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Encyclopedia > Pure Tamil movement

The Tanittamil Iyakkam (Pure Tamil Movement, Only Tamil Movement) is a movement of linguistic purism in Tamil literature attempting to emulate the "unadulterated Tamil language" of the Sangam period, avoiding Sanskrit, Farsi and English loanwords. It was notably initiated by the writings of G. Devaneya Pavanar and Maraimalai Adigal, propagated by the Thenmozhi literary magazine, founded by Pavalareru Perunchithiranar. Linguistic purism is the opposition to any changes of a given language, or the desire to undo some changes the language has undergone in the past. ... Tamil literature is literature in the Tamil language which most prominently includes the contributions of the Tamil country (or Tamizhagam) history, a large part of which constitutes the modern state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as some parts of Karnataka and Andra pradesh. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Sangam literature refers to a body of classical Tamil literature created between the years 200 BCE and 300 CE.[1][2] This collection contains 2381 poems written by 473 poets, some 102 of whom are anonymous authors[3]. The period during which these poems were written is commonly referred to... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Farsi may refer to: The name of the the Persian language among native speakers Farsi Island, an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf The Jafari Shia Tajiks of Central Asia Salman al-Farsi, one of the prophet Muhammads companions Al-Farisi (1260-1320), Persian mathematician and physicist Jalaleddin Farsi... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... Maraimalai Adigal was a Vedic scholar, Vaedhaachchala Swamigal who studied deep into the realm of the sacred classical Tamil language turned a purist and changed his name to a Tamil version with unchanged essence-MaraiMalai Adigal- a devotee by name, the mountain of the Sacred Text. He lived in the...

Tamil had been favoured by language policy since Indian independence. It had been used in high schools since 1938, and in university education from 1960. In 1956, the Congress government passed a law instituting Tamil as the official language of the state, and in 1959 set up the Tamil Development and Research Council entrusted with producing Tamil school and college textbooks in the natural and human sciences, accounting, mathematics, etc. A series of children's encyclopedias in Tamil, "lucid commentaries" on Cankam poetry, and an "authentic history of the Tamil people" appeared in 1962-63. These measures, however, seemed insufficient to the proponents of "Pure Tamil", as expressed by Mohan Kumaramangalam in 1965, at the peak of the Anti-Hindi agitations, Many countries have a language policy designed to favour or discourage the use of a particular language or set of languages. ... The Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress Party) is the largest subscription-based organisation in the world. ... The new Indian Constitution went into effect on January 26, 1950. ...

"In practice, the ordinary man finds that the Tamil language is nowhere in the picture. [...] In Madras city, English dominates our life to an extraordinary extent.[...] I think it will be no exaggeration to say that a person can live for years in Madras without learning a word of Tamil, except for some servant inconvenience!"

Since the Congress government had also turned down a number of demands, such as the use of "Pure Tamil" rather than "Sanskritised Tamil" in schoolbooks, and resisting the name change from Madras to Tamil Nadu until 1969, concerned not to nurture separatist movements. This engendered resentment among the Tamil purists, expressed by Devaneya Pavanar in 1967: Sanskritization is a term coined by late M.N.Srinivas, the eminent sociologist from India, to define the process by which castes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility by emulating the rituals and practices of the upper or dominant castes. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... Devaneya Pavanar (; ; also known as G. Devaneyan, Ñanamuttan Tevaneyan; lived 1902–1981), was a prominent Tamil author. ...

"None of the Congress Ministers of Tamil Nad was either a Tamil scholar or a Tamil lover. The Congress leaders of Tamil Nad as betrayers of Tamil, cannot represent the State any more. Blind cannot lead the blind, much less the keen sighted."

In the elections of the same year, Congress suffered a resounding defeat, and was replaced by the DMK government under C. N. Annadurai. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is a regional political party in the Tamil Nadu state of India. ... C.N.Annadurai (1909 to 1969), popularly called Anna (which means elder brother in Tamil language) was the first non Congress Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India. ...


  • Sumathi Ramaswamy, Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891-1970, Studies on the History of Society and Culture , No 29, University of California Press (1997), ISBN 978-0520208056.[1]
  • Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication Since 1500 : With Special Reference to Caste, Conversion, and Colonialism, Studies in the History of Christian Missions, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2003), ISBN 978-0802839565, p. 381.

See also

The new Indian Constitution went into effect on January 26, 1950. ... Shaheed Minar, or the Martyrs monument, located near Dhaka Medical College, commemorates the struggle for Bangla language The Language Movement was a cultural and political movement in the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1952. ...

External links

  • Movement for Linguistic Purism: The case of Tamil



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