Coimbatore, June 27 (IANS) People who have studied Tamil will be given preference in government jobs, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said Sunday at the World Classical Tamil Conference.
‘Preference will be given in government jobs to those who have studied Tamil. The government will soon come out with a law,’ Karunanidhi said in his valedictory address at the conference held in this textile city.
He also called upon the central government to declare all the state languages as official languages and start with the Tamil language.
Urging the central government to take action to permit use of Tamil in the Madras High Court, Karunanidhi requested the centre’s assistance in setting up Rs.100 crore fund for carrying out research activities in Tamil.
He also said the central government should provide research assistance for Tamil researchers as it does for Sanskrit.
Demanding the central government to carry out deep sea research on the coasts of Poompuhar and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, he asked the centre to set up the National Institute of Epigraphy in the state as nearly 60,000 of the 100,000 stone inscriptions found in India are in Tamil.
Announcing that a lesson on classical Tamil will be included in the syllabus of schools and colleges in the state, he said Tamil literary works will be translated in other Indian languages and similarly the literary works of other languages will also be translated in Tamil.
He said World Classical Tamil Conference will henceforth be held at regular intervals.
The government will come out with a handbook on Tamils across the world, he added.
Thanking residents of Coimbatore for their hospitality extended during the five-day conference, Karunanidhi said a flyover at an outlay of Rs.100 crore will be built near the conference venue.
Referring to the division of the landscape into five types in the Sangam literature – Kuruji (mountainous), Mullai (forest), Marudham (farm land), Neithal (coastal, seashore) and Pallai (desert, wasteland), Karunanidhi added: ‘A bio-diversity park with plants that would grow in the five types lands will be set up in the state with the advice of M.S.Swaminathan.’
He said Tamil is the only language that was present in spoken and written form more than 1,500 years before Christ.
‘English got its first written letter in 7 AD while for German it was 8 AD. The French language to its first written scrip in 9 AD and the Italian language in 10 AD,’ he said.
Delivering the presidential address, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: ‘Tamil people have contributed for enrichment of Indian culture. The Tamil Internet conference will help in development of unicode further.’
Reiterating that there is all the justification for Tamil to be given the classical status, Mukherjee said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is proud to have done that.
Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram said: ‘A language would survive only when people use it while conversing and new books are written.’
Releasing the commemorative stamp on the World Classical Tamil Conference union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja said: ‘This is the first time in the history of India a special stamp is released for a language.’