Two Tamil philanthropists promise $ 1 million donation
By Siva Sivapragasam
Poet Subramania Bharathiyar’s dream that the Tamil Language should spread throughout the world (“Themathura Thamil osai ulahamellaam paravum varai seithal vendum”) takes shape when the prestigious Harvard University sets-up a Chair for Tamil, a language spoken by over eighty – million people around the world.
Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
Tamil Nadu’s DMK president M. Karunanidhi has asked the State government to help the efforts of the Tamil community in the United States to set up a Harvard Tamil Chair. In a statement, he said that two NRI Tamil doctors, Janakiraman and Thirugnanasambandam, had received approval from the University to set up a Tamil Chair.
While the total amount needed is $6 million, the duo had promised to fund $1 million. The Tamil community needs to collect the remaining $5 million. An effort has been made to reach out to the Tamil community. The idea of setting-up a Chair for Tamil in Harvard began in Pennysylvania when heart surgeon Thirugnanasambandam met Vaidehi Herbert who had translated the Sangham Tamil books into English. Vaidehi came out with the suggestion when Sambandam discussed with Vaidehi his desire to do something for the Tamil language.
Harvard has two Chairs for Ukranian spoken by 30 million people there was a Chair for Celtic spoken by 1.5 million. The university also has Chairs for Hebrew and Sanskrit among other languages. ”it is necessary to have a Tamil Chair at Harvard as it is the language of over 80 million people across the world,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.
A more detailed account of this news appears in an article written by veteran Tamil short story writer A. Muttulingam in the prestigious “Ananda Vikatan” magazine of 9th September 2015. (Input from Hindu newspaper)