Tamil Language Is India’s Pride, Says President Patil

At the inauguration of the five-day World Classical Tamil Conference in Chennai, President Pratibha Patil has said that the Tamil language is India’s pride and reflects ‘concepts intrinsic to India’s society’, said media reports.

“The Tamil people have enriched cultural richness of the world and India,” she told the thousands of delegates from India and abroad gathered for the event.

“As our nation progresses economically, we have sought to follow an inclusive growth paradigm so that growth brings benefits to all sections of society,” she was quoted as saying.

“The history of Tamils is our nation’s pride. Many concepts intrinsic to India’s society and basic to its polity are found in Tamil discourse over the millennium. For example, respect for each other’s religion has long been part of Tamil cultural tradition.”

“Tamil language, with its vibrancy and richness, has made India a proud multilingual society,” the president was quoted as saying.

In his address, Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi said that all languages in the world has some words originating from Tamil.

“Hence Tamil has the status of the first mother tongue in the world,” he was quoted as claiming.

Quoting from Sangha period and the Mahabharatha, he said there were 11 well-defined yardsticks for a language to be termed classical: antiquity, individuality, common character, neutrality, parental kinship, linguistic principles, literary prowess, noble ideas and ideals, culture, art and wisdom born of experiences, reports said.

“That Tamil possesses all these merits has been accepted unanimously not only by scholars in Tamil Nadu and other Tamil scholars in the rest of India, but by foreigners who learnt the language and attained enviable proficiency in Tamil,” he was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Patil gave away the first Kalaignar Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award to Finnish scholar Asko Parpola. The award contains a citation, a cheque for Rs 10 lakh and a statuette of saint Tamil poet, Tiruvalluvar.

(Based on internet reports)

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