[SEQUEL TO: http://sudarshanvaradhan.blogspot.com/2011/03/india-misinterpretations-and-mayhem.html ]
Tamil Nadu’s history remains a mystery till date, especially when compared to the extensive coverage that the rest of the country has received on the global plane. This can be largely attributed to the absence of the kind of activity that warrants attention (though Tamil Nadu has had its share of drama throughout). Tamil Nadu has always been away from the global glare due to its capacity to save itself the blushes by somehow sinking under the shell at the right time, be it the period of Mughal siege or the imperialist conquests by foreigners. The relatively conservative attitude of the land’s inhabitants continues to be one of the main reasons behind much of Tamil Nadu’s glorious history being under the wraps. I use the term “relatively” because Tamil history is definitely not devoid of instances highlighting intellectual exchange. Harmonious relations with Ceylon, references to Vedic deities in Sangam literature, Buddhist and Jain leanings in its rich heritage speak volumes about Tamil Nadu’s gregarious attitude. The footmarks left by aliens are far too obvious in Tamil literature and music.
Numerous factors like the aforementioned ones have contributed to Tamil Nadu’s downplayed image in the historical scene. Unfortunately for the people of Tamil Nadu, hearts that wished to take captive of a land plagued by a situation of political stalemate and monotony struck gold by fabricating an action plan, which was essentially an extension of the divide and rule policy employed by the British. The purely unfortunate negligence of Tamil history was dubbed as a devious outcome of northern, more appropriately, Aryan autocracy. Thus emerged loud separatist cries which pressed for a separate “Dravidian” Nadu; a demand that placed the illusionary concept of “race” right at the centre of the proceedings. And look at what we have today: two dominant “Dravidian” parties sweating it out and doing whatever it takes to ascend the throne. The Aryan-Dravidian question was killing me. I set out on mission “vetticism” again. As usual, textbooks and exams took a backseat.
So I glanced through history books with a TR style question in mind: “Yaaruya intha Arya?”! As I brushed through the pages of history, I came across finitely many references to the term Arya in the Rig Veda. But all citations to the word Arya as a racist term or as a term referring to a linguistic group elsewhere pointed fingers at one man: Frederich Max Muller!
The term Arya means “the noble one” and the credit for transforming a normal Sanskrit term into a term that’s defining today’s Indian politics goes to Mr Muller. The reason is simple: Muller, a Nazi revolutionary and a devout Christian other than being a talented scholar with specialisation in manipulation needed solid evidence to shrug off the rug of Jewish influences and initiations that was plaguing their religion.
Religious fanaticism can do funny things to the human mind. In Muller’s case, it inspired him to design a miracle theory which had an affair with expert marketing propelled by enviable funding by the East India Company. German nationalist-British funding: doesn’t seem right? The fuel was religion of-course. Religion unites the extremes!
To Muller’s credit, the theory he formulated seemed extremely believable, so much so that the absence of scientific and archaeological evidence has been bewilderingly ignored; so much so that it forms an unflinching part of the Indian high school history. He proposed that the Aryans were a central Asian Sanskrit speaking barbaric race that descended on India in second century B.C. They drove the aboriginal Dravidians to the southern parts of India and exhibited cunning traits of autocracy to take over India.
They composed the Vedas over a two hundred year period and forcibly enforced it upon the natives. The Aryans who migrated from central Asia were light skinned Europeans and hence the light skinned people who were ruling India before the British were Indo-Europeans who were restricting the growth of civilization. Hence the British introduced the theory of “white man’s burden” which professed that it was the white man’s duty to the civilize the uncivilized! The Aryan theory gave the Nazis an opportunity to discard the theory of Jewish origins.
The absence of solid evidence in this regard has lead to misguidances and misinterpretations being passed off as reality and fiction being marketed as fact. But recently I stumbled upon certain rational “theories” (the stress on the word theory to make it clear that they’re inferences and extrapolations still, only more rationalist and sceptical unlike Muller’s) that claimed to be synonymous with the humbling of the mighty Goliath by the puny David. The Rig Veda describes the flourish of civilization on the banks of a river in full flow, the lost river, Sarasvati. But, by the 2nd century BCE, the Sarasvati was extinct! Hence the Vedas must have been composed much earlier and references in the Yajur and Atharva Veda date back to 6500 B.C. Therefore we can safely infer that the Vedas were composed over a longer period of time and the Aryan “race” never existed. There was never an invasion! We’re Indians: either all of us are Aryans or all of us are Dravidians. Let the separatists decide the convenient word!
Aurobindo also analysed the linguistics and etymology of Tamil and Sanskrit and discovered a striking similarity! The frequent references to Vedic terminologies and Buddhist ideologies in Tamil literature underline our long-lasting association. Indian mythology, laden with abstractions and symbolisms speak of an occasion where Shiva plays the cosmic drum. Tamil phonetics emerges from one end and Sanskrit sounds emanate from the other, signifying the common origin of both the languages.
My astonishment levels reached dizzy heights when I later learnt that Max Muller has never visited India! He is also said to have written a letter to his wife swearing to destroy the basis of Indian civilization: the ancient Indian text by controversial translation full of questionable interpretations; similar lines were uttered by the East India company heavyweight Thomas Macaulay!
So when the whole existence of the Dravidian race is questionable, where is the question of garnering votes on a Dravidian ideology? By swearing to protect the rights of the Dravidians, who are they referring to? The blatant practice of reductionism and separatism is evident! The Dravidian activists are not alone. Their hindutva counterparts, for their part, “created” a manuscript to establish the farce that Harappans were Vedic Aryans! The whole exercise of establishing a race as superior to another seems pointless to me! I wonder if anyone shares my feelings. The biggest joke though seems to be the fact that the ADMK, a leading “Dravidian” party is being spearheaded by an Aryan: an Aryan in Muller’s terms that is!
[References and further reading: Michel Danino’s “The invasion that never was”, “The lost river”;
David Frawley’s works]
I would also like to warn interested readers of the Vedic and “Hindu” pride that occasionally puts its head up in Michel Danino’s works. Nevertheless, his works are festooned with stunning detail and rationalism. The credibility of his works are beyond question, as it’s evident that they’re well researched pieces unlike Muller’s!
This article is a sequel to: http://sudarshanvaradhan.blogspot.com/2011/03/india-misinterpretations-and-mayhem.html