Monday, April 09, 2007

Kumarikandam - Dravidian Atlantis?

I was reading about the Dravidianist myth of Kumarikandam, which is claimed to be a sort of lost sunken continent like Atlantis, somehow extending from Southern India all the way to Madgascar and even Australia. Also known as Lemuria, this dream was concocted before the modern science of plate tectonics showed it to be an absolutely impossible fantasy.

Wow, now I know why people believe in things like Hazratbal, etc. Some people will do anything to acquire self-esteem. As if the known contributions of South Indian civilization aren't enough somehow. Might make for some good fantasy novels though, a la Camelot or Middle Earth. I especially like the part about the reptile beings. HG Wells would be proud.


nizhal yoddha said...

even though 'dravidians' have very fertile imaginations it is quite likely that off mahabalipuram and kanyakumari there are old cities that were submerged by tsunamis. there are persistent reports from fisherman -- as well as persistent racial memory -- of ancient cities 'disappearing under the waves when the gods became angry'. which sounds pretty much what happened to dwaraka -- a tsunami inundating the place. the series of old submerged temples off mahabalipuram (originally there were seven and only one remains) is virtually certain to be true and not a myth.

Harish said...

Interesting topic San,

The idea of 'Kumari Kandam' as represented by Lemuria sounds impossible.

But that does not negate the idea of 'Kumari Kandam'.. which was submerged due to successive floods.. There is a lot of Tamil historical literature that attest to the fact..

As always in India, historical studies is always overridden with stereotypes and half baked ideas. No wonder we never get to find the actual truth behind so many truths hidden in so many of our 'myths' and stories..

Ghost Writer said...

Thanks for posting this - I had a to do on my list this weekend to follow up on this article by Koenraad Elst
I was struck by how Elst seemed to have bought into the Kumari Khandam myth. Since he is pretty hard nosed about everything (including Dravidian and AIT antics), I thought there may be something to it.
Do you have a reference/citation for the tectonic studies that invalidate this belief?
You are right on those 'Dravidians' though - per them Tamil was the mother of Sanskrit, and then they set up a committee (still exists I think) to purge Sanskrit words out of Tamil. A bit like the mother killing herself out of jealousy of her own infant. Or naming their children Ravanna so as to 'save' them from the imposition of the Hinduism of the 'Aryans'. The only problem of course was that Ravanna was a Lord Shiva worshiping Brahmin. So I guess that did not work out - in the 'Dravidian' world like in Pakistan - history has to serve 'rationalist' theology

Ghost Writer said...

The one about the lone standing temple at Mahabalipuram is true. A couple of years ago I found reference to some underwater photography to prove their existence (I know the question - I'll try to find it and post it here).
The most interesting thing that the local believe in however is that the oceans receding and rising are linked to cosmic cycles. There will be perfect peace and prosperity when the ocean recedes and all seven temples are above water ( I thought they said that it represents the reuniting of seven lost sisters or something like that)

Harish said...

Thanks @GhostWriter for 'accepting' the fact about Mahabalipuram and not pouring scorn at it as another 'Dravidian' myth..

I see you are at it again.. confusing the 'Dravidian' politicking and brazen myth making of the various 'kazhagams' to the actual greatness of tamil language, its history and its culture..

Sometimes its hard for ppl to fathom that Tamil might be as old as Sanskrit and be one of our country's most influential language. Since we live in a country where Hindi and Sanskrit is the definitive Indian/Hindu culture evrything else is worthy of contempt, I guess..As much as I love Sanskrit and am proud of everything that great language has to offer, its very sad to see my fellow countrymen pass ignorant remarks on a great and hoary language like Tamil.

I believe, just as much as the communists that lord over Kerala and Bengal do not represent the history and culture of the people they rule so do the Dravidian parties. I have seen in many posts and comments here that people like you use the word Dravidians and Tamils interchangably and are ever ready to pour scorn on the language and its culture and its people.

Is it too much to ask to avoid that..

habc said...

Tsunami throws up India relics

Tsunami Uncovers Ancient City in India (seee the section titled 'after the tsunami'

Tsurprise! Titanium-rich beaches
from toi

sNEW DELHI: Amid all the tragic news coming in the wake of the December 26 tsunami, there's one that should bring some cheer to Indians - the natural phenomenon seems to have left behind millions of tonnes of titanium ore on the beaches of Tamil Nadu.

Titanium—Delivered by Tsunami

Ghost Writer said...

Brother Harish,
I am not sure what I said about Tamil that set you off so much. Since I know neither of these languages - far be it for me to disparage any culture.
I have not equated the 'Dravidians' with the Tamil language and culture. I have merely said that their actions do not flow from a logic. If it is true that Tamil was the progenitor of the Sanskrit language (a claim I will let that sad tribe called the 'linguists' decide) - then why purge Sanskrit words from Tamil?

Let me add that the Tamil contribution to literature (even though I am unable to read any of it) is quite vast. That being the case I am unable to understand why the 'rationalists' always behave in a 'Tamil in Danger' mode.

nizhal yoddha said...

harish, i fear you are a little quick to take offense when none is intended. most posters on this blog, so far as i can tell, do make a distinction between tamil and 'dravidian', and certainly ghostwriter seems to do so.

my definition of the difference is that tamil = normal human being who speaks tamil and/or is associated with tamil culture.

