NEW YORK – The Tamil Chair Inc. board, who is trying to institute a chair at Harvard University, said that it will be taking legal action against Indian American and U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai after he wrote a blog post on January 8 claiming that ‘Harvard was exploiting Tamilians by making them pay for their own historic artifacts.’
According to The News Minute, in the blog post titled ‘Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai Stops Harvard’s Tamil Professorship Scam,’ Ayyadurai says that the co-founder of the Tamil Chair Inc. decided to stop the effort of instituting a chair at Harvard after Ayyadurai called and discussed about it.
In the blog post Ayyadurai writes, “Harvard is asking Tamilians to pay $6 million for a professorship that will be used to rob their own historic artifacts worth trillions of dollars representing the ‘Holy Grail’ of the world’s most highly-prized indigenous knowledge. Harvard will then proceed to use access to those artifacts to rewrite and hegemonize Tamil history, an unfortunate and recurrent process that Harvard has done for far too long to many indigenous cultures.”
Ayyadurai alleges that there is evidence that “Hebrews in academia” were colluding in an effort to “reduce Tamil to a ‘goo goo ga ga’ language.
The blog post continues to claim that “a comparison of the Hebrew script with the Tamil Brahmi script will confirm that Hebrew script is based on the older Brahmi script, an uncomfortable fact for the Hebrew chauvinists who suppress this fact.”
Ayyadurai went on to proposing his own solution and promised to “galvanize” the Tamil diaspora all over the world as well as donate to TamilNadu.com, a website owned by him to “build the first online Tamil University.”
However, the founders of the Tamil Chair Inc. board have now issued a statement against Ayyadurai’s claims in his blog post.
“It is true he (Shiv Ayyadurai) called me and stated that it is a waste and there are many ways to spread Tamil. I told him to give his ideas and if appropriate will work with him. I never said that we will stop the initiative and said that it not me alone any longer and worldwide Tamils are behind,” Vijay Janakiraman said in a statement.
“Harvard had, has and will withstand trials and tribulations!” Sundaresan Sambandam said in a letter adding that they will continue the effort to institute a Tamil chair at Harvard.
The Harvard Tamil Chair Facebook page also confirms that the board will take legal action against anyone who comes in their way.
“Harvard University is working on legal actions against the individuals who are slandering its name with respect to Tamil Chair. This has been communicated by Harvard officials in a conversation with Tamil Chair Inc,” it said.
According to The News Minute, last October, the Tamil Nadu government sanctioned Rs. 10 crore for the Chair in an effort to fulfill late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s 2016 poll promise.
Once the chair is established, it is expected to pave way for research focused on Tamil language, history of Tamil rulers across the world, literature and digitization of palm manuscripts.