Vital Statistics

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 9 03:07:54 EST 2000

In a message dated 1/7/00 10:23:10 PM Central Standard Time,
abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN writes:

>  The issue discussed is the nation state based on language as a creation of
>  post-Renaissance Europe imported into India and the identity of the
> of such a
>  state . The issue is not languages and their territories in India and
> whether people
>  were named denominated after the language they spoke.

But, here is what Gupt asked earlier.

 "I would like to ask Indologist to comment if any 19th century  Indian would
 have said that he /she is Tamilian, Maliyali, Bengalii, or Hindi-bhaas.ii?
Did bhaas.aa make up identity as of now ?"

There is no mention of a nation-state here.

>  In all humility I must assert that description of languages spread over
> territories  in
>  ancient or medieval Indian sources do not make a case for carving, making
> and unmaking a
>  state, sovereign or subsidiary, on linguistic basis.

In all humility, I would rather agree with the basic tenet, "One hardly knows
what any division of the human race should be free to do, if not to
determine, with which of the various collective bodies of human beings they
choose to associate themselves." Their rationale for such association may be
explained as follows.  "A portion of mankind may be said to constitute a
Nationality, if they are united among themselves by common sympathies, which
do not exist between them and any others--which make them to cooperate with
each other more willingly than with other people, desire to be under the same
government, and desire that it should be government by themselves or a
portion of themselves, exclusively. This feeling of nationality may have been
generated by various causes. Sometimes it is the effect of identity of race
and descent. Community of language, and community of religion, greatly
contribute to it. Geographical limits are one of its causes. But the
strongest of all is identity of political antecedents; the possession of a
national history, and consequent community of recollections; collective pride
and humiliation, pleasure and regret, connected with the same incidents in
the past. None of these circumstances however are either indispensable, or
necessarily sufficient by themselves."

S. Palaniappan

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