If the Tamil language dies, our race will die with it; we are, in fact, losing our language rapidly and it should be protected at all costs, said Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss in Dindigul on Tuesday.
Addressing a gathering near the clock tower in Dindigul as part of his State-wide campaign ‘Tamilai Thedi’ (In search of Tamil) to create awareness about the importance of the Tamil language, Dr. Ramadoss said he has “not seen Tamil nor Tamils so far” in his tour. “It seems as if 75% of the people living in the State are English-speaking, while Tamils are only 5%,” he lamented.
Dr. Ramadoss said while researchers say only 5% of other languages can be mixed with our mother tongue for convenience in daily conversations, the reality is vice versa. “It pains me to see how much of English is mixed with Tamil these days, even in the villages as much as it is in the cities,” he said.
Underscoring that he was not against the use of languages other than Tamil, he said the campaign is aimed at protecting, preserving and nurturing the Tamil language. He also urged people to speak any language, be it ‘Sundara Telungu,’ Kannada or Malayalam without mixing it with other languages.
Dr. Ramadoss noted that the habit of speaking in fluent Tamil must begin at school, and continue at home. “Certain educational institutions, who do business in the name of education, deliberately go against the rules of the State pertaining to learning Tamil, and approach the courts. They act like agencies aimed at killing Tamil, forgetting that they are also Tamils,” he said.
Pointing to the advertisements in English erected nearby, he said they would be painted in black next week if they were not changed into Tamil.
Former PMK president G.K. Mani, Uzhavar Uzhaippalar Katchi (UUK) leader K. Chellamuthu and others were present on the occasion.