Tamil at Harvard University

Inauguration of Tamil Club and Kavidhai Club - Sevalaya

What is Tamil Chair?

Tamil Chair Inc. is a non-profit organization registered in the state of Maryland (USA) that is currently working on fund raising for Harvard Tamil Chair

6m $ is required to establish it

Tamil is one of the very few languages of the world with a classical past and a robust literary tradition that has continued to this day. Despite many foreign occupations of the Tamil country and other outside influences, this noble language has always shined, producing vibrant literature for over 2 thousand years.

In addition to the literature, there have been numerous grammar books, commentaries, religious works, didactic books, secular literature and works from many other genres.

This is what the Tamil chair of Harvard university states about tamil

What is the need for a Tamil Chair?

  1. Tamil language has one of the oldest written traditions in all of Asia and boasts a rich body of literary work dating back 2,500 years. Tamil has been accorded with a prestigious recognition as one of the seven classic languages (Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, Hebrew, Persian, Tamil and Chinese), and it is one of the very few that has survived all the way through to the modern world since its beginning.
  2. Currently, Tamil is the 20th most commonly-spoken language (by 80 million people) in the world, with vibrant literatures for over 2 thousand years. Literature represents the culture and tradition of a language or people, and it provides a kind of blueprint of human civilization.
  3. Thus far the global reach of Tamil literature is so limited, and for its ancient and Classic standing, Tamil literature deserves to be critically looked from new and diverse perspectives and the resulting knowledge needs to be shared across other cultures for mutual benefits.
  4. So the purpose of this chair is multifold. First, it is a matter of great prestige for Tamils to have our language taught at the world’s most prestigious university which attracts brilliant students from all over the world.
  5. There is also a need for research in ancient classical Tamil literature. Harvard will produce Tamil scholars who will be trained in research methodologies.

IMPORTANCE OF TAMIL CHAIR IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND THE WAY IT ENRICHES THE LANGUAGE

  1. Helps building History

History can be written on the basis of outputs from researching a language.

Research about a language is a step to build a history.

Ex: In recent, historians of India use vedic texts of sanskrit to build the own history.

They build Indian history with vedas as base.

If more outputs from researching tamil comes out it will help build Indian History which may be seen from view of tamil literature.

2. Helps developing the language

In India Hindi and sanskrit are given importance by central government for promoting and developing them. These types of actions from Indian government limits Tamil as a regional language and major funding is deprieved.

Promoting through a reputed university will ensure good amount of funding for research.

It will help explore the Tamil studies on a much deeper level through a rigorous approach executing formal academic research processes to bring out the traditions, the cultural, intellectual, and social practices of the Sangam period that are barely explored as of now. This will elicit Tamil’s long tenured literary tradition to the peer academic communities and establish it’s much deserved recognition as a Classic language.

3. Competition with Sanskrit and other classical languages

Indian goverment in name of Hindu Nationalism promotes only sanskrit.

For all other Classic and widely spoken languages like Sanskrit, Greek etc , there is so much research and progressive work that is done at various international academic centers. It is quite urgent and highly imperative that the same world class effort is put forth for Tamil to expand its stature and reach. It will enhance not only the chances for continual use but also the newly embraced recognition from the global populace.

4. Intensive Research and development

Any developments on language of Tamil is stopped by Indian government . Without funds researchers are suffering. Even if someone come out with good research it is deemed valued by Hindutuvas/Hindi Nationalist Indian government

Independent research in a foreign country will only enrich it for good without influence by Indian Government.

5. Gets world wide interest and new learners

Developing the language in a well known University will gather world wide interest for the language and gather new learners.

May revoke intersets in researchers to resume archaelogical excavations a, Keezhadi, Poombukar, Adhichanallur which were currently banned by Indian government for excavating. Because they provide excessive proofs to Independent tamil culture in Sangam period, so that it will affect sanskrit’s claim on Tamil.

Assures Tamil language’s legacy to survive and grow.

This endeavour will cerainly increase the horizon of Tamil