Travel Diary

To: [email protected] From: "naakannan" Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 09:10:44 -0000 Subject: [e-suvadi] Travel Diary 06.02.02 Reply-to: [email protected]
Dear Suvadians: Mr.Jeganath of Karnata Gazettes took me to Mr.Ketharnath Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of Karnataka. A very plesant Mr.Ketharnath showed personal interest in palm leaf manuscript preservation. He just returned after visiting Lakshmi Datachar of Melkottai who has a private collection about 25,000 manuscripts in Sanskrit, Granta ,Tamil and other dravidian languages. They are happy about our Tamil initiative and may follow our model for Kannada. I learnt that millions of manuscripts still unpublished in Karnataka and the Government may initiate steps to digitize them. I insisted to him that a Universal Manuscript Catalogue of Indian Languages should be prepared to locate the MS source for topic wise digitization. He told me about the possibility of a Govt. rule to register palm leaf holdings. He insisted that I meet his counter part in Delhi as Govt. of India is planning to launch a nationwide Manuscript preservation project in this April. I'm working out for a date as the Central ministries are busy with the budget. He told me as well to meet Dr.Ramanujan, Co-ordinator, Indian Heritage Group, CDAC (Center for Development of Advanced Computing) which I did. Dr.Ramanujan is a heriage link by himself if one looks at him. A typical Vaishnavite with a broad Thiruman and in ethenic dress siting amidst Super computers! Dr.Ramanujan is a practising Vaishnavite, an Engineer and a software developer. He involved in the development of the famous ISSCI. He speaks fluently Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada,Pali and a few other Indian tongues. He is instrumental in bringing Sanskrit into the Cyber world. The entire vedas, upanishads and related materials are available on-line now because of him. He works constantly to hyperlink the e-texts for commentaries and other related works. He wants to bring out the vocabilary of great Sanskrit scholars such as Vedanta Desikan, Vyasa etc. His preservation efforts include digitization of various local editions of Vedas. He showed me a rare Tulu manuscript on Yajur veda. He plans to begin digitizing the vedanta treatises of Sankara, Ramanuja and Madvar. The Nalayira Divya Prapandam and the commentaries will be digitized in the future. Interestingly, he still works with the first digital version of Divaya Prabandam produced by us that is currently available at Project Madurai Website. Infact, he follows PM model in e-texting, rather than image creation and machine reading. He told me that he has a team of paid scholars all around the country who could read the original manuscript and e-text them. I asked wheather he could help us out if we identify some rare work in Tamil for electronic type setting! He agreed. A prolific scholar in Sanskrit & Prakrit, he showed interest in learning Tolkappiyam. Though he comes under the tradition of Vadakalai Vaishnava Sampradaya, he is seemingly open to any work of great scholarship. Since his knowledge in Tamil is largely focused on Divya Prapanda tradition, he would like to know more about other works of Tamil literature. Meeting Dr.P.Ramanujan was plesant, enjoyable and educative. anbpuTan Kannan