23) at 10 a.m. Mr. Karunanidhi will preside. Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, M K Stalin, Finance Minister K Anbazhagan, Chief Secretary K S Sripathi and scholars like Professor George Hart, Dr. V.C. Kulandaisamy, and Dr. K. Sivathamby of Sri Lanka will participate in the inaugural function.

The “Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award” will be presented to the world renowned Indologist, Dr. Asko Parpola of Finland, for his magnum opus, Deciphering the Indus Script (1994), proposing Dravidian as the language of the Indus Script, close to old Tamil. He will receive the award from the President Pratibha Deisingh Patil. This Award has been instituted by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil.

In the evening at 4 p.m. under title “ Iniyavai Narpathu”, there will be a pagentry of floats depicting the language, culture and history which will start from VOC grounds and proceed along Avinashi Road and reach the conference complex.

On June 24, there will be mangala isai, cultural performance by differentially abled persons and folk performances in the morning. At noon Malaysian Minister Dr. Subramaniam will inaugurate a general exhibition in the presence of Union Minister M K Alagiri while the inauguration of Internet exhibition by UNESCO director Armoogam Parsuramen in the presence of Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and the inauguration of book exhibition by Maldives Minister Ahmed Naseer in the presence of Union Minister G K Vasan.

Kavi Arangam, Pattimandram, Karutharangam

In the after noon, there will be a Kavi Arangam on “Puthiyadoor Ulagam Seivom” presided by Kakviko Abdur Rahman with Va Mu Sethuraman, Abdul Khader, Kavigner Ponnadiyar, Andal Priyadarshini, Rev Father Vincent Chinnadurai, Kavithaipithan and Kalpakkam Revathi.

It will be followed by a Karutharangam (Seminar) on “Samayam Valartha Thamizh” presided by Santhalinga Ramaswamy Adigal, participated by Rev Bishop Chinnappa, Saradha Nambi Arooran, S Sripall IAS, Prof, D Gnanasundaram, Amudhan Adigal Prof K M Kader Mohideen. A cultural programme follows in the evening.

On June 25, Friday, there will be “Kavi Arangam” on ‘ Kilambitru kan Tamizhach Singa kootam’ presided by Kaviperarusu Vairamuthu, with Kavigner Erode Tamizhanban, Nellai Jeyatha, Dr. Tamikzhachi Thangapandian, Marabin Maindan Muthiah, Prof. Karunanidhi, Kavingner Viveka and Na Muthukumar.

This will be followed by a Pattimandram – Tamizhar Vashvodu Peridum Sarnthiruppathu: Sanga Ilakkiyamae; Idaikkala Ilakiyamae; Indraya Ilakkiiyamae; Moderator Prof S Sathyaseelan, parsticipated by Kumari Ananthan, Ellangai Jeyaraj, Dr. Sundara Avudaiappan, A Arivoli, Desa Mangayarkarasi, Prof Aranfga Malliga and Thennavan.

An evening for all political leaders

The same day evening there will be a “Special Karutharngam,” presided by Chief Minister Karunanidhi, in which all political leaders will participate—K V Thangkabalu, Dr. S. Ramadoss, D. Raja, Thol Thirumavalavan, K M Kader Mohideen, K Veeramani, L Ganesan, Rama Veerappan, Sitaram Yechury, Sridhar Vandaiyar, Poovai Jagan Moorthy, Dawood Miakan, Ponkumar, Chellamuthu, Tiruppur Altaf, L Santhanam and M Basheer Ahamed.

June 26 opens with a Kavi arangam on title “Thamizhukkum Amuthendru Paer” Presided by Kavinger Vaali, the participants will be Mu. Metha, Pa. Vijay, Palani Bharathi, K Vazhavendhan, Thanigaichelvam, Ilambirai Uma Mahashwari, Thamildasan.

The Karutharangam following it, will be on “Chemmozhi Thaguthi” presided by Dr. V.C. Kulandi Swamy. The other participants will be Mannar Mannan, Ponnambala Adigalar, Prof. Valanarasu, Prof. Ilampirai Manimaran, Dr. G John Samuel and Prof. Ilakkuvanar Maraimalai.

Tamil scholars from abroad meet

In the afternoon Karutharangam on title “Kadal Kadantha Thamizhum Thamizharum” the following are participating. Presided by Dr. Ka Pa Aravanan, the others are N Andiappan (Singapore), P Rajendran (Malaysia), Paul Pandian (USA), Dr. Alagappa Rammohan (USA), Dr. R Nithyananthan and Dr. N.Ram (UK), Kallarau Sathish (Switzerland), Balakkrishnan (France), Bala S.Balendra (Australia).

At 4.30 the same day there will be a Pattimandram on “Thamizh Valarkum Perum Poruppu”—Velli Thiraikae; Chinna Thiraikae; Achuchu Thuraikae. Moderator: Prof Solomon Pappiah; Introduction: Pondy CM V.Vaithilingam. Participants: Director Bharathirajah, Actor Vaagai Chandrasekar, Dindigul I Liony, Actor S. Ve. Sekar, Tikruppur Kkrishnan, Nakkheeran Gopal.

On June 27, Sunday in the programme for public, there will be a Karuthrangam (seminar) on title “Vithaga Vilangum Mozhi” presided by actor Sivakumar and introductory address by Prof. Suba Veerapandian, the participants ar: S. Peter Alphonse, Rev Father Jegath Gaspar, Prof Parveen Sultana, Advocate T. Ramalingam, Advocate A Arulmozhi Cumbam P. Selvendran and Tiruchi Selvendran.

