Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

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harimau
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#1 Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

It is an article of faith in Tamil Nadu that ancient Tamil society was egalitarian and the division of Tamil society into various castes was due to the efforts of the nefarious Brahmins. This idea has taken such strong roots that questioning this theory is out of the realm of civilized discussion.

In this context, I bring to your attention the following scholarly paper by Prof George L Hart of the University of California, Berkeley. In this, he has shown evidence for the existence of a caste system in the Sangam era itself which is dated anywhere from 1st century BC to 6th century AD by scholars. If you count the number of years the three Sangams were in existence, that totals 10,000 years and the Third Sangam, if you were to believe Tamil chauvinists, ended around the beginning of the first millennium, thus making the earliest Sangam poetry 12,000 years old, which no one believes.

http://ww.tamilnation.co/caste/hart.pdf

In another article, Prof Hart mentions a poem in which a girl belonging to the fishermen community refuses to give water to a bard (Paanan) explaining that she is an outcaste and giving water to a person who ranks higher than her would pollute him. Prof Hart also mentioned that this poem cannot be discussed in today's Tamil Nadu (I read that article almost 20 years ago) because no rational discussion about caste pre-dating the arrival of the Brahmins would be acceptable to the political powers that be.

Consider that in the article referenced above, Paanans are considered low caste. Also consider that a member of the fishermanl community is considered untouchable by a Paanan. That gives you some idea about the level of social discrimination in Tamil Nadu in the Sangam era.

If you fast forward to today's Tamil Nadu, you would find that things haven't changed at all. A girl from a fisherman community in coastal Nagappattinam District told me that the local Paraiyans (land cultivators who are considered Untouchables/Dalits/Harijans) would buy fish from the fishermen but take extreme care not to physically touch the fisherman even inadvertently.

In Tamil Nadu, we have the Untouchable's Untouchable.

But then this cannot be discussed by the likes of martha_krishna whose head is so full of Periyar's thoughts that nothing else can enter it. Such a person incapable of thought would be classified as brain-dead.

But then we have the Brain-Dead's Brain-Dead in the form of sureshvv who shouts "racist-casteist" at anyone who dares question the hypothesis put forth by the Tamil Nadu ruling hierarchy.

With sureshvv, we are not just scraping the bottom of the barrel, we are actually moving the barrel to see if there may be any lower forms of life underneath the barrel!

Sachi_R
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#2 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Sachi_R »

Harimau,
I am neither a white man nor a professor.
I am not even a Tambrahm (Melkote Sthanikam whose ancestors came with Sri Ramanuja).

I am not a scholar nor a musician.

I haven't yet written a best seller book of poetry or a book reshaping anything.

But even I believe Tamilians invented everything. From Vedas to Vadas to Vadamas to Vadyars to Vadyams to Veshtis to Vidya of every kind.

I am therefore totally convinced they invented the Caste system too. Even the term Brahmin.

So in a sentence like, "a Brahmin saw his Mango fall into a Catamaran and asked the Meenkaran to place the Mango on a Culvert so he could pick it up and eat it",
every word therein is of Tamil origin.

So is even this blog.

Q. E. D.

(I read somewhere that Euclid and Q. E. D. etc. are also from Tamil).

Please indulge me.

harimau
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#3 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

Sachi_R wrote: 06 Jul 2018, 19:38 Harimau,
I am neither a white man nor a professor.
I am not even a Tambrahm (Melkote Sthanikam whose ancestors came with Sri Ramanuja).

I am not a scholar nor a musician.

I haven't yet written a best seller book of poetry or a book reshaping anything.

But even I believe Tamilians invented everything. From Vedas to Vadas to Vadamas to Vadyars to Vadyams to Veshtis to Vidya of every kind.

I am therefore totally convinced they invented the Caste system too. Even the term Brahmin.

