CHENNAI: The 10th World Tamil Conference will be held in Chicago for four days from July 4. The ninth edition was held at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2015. The International Association of Tamil Research (IATR), which has been organising WTCs for over five decades, is conducting this mega event in the USA for the first time.
Addressing a press conference, Dr M Ponnavaikko, vice-president, IATR, said it would be a big confluence of Tamil scholars and around 6,000 participants are expected to attend it. He said the academic committee for the conference had screened over 1,150 abstracts received so far and shortlisted over 80 research papers in various fields, which would be presented before the global scholars including Dr Spencer Wells and Prof Dr L Hart.
He also said date of Tamil grammar work ‘Tholkappiyam’ was actually around 5,000 BC. But because of the ‘insertions’ in the later period, the date of this great work is being put around 5th century AD. As the first such effort, after removal of these insertions, the original text of ‘Tholkappiyam’ would be released during the conference.
Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan said that as a concurrent session of this conference, around 150 Tamil associations across the globe from 16 countries where more than one lakh Tamils live would be deliberating on key topics. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami would make an announcement within a few days about the financial contribution for the conference. At least one minister and 25 Tamil scholars from the State would attend the conference, he said.
The minister also said the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA) had so far invited 89 scholars from Tamil Nadu and the number might go up. During the conference, Tamil Nadu government is planning to introduce ‘Sorkkuvai’ project (Treasury of Tamil words). “Across the globe, many Tamil entrepreneurs have been working for establishing a Tamil Venture Capital and the final shape for this is likely to be announced in Chicago. Many American senators and secretaries are also likely to take part,” he added.
A convention of FeTNA will concentrate on “Keezhadi - Nam Thaai Madi (Keezhadi Excavations - in our Tamil Mother’s lap) and would be dedicated to the late Tamil scholar, Rev GU Pope, during his 200th birth anniversary. There would be 35 concurrent sessions which would discuss organic farming, Tamil music, etc. An exhibition of rare Tamil books would also be held and a glossary of 46,000 Tamil names for children would be released.
New historicist, scientific and comparative study of the antiquity, Tamil language, literature, culture, civilisation, modern literature and Tamil computing is the overall theme of the conference and is based on the eight research subjects - classical Tamil literature (Sangam literature), ancient Tamil civilisation, Tholkappiyam, Thirukkural, contributions of Tamil scholars, Tamil music and performing arts, modern Tamil literature and Tamil language and linguistics.