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Propagate Tamil literature, says Speaker

By Our Staff Reporter

THANJAVUR, DEC.10 . People should read and practise what has been taught in ancient books like Thirukural, Silapathikaram and Sangam literature, said K. Kalimuthu, Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, here today.

The Speaker, who released 12 publications of Tamil University at a function held here, said the Tamil University publications were very popular among Tamils, especially among those who live abroad.

He recalled that he had found the humanities encyclopaedia, published by the university, at the house of a Tamil scholar at San Francisco where he had gone recently to attend a conference.

The Collector, J. Radhakrishnan, received the books.

Dr. Kalimuthu said the Tamil race remained glorious as long as it studied and propagated the Tamil literature. When it failed to give importance to the literature, its glory came down. So, we should study Tamil books. The university's role in publishing rare books and propagating them was praiseworthy.

E. Sundaramurthy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil University, said that it was apt that the university is located at Thanjavur since it was at Tharangampadi in the composite Thanjavur district that the first printing press was set up in 1712. Gnanaprakasam and Ambalavana Thambiran of Thanjavur published the first Thirukural book in 1812. Our ancestors gave importance to books and libraries and the Maratta King, Serfoji II, who ruled Thanjavur, gave a book of Mahabharatha as a marriage gift to his daughter.

A. Ramanathan, Professor, Department of Publications, said the university had published 340 books and 160 were yet to be published. The university had brought out science encyclopaedias and humanities encyclopaedias and other rare books. It had planned to publish 25 books this year. Of this, 12 were released today.

In the last five years, the university had sold books worth Rs. 90 lakhs. The University Grants Commission had given Rs.10 lakhs to the Department of Publications. When the World Tamil Conference was held in 1995, the State Government gave Rs.10 lakhs and the Tamil Nadu Textbook Society Rs.15 lakhs as revolving fund.

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