Saturday, February 18, 2006


feb 18th

(old) tamil is obviously a classical language, whether or not kannada and telugu are. i dont think malayalam is a classical language.

incidentally, according to the nehruvian govt, the classical languages of india are:

(drum roll!!!):

sanskrit, persian and arabic

i kid you not.

also note that JNU has never had a dept of sanskrit, but has had arabic and persian depts since its inception.

congress is the epitome of dhimmitude.

and now brown-nosing whites has been added to the list, with prime minister manmohan giving the limeys a certificate and caving in to bushie pressure.

i am reminded of steve ballmer's colorful phrase 'bogu' (bend over and grease up). the only question is, should we clutch our knees or our ankles?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: peria samy <>
Date: 13 Feb 2006 12:55:47 -0000


Political lobby influenced CIIL to hike age: Andhra scribe

New Delhi, Feb. 13 (DN)- While agitations are being held and fasts observed in the Karnataka State to convince the Union Government to accord classical language status to Kannada, the issue demanding the same status to Telugu has gone a step further in Andhra Pradesh.

K. Ramachandra Murthy, Editor of Andhra Jyothi daily in Hyderabad, has filed a petition in the High Court challenging the validity of the Union Government's decision in recognising Tamil as a classical language.

The petitioner has argued that by according the status to Tamil the Union Government had discriminated against Kannada and Telugu.

"If history only 1,000 year is enough to accord classical status to Tamil, why 1,500 to 2,000 years for Telugu and Kannada," he asked.

The petition also question why Tamil was given the status well ahead of Sanskrit, though considered to be the mother of all Indian languages.

"Due to political considerations, the classical status was given to Tamil and not according the status to equally ancient languages like Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam has hurt the sentiments of linguists and is very surprising at the same time," the petition said adding that this is a clear violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Following are the main issues raised by Ramachandramurthy in his petition:

* Way back in 2002-03, the Union Home Ministry had considered languages that have a history of 1,000 years, as classical languages.

* According to the recom-mendation of the official committee, even Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam language were also eligible for classical status along with Tamil.

* The UPA Government after according the status to Tamil made some amendments in last November to the Government Notification dated Oct. 12, 2004, increasing the qualifying age of language from the previous 1,000 to between 1,500 and 2,000.

* Some vested interests in Tamil Nadu put pressure on the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) on Mysore, Karnataka, to increase the age of a language from 1,000 to between 1,500 to 2,000 for according classical status.

* Considering Tamil language even before according classical status to Sanskrit is an unusual act on the part of the Union Government.

* Materials regarding Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam were not reviewed at all while taking decision on Tamil.

* Officials Committee Chairman Prof. Gopichand Narang had clearly stated in the report that any language with the history of 500 to 2,000 years could be considered for according classical status.

It is in UPA CMP!

Mysore, Feb. 13 (MRS)- Securing classical status for Tamil was a well calculated plan of political parties in Tamil Nadu particularly DMK, the coalition partner of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

According to a linguist from Mysore, the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of UPA clearly states that the Tamil should be declared as classical language.

He said that, according to his information, the DMK politicians had told the UPA Government that no language should be accorded similar status for at least one year after declaring Tamil as a classical language.

That is how the UPA Government accorded classical language status to Sanskrit in October last, one year ten days after declaring Tamil as classical language.


KapiDhwaja said...

i am reminded of steve ballmer's colorful phrase 'bogu' (bend over and grease up).

Well Rajeev, at Bharat-Rakshak, they call it GUBO. Grease-Up-Bend-Over. So called 'strategic experts' like Raja Mohan, Shekar Gupta, and a host of Indians who are ashamed of their Hindu heritage & culture, enthusiastically advocate GUBO to the White man, the Chinese, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia... & the list goes on.

indianpatriot said...

DMK Dravidians must be wondering why fellow Dravidians(Telugus, Kannadigas) are not supporting what they claim mother Dravidian language Tamil. Remember Karunanidhi commenting in 1996 when Vajpayee Govt fell (when it could have survived with DMK and TDP) we Dravidians would not allow BJP to form Govt. Only to see TDP, then DMK itself support the so called Aryan BJP. Atleast in Karnataka people believe Kannada has much closer connection with Sanskrit than Tamil. Politicians cutting across party barriers( Luckily there are no communists in Karnataka) supported reviving Sanskrit.(A village near Shimoga called Mathur is named Sanskrita grama where everybody speaks Sanskrit) Hopefully we will be hearing last of Aryan, Dravidian divide and support of Aryan invasion/migration theorey with coming defeat of DMK in this election. I believe Telugus, Malayalis also feel much closer companionship with Sanskrit than Tamil.