So in a sentence like, "a Brahmin saw his Mango fall into a Catamaran and asked the Meenkaran to place the Mango on a Culvert so he could pick it up and eat it",
every word therein is of Tamil origin.

So is even this blog.

Q. E. D.

(I read somewhere that Euclid and Q. E. D. etc. are also from Tamil).

Please indulge me.
If somebody outside your Culture examines and reports on it, that doesn't necessarily negate his findings.

Prof George Hart is a well respected Indologist who has been recognized with the award of Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian Studies.

He has no axe to grind when he analyzes Tamil society as mirrored in Sangam poetry to find evidence that caste existed in Sangam era Tamil society. He mentions that there were distinctions of higher and lower strata in the society; he didn't say there were 2000 castes in Tamil society in Sangam era. That certainly was a later invention.

You could actually study Hinduism as it exists in other parts of the world to determine what exactly Brahmins contributed to the caste system. By that, I do not mean expatriate Indians in Sri Lanka, Singapore or, more recently, the Silicon Valley.

Bali is an excellent laboratory to study ancient Hinduism. Hinduism is supposed to have arrived in Bali in the 5th century BC. More than 90% of Balinese are Hindus and some neighboring islands also have a sizable Hindu population.

Bali has only four castes: the Brahmanas, the Ksattrias, the Wesiyas and the Sudras. This corresponds to the four varnas of ancient Hindu religion. Bali does not have the multitude of castes that India has.

As population grew in India and people migrated from place to place they came across tribal societies living deep in the forest or in remote hilltops. Instead of converting them under threat of execution, as Islam and Christianity did, the Hindus merely co-opted these tribals into the Hindu religion but each group maintained its endogamous practices. By not intermarrying with newly-found groups, every group maintained "racial purity" or "purity of the bloodline". Each group was considered a different caste in Hinduism.

So, "racial purity" is the reason for existence of castes. Every single caste is guilty, not just Brahmins.

Prof George Har did not claim that Tamils invented caste, as you seem to have understood him. He merely adduced evidence that caste in Tamil society predates the arrival of Brahmins. You may want to remove your blinkers and read his article carefully.

PS. Yes, Tamilians will try to claim credit for everything under the Sun. There is this guy named Dr Ayyappa who claims he invented e-mail! Soon some other idiot will claim that Tamils invented the Internet. Or the computer.

But there one thing they cannot claim credit for. Dravidian Thought, as propagated by the political parties in Tamil Nadu, is the brain child of E V Ramaswamy Naicker. Yes, the man who is hailed as the Father of Tamil Nationalism is not a native Tamil but a Kannadiga! I don't think you have a statue for him anywhere in Karnataka but you can find his statue in every nook and corner in Tamil Nadu.

Take pride in that, RSachi! :lol: :lol: :twisted: :evil:

sureshvv
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#4 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

harimau wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 16:16 Bali is an excellent laboratory to study ancient Hinduism.
:lol: Seems like you are choosing the laboratory to prove your foregone conclusion.
Last edited by sureshvv on 07 Jul 2018, 16:42, edited 1 time in total.

Sachi_R
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#5 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Sachi_R »

Harimau,
I know somebody who knew EVR very well and has visited his house in Erode. He says EVR has a Ganesha shrine in his basement.

I take pride in another Kannadiga - Mahaperiyavaa.
Also his ancestor Govinda Dikshita.

Also in the Trinity. I think they went beyond caste and language.

Yes! I have a lovely Balinese Hanuman at home, in my room!

Image

harimau
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#6 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

sureshvv wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 16:41
harimau wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 16:16 Bali is an excellent laboratory to study ancient Hinduism.
:lol: Seems like you are choosing the laboratory to prove your foregone conclusion.
Is there another locality in the world to study Hinduism as it existed 2,500 years ago?

Do tell me. I will go there to find out what kind of practices exist among Hindus there.

Otherwise, shut up already.

