STPM GOVERNMENT IASE B Ed COLLEGE NELLORE-Photo Perugu Ramakrishna
My literary bonds are getting stronger of late with great Andhra Pradesh. It was Sulurpeta, Vijayawada, Guntur, three trips to Nellore!This Sunday story carries my happy recollections of my visit to Nellore on 19th instant to address the B.Ed students and staff of STPM Government IASE B Ed. college on “THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE TAMIL in connection with the International Mother Language Day.
Proverbially it is often said :It is better to do ordinary things in an extraordinary manner than an extraordinary thing be done in an ordinary manner!
UNESCO in its own wisdom announcing certain special days to be observed all over the world and many following nicely with sensitivity and seriousness and some casually with insensitivity!
“UNESCO announced that February 21st will be observed as INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY”
I have personally seen the arrangements being made by several organizations and today was UNIQUE NELLORE Day in this respect.
International Poet Perugu Ramakrishna-Ambassador WORLD UNION OF POETS = a brain behind many literary activities in Nellore- a popular District Head Quarters in Andhra Pradesh took the lead and arranged for great observation of the day with an Invitation shown at the top.
The day started in the B Ed. College in Nellore at 10.30 with an invocation song of VANDHE MATHARAM of Bankim Chandra Chatterji.
Dr. Y. Sailaja was the Master of Ceremony who conducted every aspect with alacrity and involvement. Sri Perugu Ramachandra presiding, a number of B.Ed students of the college expressed their thoughts in a beautiful, lucid and enlightened manner.
Totally during the proceedings 15 students participated and spoke on the significance of the day and greatness of Mother Language. I presented my paper on the topic CLASSICAL LANGUAGE TAMIL. Prominent Smskrit scholar Shri Allu Bhyaskar Reddy of Nellore spoke about the greatness of Samskrit as a language. Chief Guest of the Day Sri Mydavolu Venkata Sesha Sathyanarayana-Internationally Reputed English Classical Poet of Nellore suggested to the students to learn as many languages as possible along with Mother Language as every language has its own beauty and style resplendent with literary works.
Principal Dr. Ramesh explained various steps taken to foster and popularize other languages along with Telugu in the College and the State.
Perugu Ramakrishna-President of the Meeting in his own inimitable chaste Telugu interspersed with English, the significance of UNESCO decision in the larger interest of the development of the languages.
As the Ambassador of WUP, he offered Honorary Membership of the WORLD UNION OF POETS to all the students who did a
great feat with their own thoughts on the theme of the day.
Thus an extraordinary natter was done in an extraordinary manner during UNIQUE NELLORE day in the B Ed. College.
I started my presentation after reciting the State Anthem on MOTHER TELUGU:
மா தெலுகு தல்லிகீ மல்லபூதண்ட
மா கன்ன தல்லிகீ மங்களாருதுலு
கடுபுலோ பங்காரு கனுசூபுலோ கருண
சிருநவ்வுலோ ஸீருலு தொரலின்சு மாதல்லி
கல கலா கோதாரி கதலி போதுண்டேனு
பிர பிரா க்ருஷ்ணம்ம பருகுலிடுதுண்டேனு
பங்காரு பண்டலே பண்டுதாயி
முரிபால முத்யாலு தொரலுதாயி
அமராவதீ நகர அபுரூப சில்பாலு
த்யாகய்ய கொந்துலோ தாராடு நாதாலு
திக்கய்ய கலமுலோ திய்யந்தனாலு
நித்யமை, நிகிலமை நிலசியுண்டேதாக
ருத்ரம்ம புஜ ஸக்தி, மல்லம்ம பதி பக்தி
திம்மருசு தீயுக்தி, க்ருஷ்ணராயல கீர்த்தி
மா செவுலு ரிங்குமனி மாரும்ரோஜேதாக
நீ ஆடலே ஆடுதாம், நீ பாடலே பாடுதாம்
ஜய் தெலுகு தல்லீ,ஜய் தெலுகு தல்லீ!
