CHENNAI: Recalling his association with the people of the State and the relation between Tamil and Telugu, Governor K Rosaiah hailed Tamil as one of the few classical languages among the thousands that have stood the test of time.
He was speaking at the valedictory function of the literary festival organised by Tamil daily Dinamani here on Sunday.
“I was wondering as to why I was invited to this festival, as I am neither a scholar nor well-versed in Tamil. Perhaps it is my association with Tamil people and because of the relation between Tamil and Telugu,” quipped Rosaiah.
There are over 6,000 languages in the world, and Tamil is one among the few classical languages, he said.
Explaining the influence Dinamani had on him during his early years, Justice V Ramasubramanian of the Madras High Court said writing in the paper increased his proficiency in Tamil. “This is the newspaper which changed the notion that yesterday’s issue is worthless today. It is Dinamani that introduced me to the world as a writer,” he said.
K Vaidyanathan, editor, Dinamani, said “Even in the United States, people open Tamil schools to teach their children, but we who live in Tamil Nadu are not coming forward to uplift Tamil,” he said. Language, he added, was the identity of the people. When language prospers, it unites people otherwise divided on the basis of religion, caste and politics.
Manoj Kumar Sonthalia, chairman and managing director of The New Indian Express Group; R Thandavan, Madras University Vice-Chancellor, and ‘Gem’ R Veeramani participated in the event.
Earlier in the day, political leaders, including MDMK general secretary Vaiko and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, took part in the session on “Literature That Sculpted Me”, while writers such as Su Venkatesan and Na Muthukumar spoke about the “importance of reading”.