Monday, 3 December 2018

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar about the Nagas, the Dravidians, Tamil or Dravida;

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Tamil or Dravida

Who were the Nagas? Undoubtedly they were non-Aryans. A careful study of the Vedic literature reveals a spirit of conflict, of a dualism, and a race for superiority between two distinct types of culture and thought. In the Rig Veda, we are first introduced to the Snake-god in the form of Ahi Vitra, the enemy of the Aryan god Indra. Naga, the name under which the Snake-god was to become so famous in later days, does not appear in early Vedic literature. Even when it does for the first time in the Satapatha Brahmana (X1.2,7,12), it is not clear whether a great snake or a great elephant is meant. But this does not conceal the nature of Ahi Vitra, since he is described always in Rig Veda as the serpant who lay around or hidden in waters, and as holding a full control over the waters of heaven and earth alike. It is also evident from the hymns that refer to Ahi Vitra, that he received no worship from the Aryan tribes and was only regarded as an evil spirit of considerable power who must be fought down. The mention of the Nagas in the Rig Veda shows that the Nagas were a very ancient people. It must also be remembered that the Nagas were in no way an aboriginal or uncivilised people. Not only did the Naga people occupy a high cultural level but history shows that they ruled a good part of India. That Maharashtra is the home of the Nagas goes without saying. Its people and its kings were Nagas.

Who are the Dravidians? Are they different from the Nagas? Chare they two different names for a people of the same race? The popular view is that the Dravidians and Nagas are names of two different races. This statement is bound to shock many people. Nonetheless, it is a fact that the term Dravidians and Nagas are merely two different names for the same people.

It is not to be denied that very few will be prepared to admit the proposition that the Dravidians and Nagas are merely two different names for the same people and fewer that the Dravidians as Nagas occupied not merely South India but that they occupied the whole of India- South as well as North. Nonetheless, these are historical truths.

The Nagas and Dravidians are one and the same people. Even with this much of proof, people may not be found ready to accept the thesis. The chief difficulty in the way of accepting it lies in the designation of the people of South India by the name Dravidian. It is natural for them to ask why the term Dravidian has come to be restricted to the people of South India if they are really Nagas. Critics are bound to ask : If the Dravidians and the Nagas are the same people, why is the name Nagas not used to designate people of South India also. This is no doubt a puzzle. But it is a puzzle which is not beyond solution. It can be solved if certain facts are borne in mind.

The first thing to be borne in mind is the situation regarding language. Today the language of the Southern India differs from that of the people of Northern India. Was this always so? On this question the observations of Mr. Oldham are worth attention. The Dravidians, of the south of India, were of the same stock as the Asuras or Nagas of the North.

The second thing to be borne in mind is that the word 'Dravida' is not an original word. It is the Sanskritized form of the word 'Tamil'. The original word 'Tamil' when imported into Sanskrit became Damita and later on Damilla became Dravida. The word Dravida is the name of the language of the people and does not denote the race of the people. 

The third thing to remember is that Tamil or Dravida was not merely the language of South India but before the Aryans came it was the language of the whole of India and was spoken from Kashmere to Cape Camorin. In fact, it was the language of the Nagas throughout India. The next thing to note is the contact between the Aryan and the Nagas and the effect it produced on the Nagas and their language. Strange as it may appear the effect of this contact on the Nagas of North India was quite different from the effect it produced on the Nagas of South India. The Nagas in North India gave up Tamil which was their mother tongue and adopted Sanskrit in its place. The Nagas in South India retained Tamil as their mother tongue and did not adopt Sanskrit the language of the Aryans. If this difference is borne in mind it will help to explain why the name Dravida came to be applied only for the people of South India. The necessity for the application of the name Dravida to the Nagas of Northern India had ceased because they had ceased to speak the Dravida language. But so far as the Nagas of South India are concerned not only the propriety of calling them Dravida had remained in view of their adherence to the Dravida language but the necessity of calling them Dravida had become very urgent in view of their being the only people speaking the Dravida language after the Naga of the North had ceased to use it. This is the real reason why the people of South India have come to be called Dravidians.

The special application of the use of the word Dravida for the people of South India must not, therefore, obscure the fact that the Nagas and Dravidas are the one and the same people. They are only two different names for the same people. Nagas was a racial or cultural name and Dravida was their linguistic name.

Thus the Dasas are the same as the Nagas and the Nagas are the same as the Dravidians. In other words what we can say about the races of India is that there have been at the most only two races in the field, the Aryans and the Nagas.


Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar inscribed his book 'The Untouchables?'  to the memory of:
1. Nandnar ( Tamil Nadu ), 
2. Ravidas ( Uttar Pradesh ), 
3. Chokhamela ( Maharashtra ).

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Did the Personal difference between Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar prolonged?

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah 
(3rd row, left and right corner)

Both Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah were worked together except two years during Round Table Conference, London. There was no longer conflicts between them. Together they advanced the various tasks. We can find the coalition between them in All India Scheduled Caste Federation and Sir Stafford Cripps Mission, 1 April 1942. Till his death, Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah collaborated with Dr. Ambedkar. In November, 1938, M.C. Rajah made a fervent 'Plea for a separate Scheduled Class party'. In 1942, when Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar started his All India Scheduled Caste Federation, he joined this organization. During Sir Stafford Cripps Mission both Babasaheb and Perunthalaivar were bitterly against by Jagjivan and his co. They said, "Dr. Ambedkar and M.C. Rajah may represent their particular caste but they have no locus standi to represent all the depressed classes of India."
Dr. Babasaheb in his 'What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables ?', "The only leading member from the Untouchable community was the late Dewan Bahadur Rajah. The Dewan Bahadur was a nominated member of the Central Assembly from 1927. He had nothing to do with the Congress either inside or outside the Assembly. Indeed, he was not merely a critic of the Congress but its adversary. He stood for separate electorates for the Untouchables to which the Congress was bitterly opposed."

