Showing posts with label dravidian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dravidian. Show all posts

Dravida Sishu between Sankara and Sambandhar

Soundaryalahari stanza is given below. It contains world Dravida sisu. Now who is sankara referring to as dravida Sissu is the debate. Is it Sankara or Sambandhar. Let us see.

Dravida Sishu in Soundaryalahari

tava stanyam manyE tuhinagirikanyE hrdayata:

paya:pArAvAra: parivahati sAraswatamiva I

dayAvatyA dattAm dravidasisurAsvAdya tava yat

kavInAm praud’AnAm ajani kamanIya: kava yithA II

The Milk of your Breasts, O daughter of the Mountain, I think is as if from heart there flowed an ocean of the milk of poesy, when the Dravida child tasted this as you gave it to him in compassion, He became the poet laureate of the master poets. (Norman Brown’s translation)

Now the question is who is this dravida Sisu, There is various theories on who this is. Let us see them.

This is the legendary story of about Sankara when he was a kid. Sankara's father Sivaguru worshipped Manikyamangalam Sri Katyayani Devi, who was his Ishta Devata. Sivaguru offered milk as naivedyam to this Devi and brought home a small quantity of this milk as prasadam every day. Sivaguru used to give this prasadam to the child Sankara which he thought that it was the remnant left over by the Deity.

Once, Sivaguru had to proceed to a distant place. Hence, Aryamba, Sankara’s mother took care of the poojas on his behalf. Sankara, a child of four years also assisted her during the poojas. One day, Aryamba directed Sankara to do the poojas , since she was not well.

Sankara went to the temple and placed the pail of milk before the Godddess and prayed her to drink the milk. After some time, seeing that the Goddess did not consume the milk, the child started to weep loudly on disappointment.

Immediately, She appeared before Sankara and drank all the milk in the vessel in order to console him. Sankara stopped weeping and looked into the pail. He again started weeping!...

The Devi was surprised and asked him the reason. Sankara asked Her to give him his share! With a smile Devi placed him on her lap and fed him with the milk from Her breast. It is said that because this divine blessing, Sankara became a celebrated poet.

Sambandar was born to Sivapada Hrudiyar and his wife Bhagavathiar who lived in Sirkazhi in what is now Tamil Nadu. They were Saivite brahmins. When Sambandar was three years old his parents took him to the Shiva temple where Shiva and his consort Parvati appeared before the child. His father saw drops of milk on the child's mouth and asked who had fed him, whereupon the boy pointed to the sky and responded with the song Todudaya Seviyan, the first verse of the Tevaram. His father impressed named in Ganan Sambandhar. He later was called Thiru Gnana Sambandhar.

Dravida Sissu is Sambandhar
Now the debate is Dravida Sissu mentioned by Sankara Soundharya Lahiri is Sambandhar according to Dravidian Scholars. Let us see.

Shankara is Dravida Sishu
Most scholars think it refers to himself. The story suggest same.

Jaya Jaya Sankara
Appar Contemproary of Sambandhar used Jaya Jaya Sankara in his thevarm poem. Now we all know he is referring to Shiva. But we can also say he is referring to Adi sankara. Such word play cannot form basis for historical debate.

Adi Sankara combined 72 sects to establish six streams of  Hindu Diety Worship. Vishnu, Shiva, Devi(Shakti), Surya , Ganesh, Shanmuga (Skanda). Now this concept is called Shanmatha. Sambandhar refers to shanmatha in his padigam.

Sankara ParamaGuru (Guru of Guru Govindapadacharya) Gaudapadacharya is knows as Dravidacharya in North. Shankara praises him as the ultimate authority of his philosophies. Dravida can be a reference to him.

Date of Sambandhar
Now we already seen in another article on Date of Devaram Trio, date of Sambandhar is atleast 1200 AD or later. Dravidian Scholars claim the date to be 7th century AD.

Date of Adi Sankara
Official accepted date is 8th century AD. But there are many claims such as 5th Century BC etc.

Chola Statues
There are some temples dedicated to thevaram trio and some have a statue of a child. Usually statue of child eating butter is Krishna. But due to Sambandhar legend, there are Sambandhar statues as well. Dravidian scholars are of the view that all the child statues are sambandhar. Now when do these statues start apprearing, After 1100AD.

Shankara dates come before Sambandhar. The Sambandhar references to Adi Shankara are often ignored by Dravidian scholars, only Dravida Zizzu in Soundarya Lahiri spoken about. So the Dravida sishu refers to Adi Sankara and not Sampandar

Sources and References:
Speaking Tree
India Divine


Related Posts
Date of Shankara
Date of Devaram Trio
Divine Tamil
Kanchi Mutt


Myth of Independent Tamil Culture

We have theory of North-South contrast and an unknown Dravidian substratum over which the layer of Aryan culture was deposited. This view is only milder than that of the proponents of a separate and secular Tamil Culture, who insist on a physical and cultural Aryan-Dravidian clash as a result of which the pure Dravidian culture got swamped.Let us analyze the History,

Politics of language translation and Identity
Rajagopalachari, a political activist and Tamil scholar coins a word ‘Yakkai Rasayanam’ to denote ‘organicchemistry’. The ‘Yakkai’ has ‘pure’ Tamil root while Rasayanam is culled from Sanskrit but of common use among Tamil people.Yakkai connotes ‘organized’ and alludes to ‘vitalism’ and ‘chief organiser’, that is God. So people find this not secular.
The current technical term in usage ‘Karima Vediyal’(Carbon Chemistry) was suggested by Chennai Magahana Tamil Sangam in 1938 is exorcised of any reference to ‘tradition’ and as matter of fact is very secular. The term Karima means ‘Carbon’ and Vediyal means ‘Chemistry’. However, the term Vediyal is a modern word coined from a root word ‘Vedi’ meaning ‘transmute’. The verb ‘Vethithal’ implies transmutation of baser elements in Siddha tradition of ‘alchemy’. The word Vedi also came to denote drug used by Siddha school of medicine, derived not from plant sources but from chemical source’. How did this secularization of coining of terms
come about? Let us see

Social historians posit that during 1930s there were One group represented the traditional elite - largely dominated by Brahmins and consisting of elite from upper caste Hindu section were characterized by their sympathy towards ‘tradition’- meaning Sanskrit traditions, and in politics advocating ‘Pan Indian Nationalism’. Another group was the Tamil Vellala and non-Brahmin upper caste elite, who articulated ‘Tamil identity politics’ drawing inspiration from the Tamil past. Thirdly, there were the Left/self-respect movements, which not only questioned the ‘past’ but also ‘invalidated’ it.

As the balance of power of the third group swelled in the public sphere during the 1940s; in the ensuing social upheaval, impact of the self-respect movement’s rationalism and the left ideology geared the ‘rediscovery programme’ in a direction of taking it to secular plane away from the‘past tradition’ or ‘indigenous religion’. Rationalism was privileged in the rediscovery programme. E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) have very rigid ideas about the ancient history of Tamil Nadu. First, despite all evidence to the contrary,they still insist on the Aryan invasion theory in its most violent version, turning most North Indians and upper-caste Indians into descendants of the invading Aryans who overran the indigenous Dravidian s, and Sanskrit into a deadly rival of Tamil. Consequently, they assert that Tamil is more ancient than Sanskrit, and civilization in the South older than in the North. Once Tamil Nadu's Education minister said The Dravidian civilization is older than the Aryan. It is not uncommon to hear even good Tamil scholars utter such claims. Let us Analyse the evidences

Culturally, the megalithic people of the South shared many beliefs and practices with megalithic builders elsewhere in the subcontinent and beyond.

The earlier Tamil inscriptions were written in Kadamba script, Pallava grantha and Vetteluthu Inscriptions after the eighth century A.D. Contain characteristrics similar to the one now in vogue The Tamil script(see also Tamil Brahmi) infact flipflopped between Pallava Granta and Vetteluthu.

