14 April, 2024

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The Tamil Nadu Factor

By M. S. Thambirajah –

Dr. M. S. Thambirajah

National Peoples Power’s leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s recent visit to India had been the subject of much conjecture and speculation recently. The reason the visit raised eyebrows was that its parent party the JVP was blatantly anti-Indian. Of its infamous five classes to enlighten the masses about the political milieu in Sri Lanka the second one was on Indian expansionism. In fact, his Indian invasion theory was lifted from N. Sanmugathasan’s lectures and writings on the subject. While Sanmugathasan saw Indian intervention as a possibility in the event of an uprising by the Sri Lankan working class, Rohana Wijeweera gave it a communal twist to entice Sinhala youth to his fold. Creating an enemy – even if it be imaginary one – is the surest way to unite people around you. It tapped into the inherent fears of the Sinhalese engendered over the centuries by Indian invasions of the past. Comrade Rohana Wijeweera extended the concept and included the poor estate workers of Indian origin in his conspiracy theory by portraying them as the fifth column. It worked. And we know what happened thereafter.   

Whether we like it or not we cannot escape the fact India is our closest geographical neighbour Here are some facts: Sri Lanka is only 67 kilometres away from India (approximately the same distance between Colombo and Kalutara), its main religions originated from India; the two cultures are broadly similar; most Sri Lankans resemble South Indians in appearance so much so that the Westerns cannot distinguish the two groups by their looks. Yet, for many Sinhalese the word Dravidian conjures up images of Chola conquest of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in the tenth century and King Elara vs. King Dutugamunu –  duel of 161 BCE. Beyond sentimentalism, whether one likes it or not, the geography, history, culture and, dare I say, the politics of Sri Lanka, are inseparably linked with those of India (witness AKD’s recent visit to the Big Brother). One of the main sources for the feeling of insecurity of the Sinhalese is the imagined vision of hordes of Dravidians invading and occupying Sri Lanka.

But who are these Dravidians?

The word Dravidian is not a Tamil word, it is derived from the Pali word Damila (or maybe the Sanskrit word Dravidah) which means people of South India. In fact, the word Dravidian does not refer to a racial group but to the group of languages spoken in  South India. The main Dravidian languages are  (in order of population) Telegu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. For centuries it was believed that all Indian languages originated from Sanskrit. Sanskrit was said to the Devabasha (language of the Gods) that was considered to be the source of all Indian languages including Tamil. This view was fostered mainly by the Brahmins. That was until 1856, when Robert Caldwell, a missionary for London Missionary Society published his famous study Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages that established beyond doubt that Tamil and other Dravidian language were different and distinct from Indo-Aryan languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi.

Robert Caldwell was a remarkable scholar. Born in Ireland to Scottish parents, Caldwell graduated from the university of Glasgow where he came under the influence of Daniel Keyte Sandford, a professor of Greek whose innovative research encouraged Caldwell to take an interest in comparative philology. It is said that Caldwell was proficient in seven languages. At the age of 24 Caldwell arrived in Madras  as a missionary of the London Missionary Society.  He walked from Madras to Tirunelveli, a distance of more than 500 kilometres where he would later serve as Bishop. He settled down in the little village of Idaiyangudi south of Tirunelveli, established a church and worked among the poor of the village. He is said to have converted thousands of Tamils of the area to Christianity. But, it is his research into South Indian languages that has immortalised him.

Caldwell realised that he had to be proficient in Tamil to preach to the masses and he began a systematic study of Indian languages. Having been trained as a linguist he did much original research on Tamil language and history of Tirunelveli. He is best known for his work on languages of India. His thesis, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages (1856; revised edition 1875. Available online) was a seminal piece of work that demonstrated for the first time that the Dravidian languages were not genetically related to Sanskrit, thus disproving a view that had been held by Indian scholars for more than two millennia. Drawing on his research he proved that the South Indian languages of Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada formed a separate language family, which he named the Dravidian languages.

In his book, Caldwell wrote that Vedic Hinduism had been imposed on the indigenous culture of the Dravidians – a view that has been validated by subsequent research. He claimed that the Brahmins were of Indo-European stock who had colonised South India and installed a harsh caste ridden social hierarchy upon the society, making sure they were on the top. Indians have never been good at writing down their history. Even the edicts of Emperor Ashoka were deciphered by James Prinsep (1799-1840) a colonial administrator, with the help of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks. The point is this: it was the scholars in service of the colonial government who initiated a fact-based approach to writing Indian history. Until then most Indians made no distinction between mythology and history. Parenthetically, it must be noted that present day Barathya Janatha Party (BJP) and its parent body Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) equates Hinduism and India and calling it Hindu Rashtra insists that Mahabharata and Ramayana are historical documents.

Bishop Caldwell could not have foreseen the impact his work would have in Tamil Nadu. His assertions about the Dravidian languages provided  one of the impetus for the formation of the Dravidian movement that swept through the South Indian political scene in the 1930s and 1950s. The movement known as Dravidar Kazhagam was led by EV Ramasami, an iconoclast, rationalist social reformer  popularly known as Periyar, whose party demanded an independent Dravidian State which included all four Dravidian speaking states of South India. The movement failed to find support among other Dravidian states and was limited to Tamil Nadu. Dravidian nationalism was  based on three ideologies: dismantling of Brahmin hegemony, social reform by abolition of the caste systems, religious practices  and gender equality and renaissance of the Tamil language.

In the late 1960s, the political parties advocating Dravidian ideology gained power in the state of Tamil Nadu. Irked by the demand for secession Jawaharlal Nehru set about amending the constitution to ban any party with sectarian policies from participating in elections.Known as the Anti-Secessionist Amendment, it debarred any party that espoused sectarian principles from participating in elections. Faced with the new constitutional change, the Dravidian party under the leadership of CN Annadurai (popularly called Anna) did a U turn and decided to give up the demand for an independent Dravida Nadu in 1962 and decided to advocate for better allocation of resources from the central government and co-operation between the federal states of the South. Thus, the present day Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and other Dravidian parties was born. His movement changed the face of contemporary Tamil politics forever.

A grateful Tamil Nadu, erected a bronze statue of Bishop Caldwell 1968 on the Marina beach, Chennai. It is one of eight statues of distinguished Tamil scholars commissioned by the DMK. In its commemoration plaque Caldwell is described as “the pioneer Dravidian linguist”.

CN Annathurai, the first DMK chief minister made the following declaration in the first speech he made at the Rajya Sabha in April 1962: “I claim Sir, to come from a country, a part in India now, but which I think is of a different stock, not necessarily antagonistic. I belong to the Dravidian stock. I am proud to call myself a Dravidian. That does not mean that I am against a Bengali or a Maharashtrian or a Gujarati. As Robert Burns has stated, ‘A man is a man for all that’. I say that I belong to the Dravidian stock and that is only because I consider that the Dravidians have got something concrete, something distinct, something different to offer to the nation at large. Therefore, it is that we want self-determination”.

Dravidian parties have been in power in Tamil Nadu for the last 57 years and the signs are that together with its allies it will win overwhelmingly in the next election scheduled for  2024. Incidentally, the saffron party (BJP) has never won an election in Tamil Nadu on its own, and its vote share has not touched the double-digit mark. In the 2019 general elections   the BJP did not win any Lok Sabha seat out of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu. Despite Tamil Nadu chief Mr. Annamalai’s grandiose assertions it is highly unlikely that in the upcoming assembly elections the BJP could win more than one seat out of 234 constituencies in the Tamil Nadu. The best the BJP could hope for in the state is to forge an alliance with other minor parties and increase its vote share. Tamil Nadu has been in the forefront in rejecting the Hindutva policies of BJP and the chances are that the BJP will not gain foothold in Tamil Nadu in the near future.

Away from elections, it is a fact that of all the Indian states in terms of development Southern states have consistently outperformed the Northern states. In the human developmental index (HDI, a widely accepted measure of development based on indices of health, education and a decent standard of living) for the year 2022 Kerala came first, Tamil Nadu comes 6th and other Southern states outpaced most of the Northern ones. In some of the North Indian states the HDI is closer to those of Congo. Incidentally, the HDI of Sri Lanka over the years has always been better than those of India. In 2022 India’s rank was 134 while Sri Lanka came 78th.

