Tamils Have Always Rebutted Anyone Who Tried To Deny The Hinduness Of Their Land—And They Are Doing It Again

by Aravindan Neelakandan - Oct 7, 2022 06:55 PM +05:30 IST
Tamils Have Always Rebutted Anyone Who Tried To Deny The Hinduness Of Their Land—And They Are Doing It AgainNataraja (Wikimedia Commons)
Snapshot
  • This time, an unstoppable youthful saffron surge seems to be emerging in the state.

From 30 September 2022, a section of movie-goers in Tamil Nadu have been in a frenzy following the release of the movie titled PS-I.

This Mani Ratnam-directed movie with A.R. Rahman's music is a highly de-Hinduised version of Kalki's magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan.

The music particularly seemed to be largely designed to remove any semblance to traditional southern Indian music. The main character Vanthiya Thevan was shown with not even a trace of any kind of a sacred mark on his forehead.

Yet, despite all these attempts, the basic Hindu character of the novel could not be subdued or erased by the director and team.

This has created a furore among the entrenched as well as elitist anti-Hindu elements in India which often overlap with 'Breaking India' forces.

The first salvo was fired by a director Vetri Maran, who claimed that there were forces in Tamil film industry who try to portray Rajaraja Chola as a Hindu. Thirumavalavan joined voices with him. Seeman, alias Simon of the Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NCK) too lent his voice of support to this 'Rajarajan-not-Hindu-but-a-Saivite' chorus.

The latest to jump into this group is the actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan.

Their shared core meme is simple:

  • Hinduism is a colonial construct.

  • So during the time of Rajaraja Chola there was no such entity as Hinduism. He was only a Saivite. And Saivism has nothing to do with Vedic religion.

  • Saivism is Dravidian/Tamilian while Vedic religion is Aryan.

  • Saivism is egalitarian while Vedic religion is nothing but Varna system cunningly brought in by Aryan-Brahmins to enslave Tamils.

  • Saivism is derived from Tamil culture while the Aryan-Brahminical religion sees Tamil as inferior and is Sanskrit-based.

So, from Thirumavalavan to Kamal Hassan, the chorus chant is that Rajaraja Chola was a Saivite and not a Hindu. They essentially derive their rant from the meme described above.

What is important here is to see how the meme creates a binary. Brahmin versus non-Brahmin; Sanskrit versus Tamil; 'Aryan' versus 'Dravidian' etc.

Further, notice how the Christian, evangelical-funded crackpot-theories work through this. They claim that Tamil Saivism was not what is seen today but a branch of Thomas-Christianity. Distortions by Brahmins has lead to what is understood as Saivism today, they claim.

Some of the greatest Saivite and Tamil scholars have repeatedly refuted these claims. They have always emphasized the oneness of Saivism with the pan-Indian Vedic Saiva tradition.

Let us look at both the word Hindu and the reality of Vedic Saivism from historical and Saivite point of view, respectively.

'Kalki' Krishnamurthy the author of Ponniyin Selvan had written three major history-based fictions. Ponniyin Selvan is the third one.

The second fiction work was Partiban Kanavu. This fiction ends with the marriage of Sundara Chozhan and Kunthavai—daughter of Pallava emperor Narasimha Chakravarti. 'Kalki' makes Hieun-Tsang one of the attendees of the wedding.

Kalki had his characters of history fiction, anchored in Sanatana Dharma.
Kalki had his characters of history fiction, anchored in Sanatana Dharma.

The historical Hiuen Tsang (Xuanzang) used the term Inthu to denote this entire nation and imparted a clear spiritual meaning to it.

This land is 'Inthu' because Inthu means moon (both in Chinese and Sanskrit) and India with its spiritual traditions and seers was surely seen as the moonlight for the world in darkness.

It is recorded that he did visit Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, then the capital of Pallavas during the reign of Narasimha Varma Pallavan. The emperor with a Vaishnavite name was the son of a Jain-turned-Saivite, Mahendra Varman. They all encouraged and actively supported theo-diversity which remains to this day the core value of Hindu Sanatana Dharma.

