>When Tamil Nadu Government announced tax exemption for Tamil movies with Tamil titles, I did not feel bad. This act was different from the usual Tamil-fanatic acts that the ruling party is known for.
I was never amused by titles like ‘Jeans’, ‘New’, ‘Run’ etc. in the past. An occasional English name that is relevant to the movie’s theme was ok, but a sudden surge of English names for Tamil movies was a plain marketing gimmick. After the announcement, this trend has almost disappeared ! I like innovative Tamil names like ‘vETTayADu viLayADu’, ‘Ayutha ezhuththu’, ‘kAkka kAkka’ etc.
These small acts will go a long way in saving the language from getting wiped out by socio-political environment of the country. I might sound backward, but I really marvel at Chennai that has been in the forefront of development while laughing at ‘Hindi-only’ speakers of the country.
Go to Mumbai – you cannot hear Marathi. Go to Bangalooru – you can survive without knowing Kannada. Go to Chennai – In one year, you WILL learn Tamil ! I don’t find this to be rude. I equate it to Japan where you cannot live without knowing Japanese.
I agree that patriotism takes priority over one’s language, but neglecting a 2000+ year old language for the sake of a 50 year old nation is stupidity, mildly put. A language cannot live on its own. It needs great poets and poetry lovers. It needs great personalities who speak it proudly. It needs native speakers who are proud of it. It needs the socio-political conditions to be favorable too.
Christianity would never have survived more than a couple of centuries without the political support of Rome. English is all over the world not because of just Shakespeare, but mainly because of the gun power of Britain in the last few centuries and the power of the US today.
Tamil lives on, thanks to its passionate native speakers.