Palaniappa at Palaniappa at
Fri Feb 28 06:36:27 UTC 1997

As for Indians and 'aryans', what Fosse wrote will not apply to Tamils,
especially Tamil nationalists. Even in the oldest literature, aryans are
contrasted with Tamils. The epic Cilappatikaram devotes a significant portion
to describing a military expedition by a king of 'ceera naaTu' (present
Kerala) against aryan kings of the north who insulted Tamil valor. As for
modern times, the founder of the DMK party, 'aNNaaturai' wrote a book called
"aariya maayai" (aryan illusion). 

Interestingly, the current state anthem of Tamilnadu, adopted when DMK first
came to power in 1967, is taken from two verses composed by a Tamil
scholar/poet 'cuntaram piLLai' during the early phase of Dravidian
nationalism. The first part of the anthem compares the world to a female,
with India as the face, Deccan as the forehead, the Dravidian land as the
'tilaka' and Tamil as its fragrance. The anthem has prudently left out a few
lines of the second verse which describes how Tamil, even though it has given
birth to Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, and Tulu, has not ceased to be a living
language as opposed to the aryan language (Sanskrit). However, an average
Malayalee, Telugu, or Kannadiga would still trace the origin of their
language to Sanskrit and not to any proto-Dravidian in spite of the
considerable progress in the field of Dravidian linguistics.  

S. Palaniappan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list