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In the just concluded DMK jamboree on Classical Tamil, Finnish Indologist Asko Parpola was presented the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award by President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. one million, a Thiruvalluvar statue made of panchalokha and a citation.
Asko Parpola is an exponent of the Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory, which has been demolished by various scholars by all means including DNA studies. At a time when even Marxist historians have understood the stupidity behind the Aryan Invasion Theory and stopped peddling it, the Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu continue to harp on it to divide the masses and alienate the Tamil people from the Hindu fold.
Despite his scholarship and exemplary work on the Indus (Sindhu-Saraswati) Valley civilisation, Iravatham Mahadevan is also an exponent of the Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory. Though his findings after painstaking researches have been remarkable, they are sullied by his connecting them to support the so-called Dravidian civilization, which knowingly or unknowingly helps the Dravidian racist parties. This year he was duly honored with the Thiruvalluvar Award by the DMK government for his great contribution in the fields of Epigraphy and Indus Script studies.
As Iravatham Mahadevan has a long acquaintance with Asko Parpola and was Vice President in the supreme committee constituted for the Classical Tamil Meet, there is a strong possibility that he may have recommended Parpola’s name for the Classical Tamil Award, which the DMK government would have accepted as Parpola’s claims support the cause of Dravidianism. Incidentally and significantly, in his acceptance speech at the Conference, Parpola said, “When the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu’s award is given to me for a Dravidian solution of the Indus enigma, this award will inevitably be interpreted by many people as politically motivated”.
Even after the demolition of the dubious Aryan-Dravidian Theory, if a scholar sticks to it, and a government which benefits from that theory awards that scholar, it would certainly be interpreted as politically motivated. Parpola has only confirmed the interpretation!
Let us not forget that the word “Dravidian” was first coined by Christian padre Robert Caldwell who came to Tamil Nadu with a single purpose of evangelization. Nowhere in ancient Tamil literature does the word ‘Dravidian’ exist; there was a Christian agenda of dividing the native people behind Caldwell’s coining the term ‘Dravidian’. While the British Government used the Aryan-Dravidian theory to divide and rule the nation, the Church used it to conquer the languages and destroy the culture in order to Christianize the nation.
To fully capture a nation or a state, the Church adopted three strategies. First, ‘conquer the native language’, second, ‘destroy the native culture’ and third, ‘capture political power’. Indeed, Christianity is more a political concept than a religion, which is why it moved hand in hand with Empire. The main job of the missionaries was to learn the native language, study the native literature to understand the culture and tradition in order to destroy it slowly, and create an atmosphere for the political establishment to invade and capture power.
All missionaries including Caldwell, who landed in Tamil Nadu, projected themselves as great lovers of Tamil and the gullible masses and unassuming native intellectuals believed that projection. By the time the Scottish missionary Robert Caldwell landed in Madras (8 January 1838), Rev. John Anderson, a Missionary from the Church of Scotland, had already established the ‘General Assembly School’ (3 April 1837) with 59 boys, in a rented building in the Armenian street in the ‘Black’ Town of Madras. Anderson soon opened branch schools in neighboring towns like Conjeevaram, Chingleput, Nellore, and other places in Madras like Triplicane.
While Anderson’s colleagues Rev Robert Johnston and Rev John Braidwood helped him to run the schools, they also converted some of the educated elite in Madras to serve as teachers. One such example was Rev P Rajagopaul, who ably assisted in running these schools. This ‘General Assembly School’ later became the ‘Madras Christian College’.
Naturally due to political patronage, Madras Christian College emerged as an institute of excellence and students from elite families considered it to be a privilege to study there. When Robert Caldwell was at his peak, young Tamil scholars like V.G. Surya Narayana Sastri and Swami Vedachalam joined the Tamil Department of Madras Christian College as teachers. Both later headed the Tamil Department. Possibly due to exposure to the Christian environment and its influence, Surya Narayana Sastri, a Brahmin, changed his name to ‘ParithiMaar Kalaignar’ (Parithi=Suryan/Sun; Maal=Narayanan/Thirumal; Sastri= Kalaignar/ Pandit), developed a sort of hatred for Sanskrit and started the “Pure Tamil Movement” with the aim of ‘de-Sanskritising’ Tamil.
