SV: Classical languages of India

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 21 13:20:17 UTC 2000

Prof. B. Gupt noted earlier in this thread:
>Why not just have categories like Atipraachiina, Praachiina and
>Arvachiina bhaashaas for India. If Tamil and Sanskrit are found to
>be present in all categories, what is wrong  ?
>The 'classical' game seems to be one for hegemony and exclusiveness,
>more for politics rather than culture.

There is one significant exception when we compare
the classical traditions of India, Sanskrit and Tamil
in categories of Atipraachiina etc.,: *Theory of Poetics*.
TolkAppiyam, considered the earliest of all Tamil books
is divided into three parts. The last chapter,
called "PoruL" describes a rhetoric of poetry
found not in any other Indian languages including
Sanskrit. TolkAppiyar, the rhetorician is to India
what Aristotle is to Greece.

The PoruL chapter remains with no good or full translation,
and not compared with Ananda/Abhinava and so on.
Dr. Palaniappan has elucidated the Tamil and Prakrit
connexions in

That's why BaaNa in his Harshacaritam tells us movingly
about Hala enduring severe ridicule on account of
his love for Prakrits. Later, Anandavardhana followed
the illustrious predecessor Hala and composed poetry in
Mahashtri Prakrit to elucidate dhvany. Unfortunately,
only few poems from A.'s possibly first book,
vishamabaa.naliilaa, exist.

>The 'classical' game seems to be one for hegemony and exclusiveness,
>more for politics rather than culture. (B. Gupt).

Agreed. Excluding Tamil from Clasical languages of India
with only Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, like what
Dr. Fosse tries to do, will lead to hegemony.

V. Iyer
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