The World Tamil Conference (Tamil: உலகத் தமிழ் மாநாடு) is a series of occasional conferences to discuss the social growth of the Tamil language. Each conference is attended by thousands of Tamil enthusiasts around the world. Conferences are hosted in various cities in India, as well as world cities with a significant Tamil population. The conference aims in promoting the heritage of Tamil language

A similar conference called World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, unapproved by the International Association for Tamil Research, was held in Tamil Nadu conducted by the Government of Tamil Nadu under the leadership of M. Karunanidhi. Not all agreed with the academic and intellectual[who?] rigour of the latter event[citation needed]. Despite these criticisms upholding such a huge event portraying the value of Tamil language and culture is being appreciated vastly and credited to the DMK supremo as commonly believed by the people in the state of Tamil Nadu.[1][2][3] The theme song of the World Classical Tamil conference, Semmozhiyana Thamizh mozhiyam, was composed by Oscar award winner A. R. Rahman. The song was written by M. Karunanidhi where he has used popular quotes from Sangam poetry.

The latest edition of the conference was held on July 3–7, 2019 in Chicago. The 10th conference was jointly hosted by International Association of Tamil Research, Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America (FeTNA) and Chicago Tamil Sangam (CTS).[4] The theme song of the 10th World Tamil Conference was composed by American Composer Rajan Somasundaram, titled 'Yathum Oore Anthem'. He has composed the first ever musical form for the 2000 year old poetry, Yathum Oore, written by Sangam period poet Kaniyan Pungundranar. Rajan mentioned that as a tribute to one of the most progressive ancient poetry that calls for unity and equality, he composed the theme song to cover multiple genres of music and brought in many international musicians of varying genres, ethnicity and languages including academy nominated singer Bombay Jayashri and Karthik (singer).[5]

List of conferences

List of conferences[6]
Official title Host city Host country Year Chief Organizer
1st International Tamil Research Conference Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 1966 Fr. Thani Nayagam
2nd International Tamil Research Conference Chennai  India 1968 M. Bhaktavatsalam and C. N. Annadurai
3rd International Tamil Research Conference Paris  France 1970 Fr. Thani Nayagam
4th International Tamil Research conference Jaffna  Sri Lanka 1974 Fr. Thani Nayagam
5th International Tamil Research Conference Madurai  India 1981 M. G. Ramachandran
6th International Tamil Research Conference Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 1987 S. Samy Velu
7th International Tamil Research Conference Port Louis  Mauritius 1989 [Armoogum Parsuramen - Minister of Education, Arts and Culture]
8th International Tamil Research Conference Thanjavur  India 1995 J. Jayalalithaa
9th International Tamil Research Conference Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 2015
10th International Tamil Research Conference Chicago  USA 2019 International Association for Tamil Research, FeTNA & Chicago Tamil Sangam
11th International Tamil Research Conference Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 2023 Nandhan Masilamani, Organising Secretary International Association for Tamil Research-India Branch


  1. ^ "Karunanidhi and the politics of Tamil culture".
  2. ^ "transCurrents: World Tamil Classical Conference in Tamil Nadu Will Boost Chief Minister Karunanidhi's Image". Archived from the original on 19 June 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ "The political uses of Tamil". 25 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Our Objectives".
  5. ^ "உலக கலைஞர்களின், கணீர் குரலில் உலகத் தமிழ் ஆராய்ச்சி மாநாட்டு பாடல்". 4 June 2019.
  6. ^ "World Classical Tamil Conference – a perspective". The Hindu. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2016.

Further reading

First International Conference Seminar of Tamil Studies, 1966