CHENNAI: The preliminary work in organising the 11th World Tamil Conference (WTC), that has been on informally for the past several months, is expected to gain momentum with the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) scheduling its formal meeting on September 22 in Chennai.
DMK spokesperson KS Radhakrishnan, who is also coordinator of the IATR, has brought it to the notice of Chief Minister MK Stalin that his government could have the privilege of conducting this conference, wherein hundreds of scholars from across the globe would take part.
Also, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture, Thangam Thennarasu, had said the CM is keen on conducting the next WTC in TN. Stalin’s father, M Karunanidhi, was eager to conduct the event in the State when he was CM in 2010 but was unable to do so. Stalin is likely to take a decision on this soon.
Sources said the IATR has received requests from many countries, including France, South Africa, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, among others to conduct the 11th WTC. Interestingly, the Union Ministry of Culture, too, has sought permission to conduct the next WTC and proposed an Indian Institute of Technology complex as the venue for the same.
The meeting is likely to consider these requests besides discussing the conference’s theme. Ever since its inception in 1964, the IATR has conducted 10 such conferences, of which three were held in TN — the second (1968) in Chennai, the fifth (1981) in Madurai, and the eighth (1995) in Thanjavur.
Scholars from 136 nations to be invited
According to sources, it would take a year to make all arrangements for the WTC where scholars will be submitting their research papers on varied subjects. This time, the IATR is planning to invite scholars from as many as 136 countries and is keen on getting research papers on critical issues besides posting them online for the public view, once the conference is over.
‘New historicist, scientific, comparative study of the antiquity of the Tamils, Tamil language, literature, culture and civilisation’ was the theme of the 10th WTC held in Chicago in July 2019. Following this, the previous AIADMK government had made efforts towards conducting the next conference in Tamil Nadu by December 2020 or January this year. However, it was postponed owing to the pandemic situation.