Dr.Chettiar's Correspondence

letter to Mr. T.S Avinasilingam Chettiar

Dr.RM.Alagappa Chettiar
M.A., D.Litt., LL.D.
Barrister - at - Law

'Krishna Vilas'
Madras - 7

       25th April, 54

Dear Sri Avinasilingam Chettiar,

I am most grateful to you for the very kind reference you made to me on the occasion of the publication of the Tamil Encyclopedia, and what is .... more the reference you have made in the Foreword which, you have written to the first volume. Mr. Periaswamythooran was kind enough to come here yesterday and physically deliver the first volume with your good wishes accompanied by your letter from Delhi. While on this occasion, I must apologies on two counts: a) for writing a letter in English acknowledging and offering my humble tribute to you for your worthy effort in the cause of Tamil and b) for not having been able to See you while at Delhi. I had written to you, and did desire to see you at Delhi. But I stayed there for such a short time, with the engagements of seeing two ministers (of Commerce & Industry, and Finance) and certain officials regarding the representations to be made to the Central Government as against the imposition of further Sales Tax on medium cloth by the Madras State. I was running round through the archways of the Secretariat that little time was left to me to attend to my personal work. Having been a Minister yourself, you can certainly appreciate and sympathies with the poor visitors who desire to convey public opinion to the authorities of Government.

I had the pleasure of a long talk with Mr.Periaswamythooran over the Encyclopedia. Subsequently I sat down for nearly two or three hours trying to go through a few pages of it, here and there. You will forgive me if I tell you quite frankly that I have almost. given up as hopeless my effort to understand science through the medium of Tamil. Much as I appreciate the explanation when rendered by another I do not have either the intelligence and much less the patience to wade through a whole page of scientific matter in Tamil. This is a disadvantage and a handicap which naturally one of my type used to English right through from the school and college onwards finds. I am sure there will be no such difficulty for the present generation who start the basic education in Tamil. When reading thro' the scientific article in Tamil, though well rendered, I feel as one between two worlds, the one dead and the other powerless to be born. But I must envy the young men and women who are so fashioning their education in Tamil from the start. For the country as such, and for the greatness and the growth of our culture you and your associates are doing a very noble effort. I do hope that society will remember and record the magnitude of the service that you are rendering. .

I Look forward to the day - very soon - when I could have the pleasure of meeting you and having a Long chat - in Tamil.

           With kind regards,

Shri T.S. Avinasilingam Chettiar, M.P.,
3, Western Court, New Delhi.

Yours sincerely,

Sd...RM.Alagappa _ Chettiar