Vedic Gods and Vedic culture in Tamil Literature
Tolkappiyam (date) is modelled on the Sanskrit grammar of the Aindra school. Tolkappiyam adopts the entire Rasa theory as worked out in the Natya Sastra of Bharata. It also refers to rituals and customs coming from the Aryans,a word which in Sangam literature simply means North Indians of Vedic culture. Tolkappiyam states that marriage as a sacrament attended with ritual was established in the Tamil country by the Aryas and it uses the same eight forms of marriage found in the Dharmashastras. It mentions the caste system or fourfold jathis in the form of Brahmins, Kings, Vaishyas and Vellalas, and calls Vedic mantras the exalted expression of great sages. Tolkappiyam formulates division of the Tamil land into five regions (tinai), each associated with one particular aspect of love, one poetical expression, and also one deity: thus the hills (kurinji) with union and with Cheyon (Karthikeya); the desert (palai) with separation and Korravai (Durga); the forests (mullai) with awaiting and Mayon (Vishnu-Krishna); the seashore (neytal) with wailing and Varuna; and the cultivated lands (marutam) with quarrel and Ventan (Indra). Vedic gods are considered one with the tamil land. The emperor of Tamil poetry, Kambar, describes Sanskrit as the "devabhasa"

Ettuttokai abound in references to many gods Shiva, Uma, Murugan, Vishnu, Lakshmi and several other Saktis. The Paripadal consists almost entirely of devotional poetry to Vishnu. One poem begins with a homage to him and Lakshmi, and goes on to praise Garuda, Shiva on his majestic bull, the four-faced Brahma, the twelve Adityas, the Ashwins, the Rudras, the Saptarishis, Indra with his dreaded thunderbolt,the devas and asuras, etc., and makes glowing references to the Vedasand Vedic scholars. The Purananuru in addition sees Lord Shiva as the source of the four Vedas and describes Lord Vishnu as blue-hued and Garuda-bannered. A poem in Akananuru, declares that Shiva and Vishnu are the greatest of gods. Not only deities or scriptures, landmarks sacred in the North, such as the Himalayas or Ganga, also become objects of great veneration in Tamil poetry. North Indian cities are referred to such as Ujjain or Mathura after which Madurai was named. Court poets proudly claim that the Chera kings conquered North Indian kingdoms and carved their emblem onto the Himalayas. They clearly saw thesubcontinent as one entity.

Kural is often described as an Atheistic text a misconception. Valluvar's 1,330 mostly deal with ethics (aram), polity (porul) and love (inbam), following the traditional Sanskritic pattern of the four objects of human life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha, the last implied rather than explicit. Still, the very first decade is an invocation to Bhagavan. The ocean of births can be crossed by those who clasp God's feet, and none else. The same idea recurs later, for instance in this profound thought, Cling to the One who clings to nothing and so clinging, cease to cling. The Kural also refers to Indra, to Vishnu's avatar of Vamana , and to Lakshmi, asserting that she will shower her grace only on those who follow the path of dharma. There is nothing very atheistic in all this, and in reality the values of the Kural are perfectly in tune with those found in several shastras or in the Gita

Shilappadikaram(Date) which relates story of Kannagi and Kovalan, it opens with invocations to Chandra, Surya, and Indra, all of them Vedic Gods, and frequently praises Agni, Varuna, Shiva, Subrahmanya, Vishnu-Krishna, Uma, Kali, Yama and so forth. There are mentions of the four Vedas and of Vedic sacrifices being faultlessly performed.In more than one place, writes V. Ramachandra Dikshitar, the first translator of the epic into English, there are references to Vedic Brahmans, their fire rites, and their chanting of the Vedic hymns. The Brahman received much respect from the king and was often given gifts of wealth and cattle. When Kovalan and Kannagi are married, they walk around the holy fire, a typically Vedic rite still at the centre of the Hindu wedding. Welcomed by a tribe of fierce hunters on their way to Madurai, they witness a striking apparition of Durga, who is addressed equally as Lakshmi and Sarasvati, the three Shaktis of the Hindu trinity. There are numerous references to legends from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas.

After worshipping at two temples, one of Vishnu and the other of Shiva, the Chera king Shenguttuvan goes to the Himalayas in search of a stone for Kannagi's idol, and bathes it in the Ganges. Manimekhalai even though is a Buddhist work, it also mentions many Vedic and Puranic gods, and attributes the submergence of Puhar tothe neglect of a festival to Indra. Silapathikaram and Manimekhalai, which amply testify that what we call today Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexistedharmoniously. (See Also Divine Tamil)
As the archaeologist and epigraphist R. Nagaswamy remarks, The fact that the literature of the Sangam age refers more to Vedic sacrifices than to temples is a pointer to the popularity of the Vedic cults among the Sangam Tamils.

Agastya, the great Vedic Rishi, as the originator of the Tamil language. He is saidto have written a Tamil grammar, Agattiyam, to have presided over the first two Tamil Sangams, and is even now honoured in many temples of Tamil Nadu and worshipped inmany homes. One of his traditional names is Tamil muni. The Shilappadikaram refers to him asthe great sage of the Podiyil hill,and a hill is today named after him at the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats.

P. S. Subrahmanya Sastri says a knowledge of Sanskrit literature from the Vedic period to the Classical period is essential to understand and appreciate a large number of passages scattered among the poems of Tamil literature.In other words, Vedic and Puranic themes are inextricably woven into Sangam literature.
Ramachandra Dikshitar writes Either the people did not look upon religious distinctions seriously, or there were no fundamental differences between one sect and another

Historical Period
But here let us just take a look at the rulers. An inscription records that a Pandya king led the elephant force in the Mahabharata War on behalf of the Pandavas, and that early Pandyas translated the epic into Tamil. The first named Chera king, Udiyanjeral, is said to have sumptuously fed the armies on both sides during the War at Kurukshetra Chola and Pandya kings also voiced such claims of course they may be devoid of historical basis, but they show how those kings sought to enhance their glory by connecting their lineage to heroes of the Mahabharata. So too, Chola and Chera kings proudly claimed descent from Lord Rama or from kings of the Lunar dynasty, in other words vedic roots. Karikala, was a patron Vedic religion and while the Pandya king Nedunjelyan performed many Vedic sacrifices, and the dynasty of the Pallavas made their capital Kanchi into a great centre of Sanskrit learning and culture.

K.V. Raman summarizes says
The Pandyan kings were great champions of the Vedic religion from very early times According to the Sinnamanur plates, one of the early Pandyan kings performed a thousand velvi or yagas Vedic sacrifices. Though the majority of the Pandyan kings were Saivites, they extended equal patronage to the other faiths, and included invocatory verses to the Hindu Trinity uniformly in all their copper-plate grants. The Pandyas patronised all the six systems or schools of Hinduism. Their religion was not one of narrow sectarian nature but broad-based with Vedic roots. They were free from linguistic or regional bias and took pride in saying that they considered Tamil and Sanskritic studies as complementary and equally valuable.
Nilakanta Sastri goes a step further and opines, There does not exist a single line of Tamil literature written before the Tamils came into contact with, and let us add accepted with genuine appreciation, the culture of North Indian origin.

The Myth of Dravidian Culture
And yet, such statements do not go deep enough, as they still imply a North-South contrast and an unknown Dravidian substratum over which the layer of Aryan culture was deposited. This view is only milder than that of the proponents of a separate and secular Tamil Culture, who insist on a physical and cultural Aryan-Dravidian clash as a result of which the pure Dravidian culture got swamped. As we have seen, archaeology, literature and Tamil tradition all fail to come up with the slightest hint of such a conflict. Rather, as far as the eye can see into the past there is every sign of a deep cultural interaction between North and South, which blossomed not through any imposition but in a natural and peaceful manner, as everywhere else in the subcontinent and beyond.
M.G.S. Narayanan says
The Aryan-Dravidian or Aryan-Tamil dichotomy envisaged by some scholars may have to be given up since we are unable to come across anything which could be designated as purely Aryan or purely Dravidian in the character of South India of the Sangam Age. In view of this, the Sangam culture has to be looked upon as expressing in a local idiom all the essential features of classical Hindu culture. Swami Vivekananda says, The South had been the repository of Vedic learning.

It should now be crystal clear that anyone claiming a separate,pre-Aryan or secular Dravidian or Tamil culture has no evidence to show for it, except his own ignorance of archaeology, numismatics and ancient Tamil literature. There is no meaning in the word Dravidian except either in the old geographical sense or in the modern linguistic sense, racial and cultural meanings are as unscientific as they are irrational, although some scholars in India remain obstinately rooted in a colonial mindset.

The simple reality is that every region of India has developed according to its own genius, creating in its own bent, but while remaining faithful to the central Indian spirit,So is Tamil culture.

Myth of Sumerian Legacy

The term "Sumerian" is the common name given to the ancient inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia by their successors, the Semitic Akkadians. The Sumerians called themselves sag-giga, literally meaning "the black-headed people". The Akkadian word Shumer may represent this name in dialect, but it is unknown why the Akkadians called the southern land Shumeru. Biblical Shinar, Egyptian Sngr and Hittite Šanhar(a) could be western variants of Šumer

Severalpeople have claimed decendents of Sumerians or related to sumerians. Let us see the claims


Sumerian is generally believed today to be an isolate language without known close relatives, even though most will say it is the closest to the FinnUgor and Altaic language. Even the well known Sumerologist, Samuel Noah Kramer has hinted at the probability at times about the FinnUgor and Altaic links to Sumerian. Many others mention it also but then try to play it down and minimize the true extent of the links. Early pioneers as Jules Oppert (France), Archibald.H Sayce (England), A.H. Layard (England), Francis Lenormant (France), Delitzs (Germany), Coloman-Gabriel Gostony (France) and many others who are less known today such as Hungarian Sumerologists Dr Zsigmond Varga, a student of Delitz, and his student Dr Ida Bobula. Unfortunately the detailed work and sound correspondences needed by modern "historic" linguist, were only started by them, but never continued and refined by anyone, before it became a semi "taboo" topic to compare Sumerian to other language families.

