varna and jati

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat May 22 11:11:42 UTC 1999

Interestingly, Tamil has *no* words for varNa and jAti; Consider this:
while Tamil has exact equivalents for different and difficult concepts
in Sanskrit, 'varNa' and 'jAti' are later borrowings from Sanskrit.
Classical Tamil has no idea of 'varNa' at all; Possibly Pallavans
introduce the idea. Even after the 'varNa' introduction, it was
never given too much weightage.

Among the spoken Indian languages, Tamil literature, in its
2300 year history, has majority of authors coming from
nonbrahmin castes; This I hear is a *major* contrast with other
languages, for example Telugu. Possibly because of this, (eg.,)
Telugu literature will emphasize the varNa scheme more than Tamil.

For the varNa scheming, the student can consult Brian K. Smith,
Classifying the Universe.

N. Ganesan

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