Dravidian origins

Vanbakkam Vijayaraghavan vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK
Wed Dec 27 12:49:07 UTC 2000

On Tue, 26 Dec 2000 23:25:40 +0000, N. Ganesan <naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM>

>"At an early stage in his missionary career, Caldwell became
>interested in  a toddy-tapping caste known as the Shanars (today
>called Nadars), and in 1849 he published a book entitled The
>Tinnevelly Shanars. It earned him considerable repute, but annoyed the
>English educated Shanars, who disliked his ascribing a non-Aryan
>origin to their group. Some twenty years after the publication of the
>book agitation against it was started. There was great controversy,
>and some riots occured, and the book was withdrawn from  circulation"
>from , Politics and Social Conflict in South India: Eugene Irschilk:
>Politics and Social Conflict in South India
>Note that these rich Nadars asserted their membership in
>the coveted Aryan country club because it was important, but
>never opposed the independence of Tamil and Dravidian languages from
>Sanskrit and IE family.

We cannot expect ordinary people 150 years back to be linguistics and take
positions on purely linguistic questions. The point to note is that it was
a healthy reaction on the part of ordinary Indians to object to those who
came to rule the country with the aim of plundering it (and within whose
ruling classes Rev.Caldwell firmly belonged) and  who thought that
racially, religiously and politically Indians were inferior , and as an
ultimate insult start to define, who the Indians are and what their
identitiies should be.

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