KapiDhwaja said...

With Comrades like these...
By Tavleen Singh

Ragz said...

I think Telugu is closer to Sanskrit than many other south Indian languages. In that sense it's considered classical language.

siva said...

Hi Rajeev

I am re-posting my comment here as you have another relevant and more recent thread on the same topic.

Original comment:

I would like to point out here that due to some crazy narrow minded Tamizh politicians, Tamizhs are branded as anti Samaskritam (in Tamizh Sanskrit is Samaskritam). Historically it is not so.

There is a legend in Tamizh that says, I am paraphrasing of course:
Sivanin kutupaiyil irundu vanda sathathil, oru puram irundu vandadu tamizh, marupuaram irundu vandadu samaskritam.

In English:
From the sounds emanated from Lord Siva’s drum, one side emanated Tamizh and the other side emanated Samaskritam.

So common Tamizhian knows that Samaskritam inherently belongs to him as much as it belongs to non Tamizhs.

I want the bloggers here to know this and when any body spreads false propaganda that Tamizhs are against Samaskritam, you can cite this example and tackle them.

solarpetal said...

shocking comments by jayanti natarajan. she also wears a big bindi like all those commies.
Here are some of the pearls of wisdom that viewers had from former state minister of Congress, Mrs Jayanti Natarajan: "who says Vedas are the source book of Hindus, the Vedas are not"; "Scheduled Castes are not Hindus"; "the Dalits are not Hindus"; "if Hinduism is not a proselytising religion then how did South East Asia become Hindu - how do you explain Shaivite kingdoms in southern India"; "Sage Agastya proselytised southern India into Hinduism"; "the right to propagate religion under Article 25 of the Constitution includes the right to convert"; "the Supreme Court 1977 decision on conversion ban will hopefully be heard by another bench in future and altered". Your worthy party colleague was participating in a recent Big Fight show of Star TV which also featured Mr B.P. Singhal of BJP and Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesman, Delhi Archdiocese as co-participants.

daisies said...

Although I speak Tamil, and mine is
a highly Sanskritised version of
Tamil due my family's close
traditional ties with Kerala, I
consider ancient Tamil as uniquely
rich (without any Sanskrit words).

This cannot be said of Kannada or
Telugu, bith of which have a lot of
Sanskrit. Even though both these
langues are an integral part of
classical music and dance and both
have great literature.

So I feel ancient Tamil deserves
recognition ahead of the other

And mind you, I understand very
little of the classical Tamil, and
have usually had to ask others in
the family to help out. But still
I find it unqiuely rich and


virat0 said...

Thanks Kapi, for the link.

The JNU is trulely a marvellous institute. But for America, Osama could be there chief mentor also.

DarkStorm said...

What.. persian and arabic !!! Indian languages.. Classical !! And no Sanskrit... Well, I show the middle finger to Madmoron and company.

Sure, these toxic congressis have "BOGUed" (or "GUBOed") so many times that they are now BUGO experts.

iamfordemocracy said...

Rajeev, will you please consider having the front page as an index to articles, rather than having the whole of the text on the front page?

Madhwa said...

Kannada, in fact, is much closer to Sanskrit and has nearly more than 1500 years of existence. Telugu corrupts most of the sanskrit words by adding "lu", "du", "mu", "ku" etc.
But Kannada has retained most of the sanskrit words as they are.

Anil Kurnool said...

hi all,

I may not be an *expert* in indology, never the less want to say, considering just Tamil as classic language was not called for.

Every language, has it's own sense of genelogy and always language fanatics tie the umbilical chords of their language to genesis.

In the same vein, Rajeev, your assertion in the first sentance, that (old) Tamil is classic while Telugu, Kannada and Malyalam are not, just helps promote the DMK mind set.

Old Telugu, if you want to call it that way, which is not in use today, too can be considered classic. So is the case with Malayalam and Kannada.

The point here is, all Indian languages (or dialects as put forth by Macalay) are very ancient and can be given the status of Classic.

Any way, no point argueing about the ways of UPA Govt. and it's allies.

DarkStorm said...

