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Maran welcomes declaration of Tamil as classical language

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MAY 27. The Communications and Information Technology Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, today welcomed the declaration of Tamil as a classical language. He hailed the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) resolve to set up a committee to examine the question of declaring all languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as official languages.

"Tamil is older than Sanskrit and it has always been the demand of Dravidian parties to officially declare it a classical language. We are very happy.'' Mr. Maran felt the move to examine the issue of declaring all languages as official as long overdue. This was also mentioned in the manifesto of the National Democratic Alliance. Acknowledging a widely-spoken language as the official language was a worldwide trend.

In Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, Tamil was one of the several official languages. Multilingual Canada has five official languages. "But this does not mean that we will force it on anyone,'' he said.

Mr. Maran was appreciative of the promise to put an end to the acute drinking water shortage, especially in southern cities, by proposing to install desalinisation plants along the Coromandal Coast starting with Chennai. '

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