Vicious Debate

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 2 19:32:34 UTC 1998

Dear Lars,

  I would rather say that Dravidian jingoism/chauvinism
  of the early 20th century is a knee-jerk reaction to
  what the West was doing.

  For centuries, Indians were repeatedly told that
  Sanskrit is the Language of the Gods; Brahmanas are the
  Gods walking on earth; Sanskrit is eternal,
  and never changing. Shudras should not learn it
  and kaliyuga has only brahmanas or shudras.
  (cf. pApa yoni shloka in Bhagavad giitha and the bhAshyams).

  In European rush/'race' to disentangle themselves out of
  Semiticism, they transformed suddenly to "Indo"-Europeans.
  The Western universities started the study of Sanskrit,
  and the brahmanas in India  were favored by the British
  in acquiring Western style of modern education. This Western help
  led to Indian masses being told: "German language came out of
  Sanskrit, All music comes from Sama veda, ..." etc.,
  A modern myth: "Sanskrit is ideal to build/run computers".
  George Hart told me: "If it is so, People will soon
  realize that Tamil is even more suited."
  When OCR becomes a reality, it will be first in Tamil.
  Remember that Printing, Typewriters came to Tamil first -
  Compact, shorter set of alphabets and no cluster letters
  in its orthography.

  Seeing that the table is set by the British
  for Indo-Aryanization of the whole of India
  and over 90% of the professions like Doctors,
  Lawyers are going to Brahmanas, and an ancient
  language with 2300 years of literatures will
  become endangered, Dravidian movement got started
  to oppose this imperialism. I agree, it was not
  done in a sophisticated way.

  It is interesting that N. Rajaram, Shrikant
  Talageri are South Indian Brahmanas. It may be
  the same for Indigenous Aryans in Indology also.

  The findings about IVC and by historical linguistics upsets
   the status quo of caste hierarchy in India. So, false theories
  are formulated and propagated with vigor.
  The first thing Indigenous Aryan schoolers do
  is to deny the existence of a whole language family.
  They assert that Dravidian languages cannot be
  grouped as a family!! And, they are quite stubborn
  about it. They retort to polemics on anybody
  who says something is Dravidian. It is interesting
  those polemical about the writings of Dravidian
  scholarship never criticize the blunders
  done by their own school.

  Tamils have a proverb:
    You can always wake up a guy from real sleep;
     but, your efforts will be futile to try it on
     a person  predending to be in deep sleep.

  N. Ganesan

> <<<
> I think the answer to your question is partly to be found in
> internal Indian politics. I have been digging around in the little
> nationalisms  that India produced at the turn of the century and that
>  partly are still there (particularly Dravidianism), and it would
>  seem that Indigenous Aryanism is a knee-jerk reaction to some of the
>  more Aryan-unfriendly ideas that turned up in the South. (I think
> there are other reasons as well of a non-scholarly nature).
> >>>
>   Indigenous Aryan schoolers point to Europeans wanting to
>   come out of their long hold from "Bible, Neareast, Semiticism"
>   etc., William Jones' discovery gave Europe a good avenue to
>   do that. So, Europeans all of a sudden became "Indo-Europeans".
>   It is natural that Anybody likes to dig for their roots.
>   Sanskrit professorships got endowed all over the West.
>   Hitler took the Aryan idea too far!
>   The writeup from Dr. Fosse shows that Dravidian culture
>   plays an important role in  modern India. Others
>   say it did in ancient times as well.
>   To understand India, neglecting ancient
>   literatures from Dravidian side and focussing exclusively on
>   Sanskrit will be lopsided. For example, Sanskrit literary
>   theories and Dravidian literary theories (tolkAppiyam)
>   have not been compared so far. (Dhvany of Anandavardhana
>   is related to uLLuRai plus iRaicci of TolkAppiyam, predating
>   Anandavardhana by several centuries.)
>   To understand India, I am confidant that Dravidian
>   studies in the West will go a long way.
>   Hopefully yours,
>   N. Ganesan

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