Vital Statistics

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 7 06:39:28 UTC 2000

--- Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM> wrote:
> In a message dated 1/6/00 12:05:04 PM Central Standard Time,
> abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN writes:
> > Indian states were made by Indians
> > following the
> >  post eighteenth century  model of European nation states carved largely on
> > language
> >  basis.
> >  I would like to ask Indologist to comment if any 19th century  Indian
> would
> > have said
> >  that he /she is Tamilian, Maliyali, Bengalii, or Hindi-bhaas.ii? Did
> bhaas.
> > aa make up
> >  identity as of now ?
> >
> I am sorry to disappoint the promoters of the theory that sees the
> language-based identity as an European import. We have incontovertible proof
> that Tamils called themselves tamizkkuTi/tamizan2 living in the land of tamiz
> called tamizakam/tamiznATu at least 1500 years earlier than the 19th century.
>  Some of these facts have already been presented in Indology. Once more let
> me give a few examples.

cilappathikAram of the above indicated antiquity from which Palanippan cited
abundant evidence for langauge-based identity has a very interesting passage
that juxtaposes Tamil identity and "Aryan" identity in rival relationship:
In the words of the cabinet member of the Cheral emperor cegkutyuvan2
who, in the imminent departure to the North on a war campaign, recalls the a
battle scene from an earlier engagement with the Aryans:
vaa AriyaroTu vaN tamiz mayakkattu un2
kaTa malai vETTam en2 kaN pulam piriyAtu" (vajcik kANTam)

"In the battle between the northern Aryans and the well-endowed Tamils, [there
took place] your elephant-like marauding of the ememies which still has not
left my field of sight".

Note that from the usage of the word "tamiz" cilapathikAram views the conflict
involving the Cheran empire which was just one of the three kingdoms of the
Tamil land (which regularly fought with each other) as between all Tamils and

Later at the end of the same chapter as the above verse, the Cheran emperor
issues orders to send a document of declaration of war to particular Northern
kings [who had insulted *Tamil's* valor thus instigating this campaign in the
first place] bearing the royal insignias of *all* the three Tamil dynasties not
just that of the Cheran dynasty!

> One cannot ask for a better evidence than this.
ditto here again.

> I wonder why some Indians keep giving credit to Europeans for language-based
> identity and nationalism in India in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.
> The only way for this Indian view to make sense is if Tamilnadu was not part
> of the Indian state. After all, the Tamil country was not part of the Mauryan
> empire either.:-)
> Regards
> S. Palaniappan


Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list