Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Dravidian peoples also Dravidians refers to the peoples that natively speak languages belonging to the Dravidian language family. Populations of speakers are found mostly in southern India. Other Dravidian peoples are found in parts of central India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. It is widely believed by scholars, that the Dravidian peoples were the originators of the Indus Valley Civilization. Recent genetic studies revealed, that these people were indeed of Indian subcontinent origin. Dravidians with the most speakers include Telugus, Tamils, Kannadigas and Malayalis. Populations with lesser speakers include Gonds and Tuluvas.

The English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāvida in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa (Zvelebil 1990:xx). Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" from the Sanskrit drāvida, which was used in a 7th century text to refer to the Tamil language of the south of India.

The word Dravida may also have its origin from Sanskrit 'Drava' - meaning water or sea. The word Dravidian may have been used to identify people living in India close to the sea. Since southern parts of India is surrounded by sea on three sides, the word may been used predominantly to identify the inhabitants of these areas.

The Dravidians were preceded in the subcontinent by an Austro-Asiatic people, and followed by Indo-European-speaking migrants sometime later. The original inhabitants may be identified with the speakers of the Munda languages, which are unrelated to either Indo-Aryan or Dravidian languages. However, the Munda languages, as a subgroup of the larger Austro-Asiatic language family, are presumed to have arrived in the Indian subcontinent from the east, possibly from the area that is now southwestern China, so any genetic similarity between the present-day speakers of the Munda languages and the "original inhabitants" of India is likely to be due to assimilation of the natives by Southeast Asian immigrants speaking a proto-Munda language

List of Dravidian people

  • Brahui people: People belonging to the north-Dravidian subgroup, mostly found in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. They now culturally and ethnically largely resemble the Balochi people around them, with whom they have mixed with substantially. Gond people: A prominent group of Dravidian-speaking tribal people inhabiting the central region of India.
  •     Kannadiga: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Mostly found in Karnataka and parts of northern Kerala.

  •       Khonds: Tribal people who speak the Dravidian Kui language. Mostly found in the eastern Indian  states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
  •        Kodava: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Mostly found in the Kodagu (Coorg) region of Karnataka.

  •         Kurukh: People belonging to the north-Dravidian subgroup. Found in India and Bangladesh. It is the only Dravidian language indigenous in Bangladesh

  •       Malayali: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup found primarily in Kerala.

  •         Tamil: These people belong to south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup. Mostly found in Tamil  Nadu,   Singapore, Andaman and Nicobar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and parts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and South Africa.

  •          Telugu: These people belong to south-Dravidian subgroup (formerly classified with the Central Dravidian but now more specifically in the South Dravidian II or South Central Dravidian inner branch of the South Dravidian (Krishnamurti 2003:p19)). Mostly found in Andhra Pradesh also in Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

  •         Tuluva: People belonging to the south Dravidian subgroup, found in coastal Karnataka and northern Kerala, alternatively named Tulu Nadu.




Kumari Kandam

         Kumari Kandam

Kumari Kandam (குமரிக்கண்டம் Kumarikkaṇṭam) is the name of an alleged sunken landmass referred to in medieval Tamil literature. It is said to have been located in the Indian Ocean, to the south of present-day Kanyakumari district at the southern tip of India.

        References in Tamil literature

There are scattered references in Sangam literature, such as Kalittokai 104, to how the sea took the land of the Pandiyan kings, upon which they conquered new lands to replace those they had lost.[1] There are also references to the rivers Pahruli and Kumari, that are said to have flowed in a now-submerged land.[2] The Silappadhikaram, a 5th century epic, states that the "cruel sea" took the Pandiyan land that lay between the rivers Pahruli and the many-mountained banks of the Kumari, to replace which the Pandiyan king conquered lands belonging to the Chola and Chera kings (Maturaikkandam, verses 17-22). Adiyarkkunallar, a 12th century commentator on the epic, explains this reference by saying that there was once a land to the south of the present-day Kanyakumari, which stretched for 700 kavatams from the Pahruli river in the north to the Kumari river in the south.

This land was divided into 49 nadu, or territories, which he names as seven coconut territories (elutenga natu), seven Madurai territories (elumaturai natu), seven old sandy territories (elumunpalai natu), seven new sandy territories (elupinpalai natu), seven mountain territories (elukunra natu), seven eastern coastal territories (elukunakarai natu) and seven dwarf-palm territories (elukurumpanai natu). All these lands, he says, together with the many-mountained land that began with KumariKollam, with forests and habitations, were submerged by the sea.[2]. Two of these Nadus or territories were supposedly parts of present-day Kollam and Kanyakumari districts.

