With the evolution of the three dynasties, namely the Cora,
the Cola and the Pantiyas from the tribal chieftains engaged in
internecine wars, the idea of Tamil nationalism gradually came
into existence. The epic Cilappatikaram is the first work which
gives eloquent expression to Tamil nationalism. Pride in Tamil
national heritage and Tamil cultural ascendancy encouraged Tamils
to resist the impact of North Indian culture which had spread mainly
through Sanskrit. Tamils from the very beginning considered their
language, literature and culture as distinct from those of their
northern counterpart. Persistent efforts have long been taken by
Tamils to preserve their cultural and linguistic identity.
An attempt has been made here to trace historically the Tamil
identity and resistance to Sanskrit. This monograph has been written
on the request of my friend Dr. T. Wignesan of France who has
invited me to present a paper at the International Conference of
Asian Scholars to be held in Netherlands in June 1998.
I am very much indebted to my wife Mrs. Indra Samuel, the
companion of my life, for encouraging and supporting my
Many people have helped me in the preparation of this
monograph. Mr. Patrick Harridan of the Multi-media Department
of the Institute of Asian Studies has gone through the manuscripts
and edited the language. Dr. P. Thiyagarajan, Dr. M.S. Nagarajan,
Dr. V. Murugan, Mr. M. Mathialagan, Mr. C. Subramanian and
Dr. K. Jaya Kumar have 'helped me to enrich this monograph by
their valuable suggestions.
The entire monograph was written at different intervals within
a period of one month in the midst of my heavy administrative
burden. Whenever I found time, the material was dictated to my
secretary Mrs. G. Ambigai from memory. I extend my thanks to
Mrs. G. Ambigai for having taken dictation from me and composed
the entire material. My thanks are also due to Mr. R. Ruskin Lavy
who incorporated all the corrections made.
Dr. J<... Jayakumar prepared the index; Mr. A.S. Natarajan has
designed the cover. I extend my heartfelt thanks to these two
persons for their kind co-operation. Student Xerox Offset Printers
deserve my appreciation for the neat execution of the printing.
These changes resulted in the emergence of an industrialized
society with English-educated middle class and a working class,
namely the proletarians. The traditional type of native education
was replaced by Western education, which was designed with the
objective of producing Indian employees who would be loyal to
the British Government and work for cheaper wages.
The age-old feudal system and its social as well as family
structures were shattered and the joint family structure of the past
gave place to single family pattern comprising the bread-winning
man and his wife, whose main responsibility was and remains to
bear and rear children.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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