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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2643

10th World Tamil Conference in Chicago for four days in July this year

From Gopal Ethiraj in Chennai
Chnnai, 15 January, ( :

The 10th World Tamil Conference (WTC) will be held in Chicago for four days from July 4-7, this year. Sponsored by International Association of Tamil Research (IATR), Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA) and Chicago Tamil Sangam (CTS), it is for the first time a world Tamil conference is being held on the American soil.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has been invited to inaugurate the conference like the 2nd Tamil conference in Chennai was inaugurated by the then CM Anna durai, 5th conference in Madurai by the then CM MGR and the 8th conference in Thanjavur by the then CM Jayalalithaa. The last World Tamil Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2015. The IATR has been organizing the conference since 1966—53 years.

It will be a mega-tri-event (‘mooperum vizha’)— the 10th International Tamil Conference, the 32nd anniversary of FeTNA , the 50th year (golden jubilee) celebration of CTS. Along with it Global Tamil Entrepreneurs’ Network (GTEN) will have a session on July 6.

Addressing a press conference in Chennai on January 12, Tamilnadu Language and Culture Minister K. Pandiarajan assured all possible assistance from the State government and suggested that the conference could include another theme--‘inter-religious dialogue’ as it would match the meet held more than 125 years ago, when Swami Vivekananda raised his historic voice. The minister also suggested that the conference of World Tamil Sangam of Tamil Nadu could be embedded with the WTC.

Theme of the conference

One of the global organisers of the conference, Caldwell Velnambi said, “New historicist, scientific, comparative study of the antiquity of the Tamils, Tamil language, literature, culture and civilisation would be among the themes of the meet.” He said over 6,000 delegates, including research scholars, were expected to attend the conference. He also said the organisers of WTC have also invited President Ramnath Kovind and the Prime Minister of Canada for the event.

The Chicago International conference has main stress on “seminar on Tamil studies” with the central theme titled “Keezhadi nam Thai madi” (On our Tamil mother’s lap—Keezhadi excavation”, and dedicated to Tamil scholar Rev. G. U. Pope, this being his 200th birth anniversary. The other theme being new historicist, scientific and comparative study of antiquity of the Tamils, Tamil language, literature, culture and civilization. The research conference will be held on July 6 & 7.

The research subject will include, Classical Tamil literature (Sangam, literature, ancient Tamil civilization, Tholkappiam, Thirukural, contributions of Tamil scholars, Tamil music and performing arts, modern Tamil literature and Tamil language and linguistics, the organisers said.

Tamil scholars and delegates from all over the world will be participating in the conference, presenting papers on the above themes and subjects. There will be a plenary and group sessions and a final session.

Highlights of the meet

Highlights of the meet will be a special session to the memory of Thaninayagam Adigal and memories of the conference at Jaffana in 1974. There will be kavi arangam, pattimandram, cinema and folk artistes for Tamil isai, light music, historical drama and entertainment programmes, the organisers added.

Thiruvalluvar statue by Dr. V.G Santhosam for Chicago

A special highlight of the Chicago conference will be a 5.5 feet Thiruvalluvar statue to be installed in the city of Chicago, donated by Dr. V.G Santhosam who has so far presented 43 statues to different countries and had them installed.

Conferences held so far

Of the nine WTCs already taken place, three were held in Tamil Nadu in the years 1968, 1981 and 1995 during the regimes of late Chief Ministers CN Annadurai, M.G. Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. The first conference was held in Malaysia in 1966 at the initiative of Thaninayagam Adigal. The 3rd conference was held in Paris in 1970; 4th in Jaffna in 1974; 6th and 9th in Kuala Lumpur in 1987 and 2015; the 7th in Port Louis (Mauritius.

Thaninayagam Adigal and a host of world Tamil scholars viz. Jean Filliozat, Kamil Zvelebil, Ronald E. Asher, Prof. T.P. Meenakshisundaram Dr. V. I Subramanian and others. The objective of the world body is to enable multi-disciplinary research on Dravidam in general and Tamil in particular, based on scientific analysis and to actively associate with the other world bodies which are doing research on these lines.

The late Dr. V. C. Kulandaisamy, former Vice Chancellor of Anna University and Vice Chairman of IATR, who himself was a great educationist, scientist, poet and Tamil scholar, was instrumental in planning this conference to be held in the United States, focusing exclusively on Tamil research via Scientific approach. Hence the Chicago conference is dedicated his memory, the organizers said.

Mr. Sundar Kuppuswamy, president FeTNA, Mr. Veera Venugopal, Dr. Ponnaviko, Mr. G. Balachandran I A S (retd), Mr. Siva Moopanar, President of GTEN, Mrs Latha Pandiarajan, Mr. Isari Ganesh, Mr. C. K Kumaravelu, actor Pandiarajan were among others who addressed the meet.

- Asian Tribune -

10th World Tamil Conference in Chicago  for four days in July this year
10th World Tamil Conference in Chicago  for four days in July this year
10th World Tamil Conference in Chicago  for four days in July this year
10th World Tamil Conference in Chicago  for four days in July this year
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