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Kumari Anandhan 2 – October 1st, 2005
Dr. Kumari Anandhan a Congress Man, is a close associate of Kamarajar and has served as a Member of Parliment once from the Nagerkoil Constituency and has also served as Member of Legislative Assembly a few times. He has passion for the Tamil language and has written more than thirty books. In this interview part two, he shares his ideas on ‘Tamil’.
(continuation from the previous issue).
What would be your suggestions to make youngsters like the language Tamil?
There would be two suggestions for this.
Firstly,Tamilnadu is the only state, where one can graduate with out learning Tamil. Who is to be blamed for this? People are not responsible for this. Those who govern are responsible for it. Do those govern work towards Tamil’s enrichment? For this, the answer is ‘no’. To implement certain things you need law. So, laws should be enacted to make Tamil language reach the youngsters.
Secondly,there are a number of TV channels in Tamil Nadu than any other state. So, after traveling to a number of countries, I wrote to the authorities of the TV channels, asking them to have programmes to enrich Tamil. I had suggested to have programmes for at least 15 – 30 minutes to teach Tamil. So, through media also, Tamil language should reach the youngsters.
2. Can you tell us about as how you have nurtured Tamil?
In Chennai, on Saturdays I was conducting good Tamil programs through ‘Illakiya Peravai’. It went on for nearly 369 weeks. Fifty to sixty people attended it. We started sharp at 6-00 pm. Still it is there. Due to the lack of support from people, I am not able to continue with it in a full swing now. We conducted tolkapiyam class; we also discussed on various other literary works like Kambaramayanam and so on. I have been trying my level best to enrich Tamil.
3. Would you agree that youngsters lack interest in Tamil?
For (eg), ten years back I went to London. The auditorium had the capacity of over 400 people. The crowd exceeded that limit and was even standing outside. Now, last year I had gone to London, the auditorium was only filled 1/4th the capacity. The reason is that, only old people are interested and attending and not the youngsters.
4. What would be your solution to this?
People should start associations and conduct interesting programs. I started an association called ‘You can also become a speaker’. Due to that, 4,000 people have become eloquent speakers. In Annamalai University, they have included my book ‘You can also become a speaker’ in the Masters curriculum. One should create the interest and opportunity for youngsters. Tamil scholars must think more about it.
5. Do you think Tamil expatriates has passion for the Tamil language?
Definetly yes. In Canada you can see the stores names written in pure tamil language as ‘Ani Mani’. At the same time, in Chennai you can notice that they have written as ‘Jewellery’. So you have got to appreciate the expatriates affinity towards the Tamil language. After migrating to an overseas country, still they try to safeguard their mother tongue.
6. Can you quote other examples, where you have noted and brought to the attention of the public about safeguarding Tamil?
Yes, there are. Once when I was traveling in the train, I heard an announcement in Tamil as, “Ungalin panivana kanvanathirkku’(For your beloved attention)”. I made an attempt to meet the higher official and brought to his attention, that it has to be announced as ‘Ungalin kanivana kavanathirku”(for your kind attention). So, when you travel in Tamil Nadu trains, you can hear the announcement as “Ungalin kanivana kavanathirkku”.
7. Can an ordinary man become a stage speaker?
Yes, they can. It is not that difficult. Anybody can become a stage speaker. The most essential thing is that the ‘message has to be conveyed in the way it has to be’. To become a speaker, one has to keep learning but it is not that they have to keep studying. I have seen, even I can make small children talk well. At times, to our surprise, they are even better speakers – beyond our expectation.