With Comrades like these...
By Tavleen Singh
is this the same tavleen singh , whose son is marrying some british princess (wonder anyone having a distant relationship with the royal family automatically becomes a princess or prince).

virat0 said...

It must be stressful to the blog owner to decide whether to moderate or not etc, no comments since yesterday, thats disapointing, but I would be fine with whatever be the decission.

I posted this to request another post on the old tamil Vs new tamil. I saw the word (old). How much is the difference ? Any info?

Ragz said...

DarkStorm, It's the same Talveen Singh. That's why she is writing a little sensible these days.

chandramahal said...

Tamil as it is written and spoken today has only a little kinship with the Tamil as known in bygone days.
Classical Tamil needs lots of translation into the present day Tamil before it is understood! Look at the plethora of 'notes' for Tamil texts !
It is difficult to decipher much less understand a handwritten message from even the beginnings of the last century.
Tamil has only served the purposes of the Dravidian Parties to get into power. The people are continued to be duped by the politicians claiming classical status for this language.
It is better to call all the languages scheduled in the Constitution a CLASSIC and deprive the politicos of at least one of their tools!

ahobila said...

Classical status to all ancient Dravidian languages (Tulu, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil) should resolve this, Mr. Goggles can whine as much as he wants.

dumbledoor said...'Hindu'~outfit~targets~HF~Hussian~

DarkStorm said...


Then this tavleen singh is a Pakistani. She was married to a puke-istani and after divorce, she has started writing sense. What a clownish character. I wonder if she has a change of heart or she is playing games. Anyway, she has lost all respect from my side. I care two hoots about her now.

saras said...

This post is a reply to that of Madhwa. There is no need for the comment "Telugu corrupts Sanskrit by adding 'du', 'mu' etc.". This only shows off your animosity towards the Telugu language. Why can't you accept that Telugu has assimilated Sanskrit words in a specific manner, while Kannada could not. Rajagopala Chary once said that Kannada is 50% Tamil and 50% Telugu and there is no need for this language.

v_tel001 said...

The entire concept of 'Classical Language' status was politically motivated.

And as far as Telugu is concerned, adding 'lu' 'mu' to the words, only makes it more melodious, and because it's words end with a vowel, it is called 'Italian of East', and was also considered most suitable for music (80% of Carnatic music is in Telugu)


పంచదారకన్న పనసతొనలకన్న ఈ తెలుగు మిన్న

siva said...


Good points you raised here, but you could have dropped the Italian example.

It is always the predatory white man's thinking to equate some thing ancient that belongs to other culture and morph it into something that will look like subservient to his.

So it is my small suggestion that you don’t equate anything that belongs to Indic civilization to the more contemporary Europeans’, even if you are attempting to glorify ours, it will end up looking subservient to theirs in the end.

saras said...

It was Portuguese explorer Niccolò Da Conti, who in 15th century called Telugu the 'Italian of the East'. Telugu is one of the very few languages in the world, where all the words end in a vowel. This specific characteristic makes the language mellifluous. It has proved to be an excellent medium for Carnatic music. Many a non-Telugu speaking composer have written their compositions in Telugu. An example is Swathi Thirunal.

Thyagaraja, being a Telugu, wrote all his compostions in Telugu. No Carnatic music concert is complete without a Thyagaraja Composition.

I think Kiran has just cited the quotation of Da Conti. May be it would be more apt to say that Italian is Telugu of the West.

sri rajasingam said...



April 11, 2000
Statement on the Status of Tamil as a Classical Language
Professor Maraimalai has asked me to write regarding the position of Tamil as a classical language, and I am delighted to respond to his request.

I have been a Professor of Tamil at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1975 and am currently holder of the Tamil Chair at that institution. My degree, which I received in 1970, is in Sanskrit, from Harvard, and my first employment was as a Sanskrit professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1969. Besides Tamil and Sanskrit, I know the classical languages of Latin and Greek and have read extensively in their literatures in the original. I am also well-acquainted with comparative linguistics and the literatures of modern Europe (I know Russian, German, and French and have read extensively in those languages) as well as the literatures of modern India, which, with the exception of Tamil and some Malayalam, I have read in translation. I have spent much time discussing Telugu literature and its tradition with V. Narayanarao, one of the greatest living Telugu scholars, and so I know that tradition especially well. As a long-standing member of a South Asian Studies department, I have also been exposed to the richness of both Hindi literature, and I have read in detail about Mahadevi Varma, Tulsi, and Kabir.