The origin of this theory was explained by Ida Bobula this way: "When in the middle of the 19th century, under the debris of Mesopotamia the first written memories, the tiletable notched cuneiform and hieroglyphic text began to turn up, professionals recognized that those against the Assyrian-Babylonian texts were written in a non-Semitic structured language." The language proved to be agglutinatively structured. The pioneer orientalists, Julius Oppert, Rawlinson, and Archibald Sayce, spoke of the ancient Scythian and Turanian languages; the French scientist Lenormant decisively declared that the language of these "artificers of writing" is closest to Hungarian, and that it would prove to bear a relationship to the "Turanian" family similar to that of Sanskrit for the Indo-European family.

The second account has been related to Biblical history. The document starts with Tana, perhaps the same as the Sumerian Etana of the city of Kish, son of "Arwium", son of "Mashda". The Kushan Scythians also had an ancestor called Kush-Tana. In the Sumerian account, Etana of Kish was the first king who 'stabilised all the nations'. Some feel that Etana of Kish corresponds to the Biblical Cush, father of Nimrod.

In the Hungarian account, Tana's son is called Menrot, whose twin sons, Magor and Hunor dwelled by the Sea of Azov in the years following the flood, and took wives from the Alans, presumably meaning the ancestors of the Iranians (from the eponymous ancestor Aran).
Another version of this legend found in the Kepes Kronika makes Magor and Hunor the sons of Japheth rather than of Nimrod, equating Magor with Magog.Nimrod the hunter, founder of Erech, is more plausibly identified by David Rohl with Enmerkar, founder of Uruk (Sum. kar=hunter).

The mother of the twin sons in the Hungarian version is Eneth, Enech or Eneh, who is the wife of either Menrot (Nimrod) or of Japheth. If she is to be equated with the Sumerian goddess Inanna, she may have originally been the wife of both men, and a great many others beside.

The Sumerian legends of "Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta" describe vividly how the powerful Inanna, something of a kingmaker in her time, abandoned the king of Aratta, who is called Ensuhkeshdanna, and awarded the kingship of Erech to Enmerkar.Another argument sometimes used to link the Sumerians (who called their language Emegir) with the Magyars, involves the hereditary caste among the Medes and later Persians known as "Magi".

But the theory has many loopholes. Eventhough mountain of documents show Closest Europeon languge to Sumerian is Hungarian, the language is noticed only in 9th century AD , while the sumerians rule ended in 2000 BC. So how come they are related. The myth was created to show the Hungarians inferior to Europeons ruling societies. The Hungarian whose origin has been conflicting claims trace their origin to Huns. And Hungarian being close to Finnish is itself doubt.

Ur or Uru (=city) was a major city during Sumerian civilizatin times. The word Uru or Ooru ( village or township) has got into almost all Dravidan languages including Tulu.Possibly the the name of the once famous Sumerian city was extended to all civilized settlements later on.It is a common suffix now in most of the place names in southern India. Bengalur,Mangaluru,Mundkur,Tanjavur ,Trichur,Gudur etc.There are also other Sumerian/Dravidian words sharing similar sounding verb -ur. SumerianUru (2) (= firewood.) has similar words in Tulu, Kannada (Uri- is to burn) and other Dravidian languages. Similarly, Sumerian Uru (3)(=to till or grow) has Urpini/Ulpini (Tulu), Ulu(=to till) in Kannada.
One of the numbers,"five" in Sumerian was Ia or i (=five).It is ain in Tulu and aidu in Kannada.
Sig(=sun burnt clay tiles) has analogous Sike or seke (=sunny sultriness) and Sigadi (=fire place/oven) in Tulu and Kannada.
There may be more such analogous words in Sumerian and Tulu/Kannada/Dravidian languages.
The analogy is cited here to suggest that some early Tulu,Kannada and other Dravidian tribes might have migrated from Sumerian region to India.A genealogical relationship exist between the Black African, Dravidian, Elamite and Sumerian languages. But apart from these word similarities there is nothing else to say Sumerians and Dravidian are related.

Elam, lasting from around 2700 BC to 539 BC, is one of the oldest recorded civilizations. Elam was centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran (the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province, which takes its name from Elam), as well as parts of southern Iraq. It was preceded by what is known as the Proto-Elamite period, which began around 3200 BC when Susa (later capital of Elam) began to be influenced by the cultures of the Iranian plateau to the east.
The Elamite culture show influence of sumerian. But the elamite is seprate culture and language is seprate and still to be deciphered elamite text are different from Sumerian.

Hebrew belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family. Sumerian is a different language family. Hebrew is related to Akkadian, Aramaic, Egyptian and Phoenician.

The term "Sumerian" is the common name given to the ancient inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia by their successors, the Semitic Akkadians. Clearly this shows that Semitic and Sumer are different people. While semitic people are migrants from outside, sumerians are natives.

The Babylonian civilization, which endured from the 18th until the 6th century BC, was, like the Sumerian that preceded it, urban in character, although based on agriculture rather than industry. The country consisted of a dozen or so cities, surrounded by villages and hamlets. At the head of the political structure was the king, a more or less absolute monarch who exercised legislative and judicial as well as executive powers. Under him was a group of appointed governors and administrators. Mayors and councils of city elders were in charge of local administration.
The Babylonians modified and transformed their Sumerian heritage in accordance with their own culture and ethos. The resulting way of life proved to be so effective that it underwent relatively little change for some 1200 years. It exerted influence on all the neighboring countries, especially the kingdom of Assyria, which adopted Babylonian culture almost in its entirety. But sumerians are not babylonians as they are not semitic. Infact semitic babylonians named them numers.
Early Eastern Europe did have an important early local civilization, even before the coming of the Indo-Europeans, who are mistakenly claimed to bring agriculture to the natives. Most grain names or the name of bread in various major branches of Indo-European languages (Germanic, Latin, Slavic) cannot be derived from a common origin indicating that they weren't agriculturalist prior to their separation. The earliest appearance of Indo Europeans, from the east in Europe was around 2800BC with the first appearance of the ancestors of the early Greeks

The claims are based on some similarities , we dont know how the sumerians spoke . The Sumerians can be Elamaites or Semitic or Huns or Dravidians or East African we dont know. As the Mystery race they have claims from all over the world. The documents of Elam are decoded it may throw further light. Until then people will claim sumerian as their own

Myth of Tutsi Invasion theory

Genesis of Hutu-Tutsi conflict

An Article by Saumitra Sen
The concept of Aryan Invasion theory being a handiwork of the German for the sake of proving the superiority of the European Caucasian races is not an isolated case. There exist a similar theory in other part of the world, involving other nations and other ethnicities and I wonder why hasn’t anyone yet given an attention over that.

If we see the map of middle Africa, we see two little countries named Rwanda and Burundi, bordering Zaire (or Democratic Republic of Congo). With the name Rwanda it suddenly flashes in our mind, the picture of ethnic violence, civil war, genocide and military juntas. Few Indians know the history of Rwanda or Burundi. These countries are inhabited by two different so-called ethnic groups, namely Hutu and Tutsi. The ethnic composition of these countries is as follows:

1) Rwanda – Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmies) 1%
2) Burundi – Hutu 85%, Tutsi 14%, Twa (Pygmies) 1%

Among these the minority Tutsis are believed to be the Hamitic people, a race which was often intermixed with the whiter races from North, particularly from Ethiopia and Egypt, which on their turn were intermixed by the Asiatic people, mainly Hittites, by the repeated invasions from the North. And these people are said to have arrived from North and thus not the native people of Rwanda.

The majority of Hutus are believed to be Bantu, the original African race which spilled out from the mid-Western African coast of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire and the inland countries of Burkina Faso and some other parts of the neighbouring countries.

Tutsis are considered to be the foreigners, invaders or migrants in the Rwanda-Burundi region. Hutus are said to be a much older race but not the original one. The original inhabitants of the Rwanda-Burundi region are said to be the Pygmies, who consist only 1% of the population of the region. It is said that Tutsis despite being the minorities, consider themselves superior in race and constitute the reigning elite and aristocracy of Rwanda-Burundi and they have subjugated the more indigenous Hutus from centuries and have forced them to agriculture and to the inferior position. Now, the crystallization of the theory. Hutus and Tutsis are two completely separate races, with Black Hutus forming the oppressed majority and the more original inhabitants of Rwanda-Burundi, and the fairer Tutsis forming the oppressing minority and the foreign invaders.

This accounts for a Rwandan version of the Aryan Invasion Theory, namely the Tutsi Invasion theory.

