tamil words in English

N. Ganesan GANESANS at CL.UH.EDU
Sat Feb 21 12:29:06 EST 1998


Mr. Vidyasankar Sundaresan  wrote:

>For many Kannada and Telugu speakers, saying that these languages are
>similar to north Indian languages, and that they are allied to Sanskrit,
>serves as a way of setting themselves apart from Tamil and Tamil
>speakers. Since Sanskrit is popularly thought to be older than any other
>language, it also serves as a means of suggesting that Kannada and
>Telugu are somehow older than Tamil.

>No serious linguistic argument this, but a political one. But then, they
>are caught between a rock and a hard place, as the Americans say
>nowadays. Most Tamilians revel in their Dravidian "other"-ness, while
>most Indians north of Belgaum consider themselves fair-skinned Aryans.
>The fact that Tamil politicians have appropriated the word "Dravida"
>means that non-Tamil south Indians want to downplay their own
>associations with things Dravidian, and to align themselves with things
>"Aryan".

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With these powerful socio-political factors at play, academics need to be
wary of attempts from few Kannada/Telugu elites to read sanskrit from Indus
script. It could be like seeing Sanskrit in Hittite, Tamil, and indeed wherever
they want to. I can understand their affection towards Sanskrit, but is their
archaeological studies for real?!

I don't think it is mere coincidence that the theory of negation
of the Aryan-Dravidian divide is most actively written up by
N. S. Rajaram, S. R. (Ranganatha) Rao, Srikanth Talageri,
all natives of Southern Karnataka.

A case of reverse research. Have the conclusion first and work towards
the agenda.

Regards,
N. Ganesan



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