I have spent many years -- most of my life (since 1963) -- studying Sanskrit. I have read in the original all of Kalidasa, Magha, and parts of Bharavi and Sri Harsa. I have also read in the original the fifth book of the Rig Veda as well as many other sections, many of the Upanisads, most of the Mahabharata, the Kathasaritsagara, Adi Sankara’s works, and many other works in Sanskrit.

I say this not because I wish to show my erudition, but rather to establish my fitness for judging whether a literature is classical. Let me state unequivocally that, by any criteria one may choose, Tamil is one of the great classical literatures and traditions of the world.

The reasons for this are many; let me consider them one by one.

First, Tamil is of considerable antiquity. It predates the literatures of other modern Indian languages by more than a thousand years. Its oldest work, the Tolkappiyam,, contains parts that, judging from the earliest Tamil inscriptions, date back to about 200 BCE. The greatest works of ancient Tamil, the Sangam anthologies and the Pattuppattu, date to the first two centuries of the current era. They are the first great secular body of poetry written in India, predating Kalidasa's works by two hundred years.

Second, Tamil constitutes the only literary tradition indigenous to India that is not derived from Sanskrit. Indeed, its literature arose before the influence of Sanskrit in the South became strong and so is qualitatively different from anything we have in Sanskrit or other Indian languages. It has its own poetic theory, its own grammatical tradition, its own esthetics, and, above all, a large body of literature that is quite unique. It shows a sort of Indian sensibility that is quite different from anything in Sanskrit or other Indian languages, and it contains its own extremely rich and vast intellectual tradition.

Third, the quality of classical Tamil literature is such that it is fit to stand beside the great literatures of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Persian and Arabic. The subtlety and profundity of its works, their varied scope (Tamil is the only premodern Indian literature to treat the subaltern extensively), and their universality qualify Tamil to stand as one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world. Everyone knows the Tirukkural, one of the world's greatest works on ethics; but this is merely one of a myriad of major and extremely varied works that comprise the Tamil classical tradition. There is not a facet of human existence that is not explored and illuminated by this great literature.

Finally, Tamil is one of the primary independent sources of modern Indian culture and tradition. I have written extensively on the influence of a Southern tradition on the Sanskrit poetic tradition. But equally important, the great sacred works of Tamil Hinduism, beginning with the Sangam Anthologies, have undergirded the development of modern Hinduism. Their ideas were taken into the Bhagavata Purana and other texts (in Telugu and Kannada as well as Sanskrit), whence they spread all over India. Tamil has its own works that are considered to be as sacred as the Vedas and that are recited alongside Vedic mantras in the great Vaisnava temples of South India (such as Tirupati). And just as Sanskrit is the source of the modern Indo-Aryan languages, classical Tamil is the source language of modern Tamil and Malayalam. As Sanskrit is the most conservative and least changed of the Indo-Aryan languages, Tamil is the most conservative of the Dravidian languages, the touchstone that linguists must consult to understand the nature and development of Dravidian.

In trying to discern why Tamil has not been recognized as a classical language, I can see only a political reason: there is a fear that if Tamil is selected as a classical language, other Indian languages may claim similar status. This is an unnecessary worry. I am well aware of the richness of the modern Indian languages -- I know that they are among the most fecund and productive languages on earth, each having begotten a modern (and often medieval) literature that can stand with any of the major literatures of the world. Yet none of them is a classical language. Like English and the other modern languages of Europe (with the exception of Greek), they rose on preexisting traditions rather late and developed in the second millennium. The fact that Greek is universally recognized as a classical language in Europe does not lead the French or the English to claim classical status for their languages.

To qualify as a classical tradition, a language must fit several criteria: it should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature. Unlike the other modern languages of India, Tamil meets each of these requirements. It is extremely old (as old as Latin and older than Arabic); it arose as an entirely independent tradition, with almost no influence from Sanskrit or other languages; and its ancient literature is indescribably vast and rich.

It seems strange to me that I should have to write an essay such as this claiming that Tamil is a classical literature -- it is akin to claiming that India is a great country or Hinduism is one of the world's great religions. The status of Tamil as one of the great classical languages of the world is something that is patently obvious to anyone who knows the subject. To deny that Tamil is a classical language is to deny a vital and central part of the greatness and richness of Indian culture.

George L. Hart
Professor of Tamil
Chair in Tamil Studies