History

The Mauryas, the Tamils and the Historian Dr. Sarkar: An Encounter

The previous episode recounted Dr. BGL Swamy’s firsthand experience of the nature and contours of an “official” Tamil history complete with concocted names for “pure Tamil” flora. If this was the state of affairs in the science department, it was taken to an entirely different level in the History department.

The Shape of the Official Tamil History

An Advisory Committee was formed by the Government to document and publish “The Official History of the Tamils” in ten volumes. It doesn’t need to be explicitly stated that the Government exercised utmost care in selecting the members. Dr. BGL Swamy recalls that Tamil writers like Cheeni Venkataswami, Pandit Natesan and others were part of the committee. The history lecturer of Presidency College and two or three lecturers teaching other subjects had also adorned that committee as members.

The Awareness of Kshaatra in Buddha

There was a gap of about three hundred years between Buddha and Aśoka. Buddha lived in the 6th century BCE. He was born in 560 BCE. He saw the effulgence of kṣātra in his surroundings. He had seen the lacunae and failings of the system of republics. Even so, he felt that one should support the war that is fought out of love for one’s freedom. Today Buddha has become a symbol for the cowardly pseudo-secularism. Buddha was a person who sincerely upheld Vedic values.

Among the Dravidianists

Backgrounder

The Tamil country stands tallest among all Indian regions that swallowed the missionary and colonial propaganda of the Aryan Invasion Theory in the closing decades of the 19th Century onwards. More specifically, sections of the Tamil country uncritically swallowed the “Dravidian” propaganda, internalized it, gave it an ideological shape premised basically on the linguistic separateness of Tamil.

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India – The Strengths and Weaknesses of Ashoka

All the historians of the world have unanimously hailed Aśoka. That Aśoka was an ideal king has been widely circulated. In ancient times, no other king, in no other part of the world undertook the establishment of so many dharma-śāsanas (rock edicts pertaining to law and dharma) like Aśoka. About two thousand three hundred years back, no other king had an empire of such expanse, to this extent, or this sort of reign. Nobody has recorded their acts with such extreme introspection or self-proclamation.

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India – Chanakya's Genius

The personalities of Chanakya and Chandragupta were of similar eminence, similar spirit; the supreme testimony to this fact is that such a large empire was managed efficiently for several years and the onslaught of the ambitious, war-hungry Alexander was quelled without leaving even a trace of its memory. From this we learn how sharp their developmental strategy must have been. We see how bright that patriotism must have been, which found inspiration from their strong sense of identity.

Tipu's Savagery in Coorg

Known as Kodagu in Kannada, Coorg is a picturesque hill-country forming the Southern tip of Karnataka. It forms the border between Karnataka and Kerala, and is in many ways, the gateway to the Malabar region in Kerala. Today it is primarily known for its scenic beauty and spectacular views of thickly-forested mountain ranges, valleys, waterfalls, and sprawling coffee estates.

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India – Awareness of Kshaatra in the Arthashastra

Kautilya absorbed the best from the system of republics; he also brought back the ashvamedha conception of an empire. Both these conceptions have their roots in the Vedas. One must observe how broad and overarching the concept of yajna has been in the Hindu worldview. And one who is opposed to this broadminded concept of yajna is bound to face trouble. Philosophically, the inner yajna is superior to the external, ritualistic yajna but the former cannot exist without the latter. We need both.