Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

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From: M.Thanapalasingham, Australia 31 August 2004 [see also Selected Writings by M.Thanapalasingham]

S. Ponnudurai (S.PO) the writer (short stories, novels, dramas, essays etc) recently published his autobiography -Varalaatril Vaalthal -Living Through History about 2000 pages). This book was officially launched in Sydney on 28th August 2004. The style and the manner in which the book is written is new to Tamil writing. It records, among other things:

* the birth of the Tamil Progressive Writers Movement in Eelam , it's true pioneers and ,its failures;

* the cruel impact of the Jaffna caste system on his personal life, (the flip side of Aarumuga Naavalar) ;

* Hindutthuvam vs :Thamilthuvam;

* the folly of the Dravidian movements with regard to Tamil prose and creative writing;

In this book, S.PO forcefully argues that the struggle of the Tamil people to preserve and foster their language and identity will bring a golden era where Eelam Tamils and the Tamil Diaspora will provide the leadership in the new millennium. This is S.PO's vision. Needless to say, some of his assertions may be challenged by others, while those no longer living have no voice to challenge S.PO's version of events.

There are passages about Senator Nadesan's excellent contribution to the political and social life of the Tamil people. Specifically his Tamil speeches. The writer asks whether his son Mr Satyendra can bring out Senator Nadesan's Tamil speeches in a Publication for the benefit of future generations.

On the whole, S.PO'S -Varalaatril Vaalthal is a useful addition to the recorded history of our people and will make a positive contribution to future generations of Tamils.

From: M. Thiru, Singapore, 6 August 2004

I refer to the comment from Chitra Radhakrishnan. There is a conference on " Tamil in an International Arena " on from11 September to 12 September 2004, at the University Cultural Centre Hall, National University of Singapore. The University's Centre for the Arts presents this conference for the second time. The first one was in 2000. For the first one, from India, Minister Chidambaram came as the key speaker. The other two notable spekers from India among others were cinema director K.S. Balachandar and Bharathanatya expert Dr.Pathma Subramaniam. There were Tamil speakers from Sri Lanka, Europe, America & Australia. There was a German lady academic who is married to a Tamil from South India.Professor Edwin Thamboo from the National University of Singapore is the academic who is in charge of the Centre for Arts.Guest of honour for this yearis Mr.S.Iswaran, MP for West Coast GRC, Singapore. The speakers for this year are :

Mr. S.Chandradas ( former PAP M.P of Singapore)
Professor Ramanujam
Actor Kamalhaasan
Mrs Sudha Ragunathan
Mr.S.Ponnudurai (Sri Lanakan writer)
Dr.Mu Metha
Mr.Muthu Nedumaran
Panel discussion by Tamil educationists from Singapore

The first one was very well organised. Basing on that, this years one should not be a bad one. But the first one had more prominent speakers from the four continents except Africa. For further information or any verification National University of Singapore may be contacted.

From: Chitra Radhakrishnan, Kolkatta, India, 29 July 2004

I teach Tamil and Comparative Literature in Jadavpur University and my areas of specialization are Tamil language and literature, Tamil Cultural Studies, Feminism and Dalit literature. I would like to know how I can get information regarding national and international Tamil conferences to be organized across the globe. Mostly, by the time I get to know of such academic events it is too late and hence there is this disturbing lack of participation in the intellectual interactions in my mother tongue. I have presented and published many papers in the areas mentioned above...

Response by tamilnation.org: Regretfully we ourselves do not directly receive information regarding such conferences. However, some of the discussion groups that you may want to consider joining appear in the Tamil Literature page, including the South Asia Literature SASIALIT which had a recent thread on Tamil which may be of interest to you. Conference organizers usually do tend to post advance notices in discussion groups. As you may know, the major Universities which have an ongoing interest in the areas that you mention include the Southern Asian Institute, Columbia University, Yale University, Institute for Indology and Tamil Studies, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Pennsylvania. Father Thaninayagam who played an important role in furthering Tamil research is no more and the International Association for Tamil Research which he founded has not held any conferences in recent times. Tamils such as you have much to contribute to the study of Tamil and Comparative literature. And, here, you may find that the words of Father Thaninayagam in Research in Tamil Studies - Retrospect and Prospect in 1980 of some relevance - "...Not having in any country, a sovereign and independent Tamil State, we can hardly look to the present Governments of India or Sri Lanka or any other state where Tamils live to embark on a promotion of Tamil studies. The Government of Madras, within the limits of its own possibilities has helped to some extent in such a programme. It is therefore, left to the Tamil people themselves especially in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka to promote Tamil studies and Tamil Research as far as it lies in their power..."

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