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Why north and south do not meet

Pardon my parochialism (or is it realism?) but I do feel that north and south are different and never the twain shall meet.

Published: 12th July 2020 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2020 08:18 AM   |  A+A-

Ramayana

Image for representational purpose only.

Pardon my parochialism (or is it realism?) but I do feel that north and south are different and never the twain shall meet. It is the Aryan concepts that make things complicated. See what Manusmriti (2nd century BCE?) says: “From the eastern sea to the western sea, the area in between the two mountains [presumably the Himalayas and the Vindhyas] is what wise men call the land of the Aryas... Beyond it is the country of the barbarians.”

The view that those who are not Aryans are barbarians, is barbarian. It is that view that sustains the idea of northern superiority. In fact, in cultural and intellectual terms, the Dravidians have a maturity that enables them to benefit from it, without flaunting it to claim superiority over others. Yes, the north is north and the south is south.

New light is shed on this old topic by Early Indians. Author Tony Joseph uses new data made available by advances of DNA analysis technology. The “new hypothesis” validates the old hypothesis but in a different way. According to the new data, there was no large-scale migration to India during the last 40,000 years or so. Rather “there were two very ancient populations, one located in north India and the other in south India. All of today’s populations descended from the mixing of these two groups, technically given the tags Ancestral North Indian and Ancestral South Indian.” ANI has Caucasian roots while ASI, in all likelihood, migrated from Africa via the southern route 50,000 years ago.

History sustains the north-south divide. Indus valley/Harappan civilisation was Dravidian and it moved south following the Aryan invasion. The phrase “Aryan invasion” is anathema to the politicians of the north. They want us to believe that Aryans came from Thoothukudi and thereabouts. What is the use of history if it does not serve politicians?

The Vedas are projected as the foundations of Indian civilisation. Anything that points to the possibility of a civilisation before the Vedas would therefore be a body blow to Hindutva theories of India. Ironically, Rigveda itself describes how the Aryans clashed with the Dasyus to get control of the land. Who were the Dasyus who were in control of the land before the Aryans came? Tony Joseph’s chapter “The First Indians” begins with the explanation: “How a bunch of out of Africa migrants found their way to India, dealt with their evolutionary cousins ... made this land their own and became the largest human population on earth.” He has an Appendix that explains how migration from Eurasian Steppes changed the demography in a region extending from Europe to South Asia. And yet, “there are some who insist that the story of the Aryan invasion is a vast conspiracy.”

Actually this whole thing is tied to, and sustained by, the north-south dichotomy that governs life in India. The BJP is perceived as a north Indian party. (Its foothold in Karnataka is seen as an aberration.) Its cultural essence is Hindi. To that extent, its appeal to the Dravidian, non-Hindi south will remain limited. 

How can the alienation disappear when even our epics appear in variations that suit linguistic differences? The north’s favourite Ramayana Tulsidas’ Ramacharitmanas doesn’t do well anywhere in the south. It is Kamba Ramayanam in Tamil Nadu, Dwipad Ramayanam in Telugu desam, Torava Ramayana in Kannada desa and Adhyatma Ramayanam in Malayala bhasha. Poor Valmiki is drowned in his variations.

How do we react to a sentence like: “The Aryan race flourished in India as agriculturists and as conquerors of the aboriginal races.” Or, “the civilised race conquered the whole country from the barbarians.” Or, even the claim that the Aryan conquerors went west, settled down in Iran and composed the Zend Avesta. These were theories propounded even by renowned scholars like Romesh Dutt. But they make no sense when they ignore the inherent preconceptions in terms like barbarians. 

E V Ramasamy developed a whole philosophy on Ramayana being a vehicle for northern cultural domination. That notion is unlikely to change as long as Ayodhya is central to the Rama story. And, don’t forget, Ravana is seen as a southerner and as a hero. This could be a game that no one wins in the end. In fact, it can be a game in which there are only losers. Strong enough reason to pay special attention to Tony Joseph’s exhortation: “We are all Indians. And we are all migrants.”  
 

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Comments(4)

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  • vikram

    Conspiracy of converts to divide the country so people can be converted. Most of the PuraaNs have a chapter on geography. In this Bhaarat varsh is mentioned as triangular land between himaalays and sea. There is no mention of Vindhya. So question is why this stupid article is published here?
    28 days ago reply
  • msudheendrakumar

    even the british said so,that we indaians are migrant population and that legitimise their ruling of india.
    30 days ago reply
  • Prateek Singh

    The author of the article is severely misinformed. Allow me to present some facts: 1) Ravana was the son of Rishi Vishrava. The Rishi lived in the area around today's Delhi and Western UP. Ravana himself is said to be well versed in all the four vedas, so he was an "Aryan", according to the author's own racial distinction. 2)"From the eastern sea to the western sea" presumably refers to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The last time I checked south India also lies between these two seas. The people whom the Vedas/Ramayana called barbarians (or more correctly Mlecchas) lived beyond the Indus, so "beyond" means beyond the Indus. 3) The Aryan invasion theory has been conclusively disproved by genetic analysis. 4) Ramcharitmanas is not a Ramayana. It literally means an exposition of the attributes of Rama, hence Rama-Charita-Manas. All the various versions of Ramayana developed from Valmiki's Ramayana. 5) The BJP is an offshoot of the RSS. The RSS is headquartered in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The key ideological figure of the BJP - Gowalkar and Savarkar where from that state. Karnataka borders Maharashtra. UP/Rajasthan/Punjab/Himachal do not. I'd suggest a more thorough research the next time before coming up with "parochial" material like this.
    30 days ago reply
  • A k Sehanobis

    Sheer Ignorance.His anti-hindu sentiments can take him to any height where logic/reason has no place.The Aryan/Dravid theory is a concoction of facts.This was manufactured by the Leftist historians.One of them even went to the extent to justify Sultan Mahmud's invasion of India,saying he came here to rescue the Hindus from Feudalism.Mr.George, DNA of all Indians are same,even yours.The recent excavation of a skeletal remains in Haryana proved that there was an indigenous race.You are out to divide the Hindus between Northerners and Southerners.Hopefully you will not succeed.
    30 days ago reply
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