None of these texts name the land "Kumari Kandam" or "Kumarinadu", as is common today. The only similar pre-modern reference is to a "Kumari Kandam" (written குமரிகண்டம், rather than குமரிக்கண்டம் as the land is called in modern Tamil), which is named in the medieval Tamil text "Kantapuranam" either as being one of the nine continents,[3], or one of the nine divisions of India and the only region not to be inhabited by barbarians.[4] 19th and 20th Tamil revivalist movements, however, came to apply the name to the territories described in Adiyarkkunallar's commentary to the Silappadhikaram.[5] They also associated this territory with the references in the Tamil Sangams, and said that the fabled cities of southern Madurai and Kapatapuram where the first two Sangams were said to be held were located on Kumari Kandam.

                                               In Tamil national mysticism

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tamil nationalists came to identify Kumari Kandam with Lemuria, a hypothetical "lost continent" posited in the 19th century to account for discontinuities in biogeography. In these accounts, Kumari Kandam became the "cradle of civilization", the origin of human languages in general and the Tamil language in particular. These ideas gained notability in Tamil academic literature over the first decades of the 20th century, and were popularized by the Tanittamil Iyakkam, notably by self-taught Dravidologist Devaneya Pavanar, who held that all languages on earth were merely corrupted Tamil dialects.

R. Mathivanan, then Chief Editor of the Tamil Etymological Dictionary Project of the Government of Tamil Nadu, in 1991 claimed to have deciphered the still undeciphered Indus script as Tamil, following the methodology recommended by his teacher Devaneya Pavanar, presenting the following timeline (cited after Mahadevan 2002):

ca. 200,000 to 50,000 BC: evolution of "the Tamilian or Homo Dravida",

ca. 200,000 to 100,000 BC: beginnings of the Tamil language

50,000 BC: Kumari Kandam civilisation

20,000 BC: A lost Tamil culture of the Easter Island which had an advanced civilisation

16,000 BC: Lemuria submerged

6087 BC: Second Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king

3031 BC: A Chera prince in his wanderings in the Solomon Island saw wild sugarcane and started cultivation in Kumari Kandam.

1780 BC: The Third Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king

7th century BC: Tolkappiyam (the earliest known extant Tamil grammar)

Mathivanan uses "Aryan Invasion" rhetoric to account for the fall of this civilization:

"After imbibing the mania of the Aryan culture of destroying the enemy and their habitats, the Dravidians developed a new avenging and destructive war approach. This induced them to ruin the forts and cities of their own brethren out of enmity".

Mathivanan claims his interpretation of history is validated by the discovery of the "Jaffna seal", a seal bearing a Tamil-Brahmi inscription assigned by its excavators to the 3rd century BC (but claimed by Mathivanan to date to 1600 BC).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Words of Tamil origin borrowed directly from Tamil

The following words were directly borrowed from Tamil:


from Tamil appam (Source: OED)


The primary meaning of the word cash, paper money, or money in general, comes from Latin capsa, chest. A secondary meaning of cash, referring to any of various coins used in southern India and China, comes ultimately from Tamil காசு kācu (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from Tamil கட்டுமரம் kaṭṭumaram("kattu"=tied up, "maram"=wood) (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from French cheroute, from Tamil சுருட்டு curuṭṭu, roll or rolled (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from a Tamil word for 'ruby', குருந்தம் kuruntam or குருவிந்தம் kuruvintam (Source: OED)


from the Tamil word kayaru for rope or thread or to be twisted. (Source: The American Heritage Dictionary)


from Tamil கறி kaṟi, sauce (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from கிடங்கு kidangu/kodangu a Tamil word for store room (Source: OED)


from Tamil iluppai (Source: OED)


from Tamil kabadi (Source: OED)


from Tamil malaidhivu("maalai"=garland, "theevu"=island), (Source: OED)


from முருங்கை murungai , a Tamil word for drumstick (Source: OED, AHD)


from Tamil மிளகுத்தண்ணீர் miḷaku-taṇṇīr from miḷaku black pepper taṇṇīr, water (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from Tamil nagasvaram (Source: OED)


from Tamil பறையர் paṟaiyar , plural of பறையன் paṟaiyaṉ (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)


from Tamil pandal (Source: OED)


from Tamil pongal

poonga oil

from Tamil punku, oil from pungam tree (Source: OED)


from அப்பளம் appalam a Tamil word for a crispy side dish (Source: OED)

portia tree

from Tamil puvaracu (Source: OED)


from Tamil sambar (Source: OED)


from Tamil sancam, (Source: OED)


from Tamil Tamizh


from Tamil tuttunagam (Source: OED)


from Tamil vettiver; a tropical Indian grass; Botanical name: Vetiveria zizanioides; its aromatic roots are used for weaving screens and baskets and the oil in perfumery (source: AHD)


from Tamil Anaikattu


from Tamil thoppu A grove or group of trees


sauce made by blending the ingredients (Source: Webster's Dictionary)
reference taken from : http://wapedia.mobi/