As they say, better to remain silent and thought to be stupid than open your mouth and remove all doubts.

harimau
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#7 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

Sachi_R wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 16:42 Harimau,
I know somebody who knew EVR very well and has visited his house in Erode. He says EVR has a Ganesha shrine in his basement.

I take pride in another Kannadiga - Mahaperiyavaa.
Also his ancestor Govinda Dikshita.
All Dravidian Party members are total hypocrites. They have shrines in their homes -- larger than in Brahmin households because they live in larger homes with their ill-gotten wealth -- and send their wives and daughters to temples explaining it their women's personal beliefs and they won't interfere with that.

So, somebody could say that wearing vibhuthi or kumkum is a religious superstition but would allow their wives to wear them. Simultaneously, they will send their thugs out to cut the sacred thread of Brahmins.

As to Govinda Deekshithar, I hold him responsible for "the religious tolerance of Hindus". The Mahratta rulers of Thanjavur remembered how exactly Muslim sultans treated Hindus and their temples and had forbidden the construction of public places of worship (mosques) by Muslims. It was Govinda Deekshithar who permitted the Muslims to build their first mosque in Thanjavur.

Today, as you drive from Trichy to Tiruvarur, you see mosques in every little village, sometimes brazenly juxtaposed against some Hindu temple.

sureshvv
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#8 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

harimau wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 18:24
Is there another locality in the world to study Hinduism as it existed 2,500 years ago?

Do tell me. I will go there to find out what kind of practices exist among Hindus there.
It is India, right in front of your eyes and nose. Of course, you would rather ignore it and jump to Bali.

Pratyaksham Bala
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#9 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

harimau wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 18:36... Dravidian ...
Hidden agenda :-

1. In Tamil Nadu, if someone declares that he is a Dravidan, most probably his mother tongue is not Tamil.

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#10 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Sundara Rajan »

Harimau: If my memory is right, there is a statue of EVR, so called "PeriyAr", in Ulsoor area of Bangalore, installed in recent years,on an agreement with the DMK that some Kannadiga's statue ( I forget who ) would be installed in Chennai !

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#11 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Hidden agenda :-

2. If someone says that he is a ‘mannin-maindar’ (son of the soil),
most probably he is a non-Tamil, born in Tamil Nadu.

harimau
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#12 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

sureshvv wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 21:40
harimau wrote: 07 Jul 2018, 18:24
Is there another locality in the world to study Hinduism as it existed 2,500 years ago?

Do tell me. I will go there to find out what kind of practices exist among Hindus there.
It is India, right in front of your eyes and nose. Of course, you would rather ignore it and jump to Bali.
I asked if there is another locality in the world to study Hinduism as it existed 2,500 years ago.

All Hindu scriptures talk about four varnas only. India has not only the four varnas but also about 4,000 jatis.

I looked for a location that received Hinduism in the 5th century BC and which remained mostly isolated since then from India and thus practices Hinduism that is uncontaminated by events in India.

But you think Indians practice Hinduism as it existed 2,500 years ago.

Either you have difficulty in comprehension of written English or you have the attention span of a gnat.

Either way, you prove the statement that "human stupidity is infinite".

I am surprised you are allowed to walk out of your house on your own. :roll: :evil: :twisted:

harimau
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#13 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 09 Jul 2018, 07:40 .
Hidden agenda :-

2. If someone says that he is a ‘mannin-maindar’ (son of the soil),
most probably he is a non-Tamil, born in Tamil Nadu.
Add to all of that this:

How would you know that a person speaking Tamil is a Brahmin?