Another myth that needs to be dispelled is the “Indian invasion theory’ that some Sinhalese subscribe to. It is true that living close to a massive continent such as India evokes many anxieties. The same is true of Cuba and the US, Hong Kong and China. But, in the case of India and Sri Lanka it would be wrong to fall a prey to such paranoia. Remember that even at the height of the quarter century long civil war no army from Tamil Nadu came to the help of the LTTE. The reason for this is simple: Tamil Nadu is a federal state in India and it has no army. It is true that some Tamil nationalists in Tamil Nadu have been vociferous supporters of LTTE but they had no teeth. It is the central government that decides on matters of external affairs. Although the population of TN looks massive (81.5 million) compared to that of Sri Lanka (22 million). But in India, Tamils are in a minority and constitute 5.8% of the Indian population which now stands at 1.4 billion. Compare this with the populations in Sri Lanka where the Tamil speaking population (Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamils of Indian origin and Muslims) constitutes 17.5% of the total population. Thus, in proportional terms  Sri Lanka has more Tamil speaking population than India! General (now Field Mrshall) Sarath Fonseka understood this well. In an interview in an Indian television channel when he was asked about Tamil nationalist politicians and the possibility of Tamil Nadu intervening in the war he quipped, “They are jokers”! Also note that when India did intervene Premadasa and Pirabaharan got together to fight it to the end.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Periyar, the founder of Dravidian movement. It is said that SJV Chelvanayagkm, the then leader of the Federal Party visited Periyar, the founder of the Dravidian movement and asked for his support, Periyar said quixotically, “How can one beggar help another beggar”!

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Latest comments

  • 25
    3

    Dr. Thambirajah, has provided a factual and logical mental psychosis of Sinhalese in general and the Buddhist clergy and O/L drop out sinhala thuggish politicians in particular who created this Indian expansionism into Sri Lanka. These people try to keep this myth for their own survival. To mitigate this myth the Buddhist clergy must be kept out of politics and confine them strictly in viharas. The educational qualifications for MP should be raised to at least a college diploma or bachelors degree and without any criminal records. The ministers should be no more than 20 who are elected on the basis of education, expertise in ministry subject matter and without any political affiliations. I pretty understand these are day dreams in Si Lanka, but if it has to become another Singapore there is no other way out.

    • 20
      0

      “mental psychosis of Sinhalese in general”
      Psychosis is when people lose some contact with reality.
      I wonder if Dr T has shown such intention in his writing.
      Identity based thinking is vulnerable to prejudices that pass from generation to generation. Dr T draws attention to historical fears of the Sinhalese that have been willfully distorted by chauvinist politicians.

  • 3
    26

    Dr. Thambirajah,
    .
    The link you have provided as reference to “A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages” doesn’t seem to contain the literature you cite. Instead it gives the following message: “NOTHING FOUND
    Sorry, but nothing matched your search terms. Please try again with some different keywords.”
    May be there’s some other source for the material?
    .
    TIA
    .
    Your essay does a good job in explaining the distinction between Dravidian and Indo Aryan languages and the origin of this distinction, that you attribute to the work of the author of the abovementioned thesis. However it is unclear what the message you try to convey?
    .
    For example you too like most Tamils are quite knowledgeable about the political climate that prevails in India, another factor evident from your essay. .
    TBC

    • 3
      25

      Continued…
      .
      But if you ask a Sinhalese youth in the South of Sri Lanka most I’d beleive would be clueless of such affairs. Nitty gritty of Indian politics would be an alien topic to them. I am not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but when the interests of average Sinhalese of Indian politics is such, you claim “One of the main sources for the feeling of insecurity of the Sinhalese is the imagined vision of hordes of Dravidians invading and occupying Sri Lanka.”.
      .
      Firstly how do you know?
      .
      Secondly do you honestly believe this statement to be factually true? Or are you just being rhetorical?
      .
      If you do, believe it to be true, my opinion is that your understanding of Sinahalese psyche is far more inferior to your understanding of politics in India and Tamil Nadu.
      .
      AKD and the NPP has been visited by and meeting diplomats of numerous countries in the recent past it is in such a context that they were invited to an official visit to India.
      .
      These are nothing but mere attempts to establish dimplomatic links with a political entity that has become a formidable force in local political arena since of late with a potential of acquire power in upcoming elections.
      .
      TBC

      • 2
        27

        Cont’d…
        .
        Are you aware that both Bangladesh and Pakistan have officially raised concerns about certain simple moves by India, like having a certain mural displayed in their Parliamentary complex? Querrying if it’s a sign of an emerging Indian hegemony in the region, a phenomenon popularly dubbed as Akhand Bharat?
        .
        And Sri Lanka is among the countries that have not raised such concerns?
        .
        Finally my counter question to you is, is India threatened by a strong and independent Sri Lanka – something akin to Hong Kong or Taiwan to China?

        • 29
          1

          Ruchira

          “Querrying if it’s a sign of an emerging Indian hegemony in the region, a phenomenon popularly dubbed as Akhand Bharat?”

          It is not emerging but it is only visible in recent days.
          As far as Hindians are concerned Sri Lanka is the Sinhala State of Hindia (whether you like it or not) while North East forms part of Prospering Tamilnadu.
          Full stop.

          You can call the landmass by any other name, Akhand Bharat, India, …..
          Names do not matter however Economy, Resources, Technology, Trade, ……. Supply Chain, …… AI, …. wisdom, … matter most.

        • 25
          1

          Ruchira

          “…………….. is India threatened by a strong and independent Sri Lanka – something akin to Hong Kong or Taiwan to China?”

          Strong, independent Sri Lanka …….?

          The smart Sinhala/Buddhist patriotic Prime minister has already signed an agreement to transfer parts of Sri Lanka (district by district) to Chongqing province of China. The agreement is titled a “sister district” deal.

          Sri Lanka to sign “sister district” deal with China’s Chongqing for investments
          https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-to-sign-sister-district-deal-with-chinas-chongqing-for-investments-155373/

          Sinhala/Buddhists often use their brain to self harm themselves, eventually they are planning to dispossess all the land and migrate to their ancestral homeland.

          What an incredible bunch of people they are.

          • 0
            23

            If you want to worry over anything worry over some real issue… like the following one…
            .
            “ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the significant emigration rate among trained medical professionals of the country was concerning.

            “Approximately 30 to 40 out of every 100 doctors or nurses trained in the country opt to leave, a circumstance unfavourable for the nation,” Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying by his media division at a ceremony to open the improved Accident and Emergency Unit at the Point Pedro Base hospital.”
            .
            https://economynext.com/high-emigration-rate-of-sri-lanka-medical-professionals-president-155825/
            .
            Sister District initiative seems to be nothing but an investment and development effort/partnership and should be welcomed.
            .
            Without adequate doctors and nurses you would die prematurely from treatable causes. Old people would be the most susceptible.

            • 0
              21

              “….to transfer parts of Sri Lanka (district by district) to Chongqing province of China.”
              .
              Like physically…?
              .
              The way Hanumantha carried some part of Himalaya to Sri Lanka…?
              .
              Get real… and talk some sense for a change…!

      • 2
        27

        Ruchira,

        “One of the main sources for the feeling of insecurity of the Sinhalese is the imagined vision of hordes of Dravidians invading and occupying Sri Lanka.”.

        No need to imagine it. Historically we have the Cholas who made a great effort to conquer the island. And more recently, the LTTE attempted to steal 33% of the island’s territory to create a monoethnic state. Had they succeeded, you can bet 95% of the CT commentators would be giddy with joy, including supermarket clerk in India, the Vedda, and the government school prodigy (according to him, just check out TN’s per capita income). On the other hand, I don’t think the Sinhalese understood the gravity of the situation until Norway began to intervene and Ranil was about to give the country away. At that point, a real hardliner – Mahinda was elected. I also don’t think Sinhalese are particularly nationalist. Again, the only reason Gotha was elected is because of the Easter attacks. With the exception of these two, all Sinhalese presidents have attempted to compromise with the Tamils.

        • 2
          25

          Lester – I agree particularly with your below statement: “I also don’t think Sinhalese are particularly nationalist.”. They’d be happy as long as they can follow their life’s interests without a hindrance. May be it’s their weakness I wouldn’t know.

        • 25
          0

          Lester
          If it’s so great here, why don’t you come back here? You ran away because you were afraid of conscription.

          • 0
            24

            Old Codger,

            You’re the one who is ashamed of their ethnicity, not me. Did you pick up that habit from Ranil?

        • 4
          0

          “The only reason Gotha was elected is because of the Easter attacks.”
          POW aney, Poor Gotha became extinct due self-inflicted Easter Sunday attacks, getting the better of him??? Attempting to and trying to wear an “Oversized Shoe”, not designed to suit him!!?? Notwithstanding the 2/3rd Majority, experienced difficulty to Manage, Governance properly!!?? Aspirational Over-Estimation, Gone terribly wrong!!! Very SAD Outcome!!??? Good man, BAD FIT!!??