Here we have some startling parallels with the Aryan Invasion theory here. Northern Indians, namely Aryans are said to be the ultimate foreign invaders or migrants. Southern Indians, namely Dravidians are said to be the much older inhabitants of Indian sub-continent who were invaded by the Aryans and were oppressed and driven in the interiors and to the South of the Indian continent, with the ultimate consequence of being incorporated into the Hindu fold of caste system and occupying the lowest rung of Indian society. And even these so-called Dravidians are not considered as the original inhabitants of the India. There is said to be a Dravidian migration into India long before that of the Aryans, and some so-called aboriginals (such as Santhals) are considered to be the originals of India, which were forced into the jungles by the invasions, migrations of Dravidians, followed by Aryans.

About Aryan Invasion theory and the cause of its origin much has been said in this debate, and will be said in future so here I go for the explanation of Tutsi Invasion theory, its cause and origin and its socio-political consequences.

Hutus and Tutsis never as such existed as two different ethnic groups or races and were never at war with each other. The history of ethnic violence in the region began with the advent of colonialism in Africa and Rwanda-Burundi. Rwanda-Burundi was a part of German East Africa but after the World War I, it was occupied by Belgium and made a Belgian colony. It was these colonial Belgian masters of Rwanda-Burundi who started entertaining strange ethnic differences and racial differences between the two so-called different groups Hutus and Tutsis, and created the Hutu-Tutsi rift. They invented two separate races, the racist Tutsi Invasion theory and invented the divide between them, labeling Tutsis as aristocratic rulers and Hutus as the oppressed masses.

It seems that skin colour superiority is so deeply embedded in the psyche of West that they rarely get out of it.

While the Hutu and Tutsi are often considered by the followers of this Tutsi Invasion theory, as two separate ethnic groups, scholars point out that they speak the same language, have a history of intermarriage, and share many cultural characteristics. Traditionally, the differences between the two groups were occupational rather than ethnic. Agricultural people were considered Hutu, while the cattle-owning elite were identified as Tutsi. Supposedly Tutsi were tall, thin and fair, while Hutu were short, black and square, but it is often impossible to tell one from the other. (as reported by the Time Almanac)

This distinction was increased and racialized in 1933 by the Belgian government requirement that everyone carry an identity card indicating tribal ethnicity as Tutsi or Hutu, in order to play the power politics between the inhabitants of the nation and thus letting them bogged down in civil war.

Since, independence, repeated violence in both Rwanda and Burundi has increased ethnic differentiation between the groups. Some 2.5 million Tutsis and Hutus are massacred in mutual ethnic cleansing, and genocide. The usual opportunist African leaders are much common in Rwanda-Burundi and they have exacerbated the ethnic tensions of their countries by inciting the hatred between the two groups on the basis of the supposed ethnic difference between the two. Hutu leaders have described Tutsis as cockroaches and they used to telecast their views on radio during the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsis, which inspired the common Hutus to massacre the Tutsis, in a bid to annihilate them completely.

So a peaceful, placid nation with a common populace was destroyed and annihilated by the colonialist, racist view of the Tutsi Invasion theory.

But why are we learning this? Because Tutsi Invasion theory has ominous parallels with Aryan Invasion theory as explained above. The cause of the origin of TIT is also the same as that of AIT. And the ethnic tension and violence was also incited between the North Indians and the South Indians. The DMK, AIADMK and all the other anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin movements (namely the Periyar movement) were the consequence of this racist Aryan Invasion theory. If not for Hinduism and its cultural ethos, India would have gone the way of Rwanda and Burundi. (Remember, Rwandans and Burundians have been converted to Christianity) But anti-Hindu leadership of India, and the Marxist academia and media is bent on defending the Aryan Invasion theory/AMT, in league with their traitorous aims, and anti-Hindu, anti-Indian designs. By keeping the various sections of Hindu society at war with each other they can maintain their political hold over India, and AIT is a proven tool for their designs.

The opposition of AIT is derided as an emotional, chauvinist handiwork of Hindu nationalist or fundamentalists. But the difference between Tutsis and Hutus is denied by the modern genuine Western scholars (non-Witzels). Is it also a handiwork of an emotional, chauvinist Tutsi nationalists?

The answer lies in the correct reading of the indigenous history through various new tools of Science and Archaeology and the deconstruction of the colonial edifice which has so far promoted the racist theories in order to prove the White supremacy.
Return to topics

Myths of Indus script

The world of scholars was totally ignorant about the culture known as Indus Valley Civilization or Harappa Culture till the early twenties of this century. The excavations at Mohenjodaro in Sind and at Harappa in Panjab (now in Pakistan) in 1922-23 and later and the discovery of numerous steatite seals in these excavations pushed back, at one stroke, the history of Indian Civilization including writing to the third millennium before Christ. After partition of India in 1947 when Mohenjodaro and Harappa went to Pakistan, similar sites in Eastern Panjab, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat were discovered. Of these Ka#liban#gan in Rajasthan and Lothal in Gujarat are important ones which have also yielded seals (and sealings) and have contributed much in establishing the chronological sequence of early and late phases of Harappan Culture. During the last fifty years and more, different views have been expressed by scholars about the authors of this great and highly developed culture which is comparable to that of Sumer, Babylon, Egypt and Assyria. And the key to the understanding of it lies in the decipherment of the writing on the seals and sealings. But unfortunately, the decipherment of this writing has defied the attempts of several scholars during the past fifty years and more. While some scholars think that this writing is of indigenous origin, others feel that it is of foreign origin. Even amongst those who think of indigenous origin, one set of scholars propound the theory of Dravidian origin while the other set put forth the theory of Aryan origin. These different views may be briefly mentioned here.

As stated above, the Indus script appears on a large number of steatite seals which are beautifully prepared. From Lothal in Gujarat some sealings are also found. From these sealings, which are found in association with packing material:; such as cloth, matting and twisted cords, it has been suggested that the sealings were used as labels and affixed to the packages of goods were thus of commercial or merchandise value10.

Waddel was one of the earliest scholars to attempt the decipherment of the Indus script. He thought that the writing represents the Sumerian script and, based on the identity of Sumerians with Aryans, he read the names of Vedic and Epic persons11 . Pran Nath assigned alphabetic values to the script and suggested their connection with the later Bra#hmi# script12. Sankaranand and Barua also thought that the script was alphabetic. Sudhansu Kumar Ray also held a similar view. Hrozny tried to connect the script with the Hittite language. But Heras suggested that the script is picto-phonographic and connected it with Dravidian languages reading old Tamil on the seals. Hevesy sought to establish similarity between the Indus script and the script of the Eastern Islands in the Pacific ocean. Hunter felt that the Indus script is derived -partly from Egyptian script and partly from Mesopotamian script. Flinders Petrie also connected the Indus script with the Egyptian hieroglyphs and thought that the seals contained only the titles and not the names of the officials. He also assumed that the symbols were ideographs while Meriggi thought that while symbols were ideograms, others were phonemes so that the writing was of ideo-phonographic system. Amongst other early scholars who have attempted to read the Indus script may be mentioned Gadd, Sydney Smith and Langdon13 . David Diringer remarks "it seems obvious that the Indus Valley script which is rather schematic and linear on the extant inscriptions, was originally pictographic but it is impossible to decide whether it was truly indigenous or imported"14.

The above discussion would show how scholars are holding different views regarding the Indus script and how difficult the problem of decipherment of this script has been during the last several years. It is possible to decipher an unknown language in a known script or a known language in an unknown script. But in regard to Indus script, it is a case of deciphering an unknown language in an unknown script and hence it has baffled and defied the attempts of many a well-known scriptologist. For the success of such an attempt certain points of contact are necessary15. For example, the script of the Egyptian hieroglyphs remained undeciphered for a very long period until the discovery of the famous 'Rosetta Stone' inscription in 1799 by the French engineer Bouchard at the time of Napoleon's expedition to Egypt. This sensational discovery proved to be a turning point in understanding the nature of the hieroglyphic script, because the Rosetta Stone contained inscriptions in three different kinds of script, viz., hieroglyphic, demotic (or local script) and Greek. With the help of the Greek text attempts to decipher the other two scripts were made by pioneers like the French orientalist Silvestre de Sacy and the Swedish diplomat Akerblad. And it was left to the fortune and credit of Sacy's pupil and French scholar J. Fr. Champollion to finally and conclusively decipher the inscriptions of the Rosetta Stone in 1821-2216. Again, the decipherment of the Cretan Linear B inscription, whose language was unknown and for which no bilingual text was available, was made possible for Ventris and Chadwick by the existence of, similar scripts n Cypriot and in Greek mainland written in Greek language17. Similarly some points of contact are necessary to find a satisfactory solution to the problem of the decipherment of the Indus script like the biscriptal or bilingual inscriptions.We shall now review the recent attempts made by Indian and foreign scholars about the decipherment of the Indus or Harappan script. Amongst the foreign scholars, the Russian team consisting of Knorozov, Volcok and Gurov may be mentioned. They are credited to have taken the help of the computer machines. They assign word value to the signs and suggest that the script belonged to the Dravidian family of languages18. The Finnish team of scholars led by Asko Parpola also believed the language of the Indus script to be Dravidian. Amongst the Indian scholars I. Mahadevan and S.R. Rao have made a detailed study of the problem19. While the former is inclined to attribute the script to be Dravidian, the latter thinks it to be pre-Vedic. Mahadevan has also made use of the computer facilities and has attempted to achieve 'word-division' in the script assuming the language to be Dravidian. S.R. Rao claims that his approach is without any presumption and has tried to show that there has been a change in the script from its earlier phase to the later phase in that the number of signs which were more in the earlier period were reduced considerably in the later phase. He compares the signs of this later phase with the symbols of the North Semetic script of a comparative date and by showing similarity between them gives the same phonetic value to the Harappan script that is found in the Semetic script, other words, S.R. Rao suggests that there was evolution of the Indus script from an earlier period or mature peri9d (2500 B.C. to 1500 B.C.) and that the early syllabic-cum-alphabetic writing was disciplined into an alphabetic system by 1500 B.C. He also suggests that the Indus people spoke an Indo-European language which shows close affinity to Indo-Aryan in vocabulary, semantics and phonology. The names of the rulers and chiefs and of countries, sacrifices and divinities, as read by him, would suggest that the Harappans were the progenitors of the Vedic Aryans.

