CHENNAI: After nearly 22 years, Tamil Nadu may again get an opportunity to host the World Tamil Conference (WTC) this year.
The Indian Branch of International Association of Tamil Research (IATR), an academic organisation which approves the conduct of the conference, met for the first time after being formed on Saturday at the University of Madras premises.
Members of the branch unanimously adopted a resolution to organise the tenth WTC in Tamil Nadu by joining hands with the State government.
Reliable sources said the proposal reached the IATR headquarters in Malaysia on Saturday evening, with the French capital Paris also expressing interest in organising the international conference.
“On getting the approval, a periodic series of seminars, workshops and conferences related to the historical Tamil literary works and arts will be conducted alongside the conference,” Oppila Mathivanan, president of IATR’s Indian branch told Express.
He also said attempts would be made to bring in Tamil associations across the country for the first time to support it.
Tamil Nadu had organised the conference thrice in the past (1968, 1981 and 1995). Controversy shrouded in 2010, when IATR denied permission to Tamil Nadu government to organise the event.
Non-consultation, linking it with political events and not releasing proceedings of the previous conference were stated as reasons for IATR’s denial. The State had to alternately organise a similar event under the tag ‘World Classical Tamil Conference’ (Ulaga Tamil Semmozhi Maanadu).
As per IATR rules, the event should be conducted once in two years. However, it was conducted at irregular intervals due to various reasons. Coming on the heels of a largely successful revival of the event in 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, talks over the 2017 edition are now underway.
In this backdrop, the Indian Branch of the internationally-renowned academic group was formed in 2017, becoming the eight registered branch. Professor Aranga Pari in Tamil Studies & Research department from Annamalai University and ‘Kumudam’ P Varadarajan will be the vice-presidents of the academic body to be headed by Mathivanan. MP Nirmala, a former IAS officer and KA Radhakrishnan, a Tamil writer, will be advisors.