    • 25
      2

      Ruchira

      “nstead it gives the following message: “NOTHING FOUND”

      We know you love to be spoon fed, however if you really wanted to read the book you could have done it by a minimum effort, …. from the link below:
      A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages
      By Robert Caldwell
      https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AfwCAAAAMAAJ&pg=PR3&source=kp_read_button&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

      If you need anything you search, factcheck, …..
      The book contains 820 pages.

      • 1
        23

        Naki Vedda –
        .
        Highlighting a shortcoming in a published article is one thing; fact checking and doing ones own research on matters discussed in such an article is quite another.
        .
        The first one is a feedback to the author while the second being something you do on your own discretion, depending on your preferences.
        .
        I don’t have much to do with people who don’t understand the distinction between the two.
        .
        Especially when they intervene in conversations that are not addressed to them, with, as usual insults and condescending remarks.
        .
        I have long past my spoon feeding days, unlike you, who are probably fast approaching your second stage of spoon feeding days.
        .
        Learn to live respectfully for the time being and make atleast your last days on this planet worthwhile.

        • 21
          2

          Native,
          Be careful.
          “Also remember, we won’t stop. Neither your cousins in India nor the friends in the West, the Europe, the US included, ain’t going to stop us. We will hunt down to the very last of your dogs that has caused misery to us, our kith, kin and the loved ones, and this island. They will be brough to justice in every possible mean of justice! So make sure your act is clean.”
          You are dealing with someone who thinks his opponents are dogs to be killed…..
          Such a good follower of the Buddha……

          • 19
            1

            Native,
            On second thoughts, what exactly do you think this means?
            “Neither your cousins in India nor the friends in the West, the Europe, the US included, ain’t going to stop us”
            Should we call the calculus maestro Lester to explain what a double negative is?

          • 8
            0

            Wow! O.C., which psychopath here uttered this death threat?

            • 8
              0

              Sugandh,
              The whiny one, the one who has violent mood swings, after a drink with his father.
              One minute he’s discussing high philosophy, the next he’s issuing blood curdling threats.
              Such a versatile character…..

      • 24
        1

        Native, one has to read the comment of other to understand the psyche of those Sinhalese youth in down south. Just like, this author helping Tamils to understand the psyche of AR and Sivathasan. Compare this clueless duo with the those creating ruckus in Chennai music academy ( breaking up the Brahmin hegemony ). What more, one feeds other to sustain each other’s conflicting psyche.

        • 22
          0

          Chiv,
          Some seem to think that the cluelessness of Southern youth and their ignorance of India is some sort of advantage.
          But Lester himself has confirmed that they are scared of Indian invasions.

          • 21
            0

            OC,

            The situation of Sri Lanka is similar to that of a rape victim. we have no choice. At this moment, Sri Lanka cannot raise its voice freely for China or India. It is a very critical situation. Same is the situation in Maldives.

            Lester or the like low lives don’t know what they’re talking about. He has not sustained a single argument on any topic. That is his strength.

            As usual, when he feels he has nothing to prove, he hides like a defeated dog. Only Ruchira Baba can hold the torch for Lester’s low level work, everyone else will never. My dog won’t even look at Lester.

            • 1
              23

              Leela,

              “Everyone#s public masturbation with hidden agendas ….”

              As I said, your mental state is clearly abnormal. Angoda was invented for people like you.

  • 17
    14

    Ruchira,
    There is nothing wrong in having a certain mural displayed in the New Parliamentary complex. After all Pakistan & Bangaladesh will disappear in time to come as Pakistan is likely to be splitted into four or five regions, the first being Balochistan. Bangaladesh is a dying country which is unable to solve its internal problems. 90% of the Bangaladeshi women have expressed their desire that Bangaladesh should be merged within India. There is also a possibility that Sri Lanka would be one of the States and/or Independent Territories within the Indian Union as Hindus were being marginalized for Adi LIngeswarar Temple stands as a case in point. India is monitoring this situation and do not know what will happen after the Lok Sabha Elections are over. Moreover the BJP is likely to dominate Tamil Nadu and the DMK will be thrown out. Moreover, what is wrong if India is on its march towards AKAND BHARATH which will be beneficial to the Sinhalese also.

    • 6
      27

      Everyone has their own fantasies and you are entitled to have yours. I have no objections whatso ever.

      • 22
        3

        Ruchira,
        Thank you. It is not fantasy. I am only writing of the reality. Sri Lanka-India merger is possible today. India is able to exert some pressure only because the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement is alive. This agreement was one benefit that Rajiv Gandhi did for the Tamils. Tamil areas would develop only if India takes the lead. Only India can protect our rights. India is focusing on the North East because it is necessary for the Tamils to stay together for their security, like the water that is pumped to the paddy goes to the grass through canals. The case of the plight of the Hindu Temples and Sri Lanka’s poor governance in the Tamil areas together with its eak economy are cases in point. Remember the Thimpu Talks ended in a fiasco because of the Tamil militants and the Sri Lankan Government. There is a moral duty for the Tamils to stand with India and stretch their hands whenever India needs.

        • 3
          25

          Sure whatever floats your boats. Similarly Sinhalese people may also respond to such initiatives in their own ways. Remember what happened to LTTE’s separatist agenda? Before that to the IPKF? Some say even if history doesn’t repeat, it often rhymes. Hope the you’d enjoy the tune when it starts rhyming. You may proceed with your moral obligations to stand with India, just don’t try to force it down the throats of others who do not want to indulge in such excercises or expect them to cheer you.

          • 22
            4

            Ruchira,
            Thank you. I am against the LTTE’s separatist agenda. I always maintained that the answer to the Tamils’ issue is to demand for an Independent Territory within the Union of India in accordance with the Indian Constitution. Now it appears that it is gradually taking place in some other forms. Even the Sinhalese are frustrated over the poor governance of their political leaders and will be happy if the South is also merged with India. Sinhalese have also felt that living in Sri Lanka is impossible. The amount of Passports issued to the Sinhalese speak to this effect.

            • 3
              26

              aythuayr blalasignam

              sounds a lot like separatism to me; the indians introduced the 16th ammendment to deal with people like you.

              you dont know the sinhalese (or the moors) at all

            • 1
              25

              May be you should look at the visas issued to different countries too, other than the number of passports issued. Like I said b4 you can entertain your own fantasies but time will tell where the hearts and minds of Sinhalese people are at. Untill such time take good care.

            • 1
              22

              AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM,

              The “Tamil Question” in Sri Lanka will be addressed with resettlement of Sinhalese and Muslims in so-called “Tamil areas.” That is not necessarily my intention or personal desire, it is simply the most likely possibility. Regardless of which government comes to power, the military bases will not be removed. It is similar to Israel, where colonies of people are protected by military forces. I have no idea if this process has already begun and if so, what the current pace is.

              An interesting point to address – yes, if the government in Colombo collapsed, and there was total anarchy, India might intervene. But not necessarily on behalf of SL Tamils. India would intervene within the context of some “humanitarian crisis”, e.g. rogue military forces attacking civilians. My own belief – the SL government will not collapse. SL is not an Islamic theocracy or under the control of a Zimbabwe type dictatorship. It is still a democracy that allows peaceful demonstrations like “Aragalaya.” Tourism and foreign remittances are fairly strong. The country went “bankrupt” mainly because of COVID-19, which is a black swan type of event. The next one will likely be China’s invasion of Taiwan by 2030.

              • 0
                20

                “…if the government in Colombo collapsed, and there was total anarchy, India might intervene. But not necessarily on behalf of SL Tamils.”
                .
                Yes.
                .
                Lester in my view is quite right, I too don’t think that Sri Lanka would collapse, to such dire state. But having read some authors and commenters here, I get the feeling some of them would like Sri Lanka to collapse in such a way, so they could implement certain agendas that they have in their minds. Like it has been pointed out chances of that happenning too are remote as interventions may come for different reasons and objectives. .
                With heavy direct Chinese presence and interests on the island India may not get any unilateral powers to dictate terms and conditions of an intervention either.
                .
                TBC

                • 0
                  19

                  Cont’d…
                  .
                  The West too is interested in Sri Lanka, so is the Middle East.
                  .
                  The promotion of Colombo Port City (CPC) to investors was held in Dubai and it was none other than David Cameron that lead it.
                  .
                  All signs are there that Sri Lanka would be developed into a trade and finacial hub in the region between Dubai on one side and Singapore on the other.
                  .
                  CPC will be a great assest to whole of South Asia.
                  .
                  India will have its presence and share so are other countries starting from the US, ME, EU, UK, Singapore and the SEA countries, China, Japan, Australia…etc etc..
                  .
                  There will cosmopolitan cities emerging perhaps in close association with major ports including Trincomalee. And tech cities and manufacturing bases further inland in close proximity to some of these port cities.
                  .
                  TBC

                  • 1
                    20

                    Cont’d…
                    .
                    Communal minded people who wants to insulate themselves from the wider world would find it a little difficult to tolerate but I don’t see whether they would have a choice. You can’t eat the cake and have it. At one point in time some people may have to decide which way they intend to go.
                    .
                    That said I am not sure if China would invade Taiwan. That may not to the benefit of anyone. A Ukraine 2.0 in Taiwan would be a major disaster at a bigger scale imo. Unless the US push of its independence in a way that threatens China. I haven’t been following the recent developments in the US that closely but Trump may do that but perhaps not Biden or any of the Democrats.