Tamil – A classical, Dravidian language

  • India is a multi-facet country, with varied traditions and cultures and Indians speak in different languages. Besides the Indo-Aryan group of languages spoken across the country, except the southern part, we have another relatively large group of Dravidian languages spoken only in the south. Origin of Tamil, unlike that of other Indian languages is unclear. But Tamil has been free from influence of Sanskrit, mother of most north Indian languages. Tamil is one major representative of the classical Dravidian language, with nearly 2 millennia old history and background and its literature is the oldest amongst that of all Dravidian languages. It is one of the several languages that form the Tamil-Kannada group, which itself forms a part of greater Tamil-Malayalam group (there are 22 Tamil dialects, heavily influenced by Malayalam) – all forming the Dravidian group of languages. Tamil is spoken maximum in countries like India and Sri Lanka, the cradle for Tamil language. Fewer (minority) Tamils are found in South Asia – Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius, besides also in Dubai, and South Africa, and by even groups migrated and settled abroad. Tamil, Malayalam (official language of Kerala), Kannada (official language of Karnataka) and Telugu (official language of Andhra Pradesh) that constitute the Dravidian group of languages – all form the part of the list of 23 official languages of India. Tamil also is the official language of Tamil Nadu state and of union territories of Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar too. Tamil also happens to be one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and Singapore. Tamil language, by any parameter does not qualify as one of the most spoken languages of the world. As per the last census count (2005), there must be over 80 million Tamils across the globe today. This places it at the same level as Telugu or Marathi – around 15th most spoken language. Keeping these facts in mind, it deserves its due attention – both from point of view of translation as well as literature. Contemporary Tamil language and literature have inherited greatly from its two millennia old ancient history and it has retained great number of words from its classical form. Parts of old classical works are taught at primary level, which reflects the extent of its influence over the contemporary form. Tamil displays a unique property, by which its classical or written or centamil and spoken (in more than 22 different) colloquial or koduntamil forms exist at the same time differently. Whereas, the former has helped to retain written language uniform across times and geography, the latter represents different dialects spoken in different regions and by different communities. The written form is more standardized and has specific grammatical rules, while the spoken form depends on the area or region where used. All literature and text books use centamil, while cinema uses commonly spoken dialects, or koduntamil. However, the vocabulary across dialects has remained unchanged. Tamil characters are based on phonetic properties of the uttered sound. The present Tamil script has undergone a sea change over time. Its original form was adopted from the Brahmi script form of Ashoka times, but later modified to create Tamil-Brahmi and once again modified to get Grantha script for writing both Sanskrit and Tamil texts. Subsequent changes to present times have been adaptations to make it more suitable, first for engraving on stone and later (as now) for printing


Tamil is the oldest language in India, you people can not compare with Sanskrit(Compare to Tamil Sanskrit is young and even not living anymore, its died)

I agree with Sumerian is the world oldest(before get the evidence of other language).....

Indus script is not Indo-Aryan Script Which is Dravidian family Script, Evidence bellowed,

3,500 Year Old Indus Script Found in Tamil Nadu

Hindu 1 May 2006

Neolithic polished stone celt (hand-held axe) with the Indus valley script found at Sembian-Kandiyur village, near Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu

A Neolithic stone celt with the Indus Valley script has been discovered by a school teacher, V. Shanmuganathan, in a village called Sembian-Kandiyur near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. The celt, a polished hand-held stone axe, has four Indus Valley signs on it. The artefact with the script can be as old as 1500 B.C., that is, 3,500 years old. The four signs were identified by epigraphists of the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology, according to its Special Commissioner, T. S. Sridhar.

Iravatham Mahadevan, one of the world's foremost experts on the Indus script, called the find "the greatest archaeological discovery of a century in Tamil Nadu." The discovery proved that the Indus script had reached Tamil Nadu. He estimated the date of the artefact with the script to be around 1500 B.C. "I have cautiously and conservatively put it between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.," Mr. Mahadevan said. It was in the classical Indus script. He ruled out the possibility of the celt coming from North India because "the material of this stone is clearly of peninsular origin."

Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, where hundreds of seals with the Indus script were discovered, are in present-day Pakistan. Neolithic means New Stone Age and it is datable in India between 2000 B.C. and 1000 B.C.

