Recently PM Narendra Modi landed in another controversy during the Pariksha par charcha wherein he said, “I apologize to the students with whom I could not interact due to language barrier, I feel one should know languages, for instance Tamil… not many know that it is one of the oldest languages even older than Sanskrit, and it has so much beauty in itself”. While the Prime Minister’s respect for all native languages and attempts to build a bridge among Indians cutting all language barriers are laudable, the acknowledgment of the Dravidian claim of Tamil being older than Sanskrit has given rise to different questions among his supporters.
I apologise to the students with whom I could not interact due to language barrier, I feel one should know languages, for instance Tamil… not many know that it is one of the oldest languages even older than Sanskrit, and it has so much beauty in itself: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/YtZ8XUjMuD
— ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2018
Bishop Robert Caldwell introduced the term “Dravidian” to the languages spoken in South India and tried to separate them from the other languages of India by calling them as Sanskrit-affiliated languages. This led to the rise of many language supremacy movements in south. The most notable among them was the “Dravidian Nationalism movement” led by E.V. Ramasamy Naicker, popularly known as Periyar, which demanded a separate country comprising of all the states of South India called Dravidanadu.
It must be noted that Periyar was a staunch critic of Hinduism and also a supporter of British. He even called for separation of Tamil Nadu from Indian Union so that it can remain under British rule during the time of Independence. Many writers and intellectuals affiliated to Dravidar Kazhagam, the political party of Periyar, started writing about Tamil being older than sanskrit which was a lie in itself for Tamil is abound with Sanskrit names and loan words. The Brahmi script which is the modern name given to ancient Indian script, arised out of Sanskrit. The Grantha script used for Tamil was derived from Brahmi and it also has words and letters of Sanskrit. Infact it must also be noted that there Sanskrit scholars even today who can write in Grantha script.
#Sanskrit remains the oldest recorded language in India. Even non-Sanskritic languages like Tamil abound with Sanskrit names and loan words. The Brahmi script, arising out Sanskrit, is the mother of all older scripts of Southeast Asia, including Grantha script used for Tamil.
— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) February 16, 2018
The Dravidian party governments (DMK and AIADMK governments which claim Periyar as their ideological father) of Tamil Nadu, which are known for its anti-Hindu activities, promoted this lie of Tamil being older than Sanskrit and even manufactured many anti-national sentiments on the minds of Tamils through many sedition activities like Anti-Hindi agitations. It must be noted that BJP as a nationalistic party has been acknowledged by people as a party which stands for real Indian values and history.
But the recent comments of the Prime Minister along with the tweets of certain BJP members of Tamil Nadu, have created a new chapter in the history of the party, wherein they seem to acknowledging this anti-Hindu seditionists’ lie of Tamil being older than Sanskrit.
“Not many know that Tamil is one of the oldest languages even older than Sanskrit, and it has so much beauty in itself” – PM @narendramodi !
Have been telling this for a long time; even wrote blogs. So many people abused; let’s see if PM’s comments change their opinion.
— SG Suryah (@SuryahSG) February 16, 2018
The PM’s comments garnered criticism from his supporters who were unhappy with his acknowledgment of Hindu bashing dravidianist lies:
You can take Tamil Nadu out of the Dravidian mindset but you simply cannot take the Dravidian mindset out of Tamil Nadu, looks like @BJP4TamilNadu all set to use the Dravidian ideology for next State Election… https://t.co/ZxnWgDZllk
— SatyaVijayi (@SatyaVijayi) February 17, 2018
— 卐 Pulakesi 卐 (@Kalbhoja) February 16, 2018
PM is not a linguist or historian. Earliest recorded Sanskritic documents are from Mitanni inscriptions dated around 1600 BCE, while oldest Tamil inscriptions are at best dated to 5th century BCE, more than 1000 years after Sanskrit. https://t.co/1rAMYWqtO9
— Sudas (@Daivodasa) February 16, 2018
PM Modi is factually wrong Sanskrit is older then Tamil https://t.co/cKA1Ei388O
— Arun Chikara 🇮🇳 (@AChikara83) February 17, 2018
Does this mean that BJP lusts for power and will move slowly towards the Anti-Hindu Dravidian politics leaving aside its core voters? Or was it a factually wrong claim by the PM which is being used by his party members to promote themselves? Only time will tell…