Answer: They are the only ones who can pronounce "Thamizh" correctly! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Pratyaksham Bala
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#14 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Most of the people in Tamil Nadu pronounce ழ (zha) correctly.
A few may find it difficult, but they too can learn to pronounce it very easily. Sites like the one given below (by Prof Ma Nannan) may be of help :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ums_xvKBxTE


P.S.
ழ (Zha) sound is not unique to Tamil. French language too has the 'zha' sound, and everyone in Pondicherry pronounces 'zha' correctly !

kvchellappa
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#15 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by kvchellappa »

Sundara Rajan wrote: 08 Jul 2018, 21:19 Harimau: If my memory is right, there is a statue of EVR, so called "PeriyAr", in Ulsoor area of Bangalore, installed in recent years,on an agreement with the DMK that some Kannadiga's statue ( I forget who ) would be installed in Chennai !
It was Thiruvalluvar's staue. EVR was kannadiga.

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#16 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by kvchellappa »

Does Hart say that caste system predated Vedas?
Acc. to Shulman, the 'sangam periods' are a myth. Does Hart establish that there were really sangams?
These two are crucial issues historically for the gleeful conclusions reached in the post.
As for now, caste system is unjust and iniquitous. I would have rebelled against it if I were a non-Brahmin more vociferously.

Pratyaksham Bala
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#17 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

Sundara Rajan wrote: 08 Jul 2018, 21:19... that some Kannadiga's statue ( I forget who ) would be installed in Chennai !
Tamil Poet Thiruvalluvar statue was installed at Bangalore on Aug 9, 2009.
Kannada Poet Sarvajna statue was installed at Chennai on Aug 13, 2009.

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#18 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

harimau wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 17:45
Add to all of that this:

How would you know that a person speaking Tamil is a Brahmin?

Answer: They are the only ones who can pronounce "Thamizh" correctly! :lol: :lol: :lol:
You continue to flaunt your ignorance. Go listen to people from across the state.

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#19 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

harimau wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 17:41
Either way, you prove the statement that "human stupidity is infinite".
Thank you for conceding that being human is one virtue I have over you.

harimau
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#20 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

kvchellappa wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 21:07 Does Hart say that caste system predated Vedas?
Acc. to Shulman, the 'sangam periods' are a myth. Does Hart establish that there were really sangams?
These two are crucial issues historically for the gleeful conclusions reached in the post.
As for now, caste system is unjust and iniquitous. I would have rebelled against it if I were a non-Brahmin more vociferously.
The so-called Three Tamil Sangams may be a myth.

But poetry, identified as belonging to the Sangam Era, such as Aka Nanooru, Pura Nanooru, Kalithogai, etc., exist.

Through linguistic analysis they have been dated to from 1st century AD to 6th century AD.

If a poem belonging to one of those anthologies talk about the caste difference between a Paanan and a fisherwoman, then that reflects the social reality of those times. There is no need for the existence of the mythical Three Sangams that spanned a 10,000 year period.

Thus Prof Hart's conclusion doesn't depend on the existence of the Tamil Sangams; it is predicated upon the poems written at a certain point in time which, at the latest, is 6th century AD.

As to whether the caste system existed before the Vedas, then the Vedas and other shastras would have mentioned it. However, they only talk about the four varnas and there is no mention of jatis.

harimau
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#21 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

sureshvv wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 23:14
harimau wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 17:41
Either way, you prove the statement that "human stupidity is infinite".
Thank you for conceding that being human is one virtue I have over you.
You are human, yes; but the lowliest example of the species.

In any other country, you would be locked up in an asylum as a cretin and an imbecile. And in the 1930s USA, you would also have been subjected to a surgical sterilization procedure so that you couldn't pass on that imbecility; an action that I would heartily approve of.
Last edited by harimau on 13 Jul 2018, 01:18, edited 1 time in total.

harimau
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#22 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

kvchellappa wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 21:07 .........
As for now, caste system is unjust and iniquitous. I would have rebelled against it if I were a non-Brahmin more vociferously.
Well, the people in Tamil Nadu revel in it.

Each caste assumes an air of superiority over other castes lower in the hierarchy.

You can see that when even a Paraiyan, himself an Untouchable to all castes above him, treats a fisherman as Untouchable.

