Hinduism and Colonialism

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 18 17:59:00 EDT 2000


>Tamil data do not agree with this. Not only some forms of
>democracy and ballot casting were prevalent (uttaramErUr, etc.,).

Maybe so, but was Athenian democracy in 200 BCE similar to
British or American democracy 22 centuries later? And were
these ballot-casting traditions around when the Cola empire
was expanding overseas?

>Many CT poems are highly egalitarian, and the authors - both
>men and women, were drawn from all castes. Valluvar in his kuRaL
>declares, "in birth, all are equal". Prof. T.P.M. wrote a
>book on CilappatikAram with the title, "kuTimakkaL kAppiyam"

Well, there are people who read socialism and/or communism
into the philosophical stance that everything is the one
Brahman, from the god brahmA to a blade of grass. But was
that the intention of the original texts and authors?

>('kAvya of the people'). Early Tamil bhakti poetry, at the
>fountainhead of a mass cult that swept all across India,
>was egalitarian in intent. It too drew inspiration and poets
>from all the castes. After some centuries, Ramanujar made a
>bold attempt to mitigate the caste effects through democratization.

That again is the stuff of myth, of which there is plenty,
from all over India, and about different people at different
times. To read democratization in the modern sense into these
stories is still revisionistic, wouldn't you say?

Vidyasankar

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