It started off as a rebel league. Five days since,DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi hijacked the convening of World Classical Tamil Conference from the now-existing international body that refused him permission to convene the conference.
Renowned Tamil scholar Noboru Karashima of Japan,the president of International Association of Tamil Research (IATR),the body that had organised the previous eight Tamil meets then called World Tamil Conference refused to give formal consent to Karunanidhis impromptu announcement,prompting the DMK leader to convene a parallel meet under a new name.
Stating that the conferences were now being organised without a specific periodicity (the last one was conducted nearly 15 years ago),Karunanidhi announced on Sunday the formation of World Tholkappiyar Classical Tamil Sangam,which would include international scholars,with Madurai as its base,to conduct the World Classical Tamil Conferences at regular intervals in future.
This new body will bring together the scattered centres of Tamil research and also establish contact with Tamil organisations around the world,said the Chief Minister at the concluding ceremony of the meet.
Making the right noises over the emotive issues that had flared up ahead of the meet,Karunanidhi urged the Centre to insist upon the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that appropriate steps to be taken to settle once and for all the myriad problems that the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been facing.
With Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram on either side,Karunanidhi reiterated the demand that Tamil should be a language of use in the Madras High Court,an issue that was taken up by the opposition to put the government in a fix.
He announced that the state government would set up genetic heritage gardens based on Sangam literature in the five zones representing Kurinchi,Mullai,Neithal,Paalai and Marudam,under the guidance of agri scientist MS Swaminathan.
The government would also enact law to give preference in government jobs for those who study in Tamil. A separate fund of Rs 100 crore will be set apart for the development of Tamil,added Karunanidhi.