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Re: [WMASTERS] Tamil Renaissance


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George Hart wrote:
> Mani, I really hope this is true.  All I know is that the Tamil classics
> are not generally available in Tamilnad (unlike the English and American
> classics in most English-speaking areas, including Tamilnadu).  Tamilians
> as a whole are more likely to know about Shakespeare than Kampan.  I would
> like to believe that a true Tamil renaissance is under way -- but isn't a
> requirement for a renaissance a genuine interest in and exploration of the
> classics?

This is an effect of the education system TN had under the DMK/AIDMK
regimes until 1997.

Until this year, Tamil Nadu was the only state
in India (probably in the world), where one could complete the full
education without formally reading a word of Tamil in school,
or even knowing about the Tamil language. I mentioned this in a
AIR radio interview in 1994. The interviewer was not aware of that.

The requirement was
English + Tamil/Sanskrit/Hindi/French/Telugu/Malayalam/Kannada

In neighbouring Karnataka for example it was
English + Kannada + Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam/Marathi/Sanskrit

About 3 months ago, CM Karunanidhi has announced that steps are
being taken to make Tamil compulsary for all, just like in all
other states. Hopefully the situation will improve. Still they
have to live with the large minority of Tamil ignorant Tamils
they have created during the last 25 years.

Incidentally, in 1956, our school in Delhi made Tamil compulsary
for all who did not have it already as an option.
However, they exempted those, whose parents, requested that
their children should not learn Tamil. In our class of 50, there
were 2 exemptions.

In this province, the law is much more severe. The children of
all, except those who themselves went to English medium schools
should by law, send their children to French medium schools only.
French as a language, is compulsary in English medium schools also.

K. Srinivasan of Quebec.


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