According to Mr. Mahadevan, the first sign on the celt depicted a skeletal body with ribs. The figure is seated on his haunches, body bent and contracted, with lower limbs folded and knees drawn up. The second sign showed a jar. Hundreds of this pair have been found on seals and sealings at Harappa. Mr Mahadevan read the first sign as "muruku" and the second sign as "an." In other words, it is "Murukan." The earliest references in Old Tamil poetry portrayed him as a "wrathful killer," indicating his prowess as a war god and hunter. The third sign looked like a trident and the fourth like a crescent with a loop in the middle.

Mr. Mahadevan commented that the latest discovery was very strong evidence that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Indus Valley people "shared the same language, which can only be Dravidian and not Indo-Aryan." He added that before this discovery, the southernmost occurrence of the Indus script was at Daimabad, Maharashtra on the Pravara River in the Godavari Valley

Significance of Mayiladuthurai find

(Courtesy Hindu )

Links between Harappa and Neolithic Tamil Nadu

The discovery of a Neolithic stone celt, a hand-held axe, with the Indus script on it at Sembian-Kandiyur in Tamil Nadu is, according to Iravatham Mahadevan, "a major discovery because for the first time a text in the Indus script has been found in the State on a datable artefact, which is a polished neolithic celt." He added: "This confirms that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu shared the same language family of the Harappan group, which can only be Dravidian. The discovery provides the first evidence that the Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Dravidian language." Mr. Mahadevan, an eminent expert on the subject, estimated the date of the artefact with the Indus script between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.

It was in February 2006, when V. Shanmuganathan, a school teacher living in Sembian-Kandiyur, near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, dug a pit in the backyard of his house to plant banana and coconut saplings, that he encountered two stone celts. The teacher, who is interested in archaeology, rang up his friend G. Muthusamy, Curator of the Danish Fort Museum at Tranquebar, which belongs to the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology. Mr. Muthusamy, who also belongs to the same village, took charge of the two celts from his friend and handed them over to T.S. Sridhar, Special Commissioner, State Department of Archaeology.

When Mr. Sridhar examined one of the two stones, he found some engravings on it. So he asked the epigraphists of his Department to study the particular celt. To their absolute delight, they found fours signs on it - and all four of them corresponded with the characters in the Indus script. When the celt with the Indus script was shown to Mr. Mahadevan, he confirmed that they were in the Indus script. The celt with the script measures 6.5 cm by 2.5 cm by 3.6 cm by 4 cm. It weighs 125 grams. The other celt has no engravings on it.

Mr. Mahadevan, one of the world's foremost scholars on the Indus and the Tamil-Brahmi scripts, is the author of the seminal work, The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables. It was published by the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi in 1977.

First Indus sign

The first Indus sign on the celt showed a skeletal body with ribs, seated on his haunches, body bent, lower limbs folded and knees drawn up. The second sign shows a jar with a handle. The first sign stood for "muruku" and the second for "an." Together, they read as "Murukan." They formed a very frequent combination on the Indus seals and sealings, especially from Harappa. The first "muruku" sign corresponded with the sign number 48, the second with the number 342, the third, which looks like a trident, corresponded with the sign number 367, and the fourth with 301.

These numbers are found in the sign list published by Mr. Mahadevan.

He said: "`Muruku' and 'an' are shown hundreds of times in the Indus script found at Harappa. This is the importance of the find at Sembiyan-Kandiyur. Not only do the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Harappans share the same script but the same language." In Tamil Nadu, the muruku symbol was first identified from a pottery graffiti at Sanur, near Tindivanam. B.B. Lal, former Director-General of ASI, correctly identified this symbol with sign 47 of the Indus script. In recent years, the muruku symbol turned up among the pottery graffiti found at Mangudi, near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, and at Muciri, Kerala. But this was the first time that a complete, classical Indus script had been found on a polished Neolithic stone celt, Mr. Mahadevan pointed out. He emphasised that the importance of the discovery was independent of the tentative decipherment of the two signs proposed by him.

Towards a scientific study of the Indus Script

Iravatham Mahadevan

4 February 2007, Hindu

(This article by one of the world's leading scholars on the Indus Valley Script is based on his address at the inaugural function of the Indus Research Centre at the Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai, on January 25, 2007. Rani Siromoney has gifted her late husband Gift Siromoney's research material on the Indus Script to the centre; and the author said he was "only following her noble example" in gifting his own research materials on the subject to the IRC.)

Future research should deal both with structural analysis of the Indus texts aided by the computer and also with archaeological and linguistic evidence to find answers to the riddle of the Indus Script.

I HAVE been a researcher in this field for the last four decades. After completing the first phase of my studies of the Tamil-Brahmi script in 1968, I turned my attention towards the Indus Script, having been attracted by the pioneering work of the Russian scholars led by Yuri V. Knorozov and the Finnish scholars led by Asko Parpola. What I found especially appealing in their brilliant work is that, unlike all previous attempts to decipher the Indus Script, the computer was employed to carry out sophisticated cryptanalytical procedures on a scientific basis. I felt that similar work should be undertaken in India also.