B.B. Lal has pointed out the difficulties in accepting the views of both I. Mahadevan and S.R. Rao20. Mahadevan himself has changed his views and methods of approach on more than one occasion and we have yet to wait and see what his final views in the matter of decipherment of the Harappan script are. In one of his latest papers entitled 'Study of the Indus Script : A Bilingual Approach'21 he has suggested that the problem should be studied from the point of view of interpreting the ideograms in the light of the Indian historical tradition which has come down to us in two main streams, viz., Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. This theory still remains to be tested by scholars before expressing any opinion.

As regards S.R. Rao's approach, viz., assigning the phonetic values of the Semitic script to the late Harappan script and reading it as pre-Vedic Sanskrit is also not decisive and final. As pointed out by Lal, Rao compares the symbols of the late Harappan with those of the Semitic ones and this material is not enough to arrive at any conclusion. Regarding the vowel sign Rao compares it not with any Semitic sign, since Semitic has no vowel signs, but with Sumerian sign for a following Waddel. And for some signs, Rao suggests different sources, viz., Akkadian and Ugaritic. This will be a difficult proposition. Moreover, while the late Harappan script, as suggested by Rao, has many vowel marks, the- Semitic script is completely devoid of any vowel marks. In justification of his approach, Rao says that he is proceeding from the known script (Semitic) to the unknown script (Harappan). But he is silent about the known origins of both these scripts which are different. While the Harappan is descended from the early Indus script according to Rao himself, the origin of the Semitic script is suggested to be Egyptian. So Rao has to explain at what stage the Semitic script acquired the phonetic values of the Indus script if his theory is to be supported. He has not attempted to answer these questions but has only instituted some comparison between the two scripts and has tried to establish some kind of phonetic relationship. Another defect in Rao's findings is that while he has given his reading as pre-Vedic or Indo-European, he has quoted not a single authority of Indo-European Linguistics or even an authority of Vedic language that the readings given by him can be accepted. In view of what is said above, it is not possible to accept Rao's claim that he has deciphered the Indus script. Of course, every scholar who makes an attempt at decipherment of a new script does claim that he has deciphered, but a new script can be taken as deciphered only when the world of scholars accept his views without any doubt22. So we can say, without any fear of contradiction, that the Indus script has defied the attempt of all scholars so far and has not yet been deciphered just as the Asokan Bra#hmhi# script has been deciphered. The discovery of longer record in the script or a bilingual or biscriptal writing or some definite contact point would help us in finding a satisfactory solution to this unknown script in an unknown language.
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Myth of Divine Tamil

Article from Passions of the Tongue by Sumathi Ramaswamy

The Polarization of Tamil and Sanskrit

From the turn of this century, neo-Shaivism engaged in a complex set of maneuvers. On the one hand, it had to counter the damaging caricatures of Dravidian religion in colonial narratives. On the other, these very texts also contained much ammunition that could be deployed for its battle against neo-Hinduism and its surrogate, Indian nationalism: the declaration that Dravidian religion far preceded Aryan arrival, not just in the Tamil-speaking country but all over India; the suggestion that Tamil-speaking Brahmans had never participated in this religion; the pronouncement of ancient Tamilian society as egalitarian, untainted by the hierarchical and oppressive caste system of the Aryans; and above all, the possibility that that most important Hindu deity, Shiva, might be Dravidian in origin (Elmore 1915: 13-14; Gover 1871: 1-15). Neo-Shaivism appropriated such colonial propositions, fused them with statements drawn from pre-colonial Shaiva narratives, and proposed the following tenets of the emergent “Tamilian religion,” tamiḻar matam (also called by some, “Dravidian religion,” tirāviṭa matam): Shaivism is the true and original religion of all Tamilians who are not Brahman. It is also the most ancient religion of India, predating Sanskritic Hinduism by many centuries. Its principles are enshrined in the devotional and philosophical texts of divine Tamil, and it would be in vain, therefore, to seek it in the demonistic rituals of the populace (as the colonials were wont to). Further, it was not the Dravidians who corrupted a pristine Hinduism (as neo-Hindus were inclined to suggest); on the contrary, it was Brahmanism and Aryanism that had debased the original Tamilian religion and diverted it from its hallowed path of monotheism, rationalism, and egalitarianism into the “gutters” of polytheism, irrational rituals, and unjust social hierarchies (Maraimalai Adigal 1930a: vii-viii; Savariroyan 1900-1901: 269). The removal of such impurities brought in by Sanskritic Brahmanism would lead to the retrieval of pristine Shaivism, the restoration of a pure Tamilian subjectivity, and the growth of self-respect and pride among speakers of Tamil. And it is for this project that Tamil was enlisted by neo-Shaivism, its divinity reemphasized and popularized in the process. Cleansed of its Sanskritic impurities, the divine language would be the beacon that would throw light on all that was originally Tamil/Dravidian. It would sift and separate the pure Tamil Shaiva texts from all those masquerading as such.

The writings and speeches generated by neo-Shaivism show that this was not an easy or consistent project, not least because there was little agreement over what constituted the original Shaivism, and because it was difficult—in certain cases impossible—to dismantle the complex linkages that had developed between Tamil and Sanskrit over the centuries of their coexistence from the early first millennium C.E. In the early decades of neo-Shaiva activity, from around the 1880s to around 1905, there were few explicit statements against Sanskritic Hinduism per se. The focus instead was on countering the negative characterizations of Dravidian religion by asserting its distinctiveness, its uniqueness, its rootedness in high philosophy, and its parity with the Sanskritic tradition. “Moderate” neo-Shaivism, therefore—as exemplified by the writings of J. Nallaswami Pillai, for instance— visioned Tamilian religion as part of a larger Hindu complex, but oriented around divine Tamil and its scriptures rather than around Sanskrit.

Gradually, however, such assertions gave way to overt antagonism towards Sanskritic-Brahmanical-Aryan-Hinduism, and even to calls for a complete break from the latter by the 1920s. This transformation took place in the context of changes in the curriculum of Madras University, which, starting in 1906, became the site of an acrimonious debate over the compulsory study of Sanskrit and the elimination of the “vernaculars” the growing demand for “Home Rule” by the Besant led factions of the Congress, beginning in 1915; the British promise of “self-government” by stages in 1917; the many attempts after that by the colonial state to play off the “non-Brahman” against the Brahman in electoral politics; and finally, the iconoclastic atheism of E. V. Ramasami (1879-1973) and his followers (Irschick 1969; Nambi Arooran 1980: 35-139; Washbrook 1976: 274-87). In the “radical” neo-Shaivism that crystallized in response to these events, and is perhaps best exemplified by the later religious writings of Maraimalai Adigal, a Tamil-speaking Dravidian “non-Brahman” Shaiva community was clearly posited against Sanskritic, Brahmanical, Aryan Hinduism (Maraimalai Adigal 1930b, 1974b; K. Subramania Pillai, 1940: 45-47). Talk of parity between Tamil and Sanskrit gave way to assertions of the superiority of the former. Legends and stories that had accumulated over the centuries about Tamil’s divine powers were recycled and embellished, and the very legitimacy of Sanskrit was questioned in this process.

