P.V. Rajamannar, Madras.
Most learned sir,
It is indeed with much terpidation that I pen this epistle—
for you are not accustomed to recieve epistles from
Lilliputian nor am I well versed enough in the art of
cajoling those placed in very high places. In fact I
would not have dared to address you as you are on a
summit—had you not condescended to talk about matters,
that concern the ordinary ! (like my poor self)
In fact, eminent men do not take the trouble of probing
into the matters, in which the plebeians are actively
interested—for one who is in the habit of handling gold,
cannot be expected to take a hand at clay, even for
the sake of a hobby, possibly !!
But somehow, your good-self, came from the high pedestal,
to talk about the problem that is now the talk of the
people, the Aryan-Dravidian question.
Let me at the very outset, pay my humble tribute for
your, your condescension. Immersed, as you are, in the
volumes of Law of various times and climes, it is to
be wondered of course, how you were able to find time
enough to think and talk about such topics of lesser
importance, (from the point of view of eminent men like
But having had your say on this matter, pray permit
me to pen my thoughts—for your perusal.
There seems to be a sneer almost, in your 'padsha-like'
disposal of a case—which by the way was not brought
before your august presence for trial and judgment.
This Aryan—Dravidian question, which you had had the
pleasure of mentioning during one of your discourses
in the city of Madras, is not a stray scholastic problem
spot-lighted for the sake of demonstration of one's
ability and academic eminence, but is one intimately
connected with a movement which has for its bedrock,
what historians term as the trinity—equality, liberty
Many—including poor me—would have appreciated, had you
analysed this background before probing into the pro
and cons of this problem—for it has been the rage of
politicians and scholars alike for more than two decades.
To brush aside the argument advanced by men for over
two decades, in one sweeping sentence, is neither fair,
nor would it be rendering justice to the problem and
to the public interested in the problem.
There is today no pure Aryan, nor pure Dravidian!—seems
to be the verdict given by your good-self and I dare
say, many who heard this would have winked and smiled,—in
May I ask in all humility, who is that unlettered individual,
who asked your goodself or anybody for the matter of
that, to swear and say that there are Aryans and Dravidians—pure
It needs neither courage nor scholarly eminence to beat
a dead horse they say—and if your good-self would permit
me to borrow a bit from the language with which you
are well versed, why should one indulge in "suppressio
veri and suggestio falsi!"
Nobody today says that the races have kept their purity
and pristine individuality.
But, the problem is not that—it is purely a problem
of culture. And to by-pass that by just pronouncing
that none today can be classified as Aryan or Dravidian,
in the original sense of the term, is neither good logic
nor a fruitful way of solving a problem.
Is there or is there not, two set of cultures—the Aryan
and the Dravidian even today—there may be and there
certainly is mutilation, mutual adjustments—but despite
that, are there not two distinctly different cultures
that bear the names Aryan and Dravidian?
Have we not to this day, this classification in almost
all fields of life ?
Do we not say that Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kanarese
are of the Dravidian stock and Sanskrit, the Aryan stock
? And is it not equally true that there has been fusion
to some extent of these two languages and in spite of
that, do we not classify Tamil as a Dravidian dialect
? And why ? We talk about Dravidian architecture—Dravidian
philosophy—and all the while know, that there has been
no fusion of ideas at all.
The truth to be accepted is this—that in spite of mutilation
and even fusion to a lesser or greater degree, the distinction
is there clearly to be seen by those whose vision is
not blurred, and whose search for truth is not vitiated
by considerations of self.
It is not a new thing to say, that the ethnic difference
of the Aryan and Dravidian is to a great extent unreal
as far as the present day is considered. The problem
today is not to have a blood-test—it is not physiology
that is to be the criterion—it is psychology ! What
is the thought that pervades the deed—that is the criterion—that
is the acid test to determine which needs be advocated
and advanced. This demands a sincere attempt at analysing
the moods and deeds of the millions and stray scholastic
spitfires are of no use. Sound and fury signify nothing.
Pray, let me be enlightened on this point. Why is it,
that despite multifarious activities, even men of your
eminence are attracted now-a-days towards this problem?
It is assuming a proportion and shape, that cannot be
ignored even by eminent men! If so, what is it, that
has given a new vitality, as it were, to this age-old
Surely, the public are evincing such a keen interest
today about this problem, that it has found its way
into your abode crossing the corridors of the Mansion
wherein your goodself is majestically enthroned. And
having attained such a dimension and position of importance,
one cannot possibly, even if he desires, dismiss it
with a wave of one hand—with a single sweeping statement!
Even fancies refuse to take to a flight, and this problem
is neither a fancy nor a fiction.
