CHENNAI: Observing that a language can grow only when it is used in all aspects of life — from agriculture to education, from arts to commerce, from medicine to electronics — former president A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday exhorted the Diaspora to make Tamil a ‘language of livelihood’ to ensure its growth in all spheres.
“Any language assumes a dominant role only when those who use it engage that language in all aspects of life — from industrial revolution to scientific revolution. It becomes the ‘language in use’ and then it encompasses all aspects of life... This evolution would apply to Tamil too. Tamil language will grow in leaps and bounds only if it is used in all aspects of life,” the former president said after inaugurating the two-day literary festival titled ‘Tracing the Roots’ organised by Tamil daily Dinamani.
Kalam proposed a six-point agenda for the growth of Tamil, which includes preparing a glossary of technical terms used in different fields of specialisation like science, mathematics, chemistry, biology, agriculture, electronics, engineering, medicine, management, law, so that Tamil becomes a ‘language in use’ in these disciplines.
Textbooks in all subjects now in English and other global languages should be translated into Tamil without losing their substance and all higher education institutions should use these textbooks. Education should be in Tamil and research on various subjects too should be in Tamil. “For that to happen, we should think in Tamil. Later, the results of such researches should be translated into English and other languages,” Kalam added.
The former president further said Tamil should be fully used in government administration, law and justice. At the same time, English should be learnt and made as the assisting language. Besides, opportunities should be made available for learning other Indian languages.
A gamut of literary personalities from various countries and political leaders addressed the festival on various subjects. Manoj Kumar Sonthalia, Chairman and Managing Director of The New Indian Express Group greeted the former president by presenting a shawl and bouquet. K Vaidyanathan, editor, Dinamani, R Thandavan, Vice-Chancellor, Madras University spoke on the need for conducting such a literary event in the present scenario.