New Delhi : Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar released the Hindi translation of Tolkāppiyam and the Kannada translations of 9 books Classical Tamil literature here today.
Speaking on the occasion Sarkar said that Tamil language occupies a significant place in the history of Indian cultural traditions. The rich heritage of Tamil literature and culture have withstood the vagaries of time and thrived over centuries. He said that the Sangam literature and Tolkāppiyam are part of this rich and glorious tradition and the country is extremely proud of this heritage. He expresses his confidence that people would like to savor the literary richness and wisdom inherent in these texts. He congratulated the Central Institute of Classical Tamil and its team of translators for their outstanding contribution in bringing out these translations and making this literature available to Hindi and Kannada readers.
ShriSarkar stated that the translation of texts is important because it not only provides accessibility and wider readership but also enriches languages by introducing new words from various source languages.
Prof. E. Sundaramoorthy, Vice Chairperson, Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT); Prof. R. Chandrasekaran, Director, CICT and senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.
Tamil writing systems dates back to 250 BCE and Tamil sangam poetry contains 2381 poems in Tamil composed by 473 poets, some 102 anonymous. Most scholars suggest the historical cankam literature era spanned from c. 300 BCE to 600 CE to be among the finest of world literature. Though it is reasonable to believe that the ancient Tamil itself had a long poetic tradition and a large body of literature, only a grammatical treatise in verse called Tolkāppiyam, the eight anthologies (Ettuttokai) and Ten Songs (Pattuppattu) have survived the ravages of time. Ettuttokai consists of Nattrinai, Kuruntokai, Aignkurunuru, Pathittrupattu, Paripādal, Kalittokai, AkananuruandPurananuru.
An effort was being made to translate the sangam literature into Kannada by a team of well experienced Tamil and Kannada scholars and Bangalore Tamil Sangam. The translators are well-versed in both languages and had a great experience in completing the translation work. The Quick initiative had been taken to publish the Kannada translation of Classical Tamil text in nine volumes in hardbound with more than 8,000 pages and the CICT was successful by publishing the same.
Tolkappiyam is the most ancient extant Tamil grammar text and the oldest extant long work of Tamil literature. Some in the Tamil tradition place the text in the mythical second sangam, variously in 1st millennium BCE or earlier. Tolkappiyam, a unique work on grammar and poetics, in its three parts of nine sections each, deals with Ezhuttu(letter), Col (word) and Porul (subject matter). Almost all levels of the human language from the spoken to the most poetic lie within the purview of Tolkappiyar’s analysis as he treats in exquisitely poetic and epigrammatic statements on phonology, morphology, syntax, rhetoric, prosody and poetics. The Tolkappiyam in Hindi translation in verse (Text, Transliteration, and Translations) was translated by Dr. H. Balasubramaniam and Prof. K. Nachimuthu and was published with hardbound with 1214 pages.