Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, led by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, on Tuesday appealed to President Pratibha Patil to give consent for use of Tamil as the official language in Madras high court before attending the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore this week.
In a joint letter to Patil, AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa, Marimalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko, Communist Party of India state secretary D Pandiyan, said the need for recognising Tamil as a language of the Madras high court has been a long-standing demand.
"Today, the lawyers agitation demanding the recognition of Tamil as a language of communication in the HC has reached an emotional stage that several lawyers are on a fast unto death within the campus of the Madurai bench of Madras high court since June 9 and now the entire issue has reached a dangerous flash point," the letter, also signed by the MPs of these parties, claimed.
Pointing out that as early as December 6, 2006, a resolution had been passed in the state assembly for the introduction of Tamil in the Madras high court, the letter said Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan use their respective official languages in their high courts.
But, the Tamil Nadu government had not bothered to present the case for Tamil as a language of the HC, it said.
"Under these circumstances, on behalf of the Tamil population worldwide, we earnestly appeal to Your Excellency to kindly give your consent for the use of Tamil in the Madras High Court, which is the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu, before attending the World Classical Tamil Conference", it said.
Patil is slated to inaugurate the five-day conference on June 23.
AIADMK also staged a state-wide demonstration on Monday demanding that the Centre announce Tamil as the official language of the high court.
In a related development, three more high court advocates, who tried to stage a fast on the language issue, were arrested in Chennai on Monday, police said.
Last week, 16 advocates were arrested at the HC's principal seat in Chennai and in its Madurai bench for staging a fast on the issue after the court declared the protest illegal.