You can read about it in the daily newspapers which report disputes between Vanniyans -- they are classified as Other Backward Caste -- and Dalits/Harijans but coyly say the dispute is between Uppercastemen and Lowercastemen.

You can read about the judgment in the 1880s of the Madras High Court that tartly observed that Nadars do not have the right to demand entry into the Madurai Meenakshi temple when they deny entry into their own village temples to Untouchables.

harimau
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#23 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

sureshvv wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 23:12
harimau wrote: 12 Jul 2018, 17:45
Add to all of that this:

How would you know that a person speaking Tamil is a Brahmin?

Answer: They are the only ones who can pronounce "Thamizh" correctly! :lol: :lol: :lol:
You continue to flaunt your ignorance. Go listen to people from across the state.
I have travelled across the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu. I also speak to people of all walks of life, from owners of paan shops to autorickshaw drivers to Tamil professors.

You need to get out of your Brahmin ghetto to really know how Tamil is spoken.

Listen to some Tamil TV programs for a start.

kvchellappa
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#24 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by kvchellappa »

The sangam poems were written over a period that is not certain. They are likely to have been written after ‘contamination’ by the Aryans and ‘condemnation” of the locals as ‘neechas’. We must know whether there was something like sangam and whether caste system was prevalent before the ‘fabled’ Aryan invasion theory.
Jati was an offshoot of varna. What would you call a person born of a Brahmin and Kshatriyas, and so on? The possibilities are mind-boggling, just like swaraprastara from even 4 swaras.
If you think I am spinning, read Mahabharata and Manu.

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#25 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Hidden agenda :-

3. In Tamil Nadu. people are advised/encouraged/brainwashed to avoid surnames,
to help non-Tamils to hide their place of origin.

harimau
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#26 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by harimau »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 13 Jul 2018, 12:06 .
Hidden agenda :-

3. In Tamil Nadu. people are advised/encouraged/brainwashed to avoid surnames,
to help non-Tamils to hide their place of origin.
During the 2009-2014 timeframe, DMK was in power, the party which is famous for "protecting" Tamil.

During some public meeting, Dinamalar reported that two cabinet ministers were having a private conversation in Telugu, their mother-tongue, while seated on the dais.

Let us just say that their children most definitely did not set themselves on fire when Tamil was in danger! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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#27 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 13 Jul 2018, 12:06 .
Hidden agenda :-

3. In Tamil Nadu. people are advised/encouraged/brainwashed to avoid surnames,
to help non-Tamils to hide their place of origin.
Nothing hidden about it. This is a gesture on the part of the sensitive and aware Tamilian to shed off the baggage of caste. It is a noble and progressive gesture and we should be proud,

This Tamil/non-Tamil is another bogey of divisiveness that the cranks thrive on. Please don't encourage it.

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#28 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sankark »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 13 Jul 2018, 12:06 .
Hidden agenda :-

3. In Tamil Nadu. people are advised/encouraged/brainwashed to avoid surnames,
to help non-Tamils to hide their place of origin.
A new spin? What is the need for a surname in the first place?

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#29 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sankark »

And Hart's article isn't all flawless either.

In Akam 110.16, a girl from a fishing village says to an evidently high-born man that he would not like to eat fish, which is a “low” food, while in Kali. 121.20, the fish in a harbor are said to be “low.” This suggests that in ancient times, as now, fishermen were of quite low caste.
I really don't think the first sentence in the above quote can lead to the "suggestion" in the second sentence.

But if she were a widow, she would have to undertake the harshest asceticism, or even take her own life in suttee.
Sati wasn't sangam times practice to my knowledge; and neither the vedic period.

And what was lost/imputed in translations? So take it with a pinch of salt. In general any such cross cultural/language studies are better done with a jar of salt on standby for reaching immediately.

Including theatlantic or thedailybeast (or NYT or WaPo, or oh you get the gist) articles. Every such article is to some or major extent biased by the authors worldview/pov.

