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Re: [WMASTERS] Tamil Inferiority Complex (Was: Selvaa's suggestions)


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With due respect to your viewpoints Mani, I am afraid that your reply's
tone only goes to satisfy the key criteria for "manifest attributes of
inferiority complex", validity of specific arguments or lack thereof,

I happen to believe that the No 1 enemy to Tamil is obsession with economic
superiority (at the expense of ethos nurturing) and the No 2 enemy of Tamil
is English, No 3 is lack of a digital standard. I also happen to think that
undue obsessiveness with the "Nth" enemy only serves to distract attention
from the No 1 and No 2 and No 3 enemy. And invariably this will leave us in
a situation where none of the enemies are taken care of and the enemy takes
care of us. 

Prof Schiffman's conclusions arising from his analysis of the "politics" of
languages dead, alive, roaring and dying are right on the dot. 

Yes, we would prefer where possible to have pure Tamil words used instead
of Sanskrit words - that is agreed and been agreed many many times. The
issue I'm raising has not to do with the nitty-gritties of implementation.
It has to do with strategy. Where should the bulk of our scarce energy be
allocated to? Against which enemy?

Apologies if I have unduely ruffled feathers - it's a tough area where
brothers battle :-)


At 03:23 PM 9/27/97, Mani M. Manivannan wrote:
>At 10:10 AM 9/27/97 +1000, Bala Pillai wrote:
>>At 08:56 AM 9/26/97 -0400, Harold F. Schiffman wrote:
>>>... linguisic purism .... seems to serve a purpose for some time,
>>>uniting people in a cultural struggle of some sort, but today, it has to
>>>be admitted (whether people like it or not) that SANSKRIT IS NO LONGER THE
>>>ENEMY.  Puristic movements also, unfortunately, tend to become one-issue
>>>movements, and need to single out a constant enemy to beat up on.  
>>I have often wondered about this Sanskrit "enemy". At the risk of causing a
>>flame-war - Couldn't it be put to one main cause - "purist" Tamils reaction
>>(defensiveness)  to a deep-seated inferiority complex?
>I am wondering at the absurdity of this question! May I ask you Bala why
>can't I turn around ask the same question of people who slavishly take
>English/Sanskrit words in to the Tamil language?  What sort of complex
>propels people to use "Jalam" instead of "thanneer"  or "stool" instead of
>"mukkaali"?  Would you concede that there is a "standard" English that is
>used in Universities, legislatures, royal courts and news media that
>differs from "slang" spoken English?  While yiddish, polish, spanish words
>are commonly encountered in urban spoken English you seldom see them in the
>NY Times, Wash. Post or LA Times.  Now what is that standard for Tamil media?
>Prof. Schiffman states that an elite is trying to thrust a purist Tamil
>down the throats of an unwilling populace.  My observation is the opposite!
> The Thani Thamizh movement may have had its origins in elite classess (
>Parithi Markalaignar, Maraimalai Adigal).  But it was energised by the
>mainly low caste groups out of power.  The mEdai Thamizh popular today in
>Tamil politics came from the grass roots.  I don't know how familiar you
>are with the recent history of Tamils.  But to think that the Dravidian
>movement is an elitist movement is inaccurate.  
>In all of Prof. Schiffman's examples the purist movements came from the
>top, the elite, the government and religious establishment.  The Thani
>Thamizh Iyakkam was and is resisted tooth and nail by the establishment.
>Yes it does have a missionary zeal and is suspicious of outsiders (mainly
>Madras based) and at times has the appearance of jihad.  But I am genuinely
>puzzled at Bala's characterization especially considering your "Nothing
>Less Than A Tamil Digital Renaissance Now" pitch.  The Thani Thamizh
>Iyakkam sparked a real renaissance and has at times called itself "Thamizh
>marumalarchi Iyakkam."  Why would you denigrate such a movement and
>attribute it it to some complex.  It is akin to me asking you when you
>stopped beating your wife. ( I am sure you are familiar with such slander
>tactics in American politics.)
>>From Prof. Schiffman's emphasis I see that even to a "neutral" observer it
>is obvious that SANSKRIT WAS ONCE THE ENEMY.  He puts it in the past tense.
> I don't know when Prof. Schiffman thinks that the threat from Sanskrit
>receded.  From his words (not mine) there was a battle/war between the
>languages and Tamil has survived.  Did the purist movement have a role to
>play in that? And how a recent past is this?
> . ׯ
>Mani M. Manivannan
>Fremont, CA, USA.
>    ݍ -   Only a sculptor knows a sculpture's flaws


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