Tamil Optional-UPSC Syllabus
Answers must be written in Tamil
Part 1: History of Tamil Language
Major Indian Language Families—The place of Tamil among Indian Languages in general
and Dravidian in particular—Enumeration and Distribution of Dravidian languages.
The language of Sangam Literature—The language of medieval Tamil : Pallava Period
only—Historical study of Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs—Tense markers and case markers in
Borrowing of words from other languages into Tamil—Regional and social
dialects—difference between literary and spoken Tamil.
Part 2: History of Tamil Literature
Tolkappiyam-Sangam Literature—The division of Akam and Puram—The secular
characteristics of Sangam Literature—The development of Ethical literature—Silappadikaram and
Part 3: Devotional Literature (Alwars and Nayanamars)
The bridal mysticism in Alwar hymns—Minor literary forms (Tutu, Ula, Parani, Kuravanji).
Social factors for the development of Modern Tamil Literature; Novel, Short Story and New
Poetry—The impact of various political ideologies on modern writings.
Part 1: Recent trends in Tamil Studies
Approaches to criticism : Social, psychological, historical and moralistic—the use of
criticism—the various techniques in literature; Ullurai, Iraicchi, Thonmam (Myth) Otturuvagam
(allegory), Angadam (Satire), Meyappadu, Padimam (image), Kuriyeedu (Symbol), Irunmai
(Ambiguity)—The concept of comparative literature-the principle of comparative literature.
Part 2: Folk literature in Tamil
Ballads, Songs, proverbs and riddles—Sociological study of Tamil folklore. Uses of
translation—Translation of Tamil works into other languages-Development of journalism in Tamil.
Part 3: Cultural Heritage of the Tamils
Concept of Love and War—Concept of Aram-the ethical codes adopted by the ancient Tamils
in their warfare-customs beliefs, rituals, modes of worship in the five Thinais.
The Cultural changes as revealed in post sangam literature—cultural fusion in the medieval
period (Janism and Buddhism). The development of arts and architecture through the ages
(Pallavas, later Cholas, and Nayaks). The impact of various political, social, religious and cultural
movements on Tamil Society. The role of mass media in the cultural change of contemporary
Answers must be written in Tamil
The paper will require first-hand reading of the text prescribed and will be designed to test
the critical ability of the candidate.
Part 1: Ancient Literature
(1) Kuruntokai (1—25 poems)
(2) Purananuru (182—200 poems)
(3) TirukkuralPorutpal :ArasiyalumAmaichiyalum(from Iraimatchi to Avaianjamai).
Part 2 : Epic Literature
(1) Silappadikaram : Madhurai Kandam only
(2) Kambaramayanam : Kumbakarunan Vadhai Padalam.
Part 3: Devotional Literature
(1) Tiruvasagam : Neetthal Vinnappam
(2) Tiruppavai : (Full Text).
Part 1: Poetry
(1) Bharathiar : Kannan Pattu
(2) Bharathidasan : Kudumba Vilakku
(3) Naa. Kamarasan : Karappu Malarkal
(1) Mu. Varadharajanar : Aramum Arasiyalum
(2) C. N. Annadurai : Ye! Thazhntha Tamilagame.
Part 2 : Novel, Short Story and Drama
(1) Akilon ; Chittairappavai
(2) Jayakanthan : Gurupeedam
(3) Cho : Yaurkkum Vetkamillai
Part 3: Folk Literature
(1) Muthuppattan Kathai Edited by Na. Vanamamalai, (Publication : Madurai Kamaraj
(2) Malaiyaruvi, Edited by Ki. Va Jagannathan (Publication: Saraswathi Mahal, Thanjavur).