                    • 0
                      20

                      * US push for its independence.

                • 11
                  1

                  “It will be hard for you to get any credit or recognition of India’s role in matters that are Sri Lankan from me. I have reasons for that and they are personal.
                  We could agree to refer to it as meanness of spirit or like I said racism, and move on.
                  Nothing personal everyone has their biases, prejudices, meanness in character or as some might like to refer as ego.”
                  “I didn’t take any favours. It was the govt. I am no representive of the govt either. Infact I reject the govt. Therefore there’s no obligation from my part to treat India in a particular way because of the emergency funds given”

                  • 8
                    1

                    OC, is this for real. LOL . People who feed each other’s conflicting ego, ( racism, prejudice, bias, meanness . . . . . . ) also seem to be living in their own fantasy land. It will be nice if Lankans can pay the interest on debt before they go on day dreaming. Didn’t we hear from the dreamers , that Lanka is too big for bankruptcy, if not first, the second safest country to live during Covid, prosperity and splendor, world’s best university / health care / blah, blah, 2500 years of civilization. Of course there is nothing wrong in dreaming , but not the stupid ones.

                    • 8
                      0

                      Chiv,
                      He also said that he bought everything he needed with his own money. What a grasp of economics!

              • 14
                2

                Lester,
                The resettlement of Sinhalese and Muslims in so-called “Tamil areas will be smashed once the Lobha elections are over with the retrival of Kachchativu. The Kachchativu case is likely to taken up for inquiry, especially how Karunanithy mishandled that issue against the wishes of the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. The manner in which India takes steps in matters of the Sethu Bridge, Trincomalee, and of Palaly International Airport, etc are certain to remove aal Sri Lanka military bases in he near future. Sri Lanka went corrupt mainly because of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family and China will be driven out by India with the assistance provided by the Tamils. This is the reality.

                • 0
                  21

                  AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM,

                  You forget that the LTTE assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. Sonia is still in charge of the Congress Party. Her children are also important politicians, especially Rahul. India will definitely not make the same mistake twice, e.g. assisting SL Tamils with finding a political solution. Keeping in mind, India is dealing with Islamic terrorism these days, sponsored by Pakistan and others. An uprising in Tamil Nadu is the last thing the Center wants.

                  • 6
                    3

                    Lester,
                    Thank you. I am against the LTTE because they assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. Moreover, Premadasa & LTTE were indirectly involved pertaining to the assault on Rajiv Gandhi after the signing of the Ido-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. But now Modi is in charge of India and also in future. Rahul Gandhi & his mother have no voice and I have my doubt whether their Congress can won atleast 100 seats. Since the behaviour of Pakistan, China and also the Islamic Terrorism is threatening India’s territorial integrity & sovereignty, India is considering to make North-East Province as an Independent Territory within the Indian Union and of retrieving Kachchativu. As for Tamil Nadu, DMK will be thrown out by the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Annamalai & Modi are keen on finding a lasting solution to the Tamils in Sri Lanka in order to wipe out the threat posed to India’s sovereignty & terittorial integrity. We will have to wait till the results of the Lok Sabha elections are released.

                    • 1
                      11

                      AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM
                      .
                      Yes, it looks like some people seem to like to see that happening – India taking over North & East of Sri Lanka.
                      .
                      But I always thought India didn’t want SL North & East to be separated from its South, as it will pose a threat to Indian sovereignty becoz of the Tamil idea of a Transnational State of Tamil Ealam or some such concept – an independent Tamil sovereign nation combining India’s Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka’s North & East, not something desired by India or Indians.
                      .
                      So in my view they may make such moves at one’s own peril.
                      .
                      But it seems true that some plans are on way to give India a greater hold of Sri Lanka, but believe me nothing like that would happen.
                      .
                      Sri Lanka will not be a failed state nor it or any part of it will be occupied by India!
                      .
                      That’s for sure.
                      .
                      Sorry to have you disappointed.

                    • 0
                      10

                      AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM,

                      Incorrect. The Gandhi family is a dynasty (Nehru-Gandi family) in India. Sonia is considered one of the most powerful women in the world. Why do you think the LTTE is a banned outfit in TN, even after 2009? India will not come to the rescue of SL Tamils. Taking over the Northern provinces in Sri Lanka will not aid India in its defense. The real threats for India are from Pakistan/Kashmir and the disputed border with China.

                      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/why-ltte-is-dreaded-even-after-its-eclipse/articleshow/69333255.cms

                    • 10
                      0

                      AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM

                      “Annamalai & Modi are keen on finding a lasting solution to the Tamils in Sri Lanka in order to wipe out the threat posed to India’s sovereignty & terittorial integrity.”

                      Do you still live on this earth?

                      Hindians lost about 4000 square miles to China some months ago.
                      Please tell the Hindians to first recover from China (SJ being a close friend of China he might help dealing with China cordially).
                      The large land Hindia lost in 1962 war to China has become inherent part of China.

                      Neither Hindia nor China is interested in your Lanka’s land disputes.

          • 4
            1

            “Some say even if history doesn’t repeat, it often rhymes. “
            I guess that 1988-89 was a louder rhyme of 1971 April. When will we hear the next one?

            • 0
              3

              Keep listening…

  • 1
    29

    “Robert Caldwell… established beyond doubt that Tamil and other Dravidian language were different and distinct from Indo-Aryan languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi.”

    This is not true. Sanskrit is indeed the “mother of all Indian languages.” It forms 40% of Tamil alone, according to people like Subramanian Swamy. Even the author admits “Dravidian nationalism was based on three ideologies: dismantling of Brahmin hegemony, social reform by abolition of the caste systems, religious practices and gender equality and renaissance of the Tamil language.” The author does not mention that the “Brahmins” – whom Periyar called “snakes” and “Jews” are from the North and have fairer skin on average compared to the typical South Indian. Periyar the atheist, being a village nobody, was jealous of their success. There are many parallels between Prabhakaran and Periyar. I have no doubt that Periyar would have approved of VP, had the opportunity arose. Anyway, the author says “equality and renaissance of the Tamil language.” He should say the DMK advocated for its supremacy. Which is the real reason why SL Tamils were against “Sinhala-Only.” To be fair, there are other people, like the French, who also believe their language is somehow superior.

    • 13
      0

      Lester,
      “It forms 40% of Tamil alone, according to people like Subramanian Swamy. “
      If you could find a non-Brahmin to say that, people might take you more seriously. Or you could fabricate a Vedic sloka……

      • 0
        14

        Old Codger,

        Readers can judge credibility for themselves. Subramaniam Swamy is a Harvard graduate. Meanwhile, (by your own admission) you did minesweeping for the STF and you claimed insider trading is legal.

        • 11
          1

          Lester
          Even Wikipedia describes him as a conspiracy theorist. Is he even an MP?
          It isn’t my credibility that’s the issue. YOU put forward an economist’s opinion on linguistics. I suppose that’s logical, given your pathetic performance with calculus, astrology, and whatnot.

          • 0
            12

            Old Codger,

            You don’t even read what you link to. Yet another mental deficiency.

            Conspiracy theory

            In September 2020, Swamy said that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had “unearthed huge evidence” to prove in court that Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was “murder by conspiracy.”[193

            I know you also have difficulty with interpretation. He is just saying that actor Sushant Singh was murdered by the police. So GTFO with your “conspiracies.”

            • 8
              0

              Lester,
              If you want credibility, use your thumb machine.🤣🤣

        • 1
          10

          Lester – I don’t know about his mine sweeping history but yes he thinks insider trading is legal.

          • 1
            9

            Ruchira,

            Just imagine the scandal if someone like the Microsoft or Apple CEO said that. Immediate termination. The stock price would immediately drop by 15-20%.

            • 0
              8

              Lester – That’s what will happen at Microsoft. In la la land however rogues reign.

            • 8
              0

              Lester,
              Don’t you think that’s another of Ruchira’s “literary symbolisms” ?

              • 7
                0

                Lester,
                ” if someone like the Microsoft or Apple CEO”
                Really, you shouldn’t flatter me so much.