One such story, based on an incident in the life of the nineteenth-century mystic Dandapanisami, is especially popular in neo-Shaiva tellings. When challenged by a Brahman who invoked the superiority of Sanskrit because the Vedas were in that language, Dandapanisami declared that unlike them, the Tamil scriptures did not advocate the sacrifice of goats and the consumption of meat. The argument between the two notables continued for a while, and it was finally decided to settle the matter by calling upon the deities. They placed in front of the spear of Lord Murugan three chits with the following messages: “Tamil alone is eminent,” “Sanskrit alone is eminent,” and “Both are eminent.” A virgin maiden was asked to choose among the chits and she picked out the one that declared, unambiguously, “Tamil alone is eminent.” Dandapanisami rejoiced, brushed his eyes reverentially with the chit, and then placed it in his mouth. Subsequently, he composed his famous verse on Murugan which praised him as the lord who himself had declared Tamil’s superiority over Sanskrit. He then went on to write the Tamiḻalanḳāram, a hundred-verse eulogy of Tamil recounting its various miraculous abilities and supernatural powers (Velayutam Pillai 1971: 124-61). In the same vein, another of Tamil’s admirers, years later, narrated a story his mother had told him about one of his ancestors who had had the power to cure the sick and the dying with the help of Tamil hymns. One day, a cobra, with its hood raised, wandered into the room where he sat, offering his prayers in Tamil. It drank some milk and slithered away, leaving him unharmed. “Is it not clear from this that Tamil has supernatural powers!” he asked rhetorically of his readers. Such stories, of which there are many, reminded Tamil speakers that the Tamil scriptures were infinitely superior in their moral and ethical content, and in their salvific potential, to the Sanskrit Vedas. It was a Brahmanical conspiracy that denied the divinity and ritual efficacy of Tamil, designated it as a “Shudra” language, and appropriated all its treasures, including the mighty Shiva himself, for Sanskrit (Maraimalai Adigal 1936a: 105-6; K. Subramania Pillai n.d.: 15-17).

By the time radical neo-Shaivism was under full steam in the 1920s, it was declared unequivocally that Tamil, and not Sanskrit, was the only appropriate ritual language for all pious Tamilians. Indeed, Tamil is the world’s first divine language, and the religion it expounds the most eminent: “In the whole wide world, there is no greater god than Paramashivam [Shiva]; no religion loftier than Shaivism; no land more superior to the Tamil land; no language more divine than Tamil…and no people more auspiciously pure than Tamilians” (Swaminatha Upatiyayan 1921: 20). Taking advantage of the technologies and communication possibilities generated in the colonial milieu, neo-Shaiva associations and publications took this message of Tamil’s divinity to the public. They urged Tamil speakers to make divine Tamil the center of their renewed religious lives, the core of their (recast) beings. Prior to the neo-Shaiva revival, the cause of divine Tamil and of Shaivism had largely been the purview of religious specialists, temples, and monasteries. Now, lay intellectuals and activists—who were career bureaucrats, lawyers, academics, and even civil engineers—established societies for propagating the message of neo-Shaivism in various cities and towns across the Tamil-speaking parts of the Presidency. They published books and journals, conducted religious and Tamil classes, arranged conferences, and ran local libraries (Nambi Arooran 1980: 20-21; Ramaswamy 1992b: 84-89). Many of these societies as well as their journals were short lived, and suffered throughout their careers for want of support and subscription. Yet there are success stories as well, such as the Tirunelvēli Teṉṉintiya Caivacittānta Nūṟpatippuk Kaḻakam, founded in 1920. Both this organization and its journal Centamiḻc Celvi (founded in 1923) continue to exist today, albeit not without their share of problems. Although neo-Shaiva organizations eschewed direct participation in associational politics, they threw their influence behind many causes dear to tamiḻppaṟṟu such as the demand for education in Tamil, the numerous protests against Hindi, and the movement for renaming Madras state as Tamilnadu, the land of Tamil.

Being Religious, The Tamil Way
Movements for religious reform in colonial India have been extensively studied, and a recent volume clearly shows that spoken, rather than scriptural, languages were the sites of some of the most intense debates and discussion in this regard (K. Jones 1992). Yet, while we have a growing understanding of the recastings of religious doctrines, practices, and conceptions of community, the changes undergone by the languages through which such reconfigurations were attempted have been left largely unexamined. Tamiḻppaṟṟu’s divinization of Tamil to authenticate its project(s) reminds us that the medium itself has to be empowered in order to empower the message, to invoke an overused but nevertheless appropriate cliché. Neo-Shaivism declared that Shaivism and divine Tamil are the two “eyes” with which modern Tamil speakers would regain their lost vision and be redeemed. Divine Shiva and his divine Tamil go together, hand in hand, and cannot be separated: each lends power and authority to the other.

Neo-Shaivism emerged to counter what was perceived as the recasting of India as predominantly Aryan, Sanskritic, Brahmanical, and Hindu by both colonialism and neo-Hinduism. Such a countering was necessary because of the fear that “non-Brahman” Tamil speakers would inhabit such an India only in the fissures: ritually denigrated, socially demoted, and symbolically cast out, as “Dravidians” and “Shudras.” Yet speakers of Tamil had once been the dominant people of the subcontinent, a preeminence they had lost with the arrival of Sanskritic Aryan Brahmanism. In Maraimalai Adigal’s version of this imagined history, “the religion of the land, that is Shaivism, underwent a marked change.” Yet, he wrote, this was a change that was limited to the “outer rim,” for “in its center, it remained as pure as crystal and as impenetrable as a hard diamond. What is bound and true to its core, what is perfect and complete in itself, requires no change, requires no improvement” (Maraimalai Adigal 1930c: iii). Neo-Shaivism attempted to recover this imagined pure center and use it as the foundation on which to (re)constitute a true Tamilian religious subjectivity untouched by Brahmanism, Aryanism, Sanskrit, and Hinduism. Cleansed of its Sanskritic impurities, Tamil, the language in which its pure and original scriptures were deemed written, was the means through which this center could be reached. The language had perforce to be (re)divinized for this project, for it had to take on and counter the power of divine Sanskrit. Other religious groups in earlier times had advocated the divinity of Tamil, but not always at the expense of Sanskrit, and not in such a sustained and prolific manner using the modern technologies of print and communication (Ramaswamy 1996). In the changed circumstances of the late colonial period, when a devolving state rewarded communities that could establish their timeless distinctiveness and religious autonomy, there was much to be gained by claiming the existence of a unique Tamilian/Dravidian community, bonded together from time immemorial by its own distinctive religious traditions that were embodied in its own sacred language. Such a claim necessarily called for a delegitimization of Sanskrit and a radical distancing from its scriptures and tradition. Such a project also perforce needed the projection of Tamil as divinity, the ranking favorite of the gods themselves

Who are Aryans

Let us see from different contexts.

A paper presented by K. V. Ramakrishna Rao
1. Introduction: Ever since the advent of "Ariyar" in Indian history, the word "Aryan" has assumed significance and far-fetching linguistic and racial connotations. Then came the advent of "Dravidians". Caldwell's linguistic invention was given a racial twist by the westerners and Indian scholars, though the concept of race and language are two separate entities. Leaving these hypotheses and theories aside, an attempt is made in this paper to study the word "Ariyar" fund in the ancient Tamil literature. In the process of understanding the past, there have been persistent and insistent attempts in historiography to import later day ideas, concepts and theories to reflect back on the past events leading to diversified and contradicting situation. But, here the approach has been restricted to get the meaning of the word "Ariyar" as found in the ancient Tamil literature.

2. In Tamil literature, the word "Ariyar", "Ariyan", "Ariya" etc., found in various places withy their other forms and have been used both as nouns and adjectives. As in recent times, diametrically opposite views have been expressed1 about the inclusion of the Tamil epics Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai within the ambit of Sangam literature, the discussion is restricted to Ettutogai (the eight anthologies), Pattupattu (the Ten poems) and Padinen Kizh Kanakku (the Eighteen Minor works). Now, let us see, what these poems say about "Ariyar".

3. Natrinai: It is the heading the list of Ettuttogai and its general theme is love. The word "Ariyar" appears in the 170th poem, sung by an unknown poet. The companion of the heroin of the poem warts that the hero might be seduced by the beautiful lonely dancing girl. She compares the victory of the Virali (the dancer), who came to a festival clad in a leaf-garment, over her group to the fact that the famous town of Mullur, the "Ariya" soldiers swarmed, but ran away before the lance-battalion of Malayan (a Cheran), who unsheathed a shining sword and attacked with his large army. From this, we can see that the people who came from the north to attack Cheras were known as "Ariyar".

4. Kuruntogai: Literally meaning `a collection of short poems', it comes next and its theme is also love. The word "Ariyar" appears in the verse 7, line 3. Here, it is described how "Ariyars" dance on a tied rope according to the beatings of a drum. "The forest full of bamboos were rattled the white ripe seeds of shivering vakai tree (Sirisa tree) tossed by the wind like the drumming of the "Ariyar" dancing on the rope". Therefore, here it is evident that "Ariyar" refers to a group of jugglers or tumblers, who performed acrobatics.

