The Twin Epics, Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai of the 5th and 6th century A.D. are original both in form and content. These regionally reputed and well known epics are of later ages and much less in length and size to those of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Adhikavyas. But still they have their epical characteristics such as lengthy narrative, elevated style, grandiose episodes to picturise a fatal fall of heroic personalities. The theme or a lofty principle of everlasting value is an additional feature of these twin epics identifiable with the Adhikavyas.
The twin epics are exceptionally sequential though they have their separate identities in respect of socio-religious themes. Such uniqueness of two-in-one among the epics is a rare phenomena. The symposium will also highlight the specific and individualistic merits of these twin epics.
Besides disseminating these matters, what the symposium aims is to focus, to the extent possible, the underlying unity that exists between these two epics and that of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Merits of virtues and demerits of vices will be exposed with reference to these Indian epics. The reason behind these attempts is to focus an attention on the embedded unity of Indianness in these epics, irespective of linguistic differences.
The scope of this literary symposium is to initiate such unified and scholarly effort to solidify a harmonious feeling of unity in diversity and to inculcate a sense of ‘vasu theiva kudumpagam’ through the pages of these Indian literatures. Such initiative from the Himalayan Heights of IIAS would be eminently desirable and befitting in all respects.
(i) Dr. P.Arangasamy – Convenor of the Seminar.
(ii) Dr. J.Rangaswami – Co-Convenor / Fellow of the IIAS
Indian Institute of Advanced Study
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