COIMBATORE: Even though former president A P J Abdul Kalam, a distinguished Tamilian, could not attend the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, his name echoed at the 'Kambar Arangam' seminar hall on Thursday when two of his proteges presented themselves as testimonies to break the myth that only students studying in the English medium can excel in the learning of science and technology.
The academic session titled 'Scientific Tamil' was more about showcasing modern national science icons who hailed from Tamil Nadu and not about ancient scientific practices prevalent in Tamil Nadu. Myilsamy Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan (India's moon mission), and A Sivathanu Pillai, DRDO scientist behind BrahMos missiles, spoke about their personal achievements in scientific development and about their work. Since both of them had worked under Abdul Kalam, they paid their tributes to the former president, whose absence in the conference triggered speculations.
The point that Annadurai repeatedly stressed was that studying in the Tamil medium did not come in the way of his growth as a scientist in the ISRO. In fact, the entire team of top scientists and technologists for ChandrayaanI were students who had done their schooling in their mother tongues. "The success of persons like him and Sivathanu Pillai should motivate students from the Tamil medium to aspire for bigger things in life. There is no need for them to be bogged down and consider themselves unfortunate for not attending English schools," he said. He also stressed on the need to promote science.
Sivathanu Pillai said that Tamilians had the urge to pursue growth on every field but bemoaned that proper excavations had not been done to unearth the lost land of Lemuria, which lies submerged in the sea south of Kanyakumari. "The achievements of Tamil Nadu would come to light once proper excavations are done and the findings could even change world history," he said. The Indian Navy and the DRDO together possessed the capability to carry out the underwater excavations and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi should take it upon himself as another responsibility to put pressure on the government to go for the excavations, according to him.
He claimed that Indian missiles were far more efficient than those made in other countries and said that the first missile system in warfare was developed in places like Vellore and Srirangapatinam by Tipu Sultan. "Tamilians can recapture the prime slot that they had in the human civilisation during this 'Age of Knowledge' if only Tamil could be integrated properly to the higher learning," he said.