In 1970, I was awarded a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship for this project. In 1970-71, a photographic card catalogue of the Harappan inscribed objects was assembled. The Indus texts and their background data were coded in a numerical format suitable for computer analysis. An experimental concordance was prepared in collaboration with K. Visvanathan with the help of an IBM 1620 computer at the Fundamental Engineering Research Establishment in the College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. Publication of this paper brought me an offer of collaboration from leading computer scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. Mythili Rangarao designed the computer programmes. Professor R. Narasimhan, the doyen of computer scientists in India, guided our work at TIFR.

Interdisciplinary collaboration

This interdisciplinary collaboration resulted in the publication in 1977 of my book, The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables, published by the Archaeological Survey of India. As the title indicates, the book provides the basic source material in an organised manner for further research, but does not put forward any particular theory of linguistic decipherment. In retrospect, this has turned out to be a very salutary precaution, as the Concordance is now used world over by all researchers, whatever be their own views on the language of the Indus Script.

In 1977, a computerised Input Data File was compiled at TIFR; it was updated in 1980. This is the master file from which the pictorial version of the Indus Texts and the Concordance (published in my 1977 book) were created through brilliant and innovative computer programmes at TIFR. To appreciate this achievement, one must remember that the computers of the early 1970s were much less powerful than computers of today. We had to use punched cards to put in the data and also to obtain the output. There were no monitors for visual check. The pictorial version of the Indus texts has been widely acclaimed as aesthetically appealing and close to the originals, providing research scholars without access to the originals with reliable texts to pursue their own lines of research.

Professor Gift Siromoney and his colleague, Professor Abdul Huq, carried out further work on the Indus Script with the help of the computer in the 1980s at the Madras Christian College. Their collaboration resulted in the publication of a series of brilliant research papers (and a doctoral thesis by Abdul Huq), which explored the structural properties of the Indus texts like frequent combinations of signs, segmentation of texts into words, and phrases, etc. What is especially noteworthy about their work is its scientific character without any pre-supposition on the linguistic affinities of the Harappan people and the Indus Script.

Use of computers

The potentialities of the computerised Input Data File have not been exhausted by my 1977 book or even by the further researches by Professor Siromoney and his colleagues. For one thing, much of the data compiled in the file, including details on the locus and stratigraphy of inscribed objects, are yet to be published and remain open to further research. For another, new data are becoming available both from the earlier sites like Mohenjodaro and Harappa and from newer sites like Dholavira. Stratigraphic data from sites like Lothal and Kalibangan are still unpublished.

The format of the Input Data File now stored at the Indus Research Centre (IRC) will permit all such additions, enlarging the corpus of texts and their background data for further research. I have faith that the availability of this material in an accessible computerised form will attract younger scholars from university departments of mathematics, statistics, and linguistics. They can join together in inter-disciplinary research teams to explore further the structure of the Indus Script and ultimately its linguistic character. Fortunately, the Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL) is well equipped with the latest computer facilities and well staffed with experts to lend strong support to the research activities of the IRC.

The IRC proposes to conduct regular workshops and colloquia on different aspects of the Indus Civilisation, including especially the Indus Script. The centre will also arrange occasional seminars inviting scholars in India and visiting scholars from abroad to present their research findings. In due course, I hope it will publish regular bulletins on the work done at the centre or by contributing scholars elsewhere. May I take this opportunity to appeal to scholars and research institutions engaged in similar work to let us have copies of their books, monographs, research papers, and other publications to enable the IRC to build up an exhaustive library on all aspects of the Harappan civilisation and the Indus Script?

No ideological bias

I should like to lay particular emphasis on the fact that the IRC is a forum for scientific investigations without any ideological bias. This does not of course mean that the centre will not undertake research into the linguistic aspects of the Indus Script. After all, linguistic decipherment of the Indus Script is the ultimate objective of research. What we mean when we say there should be no ideological bias is that we should not start with preconceived notions or presuppositions and tailor our research to fit into ideology-driven linguistic models.

Let me illustrate this statement with a couple of examples:

Analysis of the Indus texts has now conclusively established that the writing of the Indus Script was from right to left (with some minor exceptions). Yet we find some scholars claiming that the Indus Script should be read from left to right because that is how Sanskrit (or Tamil) scripts are written. It is clear that all attempts to read the Indus texts generally from the left are ab initio invalid.

