VarNa & JAti

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 28 18:53:18 UTC 1999

> Nanda  Chandran  wrote:
> quite justifiably in some areas. But the Namboodaris hold over
> religious
> activities is still strong and even endorsed by the public. And there
> are
> also smArthas living in Kerala in PAlakAd, who also haven't been
> treated
> so
> badly. Go to Pune and you'll know the influence and the respect that
> the
> brahmins wield in MahArAshtra.
> Infact, people from all four categories (Keralite, Telugu, Kannada,
> MarAti)
> that I've met, stoutly deny that their language is derived from
> Tamizh,
> and
> insist that it's Samskrutam which is the mother language. Even if
> they're
> actually wrong,

What "even if"! as if it is not well-established linguistic fact that
at least the first three belong to the Dravidian family?
>it still reflects their respect and affinity towards
> Samskrutam, which could never have been achieved by coersion.
> can be done "covertly" over centuries as has been done
in reality. North India had repeated physical invasions that altered
the cultural lanscape in an overt manner.
But the South, especially Tamil Nadu, was invaded culturally and
its cultural heritage was marauded slowly but steadily.

thEvAram etc. left in the hands of temple priests for preservation were
burnt as Ahuthi in temple yagnas and dropped into fire along with the
ghee it was used to scoop (UVS Iyer very poignantly notes this in his
biography where he had to call in a sympathetic British revenue officer
to save the mansucripts at a temple in South Tamil NAdu) or left to
termites to be converted into earth. thEvAram mansucripts were
destroyed inside the Chidambaram temple by the priests and were saved
by the Chola Emperor Raja Rajan by outwitting the priests who told him
that the three canonized saints had to appear in person to open the
storage room...he brought the golden statuettes of them... What we are
left with
is 20% or so of campan-thar's, 15% of appar's, 2% or so of cun-tharar's
(who alone had composed 38000 quatrains).
thEvAram (along with cangkam era paripATal) are the earliest krithis
(poems set to specific meldoy and annotated as such) available in
Indian history. The irony is that two of these composers were
themselves brahmins.
Destructive copying of Original tamil books on music and drama was
UVS Iyer notes that as recently as decades before him, carnatic music
composiitons in Tamil were being destroyed systematically and laments
why anyone would do so.
The undisputed king of Tamil krithis and complex rhythms arunakiri
nAtar's compositions suffered a similar fate: we have less than 15% of
his compositions.
Even the so-called (thiruvArUr) Trinity of carnatic music (dhikshitar,
satri and iyer) who composed in Telugoid (yep, more Skt than Dravidian
Telugu) and Skt. is really an artificial one. Just before them there
had been the cIkAzi Trinity (mArimuththAp piLLai, thANdavar pillai and
arunAcalak kavirAyar) who composed prolifically in Tamil with
innovations in music...not only were they ignored but their works were
destroyed. But the non-tamil works of the thiruvArUr trinity composed
right in the heart of Tamilakam about the same time frame are available

Having destroyed the native intellectual and cultural foundation, it is
easier to "convince" people of alternatives.
Like the one below a netter asserts that thEvAram lost the popularity
contest because it was in "pure" Tamil and that brahmins while
rightfully preventing others from entering the music field also
provided the same chance to everyone:
Posted By:-[deleted] Posted On: 5/14/99 7:36:41 PM
                            It is a pity that people without research
background and with a broad view make 'blamming' as the
tool to find solutions to problems. Forget the Brahmins. What has
happened to Bhakti songs of Nayanmars?
Because they were in pure Tamil, hence was larnt only by 'OOduvaars',
they are not popular as they should have been
While Brahmin families encourage and help their children
from childhood to learn Carnatic music, most others have their mundane
chores, leavcing music, dance etc., to the sides. In any field, it is a
human nature to preserve once livlihood - music - and prevent others
coming up. Remember, every one has same chance. Let Mr. Siva and
Unnikrishan take an oath to create 1000 super carnatic musicians from
non-brahmins, there by prove their points.

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