The first World Classical Tamil Conference got off to a rousing start here today with host of leaders led by President Praibha Patil hailing the glory of the language, but the meet costing Rs 380 crore has its own share of political bickering.
Opposition AIADMK and MDMK have boycotted the conference on the plea that the DMK government, which has organised the event, had not done anything to mitigate the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils and failed to take any step for making Tamil as the functional language of the Madras High Court.
Though the government had extended invitations to all political leaders in the state, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa refused to attend on the plea that International Association of Tamil Research, the only organisation authorised to conduct the conference, was not involved in organising the meet.
However, PMK, the estranged ally of the DMK, had welcomed the conference and its founder S Ramadoss was expected to share a platform with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday for the first time after both the parties had snapped the ties.
The platform was not only to cement relations between these parties but to strengthen ties with Congress as TNCC president K V Thangkabalu is scheduled to attend the session on that day.
Tamil is one of the first languages in the world to have a literature on grammar, written by Tolkoppiyar, centuries back and a glorious past of having literary associations (Sangams) where scholars sat together to have discussions on the language.