Subject: Grantha, Comment about L2/13-007
Source: Naga Ganesan
Date: Jan 28, 2013

This is a comment about L2/13-007.
A 1300-years old temple with rare inscriptions has been saved from destruction:
"R. Nagaswamy, former Director of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, said the
 Saivite saint Tirugnana Sambandar, who lived in the seventh century CE, had sung verses 
praising the temple’s Sivalinga. Rajendra Chola-I’s inscription called the deity Nethroddharaka 
Swami (i.e., the deity will cure eye ailments)."
Dr. Nagaswamy is visiting his friends and relatives in USA, and he asked me whether
Grantha script is available in Unicode to write sacred texts of Sanskrit and Tamil are
available. I mentioned about this week's meeting and Michael Everson's proposal
to include the letters needed to write Tevaram texts in Grantha orthography.
Another scholar, and large publisher from Chennai (=Madras) who initiated writing
sacred Tamil texts in 19 scripts, including Grantha, was also involved in saving
the 1300-years old Hindu temple.  Sri. M. K. Sachithananthan also wants to
print Tevaram hymns in Grantha once beautiful Grantha fonts become
available, just like Malayalam or Tamil fonts from MS (Vijaya, Latha), Apple IT 
corporations. Both of them have requested that Dravidian letters be encoded
for use in Grantha block.
Well known Thevaram site (http://thevaaram.org) with Hindu religious hymns written
in classical Tamil language and meter, in 19 scripts, including Grantha.
Its commentary pages run to several thousand pages and immensely popular
among south Indians who worship the Hindu gods like Shiva. See, for example,
the place allotted for Tamil hymns in Grantha script (3rd script among 19 lipi-s (scripts):

We are reading the comment by P. R. Nakkeeran on Grantha script writing
Dravidian languages like Tamil. While we welcome the Govt.'s approval
of writing Tamil hymns and names in Grantha script, their recommendation
to use letters from Tamil block does not work, and that is not the way
characters are encoded in Unicode standard. For example, between
Kannada and Telugu scripts there are common letters, but they are
encoded atomically in each. The problem in using Tamil letters in
archaic Grantha is this: The modern Tamil letters are of different glyph shape,
and are not usable in archaic Grantha. Besides Tamil letters do not have
Chillu forms, and are never used in vertically stacks of conjunct consonants.
And, Grantha fonts have two styles: western and eastern, and the atomic
Dravidian letters in Grantha block will be able to support both styles
of fonts in Unicode grantha web pages and press software to print
Grantha books. Printing on paper is moving from 8-bit fonts to
unicode slowly in Tamil Nadu, a much needed progress.
Dr. Nagaswamy, a world-renowned expert on Grantha epigraphy,
Indian art hisory and archaeology,  said he can write Tevaram (Tamil) verses 
in archaic Grantha script and send to Unicode authorities for encoding these
needed letters.
N. Ganesan