அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


“Why such fads? Elanchezhian, Mathialagan, Anbalagan and such other curious names! Why do they coin such names? Why all this fad? What is wrong with their original names? Aren’t those names, musical? Why should there be sort of propaganda for changing one’s name? It is childish. Nonsensical. When there are all around us, big project, brilliant and bold deeds, a small group persists in organizing a movement for propagating such fads. Can’t understand, what there in a name!”

Those who are on the Olympian heights, talk in such strain, ridiculing, pooh-poohing the successful attempt sponsored by the Dravidian movement. Especially those at the North,; think that there is no purpose and meaning in changing manes! When they are told that thousands and thousands of young men and women find their original names, disgusting and derogatory, and hence change their names, those at the North laugh in their sleeves.

But, Adikesavan, Bhuvaragan, Narasimhan, and such other names are changed! And at every D.M.K. meeting, one could find anxious mothers, and doting fathers, bring forth their children, and the speakers, adorning those children with a new name!

Veera Mani, Pandyan, Senguttuvan, Elango, Cholan, Selvan, and Malarkodi, Malliga, Anjugham, Alli, Sethamarai, - the speakers are sometimes fumling for want of new and newer names.

If this is childish and nonsensical, it will not persist and grow – but those at the North should know that there is a purpose behind this move, those who are responsible for it know that purpose quite well, and what is more, the bulk of the thinking section in the public are convinced about the necessity for such a movement and are offering their enthusiastic support. Not only the names of individuals, but names of places, of institutions and festivities, have been changed.

Only the diehards today talk about ‘Sankaranthi’ – Tamil Nad hails the ‘Pongal’ as the ‘Thirunal’! Gone are those old epithets, Mahaganam, Agrasanathipathi, Upanyasam, Urchavam, Uppavasam and the like. Deepasthambam has lost its hold, pupils today know ‘Kalangarai Vilakku!’

Such terms as Thidal – Angadi – Kavalar Illam – Manram are now profusely being used.

‘Desam’ is not the term current now, we talk about ‘Nadu’! Even devout Congressmen have given up the old term ‘Mahatmaji’, but speak about him with a new enthusiasm as ‘Gandhi Adigalar’.

These are not fads – fads cannot grow up in such numbers and so spontaneously.

Granting, for the sake of argument, that movements like the D.M.K. are interested in feeding the people with fads and fancies, why is it, that the people have taken such a strong ‘liking’ for such a move? Did not the scholars of the Congress fold, along with their masters in the up-country deride such a move? They did, to their hearts’ content. But did that deter the people from the desire? Certainly not! And why? There is no answer, from those who know but to pour forth ridicule.

Over 100 residents here have changed the ‘uncomplimentary names’ given to them by ignorant parents when they were young.

Names changed included pig thief – chicken claws – sheep head etc.

Three girls below 15 had been named ‘Mother good in the Night’ and ‘Mistress’.

The news is flashed from Formosa.

When people from whatever clime, realize that their names denote derogatory meaning – they do change those names. That is indicative of their ‘new awakening’ and their determination. They find that they have new goal to aim at – a new way of life to be built up and on finding their very names, obnoxious and reminiscent of the old way of life which they detest and are determined to change, they hasten to change their names – they erase, as it were, a blot, and turn over a new leaf!

Farmosan youths are irritated to find their names, ugly and obnoxious. Why should they bear a name, the meaning of which is pig-headed!

They argue and that rightly, why should they be insulted by such an ugly name. Hence they have changed their names. That denotes, that they are determined to begin a new way of thinking and life – a life wherein there would be self-respect and dignity.
Those old names in vogue in Tamil might not be as ugly as those in Farmosa. But none would feel happy and proud, on being told, that name Adhikesavan, a Sanskrit term, when translated into simple Tamil, means ‘Old Hair’ – and the name Bhuvaragan means Pig of the Earth!

Most of the names – ninety out of hundred – are Sanskrit, and they are called from Puranas and Ithiihasas, now the butt end of ridicule. It is not disputed today by scholars, that these Puranas and Ithihasas depict and propagate the Aryan way of life, and the Dravidians endowed with a distinct and different culture and way of life, have become, due to varuous forces, ‘converts’ to the Aryan culture and that conversion has, instead of raising up their level, dragged them down and has placed them as the serfs, the sinners, who could gain salvation only by offering their services to the Aryans.

Renaissance had to put forth a stiff and difficult fight, for its very entry in Tamil Nad. The reactionary elements were savage. Orthodoxy has by that turn become a sort of vested interest, and knowing that the dawn of renaissance meant death-knell to its sway, orthodoxy fought tooth and nail, and it used all sorts of weapons. Curses, abuses, calumny, ridicule, derision – orthodoxy had plenty of weapons in its armoury.

Those who hoped to keep up their power for a long long time to come, over the sons of the soil, found to their irritation and apprehension, that the one time serfs, who in their ignorance took whatever was thrown before them, were beginning to question, probe, discuss, debate and denounce!

That is dangerous – they thought and they were right in thinking like that.

