SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

V.C.Vijayaraghavan vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK
Wed Oct 18 17:14:34 UTC 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "RM. Krishnan" <poo at GIASMD01.VSNL.NET.IN>
> >Can you say of this of you or Dr.Ganesan travelling to Gond districts?
> >
> >All this makes dravidian ethnic identity a farce and a joke. But it has
> >be. You are making what a logician calls categorical error. Dravidian is
> >linguistic category cioned in the 19th century, but you are transposing
> >another category viz human communities. This faulty thinking process has
> >stunted the understanding of the people in India. As if to cover up this
> >logical error, there is a high decibel usage of 'dravidian' - Gonds are
> >Dravidian, Dravidian Kings, Dravidian poet Thiruvalluvar, Dravidians were
> >defeated by Aryans  and so on. and so forth.
> Why do you want to deny the Dravidian commonness? What is wrong with that?

There is always something common between two groups of people. I am denying
any facts if you can ring anything forward. If there is a linguistic
connection between two languages which can be called Dravidian I am not
denying that too

> What would you say about Indian identity? Are you not an Indian? If one
> talk about an Indian community because you have few similar customs,
> outlook, institutions, etc. with few others, then why  can not one talk
> about a Dravidian Identity?

Dravidian identity belongs to languages, not people

>   I can think of few customs which are common to Dravidians.
> 1. Wide prevalence of cross-cousin marriages
> 2. Worship of Mother Goddess, especially Kali (=KoRRavai), Iyyanaar like
> deities, etc
> 3. Prevalence of Parisam (instead of dowry) among castes who have not
> adopted Brahminized practices.
> 4. Importance given to maternal uncle rather than father in many family
> rites and rituals.
> 5. Tradition of keeping a few weapons like spear, arivAl, trishul etc as a
> family property handed over through generations and bringing them out for
> showing on few solemn occasions (after polishing them, oiling them and
> garlanding them) to show valor.

It is all very good, but why do you want it Dravidian practice? After all
there are about 500000 different literary and other documents in different
media like palm-leaf, stone, copper-plate in Tamil from 2nd C BC to 17th C
AD. None of them mentioned the word 'dravidian'. Nowhere Tiruvalluvar called
himself dravidian, there are different 'Urais' i.e. commentaries on
Titukkural by different persons like Parimelazhagar. But nobody mentions
Tiruvalluvar as a 'Dravidian'. No Tamil kings or social groups are referred
to as Dravidian in any of the thousands of stone inscriptions. So is the
case with Kannada or Malayalam. There was no proclamation anywhere
mentioning " We dravidians". If this "weness" was missing, then such a
ethnic/tribal identity did not exist.

In contrast, people referred to themselves as " We Periya nattar" or "We
Bhumiputtirar" and different "we"s, but this is important-- no "we

> There are many more of these practices. In the modern times, of course,
> Brahminized practices have intruded so much that identifying older
> Dravidian practices may prove to be difficult. ( For example, with the
> Maharashtra practice of Ganesh Chadhurthi, now being propagated
> the south very much by the Hindutvadhis, I wonder what happens to our own
> ThEr and theppam festivals in different places. After some time somebody
> may say Ganesh Chadhurthi is Pan -Indian and Tamilians do not have any
> religious festival on their own. It has already happened to the Karthikai
> festival in Tamil Nadu. Now Deepavali which is a North Indian variation of
> Karthikai) has become more important than Karthikai proper in Tamil Nadu.
> Karthikai theepam is declining gradually. Why festivals? Even our own
> Dravidian religions of Saivam and VaiNavam have been subsumed/ submerged
> into the so-called Hindu religion/ SanAthana Dharma) .
> Still I am completely at a loss to see your response. Have you not watched
> or at least read about tribal practices even now exhibited, despite the
> onslaught of pan-Indian ones? There are so many common things prevalent in
> the four southern states and also few regions in MP, Orissa, and Bihar
> (where other Dravidian tribes are residing even now.)

You are calling them Dravidian tribes, but they themselves don't use the
word and not even aware of it. In fact even South Indian were not aware that
till Padiri Caldwell introduced the term. Even then there were riots against
the Reverend's theories. That was how the tamils received 'Dravidian
ethnics' theory- with hostility. But then in Colonial-Colonized relationship
such objections were overruled

> >
> >Only when you come to India any error can be committed because it sells.
> >There are vested political interests which benefit by active collusion in
> >Maya
> Who is in Maya?

Those who use a linguistic term to describe different tribes/communities
without even asking their permission are in maya

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