            • 8
              0

              Seriously, this is like two 12 year olds giggling and being obnoxious. I know 10 year olds more mature than this.

              And seriously please spare us the CT readers this childish loitering and littering in the CT forum.

              • 5
                0

                S
                True, I may dare say.
                But in fairness will you also not say the same of other duos with a different kind of racism?

                • 8
                  0

                  SJ, fair question. I will aim to call out every kind of racism and chauvinism. Which means I have to read every post here – Oh, torture!

                  I think that the victims of brutality inflicted by Sinhala Buddhist fascism in this country, of whom there are tens of thousands, do lament and express anger and despair as they have lost much. However, retaliatory racism and racist rhetoric are not acceptable.

    • 11
      0

      Lester

      “Why do you think the LTTE is a banned outfit in TN, even after 2009?”

      Why do you think Surgeon General Shandra Silva, Udaya Perera, Chandana Hettiarachchi and Sunil Ratnayake from entering USA?

    • 8
      1

      What a load of rubbish and quoting Subramania Swamy who is no linguist, an Aryan supremacist, Hindutva extremist and a self-hating Tamil Brahmin, commonly even called my other Tamil Brahmins and loony Swamy. There is nothing common with Periyar or Prapakaran. Periyar was a Kannada Naicker whose mother tongue was not Tamil but Kannada and would have been very closely related to many of the Kandyan Radalas who are largely descended from Pandian Tamil and Madurai/Thanjavur Tamil Naicker aristocracy. Prapakaran was never anti Brahmin, nor he ever ran down Brahmins. Many Jaffna Brahmins were part of the LTTE. He was a Hindu but was very secular and wanted an secular caste free society amongst Eelam Tamils and never ran down or praised any religion or caste. Unlike in Tamil Nadu or the rest of India, the Brahmins never were powerful amongst the Eelam Tamils. We were ritually the highest caste, but the political and economic power has always been with the Vellalar, who were the majority. Therefore, the Dravidian ideology and anti-Brahmin sentiment never took hold amongst the Eelam Tamils and Brahmin priests were respected for who they were. Religious teachers.

      • 7
        1

        Periyar never quoted if you meet a snake and a Brahmin kill the Brahmin and not a snake. This is lie. It actually was quoted by an but by another person Beverley Nichols, an American Author. This was said by an American but not by blacks or those who wear black. Beverley Nichols visited Kanyakumari till Kashmir, observed people, researched and wrote a book ‘Verdict on India’ about India. The claimed quote is mentioned in the book. “Don’t kill snakes. Beverley Nichols in his book ‘Verdict on India’ says, “Ancient saying, still current, is – If you meet a snake and a Brahmin, kill the Brahmin. However, Periyar has written another quote. “Whoever comes in front of you with an attitude of casteism, consider him like a snake and beat him. This would be the best medicine to stop casteism. This will start working immediately like an injection (Viduthalai: 27-2-1948). He has not mentioned anything like ‘beat/kill Brahmins.

        • 7
          1

          He was not against Brahmins as a caste but was against Brahminism and Aryan superiority that you see amongst Tamil Brahmins like your Swamy and what they stood for. The economic and political stranglehold they had not only the population of Tamil Nadu and South India but even the rest of India. What happened in Kerala under their power and the practice of Sambandam that they practice on the Nair women for centuries, in the name of God, is the most abhorrent and despicable form of legal rape in the name of caste and God, where these women were forced to take multiple partners all in the name of god and caste until the 1920s and were supposed to be grateful this and for all the millions of illegitimate children that were sired by this arrangement, as the father was a Brahmin, who never acknowledged them or even supported them.

          • 7
            1

            These Nair offspring had to worship the Namboodiri and walk 24 paces behind him, even when he was their father, knew it and never acknowledged this, and treated them as lowly Sudra. However, when he wanted anything done, they were there to do his bidding, just like the way the Burghers and Anglo Indians did the bidding of British. All they did was go around boasting how their men were virile sperm donors for the Nair women and due to this over the centuries, had gradually made the Nair light skinned and good looking. It was only after the Dravidian party rule came to Tamil Nadu and the Brahmin hegemony was broken not only in Tamil Nadu and the rest of South India, that Tamil Nadu and South India prospered. Now see where Kerala is socially and politically.
            https://archive.org/details/VerdictOnIndiaByBeverleyNicholsEbooks.i360.pk

            • 0
              2

              “the way the Burghers and Anglo Indians did the bidding of British. “
              Did the Brahmins, Mudaliyars and Chettiyas do differently?

  • 26
    3

    Good analysis but one incorrect statistic. The Tamil speaking population on the island is not 17.5% but far more. (Native Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian origin Tamils) Tamils are around 15.8% and add to this the 9.7% Sri Lankan Muslim population, 90% or more of whom speak Tamil as their mother tongue and almost 100% of them speak and understand Tamil. Tamil is the mother tongue of 25% of the island’s population. This is what even the Sri Lanka government Statistics states.

    • 0
      14

      Strange that no one has challenged Lester here. Either the Sinhala Buddhist haters are tired or they have no solid counter argument!

      • 1
        7

        Hello Ruchira,
        I had many disagreements with the “Sinhala is derived from Tamil” Brigade. On occasions Lester has been right in what he says. I think both languages have been cross-fertilised, however they are very distinct from one another. Why is it as an English speaker I find it easier (relatively) to learn, and especially to speak, Sinhala rather than Tamil? I can watch a Sinhala TV Series and pick up the gist of what is said (except when they speak quickly), but I don’t have a chance in hell with a Tamil series😒. Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, why do the Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese have about the same amount of West Eurasian DNA – from “Reconstructing the population history of the Sinhalese, the major ethnic group in Sri Lanka” – whilst the Sr Lankan Indian Tamils have virtually none? Some serious hanky-panky in the past or is there another explanation?
        Best regards

        • 4
          2

          LS
          Most comments on language are based on superficial observations, or worse pure prejudice.
          Similarities between Sinhala and Tamil are historical, and caused by proximity. But serious scholars to this day hold that Sinhala is an Indo-Aryan language.
          If word stock lone is a criterion, Tamil in some ways more than Kannada is Sanskrit derived. Four major religions that entered Tamil society (Saivaism, Vaishnavaism, Jainism & Buddhism) brought with them a massive word stock that was clearly non-native to Tamil society.
          Commendably, Tamil built on that wealth to enrich itself and the religions themselves. The same can be said of Christianity and Islam. An Italian clergyman modernized Tamil writing six centuries ago.
          Sinhala benefitted from Pali, Sanskrit and Tamil. But it was not born of any one of them. It adopted a pragmatic approach to word bulding in the 20th Century, which Tamil failed to, and lost out on modernization.
          It is not how old a language is but how it meets the need of modernity that decides it success.

        • 13
          1

          LankaScot

          “I had many disagreements with the “Sinhala is derived from Tamil” Brigade. “

          This is about competitive racism, ultimately comparing the ancientness of each of the language and their manufactured identities.
          Sinhala/Buddhists believe the first ape spoke Sinhala and practiced Sinhala/Buddhism on the other hand Tamil/Saivaite believe the first ape spoke Tamil and practiced Tamil/Saivam.

          However in the case of Lester, he imagines things, he types good fables, in fact I envy him.

          • 1
            2

            Hello Native Vedda,
            According to Bishop Samuel Wilberforce in a debate with Thomas Huxley on Darwinism, he asked Huxley if it was on his father’s or mother’s side that he was descended from an ape. So the first ape spoke English😎. Huxley replied that he would rather be descended from an ape than a Bishop.
            Best regards

            • 0
              8

              LankaScot – statement of the day! 👇👇👇
              .
              “Huxley replied that he would rather be descended from an ape than a Bishop.”
              .
              Good one!