'dravidian' = fanatic jingoist, follower of a neo-semitic ideology/faith, in whose fantasy everybody south of the vindhyas and including sri lanka is forced to speak some mythological animal called 'pure' tamil. these guys are foaming-at-the-mouth fundamentalists, and are a creation of the christists; they often have strong ties with the church. they are also allied with mohammedans. they hate hindus because they can get away with it. they are not at all 'rational', they are simple opportunists.

these 'dravidians' are the ones the rest of the people in india in general and in south india in particular despise.

tamil as a language clearly has its merits, and (ancient) tamil culture, from the sangam period, the pallavas and on to the chozhas, and later to the bhakti saints, is marvelous. speaking of myself, i am proud of this great cultural flowering and try to claim that it is mine too, considering that malayalam is a 12th c CE spin-off from tamil and still retains a lot of old tamil words that are not in use in modern tamil.

but i also think modern tamil culture is not remarkable at all. in fact, with all that hero-worship of movie stars and temples to that ruffian evr naicker, modern tamil culture is lagging somewhat.

this is a dichotomy. it is the ancient tamil culture that deserves (and gets) respect. as soon as the 'dravidians' arrived on the scene -- as is normal when semitic fanatics take over -- the culture began to deteriorate. their 'culture' (so to speak) is that of the uncultured mob, and is not impressive. this is because it is a totalitarian and ruthless ideology, much like the communism of the khmer rouge. just look at how the LTTE is controlling jaffna -- through terror. it is a reign of terror, backed up by the state's power, that 'dravidians' have unleashed on tamil nadu.

this is vastly ironic, considering that some of the earliest examples of republican, democratic rule in india come from the villages of chingelput near chennai, where the rules for elections, the qualifications for candidates, and their responsibilities once elected to the village council, are engraved on the walls of a temple.

in summary, speaking for myself, i have considerable respect and admiration for old tamil culture, and am prepared to believe in the existence of a sunken offshore civilization even though it may not have been a whole continent. this civilization may in fact have built, or used rama's bridge, and there is cruel irony in that they are attempting to destroy it.

but i have no particular respect for modern tamil culture, as it is no superior to any random other regional culture (including hindi culture) in india.

Harish said...

Brother Rajeev :-)

Thanks for the reply man..I have nothing to add / differ from any of u r observations !!!

I despise the 'Dravidian' culture myself and have experienced the horrible effects of it first hand..But yes i do feel bad when ppl make fun of ancient Tamil culture without a knowledge of it and thats all i wanted to share around here!!!

Saiganesh Ramani said...

One observation I browsed and did a fast read of the Cilapathikaram published in and I did not encounter even in a single place the word "Dravida" or "Dravidan" or any such word in that.
So far this Aryan/Dravidian dichotomy has been a very large myth propagated by some special interest groups and seems to be used by other special interest groups.
These groups pretty much claim that they are the protectors of the language while others are out there to destroy it. However most of them are as you said Rajeev is quite anti-Bharat/atheist personalities.
Now my counter is most of the Tamil Literature are based off of or supports the Bharatiya culture. The 63 Nayanmars and the 12 Alwars being a classic one. Almost all of the Tamil Kings have built/Maintained huge temples and cultures/cities have been nurtured around these temples (Thanjavur, Kumbakonam...).
This whole notion of a Tamilian being compared directly with an atheist/Dravidian is a pure propaganda from DMK,DK parties.

Franc said...

I am not sure if you meant to bash the idea of kumarikandam or bash dravidians..

As a person from Kanyakumari, i dont buy the argument that Kumarikandam did exist.. If it did ever exist, then: why did Homo sapiens take the coastal route during their long migration. However, this kind of politicised ideas (Both Dravidian parties and Aryan fanatics like you)cannot rob the antiquity of Tamil language..

To comment on Tamil, you shoul know it first.

Chandra Mohan said...

It is not wise to be biased in any way. It is not wise to have strong views. And finally it is not wise to judge something you do not know or someone you don't know. Wake up... Open your eyes... This is a one of numerous true stories... A must read

Prince Rajamanickam said...

Kattrathu kai man azhavu, therinthathum kai man azhavae, theriyaathathu/kallathathu ulagazhavu.... You cannot rubbish out things as folklore. LIke somebody posted in this blog, scientific technologies like underwater photography, satellite imaging with a clear, conscious and truthful heart should be used to prove/disprove such pieces of information..

elixirdreamseed said...

Modern Science has many failures, only now is science meeting the mystical texts in quantum physics ...and science is falling short, because it cannot measure the infinate!!. Humans do try to know all...all knowledge, but the truth is somethings remain a mystery because creation is so grand...and unified...and we humans tend towards separation, separate culture, separate this and that...Your old texts that you discard so easily in the face of modern science....may have more gold and value...its just that your texts are way ahead perhaps..because it understood the world through different means...Iam not an Indian, but I say...all of your ancient texts have value...there are messages in there that show true human history that have been hidden...wake up !