SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Thu Oct 12 05:52:41 UTC 2000

V.C.Vijayaraghavan wrote:
> Closer to Taminadu, Tamil Muslims in Srilanka speak the same language
> as the rest of the Tamils, but they are classified as a separate
> ethnic group - on their own request.

 Not all Tamil Muslims would consider themselves separate from mainstream
Tamils. It is only a fringe minority which does so, most are aware that
Muslims form only a small minority of the population of Tamilnadu and that
making such claims does not benefit them at all. Incidentally, virtually
all Tamil-speaking Muslims are converts from Tamil Shaivism. Many Tamil
Muslims took active part in the old Dravidian ideology - there was never
any emnity between these groups.

 The claim for a separate Tamil Muslim ethnicity has however gained ground
with the spread of BJP to the South and the decline of Dravidiansim.
Communalists on both sides feed on one another, and, in recent years, the
call for a separate `Tamil Muslim' identity has gained ground at the
expense of the previous `non-Brahmin' identity. This has occurred in part
because many Tamils now refer to themselves as `Hindus', forcing the
Muslims to declare themselves as separate. This is a recent phenomenon,
and its effects are not yet clear. Should Dravidianism stage a comeback,
this would be a short-term trend.

On Wed, 11 Oct 2000, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
> There is no ethnic Catholicism in America,
> and religion is not an ethnic marker in the US. Or is it?

 To the best of my knowledge, the only American Catholic President was JF
Kennedy. The WASP - White Anglo-Saxon Protestants - do generally consider
themselves as ethnically separate from the Catholics who are mostly
Latinos, French and Italians.


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list