            • 11
              1

              Lanka Scott read this and this more or less accurate a comparison between Tamil and Sanskrit. Sinhalese is classified as an Indo-Aryan language due to the large amount of Pali/Sanskrit and Prakrit derived words in its vocabulary, around 65-70-%. However, if you look at Sinhalese very carefully it has very strong Dravidian foundation on which an Indo Aryan super structure has been built. Even after deliberate Sanskritization of Sinhalese, around 30-35% of its vocabulary is derived from Tamil or the local native semi or Proto Tamil dialect Elu. Many of the words at a glance are not obvious but once you research you will see it has a Dravidian/Tamil origin. Despite being classified as an Indo-Aryan language, Sinhalese grammar, lexicon, syntax and even its alphabet is all purely derived from Tamil and not from Pali or Sanskrit. If you look at a sentence constructed in Sinhalese or even in Hindi, the words are arranged teh same way and follow the same sequence as in Tamil and not like in Iranian, English or other Indo-European languages, proving Sanskrit and Indo Aryan borrowed the Tamil syntax and phonology. Eg I am going home in English. In Sinhala Mama Gedera Yanava, Hindi Main Ghar Ja Raha Hoon

              • 11
                1

                In Tamil Naan Vettukku Pokiraaen. As you can see in Sinhala, Hindi and Tamil the syntax of the sentence and words in the sentence are arranged the same way. I home going. Proving all these people were at one time Dravidian speakers, who replaced their Dravidian/Tamil words with Indo Aryan vocabulary but kept the formation of the sentence and syntax the same.
                Out of all the Dravidian languages Tamil has the least amount of loan words from Sanskrit and to state otherwise is sheer rubbish and even now high Tamil can be written without any Sanskrit at all. Sanskrit also has borrowed thousands of load words from Tamil/Dravidian, and it was all not a one-way street. Sanskrit has eaten into the other three major Dravidian languages, and they borrow and use Sanskrit words in its original form and do not adopt it, whereas Tamil has very strict grammatical rules on how to writs and use borrowed words from other languages. As for Malayalam it also has lots of dialects diglossia and the worst is Hindi as many of the so-called Hindi dialects themselves are actually languages in their own right.
                https://indianyug.com/a-comparison-between-sanskrit-and-tamil-to-find-out-which-is-the-older-language/

                • 7
                  1

                  Lanka Scott read this and this more or less accurate a comparison between Tamil and Sanskrit. Sinhalese is classified as an Indo-Aryan language due to the large amount of Pali/Sanskrit and Prakrit derived words in its vocabulary, around 65-70-%. However, if you look at Sinhalese very carefully it has very strong Dravidian foundation on which an Indo Aryan super structure has been built. Even after deliberate Sanskritization of Sinhalese, around 30-35% of its vocabulary is derived from Tamil or the local native semi or Proto Tamil dialect Elu. Many of the words at a glance are not obvious but once you research you will see it has a Dravidian/Tamil origin. Despite being classified as an Indo-Aryan language, Sinhalese grammar, lexicon, syntax and even its alphabet is all purely derived from Tamil and not from Pali or Sanskrit.

                  • 6
                    1

                    If you look at a sentence constructed in Sinhalese or even in Hindi, the words are arranged the same way and follow the same sequence as in Tamil and not like in Iranian, English or other Indo-European languages, proving Sanskrit and Indo Aryan borrowed the Tamil syntax and phonology. Eg I am going home in English. In Sinhala Mama Gedera Yanava, Hindi Main Ghar Ja Raha Hoon

                    • 1
                      6

                      Hello Siva Sankaran Sharma,

                      From your first comment – “As you can see in Sinhala, Hindi and Tamil the syntax of the sentence and words in the sentence are arranged the same way. I home going. Proving all these people were at one time Dravidian speakers”
                      “Languages that have SOV structure include all Indo-Iranian languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Pāli, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Urdu, Zazaki), Ainu, Akkadian, Amharic, Armenian, Assyrian, Aymara, Basque, Burmese, Burushaski, Cherokee, Dakota, Dogon languages, Elamite, Ancient Greek, Hajong, Hittite, Hopi, Ijoid languages, Itelmen, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Classical Latin, Lakota, Manchu, Mande languages, Meeteilon, Mongolian, Navajo, Newari, Nivkh, Nobiin, Omaha, Quechua, Senufo languages, Seri, Sicilian, Sunuwar, and Somali” and all Dravidian languages. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31546
                      Are they all originally Dravidian speakers?
                      All of the Celtic languages are VSO – Welsh, Gaelic etc, written examples of Celtic languages go back to 6th century BC in the Alps.
                      Linear A (1850 BC) and Linear B (1400 BC) from Crete must come after the Dravidian/Indo-European split.
                      Can you give some examples of objective linguistic Reference books that provide evidence for the history of Indo-European languages and their relationship to Tamil/Dravidian.
                      Best regards

                    • 8
                      1

                      Sorry the subject is about Tamil and Sanskrit (Dravidian and Indo Aryan) and Lester’s anti Tamil propaganda, and I am not about other language groups. These two language groups have had a very long connection spanning thousands of years., especially its founding languages, Tamil and Sanskrit. They have had a very close relationship with each other and have become very similar to each other, that most linguists now call them sister languages, despite them belonging to different language families. Both Tamil and Sanskrit have borrowed lots of words from each other and it was not a one-way street as previously thought. However, Tamil only borrowed words from Sanskrit, and high Tamil can be written without these words too, as 90% of these words have a pure Tamil equivalent word, but Sanskrit not only borrowed a large amount vocabulary from Tamil but also its phonology and syntax and its grammar. Borrowing words is trivial as all languages do but to borrow another language’s phonology, syntax and grammar and be greatly influenced by it, is nothing trivial and this is what Tamil did to Sanskrit.

                    • 8
                      1

                      All Indo-Aryan languages have the Dravidian retroflex sounds, and this includes Sanskrit and all its daughter languages, and they follow the same Dravidian syntax, when forming a sentence as given below and this includes Sinhalese, Hindi. Take every sentence in Hindi and Sinhalese they are formed the same way and follow the same pattern as Tamil and what has all this got to do with Mongolian, Celtic or any other language and their grammar patterns? Did they this close contact and relationship like Sanskrit (Indo Aryan) and Tamil (Dravidian) did for thousands of years. Now English may have this in the last two centuries. Trying to deliberately bring all these and muddy the waters shows your still pro Sinhalese bias that has most probably rubbed into you from your wife and family. Of course, you will find Sinhalese familiar than Tamil as you live with a Sinhalese speaking family and are constantly exposed to Sinhalese speech.

                    • 8
                      1

                      As for Malayalam and Tamil, Malayalam is a daughter language of Tamil and is the closest to it as it really broke off from its Tamil mother only a few centuries ago compared to Kannada and Telugu, that broke of around 2500 years ago. It is more complicated from Tamil, as it is a mixture of two languages. Middle Tamil and Sanskrit and pronouncing modern Malayalam words are far more tongue twisting because of this. If you can do this and have claimed to have mastered it, then Tamil is a cake walk.

                    • 8
                      1

                      Yes, we all know how to count one two and three in Sinhalese and in Tamil, but the fact is modern Sinhalese vocabulary is still 30-35% Tamil derived, and its grammar, lexicon, syntax, and alphabet are all purely derived from Tamil. Just deliberately coming here and posing one two three in Sinhalese and Tamil to confuse and muddy the waters will not work. Example Sinhalese Varrakapola sounds very Sinhalese but in fact it is pure Tamil. Waraka/Varaka is a form of Jack fruit in Sinhalese derived from Varukai or Varukai Pala the same form of Jack fruit in Tamil, and pola/pala meaning place site an open field marketplace. This is derived from Tamil Pulam, place, arable land, field. Now you live in Welligala/Welikalla in Kandy. Again, sounds very Sinhalese but again is a purely derived from Tamil it can mean Sandy stone or the stone outside. Veli in Tamil meaning sandy open space or outside. Kallu or Kal meaning stone from which Sinhalese word Gal is derived just like Kannada. I can keep on giving you more examples. People with little knowledge and inbuilt racist prejudices rubbed off from their racist partners should stop refraining from posting rubbish.

                • 2
                  0

                  Sentences with subject verb and object are generally of two types.
                  SVO and SOV sequences. The world divides roughly equally in that respect.
                  So that proves very little.
                  *
                  A simple Tamil sentence can make the same sense even with a jumbling of that order because of its system of noun declensions (vEtrumai). Such redundancies are absent in languages that use prepositional words.
                  Tamil flourished by borrowing since the Christian era. Stagnation was imposed on it by purists who overstretched the case against ‘polluters’.
                  *
                  Commendably, Sinhala has got a grip over its diglossia in the past century.
                  Simplification of verb declension has helped Malayalam.

        • 0
          9

          LankaScot – beats me too. Did you hear back from the Professor you wrote to, regarding the genetic stidies?

          • 0
            0

            Hello Ruchira,
            Not a word. I will try some of the other names that you gave.
            Best regards

            • 0
              5

              LankaScot- Yeah, better. You could also try the corresponding authors of some of these published studies. After all being designated corresponding author, they have an obligation to respond.

        • 10
          1

          LS,
          I remember you said you learned Malayalam , so why is Tamil so difficult?

          • 1
            2

            Tamil is difficult because diglossia in Tamil is a far bigger problem than in many modern languages.
            One can learn ‘standard’ Tamil very thoroughly, but to understand any dialect is a challenge.
            It is not just word but even grammar differs between written and spoken languages, and between spoken languages.
            When I spent a few days in Chennai, several whom I spoke to in Tamil asked me if I was a Malayali. (I wished I was.)

