Democracy in old India

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 24 14:17:30 UTC 2000

Mr. Nanda Chandran's email:

 >>S Palaniappan writes :
 >>Literacy is not merely the acquisition of reading and writing
 >>skills. To be meaningful and creative, literacy has to be based
 >>on one's own mother tongue.
 >>Tamil remained the language of administration, of learning and
 >>instruction, and of public discourse throughout the Tamil
 >>country...That is, while the Brahmi script was borrowed, the
 >>Prakrit language was not allowed to be imposed

NC>Am I mistaken in believing that the Pallavas at one point in time,
NC>had Sanskrit as their court language? Am I mistaken in that many
NC>of the bhakti saints themselves were familiar with Sanskrit?

  Pl. note these are the words of Iravatham Mahadevan, a reputed
  scholar on early Tamil and Indian epigraphy. The reference given is
  Studies in History, 11,  2,   n.s., 1995, p.182-5,  published from
  N. Delhi.

  What you are talking is about the post-sangam era. Pallavan rule
  marks the definite break with the Classical Tamil sangam period,
  and the nascent feudal society with land-owning castes being formed.

  Iravatham and Palaniappan discuss an earlier period, and point out
  the democracy and 'kuTavOlai'  voting prevalent in the CT era which
  was followed by the Cholan  inscription at uttaramErUr dated
  1020 CE.

  N. Ganesan

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