Book Review: An Update on AIT (Part 1)

Prasad Velusamy prasad_velusamy at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 30 22:12:39 UTC 1999

>Caldwell's Grammar - most-cited English-language narrative in Tamil
>devotional discourse - belonged to this arsenal and authorized
>many of the founding assumptions of Tamil devotion. It popularized the key
>term "Dravidian" (based on the Sanskrit word drAviDa,
>itself a transmutation of tamiz) as the umbrella category for Tamil
>and the other languages of South India whose origins and structure, as
>demonstrated using the "scientific" principles of comparative
>philology, were quite different from Sanskrit and its "Indo-European
>family of tongues" of the North.>> (p.13-14).

  For scholars knowing no Tamil, Sumathi's work will
appear great. Having been brought up in Delhi and going to
English-mediam school, her knowledge of Tamil tradition, ethos
ans passions is rather poor.

  Did Caldwell teach Tamils about the uniqueness of Tamil
and their place in Indian history? Is he the guy who taught
Tamils the Tamil's relationship to (say) Telugu or Malayalam?
She ought to know better: It begins with TolkAppiyar.

N. Ganesan

Get Your Private, Free Email at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list