5. Paditruppattu (the Ten tens): It gives more information about `Ariyar' in historical setting. The entire extant collection of poems with the deeds and exploits of the Chera Kings. The first and tenth Tens are not available. In the Second Ten, the Patigam (Preface) describes how Imayavaramban Nedunjeraladhan engraved his royal sign `bow', which figures on his flag, on the top of the Himalayas (lines 4-7). Having roaring oceans has his boundaries (imizh kadal velittamizhagam), he ruled Tamizhagam (the Tamil country) in such a way o excel the other nadus (countries). He made `Ariyar' bow before him, who were having very great name (fame and heritage).

5.1. In the Second Ten, the 11th verse details as how the very famous Himalayas abound with "Ariyas". Hence, scholars give two different meanings for the `Ariyar':
`Ariyar" = Munivar (rishis) and
"Ariyar' = `Ariya mannar' ( Aryan kings) .
The hillside was resplendent with densely and well grown trees of erthrina indica (mullu murukka), a kind of citrus and the yak sleeping there would dream of waterfalls and sweet smelling grass. The Himalayas with such fertility was filled with many rishis. In between the Himalayas (in the north) and Kumari in the South, there wee Kings who boasted their valour but they were conquered by Nedunjeraladhan. The meaning is thus rendered, "You quelled the valour of those who called themselves monarchs of the land between Camorin in the South and the famous Himalayas, where the Ariyas2 abound and yak sleeps on the hills covered thick with the Oleander and dreams of the broad mountain stream and the narandam (lemon-grass)"

5.2. In fifth Ten, the patigam mentions `vadavar' or vadukar, i,e, the people of north and `Ariya Annal' i.e, head of Ariya Kings. It describes how the kings of the north were afraid of Kadal Prakkottiya Senguttuvan. He marched with his army to bring a good stone for chiseling an image of the goddess of chastity. He came across a head or chief of Ariya Kings, while passing through forests, and defeated him. Then, he brought a stone and washed it in waters of the Ganges. While coming back, he stayed at Irumbil, destroyed Viyaur and Kodungur. He also killed a king named Pazhaiyon.

5.3. In the same fifth Ten, the 43rd verse mentions the defeat of kings who were ruling between the Himalayas in the north and Kumari in the south as boundaries. However, the names of the kings or the countries thus defeated are not given in the poem. In the padigam, the kings are mentioned as the `vadavar' (the Kings of north), the Chiefs of `Ariyar' are called `Ariya Annal', but here they are generally mentioned as `Ariya arasar', i.e, the Kings between the Himalayas and Kumari.

5.4. In Seventh Ten, the 68th poem narrates how the people who were living in the north or northern direction, were leading a fearless and happy life. The expression used to denote them is `vadapula vazhnar'.

5.5. So from the description of Paditruppattu, we can see that `Ariyar' are ?
? `the Kings of the north',
? `Rishis of the Himalayas',
? `the Kings between the boundaries of Himalayas and Kumari' and
? `the people of the north or northern direction of Tamilagam'.

6. Agananuru (or Neduntogai): It also gives more details about `Ariyar'. `Ariyars' capture elephants by the use of trained female elephants. A public woman takes a vow that she would chain her hero with her hair just as the `Ariyar' make the wild elephant domesticated with the she-elephant. Mullaippattu throws light on their employment by the kings of Tamilagam to train elephants.

6.1. In another poem, a harlot wishes her bangles may be broken just like the army of `Ariyars', which was defeated by the Kurumba bowmen who fought under the Cholas, with their shower of arrows, victorious spears and the black buckler. Here, also the names of the defeated `Ariyars' are not given, but it is mentioned that they were defeated at Vallam (Tanjore).

6.2. Paranar3 in his poem eulogises Senguttuvan that he attacked the Aryar so as to make them scream, carved his emblem bow on the very famous mountain and chained the ferocious Kings. Here one can notice that the name of the mountain is not specified and it is mentioned in singular. As Himalayas are always mentioned in plural to denote a chain of mountains, a doubt arises as to whether the poet actually alludes to the Himalayas or to a certain `very famous, ancient and well grown' mountain situated north of Tamizhagam in those days.

6.3. Agam.386 narrates how an Ariya wrestler was defeated by one Panan. The Ariya wrestler was known as `Ariya Porunan' and Panan was another wrestler, whose state was in the north of Tamizgagam (Agam.325). Panan wrestled with Ariya Porunan and crushed his shoulders and arms, the sight of which made Kanaiyan, the commander of Chera army, feel ashamed.

6.5. So, according to Agananuru, `Ariyar' were ?
? the people who captured and trained elephants,
? who got defeated by the Cholas at Vallam,
? who were the Kings of the north, conquered and chained by Senguttuvan and
? who were in possession of a mountain where gold was available.

As there was a wrestler known as `Ariya Porunan', the name should imply either that he was an Ariya or he came from the north. But, it should be noted that Panan, who defeated Ariya Porunan and came from a state situated north of Tamizhagam, was not given the prefix of `Ariya'. Therefore, it is evident that there were Ariya wrestlers, just like Ariya jugglers, tumblers or rope dancers, elephant trainers and trainers in Tamizhagam.

7. Purananuru: In one poem4, Kovur Kizhar, a Tamil poet, describes how the kings of north were afraid of Cholan Naklankilli that they were spending their nights without sleep. Marudanila Naganar, another poet5 describes how Pandiyan Kudakartattutunjiya Maran Vazhudi was having a chariot to wage a fierce war to kill the kings of north (vadapula mannar). Actually, the poet eulogises Maran Vazhudi who is said to have caused `northern kings to fade'. But, particular given about the names of such northern kings or countries and the place or places where he defeated them in the battles are not at all given. There is a mention6 of a type of a sandal paste of `northern mountain' (vadakundrattuchandanam), Agananuru also refers to this
But here also, the name of the northern mountain is not mentioned. Thre important point to be noted is, though the expressions `vadapulattarasar', `vadapulamannar' and `vadakundram' are used to denote the kings of the north and northern mountain, the prefix `Ariyar' is conspicuously missing. Therefore, it is very evident that there were northern kings and northern mountains other than Ariya kings of north and northern mountain of `Ariyar'.

8. Non-Tamilian people of North: In the case of non-Tamilian people, specific names have been mentioned like Kosar8, Moriyar9, Nandar10, Tondaiyar11, and Vadugar12. Kosars belonged to Tulu country and they were living south of the Vindhya and near the shores of western ocean. Nandar and Moriyar are no others but the Nandas and Mauryas of north India. Tondaiyars were found in the forests of Vengadam hills where elephants were abundant. So they went on expeditions, captured, trained and formed them into a brigade. The trained elephants brought firewood to the Rishis and they ate the food of their country only. From this, we can infer that Tondaiyars were having similar vocation like Ariyars, as far as elephants are concerned. Vadugar were having their lands beyond Vengadam and they spoke a different language. Another point to be noted is that at one place (Puram. 378), the Vadugars are denoted as `vada vadugar'. The term `vadugar' connotes that they were from the north and hence the expression `vada vadugar' is very significant, as it actually denotes `northern group of northerners'. This can be compared with the expression `vada Ariyar' and vadavariyar" denoting `northern Ariyar', but such expressions are found in Silappathikaram and not in the Sangam literature taken for discussion. But the important point to be noted is the usage of `Ariyar', while the word `Ariyar' is generally used to denote the people of north or the kings of north, the above mentioned words Kosar, Nandar, Moriyar, Tondaiyar and Vadugar are used to denote only particular groups of people who lived in the north of Tamizhagam.

9. Arya and Ariya suffixes and prefixs: Epigraphic, numismatic and literary evidences are abundant to show that the Sathavahanas were ruling in the north of Tamizhagam with their intruding territories extended up to Caddalore. The important point which should be mentioned here is that the `Arya' endings in the names of the donees are found only in the grants coming from the territory immediately south of river Krishna (The Kondamudi, the Mayadavolu, the Hira Hadagalli, the Kanteru Nandivarman I and the Mattapad grants). `Arya' (venerable) as honorific prefix to the names of Buddhist and Jain teachers and saints occurs in inscriptions all over India. Indeed the Tamil epic Manumekhalai mentions Buddha as `Ariyan' (25-6). `Arya' as an honorific title is found in the Hathigumpa inscription of Kharavela13. `Arya' as initial part of personal names occur in Junnar inscription inscription14 (Ayama), and in the Nagarjunakonda inscription15 (Ayakotosiri) and Ayasiri, names of royal ladies. `Aryadeva' is the name of the celebrated disciple16 of Nagarjuna ,who spent a greater part of his life in Andhradesha. But the earliest inscription to exhibit names with Arya-ending is the Kondamudi grant of Jayavarman where all doinees have names ending with `aja', as also found in the same manner in the Mayadavola and Mattapad grants.