Swami Vedachalam, a staunch Saivite, followed suit and changed his name to “Maraimalai Adigal” (Marai=Veda; Malai=Chalam; Adigal=Swami). Surya Narayana Sastri, also known as ‘Dravida Sastri’ died at a young age of 33. Maraimalai Adigal carried on with the ‘Pure Tamil Movement.’
Though he was a Saivite and hated the atheistic principles of the “Self-Respect Movement” started by E.V. Ramasami, Maraimalai Adigal worked with them on the ‘anti-Sanskrit’ and ‘anti-Brahmin’ platforms. As Christian Missionaries always believed in “Racial Theories”, they cleverly created the concept of anti-Brahminism by classifying Brahmins as “Aryans & outsiders”. As we know, the Self-respect Movement later became the Dravidian Movement and led to the formation of DK, DMK, etc. The founder of Dravidar Kazahagam, EVR, was a supporter of the British and never welcomed Indian independence. In fact he pleaded with the British government to continue their regime in Tamil Nadu alone.
For all Dravidian racist leaders like EVR, Annadurai and Karunanidhi, Robert Caldwell was (and is) a “God;” they utilized his Dravidian theories to the hilt and called for a separate Tamil Nation. Make no mistake, “Tamil Separatism” is a Christian agenda and the Church has a long term plan of forming a Tamil Christian Nation with Tamil Nadu and North and East Sri Lanka. With this objective, the Church supported the LTTE and its Tamil Eelam demand. Dravidian racist leaders’ chauvinistic campaign against “Aryan-Brahmins”, well supported by the Church, helped them to capture power in Tamil Nadu in 1967 and till date no nationalist party could dislodge them from the seat of power.
And now, the main national party Indian National Congress, which was the culprit in bringing the Dravidian parties to power in Tamil Nadu, is under the firm clutches of an Italian woman who maintains a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the racist DMK headed by Karunanidhi. Ergo, the Church is on a very strong wicket in the center as well as the state!
Little wonder a Christian scholar got an award for giving a second life to the dubious concept of Dravidian civilisation. This is not the first time Iravatham Mahadevan has used his influence. Last July (2009), he brought a German “scholar” called Michael Witzel from the Sanskrit Department of Harvard University to give a lecture on the Rig Veda at the sacred seat of Sanskrit, the Sanskrit College, Chennai.
Witzel, well known for his anti-Hindu stance, received a lot of brickbats and could not answer many questions posed by the audience after the lectures at the Sanskrit College and Madras University. A fast growing web portal - www.tamilhindu.com - sent Witzel five questions regarding his dubious theories and he failed to answer despite acknowledging the mail and committing to answer them! In spite of repeated reminders, he pretended to be too busy and till date has not answered, or could not answer, even one question.
(http://www.tamilhindu.com/2009/07/questions-to-michael-witzel/ Though the article is in Tamil, the questions are given in English as well).
Iravatham Mahadevan also took Michael Witzel to Roja Muthiah Research Library, founded by the University of Chicago Library in the name of a person (Roja Muthiah) from whom it purchased a massive collection of books and palm leaf manuscripts, as he sold his entire collection on being unable to maintain it due to financial constraints. The library is now focusing on collecting more study materials in all fields in Tamil to facilitate research scholars and students in Tamil studies.
Incidentally, after the DMK jamboree in Coimbatore, Iravatham Mahadevan arranged a lecture by Asko Parpola on ‘Indus Script and the Wild Ass’ on 28 June 2010 at the Roja Muthiah Library. This was the first lecture in memory of the Christian Professor Late Mr. Gift Shiromani, who taught Humanities at the Madras Christian College, which sponsored the event. Mrs. Rani Shiromani presided over the function and the Principal of MCC also spoke on the occasion. But Iravatham Mahadevan restricted the number of questions after the lecture and research scholars who came prepared with a number of questions were totally disappointed