Tamil words in English

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Feb 21 06:47:31 UTC 1998

In a message dated 98-02-20 09:45:49 EST, sns at IX.NETCOM.COM writes:

<< All the original sources refer to only places within the subcontinent
 and there
     never was any argument among pandits about some kind of origin from some
     lands - until the word Arya was bastardized and all kinds of racial
     connotations were ascribed to passages in the Vedas. >>

In Rajaram's book also, I have come across this view that the ethnic
connotation of "Arya" was the creation of Western scholars. This is not
correct. Even the earliest Classical Tamil texts clearly make a distinction
between Aryans and others in an ethnic sense even though they do not show any
negative perception of brahmins who live among them and chant vedas. Both
vaiSNavite AzvArs and zaivite nAyan2mArs were very conscious of the dual
background of their religion. For instance, the zaivite saint appar of 6-7th
century AD refers to ziva of tiruvaNNAmalai as one who is an Arya as well as a
Tamil as shown by the the following line.

"Ariyan2 kaNTAy; tamizan2 kaNTAy; aNNAmalai uRaiyum aNNal kaNTAy" (tEvAram

CilappatikAram has many such references. In this epic when the Cera king goes
on an expedition against the northern Aryas he is assisted by many non-Tamil
kings including Satakarni!

Even dramatic arts were classified into two - AriyakkUttu and tamizkkUttu. The
use of Ariyan2 in the sense of a noble person is found much later than the use
in an ethnic sense.

The different concepts of Arya according to Sanskrit/Prakrit traditions has
been dealt with by M. M. Deshpande in his various works.


S. Palaniappan

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