            • 7
              1

              SJ
              Thanks. I have been told that some varieties of Tamil are almost mutually incomprehensible.

          • 0
            0

            Hello OC,
            In Saudi Arabia I learned a little Malayalam, counting a little, directions and greetings etc. What I couldn’t do was pronounce words sufficiently clearly to be understood by Keralans. This was explained to me by my Keralan friends in Qatar that spoke very good English. My pronunciation of Banana വാഴപ്പഴം vaazhappazham was very funny to them. But in Sinhala Kesel කෙසෙල් is easy.
            Most Sinhalese cannot pronounce Vodka, Volkswagen, diVulge etc. They have difficulty with Vee sounds and use a W instead. I cannot pronounce Retroflex sounds. Even Sinhalese speakers have difficulty learning Tamil or Malayalam. As I said before no-one has explained to me (linguistically) how you can get from Tamil
            1 – ஒன்று (oḷṟu)
            2 – இரண்டு (iraṇṭu)
            3 – மூன்று (mūṉṟu)
            4 – நான்கு (nāṉku)
            5 – ஐந்து (aintu)
            6 – ஆறு (āṟu)
            7 – ஏழு (ēḻu)
            8 – எட்டு (eṭṭu)
            9 – ஒன்பது (Oṉpatu)
            10 – பத்து (pattu)
            to Sinhalese
            1 එක , eka
            2 දෙක , deka
            3 තුන , tuna
            4 හතර , hatara
            5 පහ , paha
            6 හය , haya
            7 හත , hata
            8 අට aṭa
            9 නවය (නමය) , navaya (namaya)
            10 දහය . dahaya
            Best regards

            • 7
              0

              The Sinhala numerals link to Indo-Aryan sources.
              Tamil numbers are native ‘Dravidian’.
              Similarities occur in terms relating to family and many social practices.

            • 1
              0

              LS,
              I suppose you know that many numbers in Greek are eerily similar to Sinhala ?
              1 – ένα (éna)
              2 – δύο (dío)
              3 – τρία (tría)
              4 – τέσσερα (tésera)
              5 – πέντε (pénde)
              6 – έξι (éxi)
              7 – επτά (eptá)
              8 – οκτώ (októ)
              9 –
              But many other words seem to be originally Tamil. For example, a pumpkin is called ‘wattakka’ in Sinhala but the word means ” round fruit” in Tamil.
              BTW, I have read that Portuguese influence inTamil is almost as common as it is in Sinhala, even in areas that they didn’t rule in South India. Why did they have so much influence?

        • 2
          10

          LankaScot,

          You can verify for yourself that Sinhala has more borrowed words from Portugese than Tamil. Regarding the ease of learning, yes, Sinhala is much easier to learn than Tamil. Given the complexity of the latter, there is no benefit for the typical Sinhalese person to learn Tamil. In the case of the younger generation, they are better off learning programming languages, which will increase their employment opportunities.

          Regarding the evolution of the Sinhala language, most words are from Hela, Sanskrit and Pali. There is relatively little Tamil influence. That is why Tamil is classified as a Dravidian language and Sinhala is classified as an Indo-Aryan language.

          • 10
            1

            Lester,
            “Sanskrit is indeed the “mother of all Indian languages.” It forms 40% of Tamil alone, according to people like Subramanian Swamy”
            “That is why Tamil is classified as a Dravidian language and Sinhala is classified as an Indo-Aryan language.”
            That’s a quick turn-around, even for you.

            • 0
              8

              Old Codger,

              You are putting two unrelated sentences together. It’s better if you took up a new hobby, like stamp collecting. Logical inference is “not your thing.”

            • 9
              1

              OC, Sanskrit is not the mother of all Indian languages but the mother of all Indo-Aryan languages and definitely not the mother of Dravidian languages, even the now highly Sanskritized Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam languages. Proto Dravidian/Proto or old Tamil is their mother and in the case of Malayalam it is middle Tamil. Despite the current huge number of Sanskrit words in their languages, they are considered Dravidian, as the core language is Dravidian, as when you take of all the Sanskrit derived words what remains is old or middle Tamil. Hale or old Kannada is basically Tamil and so is simple un Sanskritized Malayalam. Telugu is a bit distant to these three languages that form one cluster. At a glance Telugu looks similar to Kannada, due to the high amount of Sanskrit loan words and using the same script but in reality, Kanada is very similar to Tamil just like Malayalam.

              • 11
                1

                It is a well-known fact that the so-called Swamy despite identifying himself as a Tamil, in reality is a Hindutva fanatic, Aryan supremacist and works against his own Tamil ethnicity and people and even against many other Tamil Brahmins. Strictly speaking around 17-20% of ordinary Tamil vocabulary in day-to-day use is Sanskrit derived and definitely not 40% but even a very large proportion of these words can be discarded, like in the case of high Tamil, however like SJ stated Sanskrit over the years has enriched Tamil and using these words borrowed from Sanskrit has not only made the Tamil language very flexible, sweeter and the sentences less verbose and shorter, ready for modern world. Tamil also did the same thing to Sanskrit and over the thousands of years despite having different origins and belonging to different family groups, they have become so similar to each other that most linguistics call them sister languages and there is a strong opinion that many of the common vocabulary found amongst both languages was not borrowed directly from each other but from a common parent source from which Dravidian and Indo European diverged at some ancient time. Tamil and Sanskrit may have borrowed words from each other but unlike in Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu, where Sanskrit in its unadulterated form has eaten into their languages, it did not in the case of Tamil or Sanskrit but only richly enriched other.

                • 10
                  1

                  Nowadays most modern linguists cannot distinguish to which language the original word common to Sanskrit and Tamil belonged to, or at least most of them and now just say words common to Sanskrit and Tamil, whereas a few decades ago, there was a very pro Sanskrit bias and it was thought all words common to both languages, originated from Sanskrit, as it was an Aryan language, belonging to the same language group as English, French, Latin so superior but now they realize that is not true and it was not a one way street and both languages more or less equally borrowed words from each other or from a common ancient pre historic parent language.

          • 4
            0

            “more borrowed words from Portugese than Tamil.”
            Any language but Tamil it seems!
            Really it is English that is racing ahead as lender of words in all of South Asia.

        • 10
          1

          LS,
          “why do the Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese have about the same amount of West Eurasian DNA”
          Because they are of the same stock, but speaking different languages, the Tamils using Tamil because of religion and proximity to India ?
          That said, there have been recent waves of migration from India apart from the upcountry Tamils. These people, I believe, have not been tested separately.

          • 2
            10

            “Because they are of the same stock”

            They are not of the same stock. You are assuming ethnicity can be determined through genetics, which is not the case.

            “Reconstructions of past genetics are based on extrapolation from modern populations but this is highly dubious – the origin of a particular genetic mutation is not necessarily where it is most common today, so even assigning particular genetic combinations to a specific geographical area is problematic, let alone to an ethnic group. This is really the racial thinking of the 1930s with a new technology (see the confused Nazi definitions of who was a Jew, a Slav, or an Aryan).” – Prof Emeritus John Collis (Sheffield)

            • 7
              0

              Lester,
              DNA can tell you an individual’s skin/ eye colour, hair texture, body mass, etc. Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils are more closely related in these ways to each other
              than to Indian Tamils.Jaffna Tamil is also different from the Tamil across the strait.
              It may not be possible to determine ethnicity with DNA, but it would be useful to see how “Sinhalese ” from different areas differ from each other and people from Southern India.

        • 10
          1

          There may be three reasons for this high Western Eurasian DNA amongst the Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese. 1) The one of immigration of men from somewhere in Northwestern India who came and got assimilated into the local Dravidian tribes who were already living here or got married to Tamil Pandian upper caste women and brought them here. 2) Around 50% of the island’s Sinhalese and Tamils belong the upper Vellalar/Govigamma farmer caste. Now it has been found out that the Tamil Vellalar, and the Telugu Vellama (the Vellalar who settled in Telugu lands and most probably the Sinhalese Govigama the equivalent caste (the word Govi the one who reaps meaning a farmer is derived from the ancient Tamil word Koi or Koiyuthal meaning to reap or pluck, most probably descended from ancient Tamil Velir farmer tribes) have very high percentages of Western Eurasian original Indus Valley Civilization, Neolithic Iranian farmer DNA from the west Zagros mountains the proto Dravidians who came and intermarried with the Ancient Ancestral Indians or the Australoid to form the Indus Valley Civilization.

