Sep 19, 2010

Are you proud of what you are?

During my visit to the Dutch National Archives, I got to read a Dutch East India Company travel journal.

 The book was fully in Dutch, and when I was flipping through the musty old pages of the huge book, I saw an introduction to the Tamil language, with the alphabet and basic grammar, running for 10 long pages! My head started spinning instantaneously. I couldn’t digest the fact that the Dutch had meticulously recorded the Tamil alphabet and grammar with substantial detail, in their book in 1672! There is also an illustration showing Tamil people practising to write, on sand. I was totally awestruck, and had to rest for a few moments before I could get back to normal. I assume, had the Dutch people’s language been Tamil, they would have even made all their children learn Tamil Vatteluththu script and Tamil Brahmi script along with the contemporary Tamil, at school!! Well, now, what is the current situation in metropolitan cities in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu? -Most school students are learning English as first language and French as second language. Fantastic.

Ancient Tamilians learning to write on sand
This is the world’s last classical language that is still in usage today. We don’t have the other classical languages such as Latin, Attic Greek, Sanskrit, and Classical Chinese in day-to-day usage. All we have today is the ancient language that originated as early as 1500 BCE - endured the tests of time - grew in all wealth of literature, art and science, without any boundaries to prosperity-  Tamil. Excavations(ab) in Southern Tamil Nadu unleashed the world's largest three-tier pre-historic cemetery dating back to 1500 BCE- 500 BCE, with rudimentary Tamil Brahmi engravings on burial urns (the spoken-language's origin should be of a much earlier period). Moreover, artifacts dating circa 100 BCE with Tamil Brahmi engravings have been found in large amounts in Egypt(c), Srilanka, Thailand, etc. This is indeed the language of the Cholas who ruled the Indian peninsula, up to the Kalinga (Orissa) and rising high up to Bengal, and also comprising what are today’s Srilanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Maldives together!

The Chola Empire during 900-1300 CE
Vatteleththu Tamil script on a Tanjavur temple's walls

The unfounded passion towards the English language could have originated since the colonial period when there was a high demand for English-speaking Indians for jobs. The Germans, Japanese and French are never lured by foreign languages, and this speaks volumes as to why these countries flourish and also why some foreign countries study their languages! Well, not just with Tamil, it's high time all other Indian languages also saw an elevation in people’s own attitudes towards their languages. One who speaks low of his own land, culture and language can only be someone  who feels low of himself (lacking self-esteem). Such a person would certainly feel everything external to him and distant to him to be much worthier. But why would we choose to be such a person, we can rather be dignified of ourselves to be the descendents of a long and rich cultural heritage- by all means!

Bringing huge hopes, this decade sees the youth deeply comprehending the worth of Tamil, showing rays of prosperity after long! History is a cycle; the prosperity in all its grandeur is to be repeated again! The next Golden age of Tamil literature and culture is in the near horizon. It is soon to rise up again, with all its magnificence and power!


  1. This is a proud day for me that I visit your blog - vAzhgu

  2. hi hemanth,

    தமிழன் மனித வரலாறு ஆரம்பிக்கும் காலத்தில் இருந்து தனித் தன்மை பெற்று இருக்கிறான். இன்று உலகம் தமிழை மதிக்கிறது, ஆனால் தமிழர்கள் அன்னை பூமியில், உணர்வுகள் குன்றி, தன்னிலை மறந்து, இன,மொழி உணர்வு இன்றி வளராமல் இருக்கின்றோம். இன்று உலக அளவில் தமிழை கொண்டு சேர்க்க உங்களை போன்ற இளைஞர்களும்,ஈழத் தமிழர்களுமே கொண்டு செல்ல முடியும்.

    இங்கே இருப்பவன் எந்திரன் படம் பார்த்துக் கொண்டு, அரசியலில் நாறிக் கொண்டு, கிரிக்கெட்டில் மூழ்கி கொண்டு சுயத்தினை இழக்கிறான்.

    உங்களுக்கு என் வாழ்த்துகள்


  3. அன்புள்ள காளிதாஸ்,
    என்னுடைய கட்டுரையைத் தாங்கள் ரசித்தது அறிந்து மகிழ்ந்தேன். அனால், இன்று, செம்மொழியை பற்றி உலகத்திற்குத் தெரிவிக்கவும், தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு புரிவிக்கவும் கூட, ஆங்கிலமே தேவைப் படுகிறது! ஹ்ம்ம்... இதுவும் கடந்து செல்லும்! ஒளிர் காலம் விரைவில் வரும்! :)


    1. thanks for posting it........awesome it is true tat tamil people are forgetting their lang and their cultural heritage......even i have seen around me people teasing it but i love tamil............a lot....

  4. Dear Hemanth,

    Our ancient Tamil was cultivated and preserved by Hinduism (which includes its branches such as Buddhism and Jainism). Seevaka Chinthamani, silappathikaram, manimegalai, thevaaram, thiruvaachakam, thirukkural, kamba ramayanam...the list is endless. Even though the present rulers in Tamilnadu came mouthing their love for Tamil, they have been attacking this fertile ground that our Tamil grew in viz. Hindu and has encouraged the Christians and Muslims whose love for English and Urdu has undermined Tamil. Please do read the article in my blog:


  5. today I feel so gr8 coz I visited ur blog and got many valuable infos which are unknown to me...thanks for sharing:)
    Keep ur gud work...appreciated!

    I can feel ur harted towards the other community. FYI max christians and muslims in TN have tamil as their mother tounge(including me) and Im very proud of my language. I think u got confused between Anglo-Indian christians and Urdu speaking muslims with others..:P
    Anyway no offence ment:)

  6. @Azar: Glad that you like my blog. Thanks very much! Do follow the blog via Google Friend Connect below/ 'like' it on facebook at the right side of the blog.

    It's also nice to see the passion and sense of belonging you have towards Tamil. As such an open and beckoning world it is, and a lovely ancient language it is, it's far from being exclusive I believe.

  7. @Hemanath: ya done:)
    and u really have an awesome writing skill...itz quite different and catchy which made me to visit ur blog today also:P
    Keep the gud work and looking forward to read ur next blog...cheers:)

  8. The Tamil language have legends that their ancient history extends up to regarding 10 thousand years, ocean swallowing up their lands twice and kings establishing new capitals and fostering Tamil in 3 successive academies. The legend is 1st mentioned within the commentary of kaLavijal, that is assigned to regarding eighth century AD. This legend is one in every of the reasons- one in every of the excuses- for connecting up the Tamil civilization with some prehistoric ancient civilizations, whose identity and continuity poses special issues.

  9. Congrats It is really very very nice

  10. Dear Hemanth, Mr.Kaling Bala (Please check this link - is working on this topic. You can get it touch with him in

  11. i think this blog is very well-written.. i'm very proud of being tamizh and i think most highly of the ancient tamizh civilization..

    i only wish we could all sumhw bring back the greatness of that civilization along with its precious wealth of knowledge and make people realize the greatness of south india ..

  12. Hi Hemanth,

    I liked your blog very much. Since i am also having interest in tamil history and also to know about the tamil siddhar. If u put more information on siddhars means it will be more good. I also came across some people, still now they are speaking with the siddhars near courtrallam. So i am having interest to know about siddhars.

  13. pls send more info hemath this is my fb id

  14. Jain ascetics nourished this language by writting lot of grammer, prose & poetry in Tamil.

    1. Do you have any reference/ fact-based evidence for this information?


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