Vellore: Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and Tamiliyakam, which is headed by VIT Chancellor G Viswanathan will take necessary steps to develop and preserve Tamil language in India and other parts of the world.
Presiding over the Pongal Fest ’20 celebration organised by VIT’s Paavendhar Bharathidasan Tamil Literary Association and VIT School of Agricultural Innovations And Advanced Learning here yesterday, Viswanathan said that Tamil is spoken in about 150 countries in the world, including Reunion Island and in 30 nations it is spoken in large numbers.
There are about 7,000 languages spoken in the world and of them seven (Latin, Greek, Persian, Hebrew, Tamil, Sanskrit and Chinese) are the older ones existing for over 2,000 years. Of them, some have become outdated and few have got transformed. It is only Tamil and Chinese that have not become outdated or transformed. However, Chinese is about 1,000 years younger than Tamil, he said.
”India is the only country in world which has more number of languages. As per 2011 census we have we have 121 major spoken languages and 19,500 dialects, but we have recognised only 22 languages,” he said.
Pointing out that he was instrumental in starting Tamiliyakam in October 2018 with an objective to develop Tamil and also create awareness about Tamil language among people in various countries, Viswanathan said that VIT and Tamiliyakam will take necessary steps to develop and preserve Tamil in various countries, including Reunion Island.
Viswanathan also noted that students from all States in India and 55 countries across the world study various courses at VIT.
Chief guest of the function Yogacharya S Nilamegame from Reunion Island said that there were about three lakh Tamils following Tamil culture celebrating festivals like Pongal and Deepavali in Reunion Island. ”We have people from various countries like China, Africa and France living together with Tamils in Reunion Island,” he added.
Pongal festival was celebrated at VIT with several students and faculty from various parts of India and abroad wearing Tamil traditional attire. Various artistes presented traditional folk dances and students from VIT performed cultural events.
VIT pro-vice chancellor S Narayanan, faculty, students and non-teaching staff from VIT, Vellore participated.