Here ios the paper presented by me on the occasion:
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES-ANCIENT LANGUAGE TAMIL
What is a language?
Language is basically a mode of communication among the members of a society. In the expression of culture, language is a fundamental aspect. It is the tool that conveys traditions and values related to group identity. The purpose of this paper is to bring out the evolution of language and the greatness of one of the ancient languages viz TAMIL.
Evolution of Language
For quite a few generations, there was no language at all other than body language! Only we the humans have the benefit of languages!
Evolution of language is the gradual change in human language over time. It involves the origin and divergence of languages and language families, and can be considered similar to biological evolution, although it occurs through different mechanisms.
How many languages are there in the world?
It is said that there are 7,097 spoken languages today in the world.
That number is constantly changing because we’re learning more about the world’s languages every day. And beyond that, the languages themselves do change. They’re living and dynamic, spoken by communities whose lives are shaped by our rapidly changing world. This is a fragile time: Roughly a third of languages are now endangered, often with less than 1,000 speakers remaining. Meanwhile, just 23 languages account for more than half the world’s population of 7.7 billions.
GREATNESS OF LANGUAGES
Any language is deemed to be great based on richness and splendor of its literature and grammar.
An ancient language is any language originating in times that may be referred to as ancient. There is no formal criterion for deeming a language ancient, but a convention is to demarcate as “ancient” those languages that existed prior to the 5th century. Linguist Roger Woodward has said that “perhaps, then, what makes an ancient language different is our awareness that it has outlived those for whom it was an intimate element of the psyche”. By this definition, the term includes languages attested from ancient times in the list of languages by first written accounts, and described in historical linguistics, and particularly the languages of classical antiquity, such as Tamil language, Ancient Greek, Hebrew language, Old Persian, Avestan, Middle Persian, Sanskrit language, Chinese language, Latin, Arabic language. The term may also encompass other classical languages and various extinct languages.
HOW ANCIENT IS TAMIL?
தமிழ் Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries: Sri Lanka and Singapore and official language of Tamil Nadu. It has official status in Tamilnadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.
Tamil is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world. Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions from 500 BC have been found on Adichanallur and 2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions have been found on Samanamalai.
A. K. Ramanujan described it as “the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past.” The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to it being described as “one of the great classical traditions and literature of the world”.
A recorded Tamil literature has been documented for over 2000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from ca. 300 BC – AD 300. It has the oldest extant literature among Dravidian languages. The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and ‘hero stones’ date from around the 3rd century BC. More than 55% of the epigraphical inscriptions (about 55,000) found by the Archaeological Survey of India are in the Tamil language. Tamil language inscriptions written in Brahmi script have been discovered in Sri Lanka and on trade goods in Thailand and Egypt. The two earliest manuscripts from India, acknowledged and registered by the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997 and 2005, were written in Tamil.
In 1578, Portuguese Christian missionaries published a Tamil prayer book in old Tamil script named Thambiran Vanakkam, thus making Tamil the first Indian language to be printed and published. The Tamil Lexicon, published by the University of Madras, was one of the earliest dictionaries published in the Indian languages. According to a 2001 survey, there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil, of which 353 were dailies.
With the creation in October 2004 of a legal status for classical languages by the Government of India and following a political campaign supported by several Tamil associations, Tamil became the first legally recognized Classical language of India. The recognition was announced by the then President of India, Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of both houses of the Indian Parliament on 6th June 2004.
The world’s top 20 languages.
Information from Ethnologue, Encarta and Nicholas Ostler’s Empires of the Word: a Language History of the World.