Valedictory function on June 27

The valedictory function will be presided by Union Minister for Finance Pranab Mukherjee; Chief Minister Karunanidhi presents “Kaniyan Poongundranaar Award” for developing best Tamil Software and addresses the conference; Special Address Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram; Communication Minister A Raja releases special Postal stamp. Chief Secretary welcomes and vote of thanks by K Allaudin, Special Officer of the World Classical Tamil Conference.

The academic sessions will have research papers on various subjects under 55 titles presented by scholars and researchers in Tamil language, literature, culture. As many as 1,020 delegates from 49 countries have registered for participation at the conference, it is said.

The general sessions will have various literary programmes to benefit and attract the public. The public will get an opportunity to listen to presentations on classical Tamil in the form of various programmes like literary speeches, poetry sessions, and scholarly debates by renowned personalities. Further, dance operas, music performances, etc will be organised in the evenings to showcase Tamil culture.

Exhibition on Classical Tamil and Pageantry procession

A grand exhibition is being organised for the World Classical Tamil Conference. There will be exhibits depicting Tamil arts, culture, language, literature, and the history of Tamil. The exhibition will present objects of pottery, figurines, bricks, and seals, bathtubs etc., which were excavated from the Indus Valley apart from Chola bronzes, stone inscriptions, and statues from various ages.

A massive pageantry procession will be organized on June 23, the day of inauguration. It will cover 9 km. from VOC grounds in the heart of the city of Coimbatore to CODISSIA grounds, the venue of the Conference. The procession will have 40 floats displaying paintings and models of sculptures depicting the glory of Tamil culture. The floats will portray rare and resplendent scenes from the ancient Sangam classics and reflect the richness of the Tamil people and their culture. What is more, 40 cultural troupes consisting of 2,000 artistes will participate in the procession.

Tamil Internet Conference:

Another unique aspect will be the Tamil Internet Conference 2010, which the Government of Tamil Nadu decided to hold alongside the first World Classical Tamil Conference. The objectives of the former are to showcase the development of Tamil Internet up to the present time and to identify the steps needed to increase the use of the Tamil language on the Internet; to establish a wide network between Tamil literary scholars and Tamil Internet developers; and to motivate the younger generation to use Tamil on the Internet.

About 350 special invitees, speakers, delegates, and experts from 15 countries to participate in the Tamil Internet Conference. A “Tamil Computing Internet Exhibition” is being organised as an interactive module to expose and explain the latest developments and technology in Tamil Internet to common folk.

The logo: The logo for the Classical Tamil meet is designed with the image of Thiruvalluvar's statue in Kanyakumari, being lashed by waves caused by the tsunami and encircled by seven icons from the Indus Valley Civilisation, symbolising the Dravidian civilisation. The logo, emphasising the ideal of humankind, that it should always be free of narrow walls of race, creed, and caste, displays a message on a palm leaf manuscript at the bottom of the statue-- “pirapokkum ella uyirkkum” = All living humans are one in circumstances of birth, has been declared to be the motto of the meet.

Theme song: Kalaigner has written the theme song for the Conference, which has been set to tune by Oscar and Grammy Award winner A.R. Rahman. The DVD was made by leading film director Gautham Menon. The singers include A.R. Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja, T.M. Soundararajan, P. Suseela, Aruna Sairam, Bombay Jayashri Ramnath, Karthik, Harini, Chinmayi, Hariharan, Swetha Mohan, G.V. Prakash, Benny Dayal, Srinivas, Vijay Yesudas, T.L. Maharajan, Nithyasree Mahadevan, S. Sowyma, M.Y Abdul Gani, M. Khaja Mohideen, S. Sabu Mohideen, P.L. Krishnan, Naresh Ayyar, Gunasekar, Sruti Hassan, Chinna Ponnu, Suseela Raman, Blaze, Kash and Rehana.

Web site on meet: A website ( for the World Classical Tamil Conference was launched. Designed in Tamil and English, the website has different sections pertaining to the theme of the conference, announcements made on the meet, the significance of the host city (Coimbatore) and the historical background of the declaration of Tamil as a classical language.

There is a provision for online registration. Also, one can post one’s views or comments in the blog section. Links to the Tamil University, Tamil Virtual University, International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil (INFITT), Thinnai and Project Tamil have been provided in the website

Tourism dept’s hop-on hop-off tours for delegates

The Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) has introducing hop-on hop-off tour with three buses two days prior to the actual event. It will be extended if there is a good response. TTDC is also thinking of operating services to Mysore and Bangalore from Coimbatore. As per the itinerary, the hop-on hop-off bus will cover CODISSIA, Saradhamba temple, Koniamman temple, botanical garden, Maruthamalai temple, Perur temple and railway station.

TTDC has also announced five one-day special package tours, starting and ending at Coimbatore, covering Udhagamandalam, Topslip, Karamadai and Maruthamalai.

The tariff includes transport, entry fee, toll charges, parking fee, food and accommodation. Two-day tours will cover Mettupalayam, Kallar farm, Pykara, Mudumalai, Udhagamandalam and Coonoor

Eight conferences before

There were eight conferences before. Almost all CMs of Tamil Nadu have participated/ conduced the World Tamil conferences. The first Tamil conference in 1966 in Kula Lumpur was participated by the then chief minister M Bhaktvatsalam.

Arignar Anna (C.N. Annadurai) conducted the Second World Tamil Conference in Chennai in 1968 on a very grand scale The fifth meet by M G Ramachandran in Madurai (1981) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi participated in the valedictory session, eigth by Jayalalithaa in Thanjavur (1995) and the present ninth or World Classical Tamil conference by the present Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. The third in Paris, France (1970), fourth in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (1974), the sixth again in Kuala Lumpur (1989) when Mr. Karunanidhi delivered special address on the inaugural day, and seventh in Marutitius are the other meets in between.

- Asian Tribune -

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