Permit me to point out that long long before your good-self
thought it necessary to enlighten the public about the
non-existence of a pure Dravidian and Aryan race, Max-Muller,
the advocate of the Aryan way of thought and life, said
it with an emphasis which none can enhance.
"I have declared again and gain" says this
German scholar "that if I say Aryans I mean neither
blood nor bones nor hair nor skull. I mean simply those
who speak an Aryan language"
And may I point out Sir, why Max-Muller, presents this
explanation with almost as anger—for mark his words
"again and again"? It is because there were
a good many men here, who claimed that they were Aryans—pure,
unadulterated and they were pressing this claim with
such vigour and vehemence and to the detriment of the
masses, that Max-Muller was forced to come out with
And, students interested in this problem have read with
pleasure and profit this explanation from Max-Muller,
long long before your good-self came forward to depict
what you possibly considered as a new dictum.
Culture—in its broadest sense—is something to denote,
those traits inherent in every nation of the world,
even in the most primitive.
"We use it for the entire complex of all the ways
and expressions of life which characterise any one nation."
I have had the courage to give this definition about
culture, because it is from a scholar whose eminence
is not to be doubted even by those placed in eminent
positions. Having given this definition about culture,
am I wrong, if I say that measured by this yardstick,
anybody adept in that art, can discern the difference
between Aryan and the Dravidian traits?
Even to talk about fusion, let me borrow the language
of the law courts a bit, is not the whole truth but
a part of it.
"Southern India especially the Tamil speaking area,
at least upto the period of Pallava ascendeny was not
the scene of an ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural,
interfusion of Dravidian elements the like of which
was vigorous and active in the land roughly north of
As the above-mentioned quotation is from the scholarly
journal 'tamil culture'—unblemished by party politics—I
am sure, that I can request you to bestow your scholarly
thought over what is expressed in those lines. These
lines were written not out of spite nor to decry anybody
or any thought but solely with a view to educate those
who are not well-informed on the delightful but difficult
Having taken some small interest at least, about this
subject, may I request your good-self, to probe further
in this matter, to find out the underlying truth behind
the "debates ranging for two decades"—so that
the land and the people might be benefited.
There should be a thorough analysis of these two cultures—carefully
sifting the alien elements in them and then there should
be an inpartial evaluation, so that the people of our
State, can get what is their due, and better their future
For let me be permitted to remind your good-self—that
this is no dead and cold problem now but one intimately
connected with a live political organisation which works
for the resurrection of a nation!
There is a false assumption that the historic process
in India is one of progressive Aryanisation of the Indian
This myth is now being slowly exploded, thanks to the
effects of those who took a thankless job, as it were.
It is up to men of eminence, to work towards this end—at
least after well earned rest —for, the issue is being
clouded, either by indifference or wanton misdirection.
I quote again "Tamil culture" with pleasure
"The Central Government has not been liberal either
in its outlook and in its attitude towards the study
of the cultural heritage of the South. Its interest
in these matters somehow halts with Sanskrit and Hindi"
I am aware, Sir, of your advocacy for a more vigorous
research in this field— though you are expecting just
the contrary of what I do expect, as a result of such
a research. But let us not count the chicken even before
we get the hen! The lethargy of the Central government,
pointed out, is not an accident, For, this same government
is interested very much, in re-building the History
and a host of other illustrious centres remain today
as closed books, and the Archeological Department under
the aegis of the Central government thinks that Dhandakaranya
should be given attention to, but forgets that the "three
kings" of Tamilagam have left a legacy, that lie
buried and hidden, underneath many and mount and moat.
If this is mere indifference, it is regrettable; but
on further analysis, we find, that this seems to be
a calculated plan to seal up the legacy of the South
altogether. For what else can this be when we find that
in the first two volumes about the "History and
Culture of the Indian People" prepared under the
directions of Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan—the prime personality
behind which is Mr.Munshi—
"We regret to state the first two volumes are disproportionately
emphatic on the contribution of the Aryans and grossly
laconic about the Non-Aryan peoples that form the basis
of the earliest Indian History and Indian Culture"
And, what Sir, is your verdict, now?
There is indifference, calculated and mischievous on
the one hand, vilification and vituperation along with
that, and as if adding insult to injury we find, Sir,
men of your eminence, brushing aside the basic truth
with a non-chalance which is unbecoming of your high
station in life and attainment in scholarly activities.
Sir, let me marshall out all the courage at my command
to remind you, that you owe an explanation to the people,
especially those who are actively engaged in the task
of resurrecting a land and the people inhabiting it—for
your verdict, framed in all haste, without taking into
consideration all the available, relevant facts.