Tamils Have Always Rebutted Anyone Who Tried To Deny The Hinduness Of Their Land—And They Are Doing It Again

One can very well picturise Hiuen Tsang calling on Rajaraja, had he come centuries later during his reign.

Coming to those who claim that Saivism is Tamil-rooted and Vedas of the so-called Aryans are not the Vedas of Tamil Saivism, one should turn to none other than Pampan Sri Kumaraguru Dasa Swamigal (1848 -1929).

Srimat Kumaraguru Dasa Swamigal (Pamban Swamigak) rejected Aryan race theory.
Srimat Kumaraguru Dasa Swamigal (Pamban Swamigak) rejected Aryan race theory.

Known to his devotees as 'Vaidhika Saiva Siddhanta Jnana Banu' (Sun radiating the Wisdom of Vedic Saiva Siddhanta), Swamigal wrote extraordinary exemplary Tamil.

During his life time he saw some Saivite scholars deluded by the 'Aryan race theory'. They claimed that the Vedas mentioned in sacred Tamil Saivite literature were different from the four Vedas.

Pamban Swamigal rejected these claims. He wrote a book in 1903 specifically to remove such colonial-evangelical delusions. In this, he categorically stated that the claim the so-called 'Aryans' from Persia or anywhere else entered 'Hindu Desa' could not be sustained.

He further stated that the Vedas which the sacred Saivite Tamil books refer to are the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas. He pointed out that Saiva Siddhanta has its heart anchored in Vedic Darshana.

Vallalar Swamigal used the term 'Arya' in its original spiritual meaning.
Vallalar Swamigal used the term 'Arya' in its original spiritual meaning.

Another saint, Ramalinga Vallalar, also used the term 'Hindu' and claimed that only the Hindu Vedagama texts have the nectar of knowledge that lead to immortality and also stated that the other religions in as much as they contain this knowledge are at best approximations.

He also used the term 'Arya' in its original spiritual meaning eschewing the colonial racial-ethnic meaning.

Ramalinga Vallalar considered Hindu Vedagamas alone to contain methods for self-realization.
Ramalinga Vallalar considered Hindu Vedagamas alone to contain methods for self-realization.

Today there is a visible change in the Tamil intellectual landscape. Highly intelligent youths with extraordinary grasp of history, culture and society have emerged to counter the propaganda of anti-Hindu toxicity.

Pa.Inthuvan a strong youthful voice battling against the darkness of cultural illiteracy in Tamil Nadu.
Pa.Inthuvan a strong youthful voice battling against the darkness of cultural illiteracy in Tamil Nadu.

Pa.Inthuvan, a cheerful youth in his twenties has taken on the Dravidianist and other anti-Hindu forces with gusto and facts. Never uncouth in his responses, a rarity in Tamil digital landscape, he replies with facts and weaves in a characteristically readable style.

Well versed in classical Tamil literature and adept in using a lucid, accessible style in writing, he employs a question-answer format to answer silly questions raised cultural-illiterates who pose as public intellectuals.

In a book that is to be released soon, he has compiled many of these questions and answered them in detail. Besides, his website is becoming popular too.

'Tamil Culture: Crafty-agenda Questions and Enlightening Answers' book by Pa.Inthuvan
'Tamil Culture: Crafty-agenda Questions and Enlightening Answers' book by Pa.Inthuvan

Similarly, Sundara Rajan, another young writer, uses every daft question on Tamil culture to culturally educate the larger population.

Just as how Carl Sagan said that even crack-pot pseudo-sciences like ancient-astronaut theory and astrology could be used as a talking point to guide young minds into real science, Sundara Rajan (writes as Sundara Raja Chozhan), on both social media and TV talk shows, uses the anti-Hindu rhetoric to clearly illuminate the Hindu roots of Tamil history.

One can be sure there are more are there to come. Tamil Nadu is slowly but surely finding its Sanatana and Vedic roots.

Naturally, anti-Hindu forces are rattled and are making their last stand against the inevitable saffron surge that is gathering momentum in Tamil Nadu.

Aravindan is a contributing editor at Swarajya.

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