1. Mandarin Chinese. 2. English. 3. Hindi. 4. Spanish. 5. Russian.
6. Portugese. 7. Arabic. 8. French. 9. Bengali 10. German 11. Japanese.
12. Wu Chinese. 13. Korean. 14. Javanese. 15. Telugu. 16. Tamil.
17. Marathi. 18. Cantonese. 19. Vietnamese. 20. Turkish.
BHARATHI ON TAMIL
Tamil patriotic Poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar – one of the three of my mentors from his heavenly abode has got this to say about greatness of this ancient language TAMIL:
யாமறிந்த மொழிகளிலே தமிழ்மொழி போல்
இனிதாவது எங்கும் காணோம்;
பாமரராய் விலங்குகளாய் உலகனைத்தும்
இகழ்ச்சி சொலப் பான்மை கெட்டு,
நாமமது தமிழரெனக் கொண்டு இங்கு
வாழ்ந்திடுதல் நன்றோ? சொல்லீர்
தேமதுரத் தமிழோசை உலகமெலாம்
பரவும் வகை செய்தல் வேண்டும். 1
யாமறிந்த புலவரிலே கம்பனைப் போல்
வள்ளுவர்போல் இளங்கோ வைப்போல்,
பூமிதனில் யாங்கணுமே பிறந்ததில்லை;
உண்மை, வெறும் புகழ்ச்சியில்லை;
ஊமையராய்ச் செவிடர்களாய்க் குருடர்களாய்
வாழ்கின்றோம் ஒரு சொற் கேளீர்
சேமமுற வேண்டுமெனில் தெருவெல்லாம்
தமிழ் முழக்கம் செழிக்கச் செய்வீர்! 2
பிறநாட்டு நல்லறிஞர் சாத்திரங்கள்
தமிழ்மொழியிற் பெயர்த்தல் வேண்டும்
இறவாத புகழுடைய புதுநூல்கள்
தமிழ்மொழியில் இயற்றல் வேண்டும்;
மறைவாக நமக்குள்ளே பழங் கதைகள்
சொல்வதிலோர் மகிமை இல்லை;
திறமான புலமையெனில் வெளி நாட்டோர்
அதைவணக்கஞ் செய்தல் வேண்டும். 3
உள்ளத்தில் உண்மையொளி யுண்டாயின்
வாக்கினிலே ஒளி யுண்டாகும்
வெள்ளத்தின் பெருக்கைப்போல் கலைப்பெருக்கும்
கவிப்பெருக்கும் மேவு மாயின்
பள்ளத்தில் வீழ்ந்திருக்கும் குருடரெல்லாம்
விழிபெற்றுப் பதவி கொள்வார்;
தெள்ளுற்ற தமிழமுதின் சுவைகண்டார்
இங்கமரர் சிறப்புக் கண்டார்! 4
Yes, in English
Of all the tongues that I have sampled,
For sweetness Tamil’s unexampled:
But now become illiterate mutes
Our lives are worse than those of brutes;
Grown recreant to our ancient trust
Our treasures in a heap have gone to rust.
Tamil’s mellifluous sounds
Must reach the world’s utmost bounds,
If we are to li9ft our heads again,
Instead of wasting our time in vain.
Of all the bards I have explored
None in the world are richer-ored
Than Kamban, Valluvar, Ilankovan,-
Immortal trinity – our own
This is the truth unvarnished, plain
Free from all vainglorious strain.
Deaf, dumb and blind wretches we live,
We can’t our greatness e’er revive
So long as our native virile speech
Is not allowed much wider reach.
To enrich, refine and modernize
Our tongue, new writers must arise;
Translations too we must produce
From foreign classics for our use.
What boots it if we idly prate
Of our glorious past in our present state?
The world will recognice our worth
If genius amidst us gain takes birth.
Unless our hearts by truth are lighted,
Our speech with wings will not be flighted.
Self-purified we then may strive
Our arts and poetry to revive.
Then our renascence in a flood,
Will lead us to a world of good.
The blind long fallen in the ditch
Will be blessed with vision strange and rich,
And rise with the rise of Tamil strains
Chronicling our varied gains.
Like Gods assuming human birth
We’d then live glorious on earth.
Thus by all means Tamil is rightly treated/respected as an ANCIENT LANGUAGE – in legal parlance” CLASSICAL LANGUAGE”!.
With this we end this Sunday Story on UNIQUE NELLORE and we shall continue tomorrow with our regular Envius Thoughts. Till then GOOD BYE!