Tamil Nadu.
Jai bheem...!!

For more about Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah:
Perunthalaivar M.C. Rajah.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Ashoka Dhamma Chakra;

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Ashoka Dhamma Chakra

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was instrumental for incorporating the wheel of Dhamma chakra or Ashoka Chakra in navy blue in the national flag of India. To select a flag for independent India, on 23 June 1947, the assembly set up an ad hoc committee headed by Rajendra Prasad and including Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini, Rajagopalachari and K. M. Munshi as its members. On 22 July 1947, the present form of the National Flag of India was adopted. The spinning wheel of the Congress flag was replaced by the Chakra (wheel) from the Lion Capital of Ashoka.

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar explained, "Even though Buddhism is almost extinct in India, yet it has given birth to a culture, which is far better and richer than the Brahminic culture. When the question of the national flag and the national emblem was being considered by the Constituent Assembly we could not find any suitable symbol from the Brahminic culture. Ultimately, the Buddhist culture came to our rescue and we accepted the Wheel of Law (Dhamma-Chakra) as the national symbol."

Jai Bheem...!!!

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Buddhism in Dharmapuri and Salem district of Tamil Nadu;

Buddha statue in Dharmapuri Archaeological Museum

Dharmapuri / Dhammapuri:
'Dharmapuri' was called once "Dhamma + Puri" i,e Town of Dhamma. It was a noted centre of Buddhism activities. The rulers Adhiyamans might be the Buddhists. The decline of Buddhism in South India continued up to 16th Century. They were killed by the force of Bhramanism. Later Buddhism fade away from Salem and Dharmapuri of Tamil Nadu. Today we can find, there are beautiful and big, about two metres high, sculptures of seated Buddha, carved in stone noticed at Deganur in Dharmapuri district.

Buddha statue in Dharmapuri Archaeological Museum
Headless sculpture of seated Buddha statue in Dharmapuri Archaeological Museum. It was founded during the explorations conducted near Kadakathur village of Dharmapuri district.

Salem / Seelam:
‘Salem’ gets its name from "Seelam" which is the Paali language. Asokan inscription mentioned it as "Sathyaputhra". There are so many places identified it. Few places like 'Thammampatti' near to Salem was "Dhammapatti" once and 'Thiyaganur' village which mean "Thiyanam (meditation) oor". These places are presence of early Buddhist elements. 

Buddha Statue in Thiyaganur Village of Salem district

The historical importance of the village Thiyaganur comes from the presence of two Buddha statues. One statue is under worship and a Vihar was built in 2013. Dhyana Mandapam (Meditation center) was opened in June, 2013 by Maharabushnam, the then Salem district Collector.

Buddha Vihar in Thiyaganur Village of Salem district



Jai Bheem...!!

* 'A Social History of India' By S. N. Sadasivan.

Valluvar's World Famous 'Thirukural' and Pandit Iyothee Thass:

Valluvar's 'Thirukural' and Pandit Iyothee Thass

World Famous Thirukural (Tirikural) written by Valluvar in Tamil was printed and published by European Civil Servant 'Ellis'. Ellis loved the Tamil Language. So he used to collect palm leaves and Printed. Ellis collected it from Kandappan a butler of another European Civil Servant George Harrington. Kandappan was the grand father of Pandit Iyothee Thass. ( Note : Pandit Iyothee Thass was the Poineer to E.V. Ramasamy Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Pandit Iyothee Thass who founded the Sakya Indian Buddhist Society in Chennai).

Later Tirikural was edited by Muthusamy and corrected by Thandavaraya. When it was released from the press Kandappan was taken aback because four new verses had been added to the original Tiruvalluvar Malai. This was published 1st in 1831 and then reprinted in 1834 by Ellis. Again in 1835, Vishakperumal brought out the 3rd edition of Tirikural with Tiruvalluvar Malai. In 1837, a new edition by Saravana Perumal ( brother of Visaka Perumal ). When Iyothee Thass compared the 1st and 2nd editions of Ellis with the edition of Vishakaperumal and Saravana Perumal, he found a newly added story in the Vishakaperumal's edition of Tiruvalluvar malai, that valluvar was born to Brahmana father and Pariah mother. This tale was not found a place in Ellis edition.

Iyothee Thass wrote at length on Buddhism, the life of Buddha, his readings, the dialogues he had with his disciples, and on the principles of faith and action which he upheld. He argued that the text, Thirukural was originally known as Tiri-kural (thiri means three) and it was the first Buddhist Text in a Dravidian Language. According to him, Valluvar belonged to 'Sakyan' clan who were called the best astrologer and expert doctors of medicines. They present in Mylapore, Chennai was once the abode of Valluvas and for this there are evidences of inscriptions and Copper plates. The Kural content adhered to the three Pitakas of the Buddha's Teachings and hence it was known as the Thirukural.

* “Pandit Iyothee Thass” by T. Nalini Anbarasu. [NCBH Publication]

Jai bheem...!!!