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[WMASTERS] The Grantha alphabet and South-Indian culture


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Reply to Selvaa.  No, Selvaa, I don't think Tamil needs grantha.  But, no
matter what you say, I cannot but feel that the present climate towards
learning in the Tamil areas is extremely negative, not only for Tamil, but
for knowledge in general.  In this forum, I have seen people inveigh
against grantha as if it were the very instrument of the Devil -- a
diabolical plot, all sorts of nonsense.  Many want to identify with a
"pure" Tamil that is "untainted" by anything Northern.  They don't seem to
realize that Sanskrit and Tamil have been intertwined for millenia, and
that you just cannot separate the two, no matter how much you try.  The
Ramayana and Mahabharata, for example, are both mentioned in Sangam
literature.  On the other hand, I have tried to show that Kalidasa's
conventions are largely of southern provenance.

What I find sad is that so Tamils few seem to realize that grantha is part
of their heritage.  It is not some diabolical, evil imperialistic plot; it
is simply a writing system that has been used for thousands of years in
Tamil Nadu (and nowhere else) by Brahmins and non-Brahmins alike.  I
frankly don't care whether a few grantha letters are used in the Tamil
alphabet or not.  But I find it sad that people want to excise and destroy
(by neglect and misplaced hostility) a vital and beautiful part of their
heritage.  George Hart


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