A commemorative postage stamp on the 2nd International Conference Seminar of Tamil Studies in Madras :
Issued on Jan 3, 1968
Issued for : The Posts & Telegraphs Department is happy to bring out a special postage stamp in commemoration of this important event in the cultural life of the country.
Description of Design : The stamp depicts the emblem of the Conference. It portrays the globe and a temple tower resting on a book with the word ‘Thirukkural‘ on it in Tamil script. It also bears the legend – ‘Every country is my country; every man is my kinsman’ a maxim propounded by the famous Tamil poet Poongundran.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Purple
Denomination : 15 Paise
Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.
Printing Size : 3.56 X 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 20,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- Tamil studies have not yet received the attention they deserve from international scholars. Very few are aware, for instance, that it is the only example in history of an ancient classical language which has had an unbroken and massive literary record covering a period of over 2000 years. At the same time, it has survived more or less in the same form throughout this long period as the spoken language of more than 40 million people.
- Ever since Sir William Jones pointed out in 1786 the close resemblance between Sanskrit, Avestan, Greek, Latin and the modern European languages, Western scholars have evinced keen interest in Indology. This term until recently was equated only with Sanskrit studies, because Tamil and other Dravidian languages of South India were wrongly thought to owe their origin to Sanskrit. With the progress and popularity of Indology among scholars, the distinctive derivation of Tamil came to be appreciated. International interest in the language was also aroused by the fact that the Tamils migrated in large numbers to various parts of the world like South Africa, Malaysia, Fiji Islands etc. It is interesting to recall the role played by this community in the struggle conducted by Mahatma Gandhi against racial domination in South Africa. Gandhiji has this to say on the subject and on the beauties of Tamil : “What the Tamils have done in the struggle no other Indian Community has done. So I thought that if for no other reason than to show my sincere gratefulness to them, I should seriously read their books. So I spent the last month in attentively studying their language. The more I studied the more I felt its beauties. It is an interesting and sweet language, and from what I read, I saw that the Tamils had in their midst, in the past and even now, many intelligent, clever and wise persons. Again if there is to be one Nation in India, those who live outside the Madras Presidency, must know Tamil.“
- With a view to creating the proper climate for international interest in Tamil studies, some distinguished scholars formed the International Association of Tamil Research in 1964. In April 1966, the first International Conference – Seminar of Tamil Studies was held in Malaysia. The active support extended by the University and the Government of Malaysia contributed to the success of this venture, which was attended by over 200 scholars, drawn from about 25 countries, In response to the invitation of the then Chief Minister of Madras, this second International Conference – Seminar of Tamil Studies was being held in Madras from 3rd January to 10th January 1968. It will not only be of great interest to scholars and specialists, but to the common people as well because the programme includes an exhibition, public meetings and processions, the erection of statues etc.