Computer analysis has shown that the Indus texts possess only suffixes, not prefixes or infixes. This indicates that the Harappan language was of the suffixing type (like Dravidian), not of the prefixing type (like Indo-Aryan).

Archaelogical context

It is also necessary for well-rounded research to look beyond the inscriptions and take the archaeological context into account. Let me again illustrate this with some well-known examples:

The Indus civilisation was urban in character. The Vedic civilisation was rural and pastoral. There is hardly any description of city life in the Rig Veda.

The Indus seals depict many animals but not the horse. The chariot with spoked wheels is also not depicted in the Indus art. On the contrary, these are among the main features of the society depicted in the Rig Veda.

The Harappan religion, as far as we can make out from pictorial representations, included the worship of buffalo-horned male gods, mother goddesses, the pipal tree, serpents, and probably also phallic worship. Such modes of worship seem alien to the religion of the Rig Veda.

These examples (among many others) make it very improbable that the Harappan city dwellers were the same as the people of the Vedic culture.

Substantial evidence

Ruling out the Aryan authorship of the Indus civilisation does not of course automatically make it Dravidian. However there is substantial evidence favouring that supposition. I mention the most important aspects of the evidence without going into details:

The survival of Dravidian languages like Brahui in North India.

The presence of Dravidian loan words in the Rig Veda.

The substratum influence of Dravidian languages on the Prakrit dialects of North India.

The evidence indicates that Dravidian languages were once spoken widely in North India and one or more of Dravidian dialects could well be the language of the Indus texts.

Let me state with all the emphasis I can command that `Aryan' and `Dravidian' are names of languages and not of races. Speakers of one language can, and frequently did, switch over from one language to another. We should not allow research into the Indus civilisation and language to be vitiated by false notions of racial or ethnic identities.

Speakers of the Aryan languages indistinguishably merged with speakers of Dravidian and Munda languages millennia ago — creating a composite Indian society, culture, and religious traditions containing elements inherited from every source. It is thus more than likely that Indus artistic and religious motifs and craft traditions have survived and can be traced in the Sanskrit literature from the days of the Rig Veda, and also in the old Tamil traditions recorded in the Sangam poetry. This is the basic assumption that underlies my own work on the interpretation of the Indus Script through bilingual parallels drawn from Sanskrit and Old Tamil works.

Quite recently, Steve Farmer and Michael Witzel proposed that the Indus Script was not a writing system at all but merely a collection of picture signs conveying messages visually but not linguistically. It is difficult to take this new theory seriously because concordances of the Indus texts compiled by different authors (G. R. Hunter, Parpola, and Mahadevan) are in essential agreement and bring out obvious linguistic features like the existence of regular sign combinations suggesting words and phrases and grammatical elements like suffixes. Scholars like Knorozov and Gift Siromoney working independently have also confirmed these linguistic features. The theory that the Indus Script is no writing at all appears to me to be defeatist, born out of frustration reflecting the lack of success of the decipherment efforts.

Solving the riddle

Lastly, let me also refer to the view that the Indus Script can never be deciphered owing to the limited material, their repetitive nature, and the absence of bilingual records. I am optimistic that sooner or later the riddle of the Indus Script will be solved.

My optimism is based on the following considerations. Additional material with Indus inscriptions are being continually unearthed from the older sites as well as from newly discovered sites. It is quite likely that we may reach a critical mass of inscriptions necessary for a successful decipherment. The criticism that there has been little or no progress towards decipherment is also not based on facts.

While it is true that linguistic decipherment has not yet been achieved, much preliminary work like determination of the direction of writing, segmentation of texts into words and phrases, and isolation of grammatical features like suffixes has been completed. In these matters a large measure of agreement has emerged from independent work by different scholars; this gives us the hope that we are progressing in the right direction towards decipherment of the Indus Script.

I hope that future research in the IRC would deal both with structural analysis of the Indus texts aided by the computer and also with the archaeological and linguistic evidence such as the ones I have mentioned above to find acceptable answers to the riddle of the Indus Script

REFERENCE TAKEN FROM THE BLOG : http://www.scienceblog.com/


POWER OF TAMIL - Can you compare it with any other languages ?????????

1 = ONDRU -one

10 = PATTU -ten

100 = NOORU -hundred

1000 = AAYIRAM -thousand

10000 = PATTAYIRAM -ten thousand

100000 = NOORAYIRAM -hundred thousand

1000000 = PATTU NOORAYIRAM - one million

10000000 = KOODI -ten million

100000000 = ARPUTHAM -hundred million

1000000000 = NIGARPUTAM - one billion

10000000000 = KUMBAM -ten billion

100000000000 = KANAM -hundred billion

1000000000000 = KARPAM -one trillion

10000000000000 = NIKARPAM -ten trillion

100000000000000 = PATHUMAM -hundred trillion

1000000000000000 = SANGGAM -one zillion

10000000000000000 = VELLAM -ten zillion

100000000000000000 = ANNIYAM -hundred zillion

1000000000000000000 = ARTTAM -?////

1000000000000000000 0 = PARARTTAM --anyboby know

1000000000000000000 00 = POORIYAM -<>?#%^&

1000000000000000000 000 = MUKKODI -&^*^%^#

1000000000000000000 0000 = MAHAYUGAM -??????????? ?????

