Re: Tamil sha (U+0BB6) - deprecate it?

From: Sinnathurai Srivas (
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 19:36:31 CDT

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    I'll try to answer many postings in one go here.

    Yes, I was part of preparing the 0BB6 for documentation purpose in the

    The group was mislead by Michka. The group was given the impression that
    Unicode had already recommended encoding and needed a properly formulated
    document for clerical purposes.

    I repeatedly and kind of forcefully argued that how can Unicode encode 0bb6,
    and how can the group apparently working to help Unicode was ignored on this
    decision. Michka did not answer to this question and deliberately went on
    with this intentionally misleading exercise. Michka and may be one or two
    others intentional deceit lead to the document being prepared by the group.
    Definitely Michka mislead the group by pretending that it was already agreed
    by UC and that group was only helping to document it.

    Worse of all, I created a font, including 0bb6 announcing strictly that it
    was for internal purpose of UC and should not be distributed and I
    immediately published another font to the public with a glyph shape with
    Tamil s+diacritic, to replace the proposed foreign shape. (The diacritics
    are of research nature and not a standard Tamil diacritic at present.)

    I was preparing for a major campaign to deprecate 0bb6, as I initially
    assumed Unicode was ordered by some powerful lobby to encode 0bb6. However,
    recently I came to understand that it was a fraudulent operation and no
    powerful lobby was involved. This is why I started this little campaign now
    and not in the future.

    I do not remember how significantly Uma participated in this exercise, but
    there are other issues.

    Below is some points I like to make about many other emails, loosely related
    to the 0bb6 issue.

    Kumari Continent thought to contain archeological evidence that Tamil was a
    highly advanced language in some 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.

    Tamil had close relationship with Sindu about 5,000 to 3,000 years ago, and
    the dual graphical and alphabet nature of Sindu is closely related to the
    theory of Tamil alphabet.

    Some believe proto-Indo, as called by some is Tamil and it was infact an
    advanced language in that time too.
    Some school of thought believe Tamil is mother of Sanskrit.
    Some school of thought believe European is major contributor to Sanskrit.
    Some believe Sanskrit was not a written language until relatively recent

    We do not have any objection for Grantham or SK having their own code space.
    We want to keep Tamil within the bounds of Grammar and culture.
    Tamil uses many phonemes, much more than Grantham can identify. If we need
    to enable easy identification of these phonemes we may use other suitable
    solutions and not break our Grammar and tradition. (There are not so clever
    numbered consonant (similar to diacritic) already encoded by Unicode, in an
    illegitimate fashion to legitimise the not so cleverness.). Diacritics are
    also used and these are in research state and will be enabled for public
    use, once a proper study is conducted.

    We like to keep Tamil a cultural, traditional and importantly the
    technological, identity of Tamils.
    The technology is a highly advanced one even in this century.
    We do not like another language like Sanskrit dictating the way Tamil is
    We do not object to those want to create a code space for Sanskrit to have

    Some mention of foreign vocabulary mingling with native languages.
    Yes, there are some foreign words used in Tamil. It is not the same as
    introducing foreign character to Tamil alphabet. There is a book coming out
    soon about how closely English is related to Tamil!! There is an English
    translation of a book about Sindu and the close relationship to Tamil
    writing is coming out soon.
    I always wonder how names like Singhala and English (both indicating
    Lion/King) could have existed in two different poles some 2000 or more years
    ago. Then again, wanting to discuss deprecating a foreign character from
    Tamil takes me round the discussions about all those civilisations/nagarigam
    and this /paNpaadu seems the norm and it makes me wonder about cyber

    Sinnathurai Srivas

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael (michka) Kaplan" <>
    To: "Peter Kirk" <>; "Antoine Leca"
    Cc: "Unicode Mailing List" <>
    Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:51 PM
    Subject: Re: Tamil sha (U+0BB6) - deprecate it?

    > ------------------
    > Note that the first paragraph of my response below is factual, verifiable
    > information (details available by request from anyone who asks for them
    > offline). The rest of my response is tongue and cheek humor based on these
    > provable, verifiable facts, meant only to provide a lighter side to the
    > "conflict" that has dominated this thread....
    > ------------------
    > From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    >> Nevertheless, if U+0BB6 is actually used in writing, even if not by some
    >> purists, it does need to be encoded and should not be deprecated.
    > Another good reason to not deprecate it is that it was requested by an
    > organization that represents Tamil interests in Sri Lanka, Singapore,
    > Malaysia, and Tamilnadu. The "oppressors" are therefore not Unicode, and
    > not Uma, and not I (though Uma and I helped to press for good usage
    > samples!). Srivas himself is a member of this organization, and the very
    > working group that produced the proposal. In fact, he even was involved in
    > many of the email list conversations about U+0bb6.
    > Therefore not only oppressed himself, but also viciously did not properly
    > inform himself of what he was doing when he did it.
    > People who are not within his reach are likely safe for the time being.
    > But someone may want to intervene before he beats himself up for these
    > crimes (since he knows where he lives, he is simply not safe from
    > himself).
    > (flashing back to a Monty Python skit where Colin "Bomber" Harris managed
    > to beat his opponent unconscious in an important wrestling match where he
    > faced himself in the ring)
    > MichKa

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