THANJAVUR, Oct. 23:
Speaking at the 12th convocation of Tamil University (TU), on Tuesday Mafoi K. Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil language & Culture and Archaeology urged that Thirukkural should be declared as ‘Book of India’.
The Minister also appealed to Banwarilal Prohit, Tamil Nadu Governor, who presided over the convocation, to persuade the union government to declare Thirukkural as ‘Book of India’.
He noted that Armoogam Parsuramen, former minister of Mauritius, has been trying to declare Tirukkural as ‘book of the world’ by raising the issue at UNESCO. “Central government should take the initiative to declare Tirukkural as Book of India. I appeal to the Governor to convey this matter to centre,” he said.
The Minister also said that Tamil Nadu government has decided to establish ‘Tamil Development Centres’ in various countries and the first country will be Mauritius. “We have approached the Central government for funds for this. Governor should use his good offices to get the fund,” the minister said.
He also said that Keeladi excavations have raised the reputation of Tamils worldwide and many Tamils living abroad have come forward to help. Graduates from Tamil University should utilise this period when Tamil language, Tamil culture and pride is uppermost in the minds of people world over to do good service to Tamil language, the minister said.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also the chancellor of Tamil University conferred D. Litt (honoris causa) on Armoogam Parsuramen, former minister of Mauritius, A, Sivasubramanian, Folklorist and S. Kalyanasundaram, (Kalyanji/Vannadhasan),poet and writer in the convocation.
Dr S.P. Thiyagarajan, former vice-chancellor of the University of Madras, in his convocation address called for taking words from various languages and including in Tamil dictionary as is being observed in English language. He said that English has 1,71,476 words as on date. A total of 47,156 words which are not in use has been discarded from English.
“But everyday 17 new words are added to English from various world languages. Because of this English includes science of various countries, arts and culture and remain as spoken language in various countries.
Tamil should also do this, Tamil University can implement a scheme to enrich Tamil by including words from other languages,” he urged.
Gold medals were presented to students who scored high marks in various departments.