Convened to showcase the history of one of the world's oldest languages, the Classical Tamil Conference is seemed to have ended up being yet another show of strength by ruling DMK ahead of next year's assembly polls.
Political commentators and Opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu feel the five-day conference, curtains on which came down on Sunday, was primarily the DMK's "family show" and saw only the praise of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who had left no stone unturned to make this meet a reality.
The conference, which was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday, also clearly demonstrated the organising skills of two members of the DMK's first family --Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and party MP Kanimozhi.
While Stalin shuttled between Chennai and this industrial city to oversee the arrangements for the successful conduct of the conference, Karunanidhi's poet-daughter Kanimozhi made sure that Tamil scholars from across the globe attend the meet and present papers on various subjects.
Veteran journalist and political commentator Cho Ramasamy says the purpose of the conference was only to "praise and praise" Karunanidhi.
The venue and timing of the conference, just a year before the state goes to polls, is also significant as the DMK is trying to make 'inroads' into the bastion of archrival AIADMK in east Tamil Nadu. The Opposition party had performed well in this region in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Many family members of Karunanidhi actively participated in the conference. While his grand daughter and daughter of Union Minister M K Alagiri, Kayalvizhi Venkatesh showed her poetic skills; another granddaughter Ezhilarasi enthralled the audience by her Veena recital.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa had on Saturday said that the conference had only "sung the praise of Karunanidhi" and will not achieve anything tangible.
At least 20 scholars had presented research papers on Karunanidhi and his works. Only a few papers were presented on the Tamil language, the theme of the conference.
A Tamil scholar himself, Karunanidhi has never missed an opportunity to highlight his language skills or express strong pro-Tamil feelings.
He was seen criss-crossing the 20 venues, where poet meets, seminars and symposiums on Tamil had been organised. Speakers after speakers heaped praise on him for organising the conference.
K Sivathambi, a Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka, convenor of the academic sessions, went to the extent of describing Karunanidhi as "World Tamils leader" and requested him to take steps for development of Tamils the world over and mitigate their sufferings.