Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu Jan 6 23:29:21 EST 2000
In a message dated 1/6/00 12:05:04 PM Central Standard Time,
abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN writes:
> Indian states were made by Indians
> following the
> post eighteenth century model of European nation states carved largely on
> I would like to ask Indologist to comment if any 19th century Indian
> have said
> that he /she is Tamilian, Maliyali, Bengalii, or Hindi-bhaas.ii? Did bhaas.
> aa make up
> identity as of now ?
I am sorry to disappoint the promoters of the theory that sees the
language-based identity as an European import. We have incontovertible proof
that Tamils called themselves tamizkkuTi/tamizan2 living in the land of tamiz
called tamizakam/tamiznATu at least 1500 years earlier than the 19th century.
Some of these facts have already been presented in Indology. Once more let
me give a few examples.
vaiyaka varaippil tamizakam kETpa (puR. 168.18)
taN tamiz vEli tamiznATTu akam ellAm (par.ti. 9.1)
The above one even defines tamiznATu (Tamil country) as the place bounded by
the language Tamil
The following cilappatikAram lines make abundantly clear the geographical
extent of this country. It defines the Tirupati hills and Cape Comorin as
forming the boundaries of the country where Tamil is spoken.
neTiyOn2 kun2Ramum toTiyOL pauvamum
tamiz varampu aRutta taN pun2al nal nATTu (cil. 8.1-2)
The language-based self-appellation of Tamilians, tamizkkUTikaL, can be seen
in the following line.
tAtin2 an2aiyar taN tamizkkuTikaL (par.ti. 8.5)
The word tamizan2 can be seen in the 7th century tEvAram of appar.
Ariyan2 kaNTAy; tamizan2 kaNTAy; aNNAmalai uRaiyum aNNal kaNTAy; (tEv.
Here tamizan2 (Tamilian) is contrasted from the Ariyan2 (Aryan) long before
Max Muller. Even a cursory reading of cilappatikAram will confirm that this
contrast was even more ancient.
Finally, the vaiSNavite saint pUtattAzvAr called himself tamizan2 (Tamilian)
in the following line.
perum tamizan2 nallEn2 peritu (nAl. 2255.4)
One cannot ask for a better evidence than this.
I wonder why some Indians keep giving credit to Europeans for language-based
identity and nationalism in India in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.
The only way for this Indian view to make sense is if Tamilnadu was not part
of the Indian state. After all, the Tamil country was not part of the Mauryan
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