For, when the old names based on Aryan Mythology were given up, new names adorned the individuals, and these new names were mostly culled from the annals of Tamil Nad. The names of Tamilian kings, warriors, poets and scholars were culled out, and have gained currency. These new names kindle patriotism! These names have got a message to give – they denote, vaguely though, that Tamil Nad was once free and rich, valorous and chivalrous! People began to catch just glimpses of the glorious past and that kindle the fire of enthusiasm, and the Torch of Freedom was lit.

When years ago, Swami Vedachalam, than whom Tamil Nad has not produced a more erudite scholar, changed his name as Marai Malai Adigal, there was an uproar!
‘This is a fad!’ announced those, who were under the strong and tempting influence of the Aryan culture. “This is not how the Tamil language could be or should be improved. Such a sort of antipathy towards Sanskrit is dangerous. It leads one to fanaticism and even irreligion. The country should not encourage such moves!” – such was the criticism that was let loose.

But undaunted by derision or denunciation, the movement gathered momentum, and today most of the institutions bear but simple and sweet Tamil names.

We were, before the advent of this movement, forced to speak about the ‘Local Boards’ – as Sthala Sthapanam! Even the official records use today, terms like Nagaratchi Manram, Ooranmai Kazhagam, Mavatta Khazhagam and the like.

The ‘fad’ was not annihilated, it marches on claiming new and newer victories!

Only, now and then the Congress politicians speak disparagingly, and that too because they are afraid, that the forces unleashed by such a new thought, would become dangerously powerful – dangerous in the sense that it would destroy the power which the Congress today holds.

Cultural movements cannot exist independent of political movement –in fact only that political movement which has for its base, a strong cultural foundation, can become virile and vigorous, and finally victorious.

Those who began weeding out Sanskrit from Tamil works, did that, not because they were fanatics; they knew that that is essential, if a Tamil Nationalism is to be forged. Today it has become a fact – it is not a fad! May be there are still some battalions, who refuse to come out of the marshes. But even they are conscious of this; they cannot hold on for a long time to come – and most of them oppose fondly thinking that their masters would be immensely pleased. They, in their ignorance, forget that the real masters are here – the sons of the soil. They are determined to resurrect – and they are going to succeed. They demand, hence, that this State should be named, ‘Tamil Nad’.

Why such a fad? – asks the Congress, again. Knowing full well that this demand comes not only from the D.M.K. and allied political parties, but from Tamil scholars, poets, dramatists, institutional heads and even heads of mutts.

In no other demand is there such an unanimity and no other party has insulted the public by such callousness.

An old man and an ardent Congressman Mr. Sankaralinganar, fasted unto death. Tamil Nad was grief-stricken.

The one valiant man to look askance then, could be pointed out – Mr. Kamaraj.

Only last week, the veteran dramatist, Sambandanar, who was awarded a fitting title, requested, in moving terms, the ministers who came there to offer their encomiums, to name this state as ‘Tamil Nad’.
No! This movement cannot be a fad.

From France comes the news, and that at least should act as an eye-opener to those who still hug the delusion.

Nearly 3,500 defenders of French linguistic purity, alarmed at the Anglicization of French, have set up a body which will for several weeks from April 1, subject all the nation’s dailies to a searching scrutiny for using words of foreign import instead of the good old Gallic ones.

The members of this ‘body’ will then offer a handsome prize to the news-paper which offends the least.

What do those who mistake shackles for ornaments, just because they glitter, say to this French linguists’ move? Another, fad? All but these galley slaves are to be dubbed as fads and fanatics! Wonderful courage – born out of power!!

Having been placed on power for a long time, Congressmen have forgotten the history of the freedom fight of various countries – especially the annals of Ireland, which once guided their thought and action. We should be failing in our duty, if we do not offer assistance.

Anybody knows that Irish freedom was won because of the prowess of the Sinn Fein Movement.

But some are apt to forget, what formed the basis for the Sinn Feign Movement. We quote Michael Collins.

“From the germ of the language movement sprung, that larger, wider movement known to the outside world as the Sinn Fein Movement. But which is more descriptively called the Irish Ireland Movement. Strictly speaking, it was not a political movement! It aimed at creating national self—reliance, and inducing Irishmen to speak their own language, to cultivate their own music, art, literature and games, and to support Irish manufacturers by purchasing articles of native production in preference to importations”.

Many would be tempted to borrow from Congress top-men some amount of the arrogance that is in such abundance, and ask, “What sayest thou now, you, wooden-headed babbler? Do you still say, these are fads?” But, no, those who desire the victory of a cause, should be dignified, whatever the provocation. So, we shall conclude by requesting those Congressmen of Tamil Nad who are misled by their masters, to read and re-read what De Valera has declared.

“If I were leaving the scene to-morrow and was asked what I would leave to the Irish people or what I would wish to the Irish Nation, it would be, if you want to continue to be Irish, you must save the Irish Language”.

And how could the language of a nation – Tamil, a distinct, ancient and virile language – be saved?

Is it, by naming our children as Adhikesavan, Bhuvaragaswami and the like? Is it by importing into the Tamil language and culture such terms as Jathi – Archana – Yagam? Is it by importing ‘Akashvani’? Is it by naming Tamil Nad, as Madras?

None of them could answer in the affirmative. Yet, because they are pwer-mad, they become willing tools, and wily abettors for the Aryan cult and Hindi Imperialism – and speak disparagingly about the National Movement, the D.M. K.

(Editorial - 12-04-1959)