CHENNAI : The Tamil Nadu government on Monday denied the charges of negligence of the Tamil language in inviting nominations for the Presidential awards under classical language category in the wake of a communication to educational institutions sent by the Human Resources Development Ministry.
Denying a news report, the TN Development department said that since the Central Institute of Classical Tamil was an autonomous body, it had invited nominations for the Tholkappiyar, Kural Peedam and Young Scholar Awards while the HRD Ministry sent a circular inviting nominations from scholars of other classical languages which have no autonomous outfits.
From 2005-2006 to 2015-16, a total of 66 awards were given away to Tamil scholars and nominations for 2016-17 were invited through newspaper advertisements and subsequently received, a statement from the TN Development department said.A selection panel was also constituted to choose the eligible recipients, it said, dismissing the reports of negligence of Tamil as totally baseless.
The issue has triggered a debate in the State. Earlier in the day, the principal opposition party, DMK, and the PMK cried foul over the alleged negligence of Tamil in inviting nominations for the Presidential Award for Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Viyas. DMK working president MK Stalin, in a statement on Monday, frowned upon the Centre, saying it had been glorifying and promoting Sanskrit while discriminating against Tamil.
Saying that neglecting Tamil showed the BJP-led Centre’s sense of hate and discrimination toward the Tamil language despite leaders including Prime Minister uttering a few Tamil words in their address, Stalin wanted the HRD Ministry to re-issue the circular inviting nominations from Tamil scholars.
PMK youth wing leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss also rued the negligence of Tamil in the Presidential awards.
However, Dr Tamilisai Soundarrajan, president, Tamil Nadu BJP, denied the charges and clarified that the HRD Ministry’s circular had mentioned only the newly incorporated languages.
“After seeing a press report, I contacted the officials of the HRD Ministry and sent emails. They stated that Tamil was not neglected. More than eight awards are being given for it,” she said in statement.