SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA (PUDUKKOTTAI): Sir, it has been a long pending demand that Tamil language which is as ancient as Greek, Arabic and Persian should be recognized as a classical language by the Government of India.

Way back in 1920 itself, efforts were made and resolutions were passed by the "Karanthai Tamil Sangam" and simultaneously by the then undivided Madras University to declare Tamil as a classical language. Irrespective of the time that has lapsed and the unique qualities that the Tamil Language possesses, the demand is still not yet realised by the Union Government.

As Greek and Latin reflect the European Community's culture and social values, Tamil is as important to understand the ancient tradition, culture, religion, fundamental and more values and philosophy of Indian Community.

Mr. Suneeth Kumar Chatterjee, the famous linguist has asserted that the Indian Culture is a congregation of various communities among which the major contribution is that of the Dravidian families, in general and Tamil culture, in particular.

Many eminent and distinguished Tamil and Western scholars have stressed the need to recognize Tamil as a classical language.

We, of course, realise that our heritage and traditional values have to be preserved and celebrated, as such things cannot be earned by any nation or community as and whenever it wishes. These could only be inherited over a period of centuries.

I, therefore, request the Union Government to take necessary steps to declare Tamil as a classical language.