CHENNAI: The State government will take steps to create Classical Tamil Chairs in five universities in South East Asian countries, Chief Minister MK Stalin said on Saturday.
Presenting the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Awards to Tamil scholars, Stalin also announced that the Medvakkam-Sholinganallur Road will be renamed as Semmozhi Salai as the new premises for the Central Classical Tamil Institute (CICT) is located on the road."Tamil is not an offshoot of any language; many languages have blossomed from Tamil. Only Tamils name their children after their language," the CM said.
He recalled how Karunanidhi had fulfilled the dream of declaring Tamil as a classical language and that in 2007, Karunanidhi had allotted 16 acres in Perumbakkam to establish a permanent building for CICT. The campus was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on January 12, he added.
As the Classical Tamil Award was not presented since 2010 due to political reasons, the DMK government has now selected scholars for the award, said CM. The award entails Rs 10 lakh cash prize, citation, and a bronze statue of former CM M Karunanidhi.
The DMK patriarch had established Semmozhi Tamil Research Trust in CICT by donating Rs 1 crore. On behalf of this Trust, the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Semmozhi Tamil Award is presented to a scholar every year who contributes to archaeology, numismatics, literature, linguistics, etc.
The first award was given to a Tamil scholar from Finland, Asko Parpola, in 2010 for the year 2009. Pon Kothandaraman, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, received the award from the Chief Minister for the year 2011.
10 TN scholars receive awards
The others who received the award are Professor E Sudaramurthy, former Vice Chancellor, Tamil University (2012); Professor P Maruthanayakam, former Registrar, Pondicherry University (2013); Professor K Mohanrasu, president, Thirukkural Research Centre, University of Madras (2014); Professor Maraimalai Ilakkuvanar, former Tamil professor, Presidency College, Chennai (2015); retired Professor K Rajan, Pondicherry University (2016) ; Poet Erode Thamizhanban, retired professor, New College, Chennai (2018); Professor K Sivamani, former Principal, Karanthai College, Thanjavur (2019). Two scholars could not make it to the event. They will be presented with the award later.