I am sure you have heard of the lines "You are only as successful as your last hit", it is usually said about people in films, (last game)people in sports, (last product) entrepreneurs. I think this directly applies to a language and ethnicity as well - especially one that is desperately seeking respect & attention it duly deserves, which, it has been deprived of, for centuries now.
Is it enough for a language and its tribe to ride on its ancient glories and presume that it is entitled to recognition in the present without being a significant contributor in bringing about a change in the world or making people's lives better?
As a Tamilian(read pachchai tamizhan) I have always wondered, if we, as a Tamil community have done enough? - be it technology, art, economy, science or even socially, in revolutionizing and bringing about a paradigm shift for the betterment of the world in the 'present', so much so that we are automatically recognized and acknowledged without having to prove our excellence by excavating our past(literally and figuratively).
Make no mistake, I am not belittling our bygone accolades or achievements. Tamil does have a strong CV of being the oldest language that is still in the parlance, we certainly possess volumes of rich literature, we were the pioneers of art, music, and drama which were at its pinnacle during the Sangam era, we have also had great businessmen who were daringly enterprising and way ahead of their time. But perhaps, it is about time we started concentrating on building new technologies, making new art, looking at new scientific inventions and discoveries that are relevant to this day & age, start and build businesses that cater to the needs of the current generation.
I feel we have been happy just translating the names of products invented by the west, for example, Facebook - Mugaputthagam, Apps - Kurunjeyali, Mobile phones - Kaipesi, to Tamil. Maybe it is time to look at building technology and making everyone learn Tamil. How is that for an idea? Build something inevitably essential & it can be accessed only in Tamil and thus everyone in the world has no other choice but to learn Tamil to access it, and that is how you make a language spread, grow and sustain? That way, there is a following that is created organically and through that, it'd last!
But the question lingers, are we looking in the wrong direction by looking backward than forward? Is the chest-beating about our past costing us the present? Wouldn't we be naturally recognized and appreciated the world over if we could make a mark in the here and now?