          • 10
            1

            This link gives you a better idea. I think PK gave this link before. This is the reason you get fair Tamils and Sinhalese and dark Tamils and Sinhalese and everything between, as they are ethnic groups a mixture of many people.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSiFYomXCnM

        • 10
          1

          Lankan Scott Cheta. All Indian population. This also includes Sri Lankan Thamizh and Chingkallams, as well as Thullukans, have three genes sets whether it is upper caste other caste or tribals (here caste mentioned for understanding only as I do not want SJ Thaatha to come on the war path)
          1. Ancient hunter gatherers that is 23- 54 percentage (First Indian out of Africa)
          2. Middle East Iranian Zagros farmers 36 – 41 percentage (Dravidian)
          3. Steppe genes. 10 – 36 percentage. (Aryan)
          Logically means 23 to 54 percentage first Indians,
          36-41 percentage Dravidians, 10- 36 percentage Aryans. This varies between castes, regions and ethnicities. West Eurasian does not mean European but Dravidian/Iranian Zagros farmers or Steppe genes/Aryan( Yamnaya) or a mixture of both these. people. South Eurasian is Australoid, Indian or Australian and East Eurasian means, East Asian DNA. Understood and nothing to do with modern Europeans. Whether you like it or not this truth

          • 5
            0

            Hello Pandi Kutti,

            Where did I say that Eurasian DNA had anything to do with Modern Europeans? I have 2% Neanderthal DNA. Neanderthals were taller, stronger and had bigger brains than Homo Sapiens. I am sure that you would have liked Neanderthal men.
            Unfortunately the sneakier “Out of Africa Indians” discovered a contraceptive Ayurvedic herbal concoction and persuaded their womenfolk to put it in the Neanderthal men’s tea. Hence no more Neanderthals since about 30.000 years ago.
            If you have any male West European friends, check at the back of their skull near the base. If they have a bump there they have Neanderthal genes😎.
            Best regards

            • 11
              1

              Hello Lanka Scot Cheta, thanks for the suggestion. However, my half English half Punjabi boyfriend who lives very close to my home and whom I have known from a teenager is all what I want. He is also handsome, tall hunky and chunky and a good sportsman but thank God does not wear a turban or have long hair but has a trimmed beard. He has always been my best friend and confidant and we have always gone everywhere only with him. Maybe he also has Neanderthal DNA from the steppe Yamnaya as generally Punjabi have around 36% steppe Aryan DNA, and from his English mother. He actually looks like Spanish, Southern French. There is another handsome Jewish young man, also trying to be friends with me at the University. I just smile and walk off. Most probably I should have a spare too. :) Am I being naughty?

      • 11
        2

        You’re chronically confused.

        Haters of Sinhala Buddhist Fascists.

        There is a huge difference between violence inciting, death threat uttering, lying Sinhala Buddhist fascists to the peace loving Sinhala Buddhists.

        There’s no reason to hate the entire Sinhala Buddhist population.

        You chose your camp. Face the ride.

        • 1
          2

          S
          Glad that you spotted it.

      • 9
        1

        Ruchira

        “Strange that no one has challenged Lester here. “

        Don’t you think it is better to remain silent and let the people think him a fool, a simpleton, ….a moron, … ?

        “Either the Sinhala Buddhist haters are tired or they have no solid counter argument!”

        Sinhalese and Buddhists are the ones who most distain the Anagarika’s Sinhala/Buddhists children.

        • 2
          7

          Native,

          “Don’t you think it is better to remain silent and let the people think him a fool, a simpleton, ….a moron, … ?”

          It’s better if you talk about Veddas, to enlighten us simple folk. Tell us about their architecture, literature, religion, creation of a wheel. TIA.

  • 20
    0

    “Irked by the demand for secession Jawaharlal Nehru set about amending the constitution to ban any party with sectarian policies from participating in elections.”
    Nehru was for long hostile to “Dravidian” politics.
    In 1962, he took advantage of the Sino-Indian border conflict to introduce the legislation prohibiting secessionist parties from the electoral process. That proved convenient to the DMK as well.

  • 14
    1

    Dear Rational Thinkers,
    Thanks go to the writer, who made me feel interesting having read his article about previous thoughts of tamil langauges being linked to sanskrit and how colonical bishops exposed them being not deva langagues such as sanskrit. His simple writing skill is a blessing. I will read the aritcle later.
    .
    WIth the topic being highlighted by some indians, srilankens struggle today for not being able to see it forward momentarily.

    Their psyche is mixed if GOTA-2 EPISODE will be the case if JVP-LED NPP would be the next force. there are various devils before a small nation of 22-mllions today, which are india, china and JVP-NPP.
    Their fall in wrong sides would destine the future of this totally fallen bankrupted nation next. Everyone#s public masturbation with hidden agendas to conquer srilanka and its geogrpahical location is inevitable. Stragetically srilanka s location was not targeted as it is current day by any traders also in the past. However, it has turned out o be that crucial as of today comparatively.

  • 1
    6

    Lester,
    “The Gandhi family is a dynasty (Nehru-Gandi family) in India. Sonia is considered one of the most powerful women in the world”. Those days are gone. Now the most powerful person and popular person in the world is Narendra Modi. His party is ready to set its foot firmly in Tamil Nadu and also on the verge of securing of about 400 seats in the Lok Sabha. What Sonia Gandhi couldn’t perform was easily performed by N.Modi. Today China and Pakistan is fearing India. He has a record of establishing a Hindu Temple in a Muslim country in the Middle-East. Moreover, in Qatar he has secured the release of Indian Navy personnel who were sentenced to death sentence. Now Maldives is begging India to help its financial structure, after it leaned towards China. As for Sri Lanka, please wait till the results of Lok Sabha elections are released. DMK cannot set its foot in the Northern Province and scenario has fully changed.

    • 0
      9

      AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM,

      You have to understand that India is probably the most corrupt country in the world. Corruption is facilitated by extremes in wealth inequality. The optimal solution is the creation of a strong middle class, but there are numerous barriers in India: caste, gender discrimination, religious fundamentalism, etc. China is also corrupt, but it doesn’t have these issues. India will never catch up to China. These are the most valuable Indian exports: Refined Petroleum, Diamonds, Packaged Medicaments, Jewellery and Rice ($11.1B). Nothing like China, which is the world’s biggest manufacturer and customer market or preferred supplier (labor or materials) for big tech co’s like Apple, Samsung, Walmart, Tesla, etc. India is not strong militarily (outside of nuclear weapons) because most of the soldiers are vegetarians. Do you see Indians winning medals at the Olympics?

      Modi is just an RSS fanatic. He oversaw the Gujarat riots. I would not take that guy seriously. Sonia and Congress are still calling the shots.

      Even Indians do not think India can catch up to China: “Unlike China, India Cannot Be an Economic Superpower” https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/india-economic-boom-is-overhyped-by-ashoka-mody-2023-07

      • 3
        0

        Hello Jester Kunju since you love Brahmins and worship them. I and I can do a dance duet as a Thamizh Brahmin couple. You are Maama and me Maami nice and coy and dressed in Madisar(the 9-yard saree worn by Thamizh Brahmin women). You can learn the spoken Thamizh Brahmin dialect of the Iyers from Swamy, with 40% Sanskrit if you want to and I can ask Sankaran Maama to teach me how to speak Brahmin Thamizh. We will then dance like this and entertain everyone here and Swamy will be happy and Periyar will be very unhappy. Vangona Vangona. See I can speak Brahmin Thamizh. This is the original song.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p7yi8RTvpY
        This was sung and danced by a Malayali Muslim Husband and wife on Super Singer dressed as Thamizh Brahmins. See these Malayali are not only speaking Thamizh but also the Brahmin dialect quite well.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0uMSCOJlms

  • 2
    4

    While appreciating the efforts of the writer, it is a fact that Tamil and Sanskrit are sister languages. Tamil was in use during the period of Indus Valley Civilization. During this period that the Ramayana was compiled in Sanskrit by the sage Valmiki. Accordingly, Ravana was born in Noida village (Uttar Pradesh) and learned Tamil from his uncle Sage Agathiya and mastered both Tamil and Sanskrit languages. Just as Lord Shiva had two sons Lord Ganesh and Lord Muruga, Sanskrit and Tamil were considered as sister languages. The names of many places in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have Tamil and Sanskrit roots. But Tamil and Sanskrit had their influences over each other and cannot be considered different just because Dravidian atheists hate Sanskrit. The Dravidian concept was a myth. Even in the texts of Sanga period, it only referred as “Thamilakam” and “Bharath”. Can the writer clarify these matters.

    • 5
      0

      “Tamil was in use during the period of Indus Valley Civilization. “
      That is news.

      • 6
        1

        SJ,
        It seems AR has managed to decipher the Indus script. Not by meditating, I hope.

      • 7
        1

        Lol. They spoke a Dravidian language, definitely not Indo Aryan but no one properly deciphered the script to know the exact language.

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