Vital Statistics

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 9 08:20:35 UTC 2000

In a message dated 1/7/00 10:23:10 PM Central Standard Time,
abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN writes:

>Why Tamil country only,
> Saurashtra,
>  Gauda,Aavanti, Magadha, Pancanada , Gandhaara,  and so many other regions
> and their
> people were given the same name as the language spoken by them.

I think we have to be more precise. Of the names cited above which are
primarily place names and which are primarily language names? In other words,
we should eliminate those cases where the name of people is derived from the
place name. In the case of Tamil, the language name is primary and the place
name and the people's name are derived names.

> But did any
> monarch stop
>  his conquering army after he reached the limits of his native language
> territory?  He
>  may be described, let us say, as a Tamil king, but he was not chosen to
>  tamil-speakers only. In the logic of state making language had no place.

Did the European monarchs stop at the limits of their linguistic regions?
Didn't any European state have people speaking different languages in them?

>  The language identity did not play cardinal role in making marital
> as did
>  gotra, varna and jaati nor were the army battalions marked along
> lines.

Did the European monarchs contract marriages within the linguistic group
"representing" their own state?

>  Soldiers would cook and eat according to varna-jati not as
> or

What is the basis for this statement?  Classical Tamil tradition makes no
such varna/jAti distinctions among the eating and drinking of soldiers.

>  Linguistic state means that everything shall be done in ONE language from
> selling fruits
>to teaching scriptures.

Was there such an European state?

> Historically,
> most Indians
> except the poor and uneducated have never been mono-lingual.

What is the approximate percentage Gupt has in mind when he says  "most"? If
indeed Indians had this extraordinary multi-lingual ability, how come even
after more than a century of English as the official language, English is
understood by only 2.5% according to Gupt? What is the percentage of the
speakers of the Hindi dialects/languages who understand a Dravidian language?

S. Palaniappan

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