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#30 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

sureshvv wrote: 14 Jul 2018, 11:14 Nothing hidden about it. This is a gesture on the part of the sensitive and aware Tamilian to shed off the baggage of caste. It is a noble and progressive gesture and we should be proud,
That is abolishing surnames without actually abolishing the underlying the issue. All this abolishing is like a Church acting in the past. People underestimate the power of families. They cannot employ enough Women or Men to liberate them from that hold. There are not enough resources to do that!
sureshvv wrote: 14 Jul 2018, 11:14 This Tamil/non-Tamil is another bogey of divisiveness that the cranks thrive on. Please don't encourage it.
That is a legitimate issue, and the film stars coming to fore and their backgrounds do raise the suspicion justifiably. Tamils going to their roots is a welcome thing!

Film industry weaved many false stories like projecting the valor of kaTTabomman etc.!

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#31 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

sankark wrote: 14 Jul 2018, 21:28 A new spin? What is the need for a surname in the first place?
Surname was invented as a guide for the taxman goes the story. But many surnames like Smith and Cook point to their occupation once upon a time. Even still it will be useful for the tax man, since land ownership is still based on the old jAti hierarchy.

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#32 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 23 Sep 2018, 10:44 That is abolishing surnames without actually abolishing the underlying the issue.
No one is abolishing them. People are just refusing to use them.

For eg., your handle here is "shankarank". Not "shankarank <your caste name>". Not because it has been abolished.

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#33 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

my quadrant will be obvious pretty easily once I talk! But there are many others that can hide it easily!

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#34 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

sankark wrote: 14 Jul 2018, 22:11 Including theatlantic or thedailybeast (or NYT or WaPo, or oh you get the gist) articles. Every such article is to some or major extent biased by the authors worldview/pov.
And what anything is unbiased view in the discourse on humanities? The one that utilizes Marxist framework? And what is wrong about a hierarchical society in the past? Every urban culture of those times required that. You cannot build a city without that!

Why should we feel bad about the jAti system of the old times? vARNA is debatable and has a burden of proof that it is beneficial! jAti is self organized . It no doubt limits humans into a prescribed sphere of activity. But why spend energy discussing it, critiquing it? In the current scenario it has largely faded in spaces where it is not relevant, like the industrial metros and such.

Entire U.S has been built taking advantage of social hierarchy. That included slave labor from Africa and China. But U.S rich people invested back to create institutions of repute. We should demand the same from Indian bigwigs, instead of letting them donate to U.S Ivy leagues for some personal benefit.

Let them create some good private universities. Lets demolish JNU and all the leftist discourses and build hospitals for jawans and the poor there!

Instead we are taking these professors so seriously!

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#35 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

harimau wrote: 13 Jul 2018, 01:04 Through linguistic analysis they have been dated to from 1st century AD to 6th century AD.
How could that be, if there was this interregnum? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalabhra_dynasty

Dating in India by Western Indologists has high bibilical bias. Was what happened in West Asia had some global impact?

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#36 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sankark »

shankarank wrote: 23 Sep 2018, 10:50
sankark wrote: 14 Jul 2018, 21:28 A new spin? What is the need for a surname in the first place?
Surname was invented as a guide for the taxman goes the story. But many surnames like Smith and Cook point to their occupation once upon a time. Even still it will be useful for the tax man, since land ownership is still based on the old jAti hierarchy.
https://www.cato-unbound.org/2010/09/08 ... view-above

The gOtram basically a rudimentary lineage system, tracking to a historical ancestor, isn't it? Though it breaks down when once goes to the immediate/living ancestors/cousins/nephews etc. For that one has to just rely on the living to identify who-is-who and family tree - again runs into trouble when adoption is in play.

Most families won't be able to track their ancestors and family tree branches hence onward, beyond the great-grandfather (kollu thAthA) or the one prior to that (eLLu thAthA).