One of the oldest and greatest language

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



                     From Dr Arul’s Blog at : http://anbudanarul.blogspot.com/

It may explain why the bulk of Malayalees are so strongly Brahmanized. By the way the Tamil in ancient Chera Nad was NOT KodunTamil - it was also CaGkam Tamil, the chaste Tamil where great classics like Cilappatikaram were composed. Some say even Tolkaappiyam was from that region The whoe of PatiRRaup Pattu is from Chera Nad.
A very interesting study in sociaolinguistics and how deeply the casteism of Brahmins have served to divide and disintegrate the solid ancient Dravidian society. It was fortuniate the Tamils in the Chola and Pandiya regions fought against this decadence and preserved the purity of Tamil. It also almost became the MaNiprvaaLam whcih is what Malayam is, fostered by the SriVasihNavas in the Tamil country.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Malayalam: Motivated genesis of a language

Dr P P Narayanan Nambudiri, Retired Professor of History, St. Peter’s College, Kolencherry, Ernakulam writes:

                           “The origin of Malayalam as a separate language distinct from Tamil and the development of a literature may be assessed as one of the major contributions of the Nambudiris. After introducing the Aryan culture and institutions into Kerala, the Nambudiris refrained from imposing their language, Sanskrit upon the people just as they did not impose upon them their culture in its totality. Instead the Nambudiris made a new language, the Malayalam, by joining Kodum Tamil and Sanskrit.
This was indeed a wise step. The indigenous people were appeased while a barrier was created between Malayalis and the Tamil people. Politically the indigenous people liked the evolution of a new language. For when the new language was created somewhere in the 9th and 10th centuries, the Cera (Chera) or Kerala country was fighting a prolonged war with the Colas who constituted a considerable section of the Tamil people.

To the Nambudiris especially another benefit was there thereby. They could continue as the custodians and authority in regard to the religion and culture they introduced, as they only were proficient in the Sanskritic knowledge (Note 1). As regards the new language as well, they were the authority for long. In course of time, the Nambudiris also adopted this language as their lingua franca. The front tuft of hair, the Malayalam language and the Sambandhom form of marriage were the means by which the Nambudiris had merged with the comity of the Kerala people. With the development of the Malayalam language, the Cera portion of the Tamilakom became the Malayalam land, a separate region with its distinctive culture and were more akin to Bengal or Kashmir.
                       The beginning of Malayalam language may be traced to the early centuries of the Christian era. But for several centuries this language was nothing more than a provincial dialect of the Tamil language. The 8th or 9th century saw its independent course of development under the patronage of the Nambudiris who became an influential force in Kerala by that time. In dealing with the local people, they found that the local language had to be used. They found that the local language was an admixture of Tamil as can be illustrated by the inscriptions and copper place grants of the times. Under the initiative of the Nambudiris within two or three centuries Malayalam underwent a complete transformation by which it became an independent language. Sanskrit was adopted into Malayalam with reluctance in the early stages but later on more boldly and vigorously. The tatbhava and tasama forms of Sanskrit words in Malayalam bear witness to this fact. Not only the vocabulary, but the morphology of the idioms and to the extent the spirit of the language were also absorbed from Sanskrit. Sanskrit literary forms, its poetical conventions, and ideas were freely adopted into the Malayalam literature. ……………. These linguistic and literary innovations resulted in the evolution of a movement generally called by the name ‘bhasamisra’ or ‘manipravala’.
                          Bhasamisra or manipravala was the product of an original and sophisticated attempt to create a new language and literature. Just as the Nambudiris had created a new stock of people by their sambandham marriage with ‘trivarnikas’, so they created a language, a hybrid language, the Malayalam by blending it with Sanskrit. Sambandham might have been a novelty in Kerala; but not so was the linguistic formation or development. All the Dravidian languages like Telugu, Canarese (Kannadam) and even Tamil had borrowed much from Sanskrit. Amongst the Dravidian languages, only Tamil can dispense with its Sanskritic influence while others cannot assert independence from Sanskrit. The Aryan Nambudiris who introduced into Kerala the hybrid linguistic style, were well-acquainted with it elsewhere probably.
It was not possible for the Nambudiris to abandon Sanskrit. For it was their mother-tongue; there existed a close relationship between Sanskrit and brahmanical culture; beside the term scholarship came to mean Sanskrit scholarship. But the indigenous people had no knowledge and interest in Sanskrit. Hence the Nambudiris felt the need of conveying their needs to the people through an intelligible medium; thus arose bhasamisra or manipravala.