9.1. `Aja' is another form of Prakrit `Arya', Sanskrit `Arya' and Tamil `Ayya', `Iyya', `Iyer' and `Ariyar'. `Ariyar' or `Ariya' started as an honorific prefix anmd become a name-ending much the same way as `sri' found in many inscriptions. And we can find the same trend in Tamil literature, as in `Ariya Annal' (Head or chiuef of Ariya Kings), `Ariya Porunan' (Arya wrestler), `Ariya Arasan Bragadattan'17 (Ariya king named Bragadattan) and `Ariya Arasan Yazh Brahmadattan'18 (Ariya king poet Brahmadattan). The word `Ayyar' or `Iyer' is found in many places in ancient Tamil literature including Tolkappiyam19, which is considered as the oldest extant Tamil work. It is used to represent a teacher, brother, priest, saint, andanan (Brahmana), superior, master or king, with veneration.

10. `Ariake': A reference to Periplus' `Ariaca' and Ptolemy's `Ariake' has to be made, as it has direct bearing on the discussion of `Ariyar' of the ancient Tamil literature. About the name `Ariaca' of the Periplus, W. H. Scoff opines: "the word in the text is very uncertain". Lassen thinks that the name Sanskrit `Latica' (pronounced Larica) and included the land on both sides of the gulf of Cambay20. Ptolemy (c.140 CE) calls the first province of Tamil country going down from the north as `Lymyrice or Dymirike'. He and the author of Periplus use it only as the name of the Chera territory. The country north of it was to them `Ariake', belongoing to the Aryas, Taking the other forms `Ariake Sadinon' and `Ariake of the Pirates', they could easily have made out that `Ariake' referred to the country later known as the Maharastra, then ruled over by the Satavahana kings of the Andhra dynasty21. Therefore, it is evident that Ariake or Aricca denotes `Akam' or the country of Ariyar who were ruling or living immediately north of Dymirike or Tamizagam.

11. Himalayas of Ariyar: We have seen how some Tamil kings marched towards the Himalayas to bring stones or to defeat the kings in between the `Himalayas' and `Kumari', and inscribed their royal emblems on it. Already it has been pointed out that the poets considered `Himalayas' as single Tall Mountain. From various expressions like `very famous, ancient and well grown' mountain (Agam.396), `tall mountain with gold' (Agam.398), `a big stone' (Puram.171) and a `tall mountain' (Puram.61), even without naming the mountain, it is evident that the poets coisidered `Imaiyam' or `Imayam' was a single mountain situated north of Tamizhagam. `Imam' means snow, that is why, the Himalayas are called so. But, in the Tamil literature, wherever the name `Imayam' is not mentioned, it is also not mentioned that the `tall, ancient, very famous and stony' mountain with gold is covered with snow. Everybody knows that Himalayas are indeed very famous, ancient and `several series of more or less parallel or converging ranges'. Also the poets have not given the details how the kings climbed up the `Himalayas', cut the required stone, brought it down, etc., except that `he washed it in the waters of Ganges'. Therefore, it is evident that whenever the name `Imayam' is not mentioned, we have to take it as a mountain that was situated in the north of Tamizhagam.

12. Non-Tamil kings of north: The Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela, a king of Kalinga and a contemporary of the third or fifth king of the Satavahana line, is the only epigraphic reference to the kingdoms of the Tamil country after the Asoka inscription. Kharavela ruled Kalinga in the first half of the second century BCE and in the eleventh year of hid reign (c.155 BCE), he is said to have destroyed a confederacy of Tamil states ? Tramiradesa sanghatanam [(T(r)mira, Damira or Tamila] ? which was 113 years old (113+17) at the time and had been a source of danger22. The Satavahanas were ruling, starting with the first king Simukha around 230 BCE, in the north of Tamizhagam with the lineage of Kanha (.207-189 BCE), Sri Satakarni I, Satakarni II (c.166), Hala (c. 20-24 CE), Sri Yajna Satakarni (c.170-199) and others. Before that, the Asokan empire was extending up to Sravanabelagola covering the areas of the Cholas. He died in 232 BCE and his successor Brihadratha was killed by Pushyamitra Sunga in 185 BCE. The Sunga dynasty continued up to 73 BCE. Therefore, during the reign of these kings of north, no Tamil king could have crossed over to Ganges or Himalayas without encountering them. If the Tamil kings would have actually defeated or conquered the kings of north, as mentioned in the Tamil literature, definitely, there would be some cross reference in their description. But, unfortunately no such reference has been pointed out so far. Moreover, a careful study of ancient Tamil literature clearly shows that the geography of Tamizhagam is restricted between Vengadam in the north and Kumari in the south. This has been repeatedly mentioned by the poets and the later commentators. Therefore, if any Tamil king had conquered or defeated any Aryan king or king or north, he might have defeated an Andhra king of his time.

13. `Ariyar' denotes what? From the foregoing discussion about the word `Ariyar' and its forms mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature, it is evident that they would come under the following categories:
`Ariyar' are ?
1. the people who were living immediately north of Tamizhagam or Vengadam.
2. the kings who were ruling immediately north of Tamizhagam or Vengadam.
3. the jugglers, tumblers, rope-dancers or acrobats of Tamizhagam.
4. the Rishis or saints of northern mountain of Tamizhagam or Himalayas.
5. the elephant captors and / or trainers.
6. the groups or kings who waged wars against Tamil kings or chiefs coming from north.
7. ]the honorific title `Ariya' was used to respect certain professionals like wresrtlers, poets or king-cum-poets of Tamizhagam.

14. Were the `Ariyar' foreigners? A reference has already been made about non-Tamil people coming from the north of Tamizhagam, who were specifically mentioned as Kosar, Moriyar, Nandar, Tondaiyar and Vadugar. There have been many specific references to Romans and Greeks collectively called as `yavanar' by the Tamilians. Their habits, dress, behaviour etc., are clearly described and explained to show that they were foreigners. The word `milechar' is specifically found in Mullaippattu; "Within the elegant well-lit inner apartment, adorned with tiger-chains of skilled workmanship, well clad dumb milechas (who make themselves understood by signs) attend the king, who spends night absorbed in thought of (coming) battle23. The mention about the employment of milechas as bodyguards is very significant, because unless the king had so much of confidence about his safety, he would not have appointed the foreigners as his bodyguards. And if the `Ariyar' mentioned were actually milechas or foreigners, they would have been described and treated differently by the Tamil poets. Though the poets repeatedly mention that the boundaries of this land were Himalayas in the north, Kumari in the south, Kuna kadal (eastern ocean), in the east and Kuda kadal (western ocean) in the west and that `Ariyar' were the people or kings of the north of Tamizhagam, nowhere they have been mentioned that they were foreigners and that they came from outside the boundaries enumerated by them. Except in the references about the encounters between them and Tamilian Kings or chiefs, in all other places, they were treated as the people of Tamizhagam. Even in the case of battles among the Tamil kings, chieftains and particularly, Chera, Chola and Pandyas, elaborate details have been given as to how they fought with each other, killed others, destroyed the lands and towns, captured cattle, men and women, collected their booty, seized the crowns and gold (which in turn to be given to the pots) etc. But, surprisingly such details of after-battle exploits and booties are not given in the case of defeat of `Ariyar'. So it is not known why and how they were spared even after their defeat. Many cases of Sati committed by the wives of killed Tamililan kings and chieftains have been specifically mentioned. Even Imayavaramban Nedunjeraladhan fought a war with the contemporary Chola king, in which both the monarchs lost their lives and their queens performed sati. But, surprisingly, there are no mentions of killing of `Ariyar' kings and of performing of sati by their queens. Therefore, really, it is very intriguing as to why and how such benevolent and lenient treatment was given to the defeated, conquered and captured `Ariyan' kings by the Tamil poets and kings. In any case, it is evident that the `Ariyar' were not foreigners.

15. Conclusion: In the study of ancient Tamil literature, with a view to find out the meaning and position of `Ariyar' as mentioned in their context, it has been pointed out that `Ariyar' were the people or kings of north of Tamizhagam and also of Tamizghagam considering the various descriptions of them. Literary evidences of ancient Tamizhagam with other epigraphic, numismatic and literary evidences of contemporary kings of Maurya, Kalinga and Satavahana show that the exploits of Tamil kings were perhaps restricted to the boundaries of the ancient Tamizhagam and the defeat of `Ariya' or northern king or kings refers to the defeat of Andhra king or kings. The word `Ariya' was also used as an honorific title to certain professionals, besides the generic usage to denote the people of the land with the boundaries of Himalayas. As the names Kosar, Nandar, Moriar, Tondaiyar and Vadugar have been used to indicate individual groups of north, and the name `Ariya' is used to denote the people or kings who were living or ruling immediately in the north of Tamizhagam, it is very evident that no racial connotation was given to `ariyar' by the ancient Tamils.

My Views
Seeing the location according to ptolemy and other tamil sources , we can come to the conclusion Ariya is nothing but ancient kannada land that is today karnataka and Maharastra