Now that brings to an interesting thought: why not marry within a gOtram beyond. Say two vAdUla descendents that can only track their ancestor to the eLLu thAthA generation (the groom is the 5th gen counting that eLLu generation ancestor inclusive), does the injunction to not marry within the gOtram still applicable/practical?

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#37 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by shankarank »

Well traditional practices are about sacredness. Like astrology and vaastu, you can invoke reasoning and science. That is not the point about those. It is to honour cherished practices of living, where lot of good things we owe it to them anyways.

Second, if you think existence is spiritual, then these injunctions further act to guide you in that direction, that you don't do something because you like it. You also ensure that you conform to tradition. That works if the other person has the same attitude towards tradition.

Otherwise it does not matter does it?

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#38 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by vgovindan »

"........Think for also for a minute about the marriages in the Parsi community, or the Ashkanazim Jews of Russia. If you marry outside the community, you are excommunicated (even there, gender bias is seen in some cases). And notice how the population of such communities has dropped over generations......."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thehin ... 0.ece/amp/

Gotra is not restricted to eLLu tAttA or koLLu tAttA. It goes right back to Rshis whom we refer in pravaram. Let's not, in the name of modernism, decry all practices and customs. The problem is that we behave differently as - man/woman, father/mother, son/daughter. Let's have a unified approach to life - not according to our standpoint.

The Parsi community is now facing extinction.

I suggest you read Devi Bhagavatam or other similar treatises which traces our origins - anthropomorphically - from a single person.

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#39 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by RSR »

In the Patriarchal system, which is considered more progressive in social evolution than the matriarchal system, gothram refers to the lineage traced through the father.
Hence if a boy and girl have the same gothram, it means that they are in a way, bother and sister,
I hope that in all civilized societies, it amounts to incest.
Rakshabandan adopts a girl as one 's own sister and pledges to defend her honour at any cost.
Read Shakespeare's play, ' Measure for Measure'

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#40 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by RSR »

People of all the other states in India , except Tamilnadu, including writers, intellectuals, political leaders, reformists, and almost everyone, make use of caste surnames. (Even in West Bengal and Kerala).
Casteism is rampant even if caste surnames are avoided. apparently.
It is taking the form of 'honour killing' .It is not external practice like dropping ( hiding?) one's caste identity but throwing away all caste superiority that counts.

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#41 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sankark »

RSR wrote: 08 Jul 2020, 13:19 In the Patriarchal system, which is considered more progressive in social evolution than the matriarchal system, gothram refers to the lineage traced through the father.
Hence if a boy and girl have the same gothram, it means that they are in a way, bother and sister,
You mean to say seed is considered more equal than the land it is sowed upon. And somehow that is considered "progressive". That would be so funny, if not sad.

Anywhoo, my question wasn't on that, even if gothram is traced only via the seed-donor, aka father. My question was at what point in the lineage of a common male ancestor - 5 or 10 or 50 - would one consider that same gothra folks can marry? The current folks would be easily 60-100+ generations separated from the gOthra rshi's I reckon.

I think bhAradhwAja folks are plenty relative to some other gOthram (srIvatsa for example). Now when arises a situation where a boy or girl of bhAradwAja gOtram doesn't find a non-bhAradhwAja match in their prime due to socio-economic barriers, they have to forego marriage?

Or can such a person be adopted by a non-bhAradwAja gOthra person and suddenly, open sesame, they are eligible to marry bhAradhwAja gOthra person?

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#42 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by vgovindan »

@sankark
Please refer to the link given. There seem to be two options - 'dAtu' and six generation exception.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotra

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#43 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by rshankar »

The same folks who have/had issues with sa-gotra marriage did countenance marriages between first cousins. Hypocrisy much, or ignorance much?

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#44 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sankark »

rshankar wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 17:20 The same folks who have/had issues with sa-gotra marriage did countenance marriages between first cousins. Hypocrisy much, or ignorance much?
that's between cross-cousins but not parallel-cousins, isn't it?

