For conducting extensive and in-depth research studies at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels, an exclusive research center
is very much needed.
DEFINITION: This proposed research center may be defined as an academic research section of any university, with the prime object to unearth and to bring to light, the linguistic, cultural, scientific and medical heritage of the Tamil people as recorded by the Germans over the past 300 years and also to investigate and estimate the Tamilo=German interactions in these areas.
SCOPE: “German Tamilology”, I believe is a new hitherto-not-a-fully explored research area in the broad research spectrum “GERMAN INDOLOGY”. No Indian university, or for that matter, no foreign university has established as yet, this research center. Besides the above-mentioned projects, the following research studies may also be taken up by this proposed research center not only to bring out the German-Tamil interactions; but also to compare and contrast similar activities of other Europeans in Tamil Nadu, during the past 300 years
- Tamilo-German interactions in the field of Tropical herbology
- German contributions to the socio-economic development of the Tamils during 18th, 19th and 20th centuries
- Trade and commerce activities in Tamil Nadu, as observed and reported by the Germans during 18th and 19th centuries
- Tamilo-German interactions in the fields of natural sciences ( Maths, botany, zoology, ornithology, mountaineering etc. )
- German translation of Tamil literature during the past 300 years
- Position of women in Tamil Nadu, during 18th, 19th and 20th centuries as observed and reported by Germans
- The Dano-German politico-religious frictions and their effects in Tamil Nadu during 18th century
- Tamil learning by the Germans during the past 300 years
FUNCIONS: Research scholars from social history, cultural history, ethnology, medicine, botany, zoology and a few other allied disciplines are to be selected. Original research materials found in Francken archives, LELM library, Royal Library and Danish Mission Society in Copenhagen and from a few more such repositories are to be consulted. Since they will be in different languages, language experts from these areas are to be enlisted for translating these primary source materials in English. Then identical data are to be grouped up under different heads like language, literature, culture, medicine etc. After all these preliminary arrangements, detailed research studies may be commenced. (If this looks rather too heavy and unwieldy, then we may keep ourselves confined to the source materials in German repositories only – for the time being)
INFRA-STRUCTURE If a single institution cannot bear all the expenses connected with the establishment and function of this proposed research center, then, a few academic institutions with the financial support of research foundations can team up and draft a detailed plan of establishing and working this center. A few study centers across India, Europe, U.S. and a few Asian countries too can be established to rope in research foundations from these countries for financial and academic assistance. With the fast growth of internet and websites facilities, I feel that it will comparatively be easier and less costly to establish this center and make it fully functional.