Language Agitation before Indian Independence
In general, language is a dominant symbol of identity and it is associated with culture and sentiments of any society. Tamil regained its prominence in the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Maraimalai Adigalâ€™s Pure Tamil Movement, the language reforms of Periyar and Tamil Isai Movement helped to galvanise the Tamil language. Tamil renaissance that led the Dravidian consciousness made a great intervention in the development of modern Tamil language and its art forms. Agamic temples did not permit rituals in Tamil. Tamil songs had a marginal place in musical concerts. Abraham Pandithar systematically studied the history of Tamil music and attempted to reconstruct the ancient Tamil musical system. He founded the Tanjore Sangitha Vidya Mahajana Sangam in 1912 and it became the kernel of the Tamil Isai Movement (Tamil Music Movement). The movement gave importance to the singing of Tamil compositions in music concerts. The first Tamil Isai Conference was held in 1943, to discuss the status of Tamil music.
The implementation of Hindi as a compulsory language in Tamil Nadu, at various points of time, was seen as a threat to Tamil language and culture. Periyar declared that the introduction of Hindi over Tamil would deny the Dravidians of their job opportunities. Maraimalai Adigal pointed out that the Tamil language would suffer with the introduction of Hindi. The anti-Hindi campaigners considered it an ideological battle against Brahminism and the hegemony of Sanskrit over Tamil.