I mean one can marry a paternal aunts kid (the aunt has changed gOthram from parents' gOthram on marriage) or maternal uncle's kid (mom has changed gOthram from uncle's gOthram on marriage). So there is method to the madness from pure gOthram perspective.

Tongue firmly in cheek: lets keep unwed illicit offspring out.

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#45 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by rshankar »

My point is that if sa-gotra weddings are taboo because of a common ancestor gazillion years ago (presumably to avoid consanguinity), the über consanguinity of first cousin weddings should be (have been) so much more taboo by several orders of magnitude. That’s all.

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#46 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by RSR »

1) Till very recently, Matriarchal system was in vogue in Kerala. And only in the early decades of 1900-1970, famous writers , novelists , film makers , journalists and short-story writers , led a campaign against the system and today, that state also has joined all the states in India adapting the patriarchal system. As Engels points out in 'The origin of family and private property', the system has roots in property relations.
2) In Kanyakumari district also, there was a similar system and KavimaNi Desikavinaayagam pillai has written a poem 'marumakkal thaayam'. Times have changed now.
3) Let us look at the positive side of the system of Patrilinearity. Though there have been misuse in all the societies ( No modern society practises Matriarchy) , the Patriarchal system gave our women, a great measure of security, dignity, affection from her husband, children and brothers.
It did not prevent our mothers and sisters and aunts from study at home and by listening and learning. Nature has so willed them to be of lesser physical strength and some physical limitations. Not mental or intellectual limitations. There have been great warriors like Velu Nachiyar, and queens like famous Ahalya Bai of Indore. Our own country had great social workers, political leaders and scientists second to none ( like 'Agni Putri'- Tesse Thomas) . Such outstanding personalities were not 'feminists' at all. and have acknowledged the support of the husband, grandfather, father, brother, sons and even grandchildren in their successful life. Even in ancient European societies , especially England , France and Spain, daughters have been denied line of succession to the throne. Still they played not an insignificant role.
Mother of King john and Richard the Lion-heart , led a campaign in crusade war.
Queen Elinor Duchess of Aquitaine, was one such great lady.
As the duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor was the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after becoming duchess upon the death of her father, William X, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. ( Lion in the Winter- a classic film)
https://sites.google.com/site/wars4rose ... agna-carta
Last edited by RSR on 09 Jul 2020, 23:56, edited 1 time in total.

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#47 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by RSR »

The Pandyan kings were originally from Mathsyadesam on the banks of Yamuna. Puranaanooru says that Pandyans were the descendants of Pandavas of Mahabaratha War. There is a poem in Puranaanooru about a Pandyan Queen lamenting about the fate of widows and preferring death in the funeral pyre of her husband and king. . Just pointing out some mistakes in George Hart narration.

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#48 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by RSR »

From my personal observations, I would say that the greatest tormentors of a married woman are the women in the husband's household. Women thus are the worst enemies of women.
What a contrast in Shakespeare play
https://shakespeare4tamils.blogspot.com ... -well.html

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#49 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by sureshvv »

rshankar wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 21:41 My point is that if sa-gotra weddings are taboo because of a common ancestor gazillion years ago (presumably to avoid consanguinity), the über consanguinity of first cousin weddings should be (have been) so much more taboo by several orders of magnitude. That’s all.
Not necessarily. Something having to do with X & Y chromosomes that (you) medics like to talk about :D

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#50 Re: Prof George Hart on Tamil Society in the Sangam Era

Post by Nick H »

A long time ago, I heard a scientist on the radio answering a question about inbreeding, He maintained that it is not nearly as dangerous as thought, and said that, if it was, then colonies of certain animals line rabbits would be in a bad genetic way.

Seems to me that he did not take into account a) the state of the British Aristocracy, and b) that rabbits were once the highly intellectual and scientifically advanced rulers of the planet.

I may have made 'b' up.

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