                    Bhasamisram and manipravala are not quite distinct terms. If one is the plant, the other is its flower. Manipravalam is refined bhashamisra with a halo of literary efflorescence. The mixed language used by the Nambudiris by blending the native tongue and Sanskrit was bhashamisra or misrabhasa. This style of composition is best illustrated by ancient astrological, medical and asauca treatises. Bhasamisram pertains to the field of non-literary subjects while manipravalam to that of literature.
                                 The origin of bhasamisra or manipravala may be traced to the 9th century A.D., its founding father being Tolan, a courtier or Vidusaka of the Kulasekhara court. The name ‘Tolan’ was a nick-name. According to tradition he was a Nambudiri by name Nilakantan but excommunicated from the caste for having violated the injunction to refrain from sex in brahmacarihood. He was sold to a Buddhist Sanyasi at Mahodayapuram. But later he escaped and by virtue of his resourcefulness became the Vidusaka in the royal court. He was a great scholar. He was the author of the earliest bhasamisra or manipravala works, namely Attaprakaram and Kramadipika. Bhasamisra or manipravala begins with Vidushaka in Kutiyattam, the first Vidusaka being Tolan. Kutiyattam is the Kerala counterpart of Sanskrit drama from which branched off Kuthu and Kathakali, all the three forms forming into the well known classical performing arts of Kerala. The Vidusaka who was a consummate scholar and genius, manipulated words in such a way in his explanations and parodies as to convey humour through sense and sound. He had to babble coherently, meaninglessly, and unnaturally using obscene and vulgar words to create laughter. Sanskrit, Prakrit and Malayalam were at his lips and he used to combine these languages in as many ways as possible as it pleased him, resulting in a curious medly of sounds and phrases. He cared little for grammar. He overlooked conveniently the essential difference between the two linguistic systems and thus while making a grotesque pattern of words, phrases and stanzas, he might not have thought that he was laying the foundation of a new dynamic literary movement, the so-called Manipravala.
                     In the centuries that followed, Nambudiri scholars and poets one after another so developed and improved the bhasamisra progressively, that by 14th or 15th century Kerala had the good fortune to have a language and literature of its own quite distinct from Tamil and Sanskrit.
                               The earliest manipravala works were composed in slokas in Sanskritic metre. The first of this kind was ‘Vaisikatantram’ of an unknown author, a manual on the art of prostitution. This was followed by other works such as Unicirutevicaritom, Padyaratnam, Cerumicaritom, and Candrolsavam. The subject matter of these works is love in its sensual and amorous aspects. The term manipravala is used in a general and broad sense and also in a limited sense. In the former case it is bhasamisra and in the latter it should deal with women and theme of love. …………. that only pertains to a particular stage of the development of the manipravala literary movement. Later other themes were also adopted. Several prabandhams and kavyas were composed in manipravala from the 14th to 16th centuries. Besides a further development arose when the indigenous literary form, ‘Pattu’ or ballads was adopted to bhasamisra or manipravala. ………. Thus the Nambudiris (Note 2) created a new language and literature for Kerala………….”
- Aryans in South India (1992), p. 191 - 194

Note 1:
“The Nambudiris had to study Sanskrit; for their mother tongue was Sanskrit for a long time. Their zeal for Aryanizing the land to such an extent to secure for them the high status at least in religion and society was an incentive to them to spread the Sanskritic culture amongst others. Their own duties of studying the Veda, and the manuals of rituals for performing samskaras and sacrifices, interpreting laws and guiding social and religious conduct for themselves, and for others, were other circumstances that necessitated the study of Sanskrit.” (p. 184)
Note 2:
“The name or word ‘Nambudiri’ is not found anywhere in the ancient and early medieval records in Kerala as well as outside Kerala…… The word ‘Nambudiri’ seems to be a word belonging to Manipravala or Bhasamisra. The word ‘Nambuka’ is Dravidian, meaning to confide, to advise etc. ‘Tiri’ is a common Sanskrit affix, office, or dignity meaning ‘blessed’, ‘fortunate’, Sri, etc. Hence the word ‘Nambudiri’ originated only late in the later stage of the development of Manipravalam or Bhasamisrom which may be attributed to the 11th or 12th centuries A.D.” (p. 135 – 136)

Reference taken from : http://www.tamil.net/erumbugal