DeraciNadu: Revisiting the Dravidian Faultline


Tamil, one of the oldest and most beautiful languages of the world should have been the pride of India alongside Yoga, Ayurveda and Sanskrit. However, like the other three, Tamil has been hijacked by vested groups to satiate their agenda of Breaking India based on manufactured fault lines. People of Tamil Nadu have been brainwashed for more than a century to believe the Tamil language is different from the rest of Indian languages, especially Sanskrit.While there can be no malicious intent in praising or glorifying one’s own language, claiming exclusivity in the name of language and equating language with race certainly shows a powerful agenda.

Sanskrit – Tamil

Sanskrit and Tamil can be called sister languages since both languages have had very old beginnings. While it is of academic significance to research and find out which of the two languages predates the other one, from an Indian Grand narrative point of view, having the focus on their relationship would help reap the benefits for Bharat as a nation rather than harp on which one came first. Despite many common words between Sanskrit and Tamil, unfortunately the two have become mutually exclusive in the minds of an average Tamil speaking person. The perception, that learning Sanskrit will provide a death blow to Tamil, has been carefully scripted and planted into the minds of the people as a part of the divide and rule strategy. Some of the commonly used words used in Tamil like Aam(ஆம்) – Yes, Neer(நீர்) – Water, Sangam(சங்கம்) – Confluence, Manas (மனசு) – mind have the exact meanings in Sanskrit. These words are just a few drops in the ocean of similar words between the two languages. In modernized Tamil, the word Ilakkanam (இலக்கணம்) means grammar or structure. The corresponding Sanskrit word is Lakshanam. Since modern Tamil language does not have the “sha” sound and since no word Tamil word should grammatically start with the sound “la”, the vowel sound “e” is added at the beginning and hence lakshanam gets transformed into Ilakkanam. The name Lakshman from our Ramayan also gets transformed into Ilakkuvan (இலக்குவன்) in Tamil using the above transformation logic.

In addition to sharing vocabulary, Sanskrit and Tamil also once shared a common character set or varnamala as it is commonly referred to in India. However, in the name of modernizing the language the Dravidianists systematically eliminated a lot of characters that had associated sounds very similar to the ones in Sanskrit character set.  Here is how the original character set of Tamil looked like before its modernizing.

While this modernization was done under the guise of simplifying the language, the real intention was to de-link Tamil from Sanskrit, promote it as a unique language and consequently prove that the native speakers are very different racially and culturally from the rest of India. An average person from Tamil Nadu today is brainwashed to believe Devanagari is the same as Hindi or Sanskrit by intentionally overlooking the important distinction between script and language. In fact, according to researchers , Sanskrit was written in all Indian scripts including Tamil prior to the arrival of the British and there was no exclusive relation between Sanskrit and Devanagari. More information here.

Tamil classics like Naladiyar and Thirukkural are classified into 3 sections namely Aram (அறம்), Porul (பொருள்) and Inbam (இன்பம்). The classification exactly mimics 3 out of the 4 purusharthas defined in Hinduism namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha(2).. However, since the driving point of these texts is to have a righteous material life, the moksha section must have been skipped. Some scholars even suggest that Tamil words were found in the Rig Veda and Sanskrit words found in Tamil literature(3)

Dravidian contributions to Tamil Pride

Even though Tamil and Sanskrit share common vocabulary, varnamala and literary styles, the core agenda of the Dravidian movement, that started gaining momentum approximately a hundred years ago, is to isolate Tamil from all its links with Sanskrit. However, it should be noted that the present day Dravidianists have made no significant contribution to the growth and development of Tamil. They neither promoted the language nationally nor internationally in a positive light but rather created headlines only by playing the victim card. In contrast, the most important leader and role model for all modern-day Dravidian politicians, E.V. Ramaswamy (E.V.R) was against the promotion of Tamil and even called it a language of the barbarians. The leader of the same Dravidian group, that today is trying to hijack Thirukkural as a secular work, called the classic an Aryan conspiracy not so long ago. He even used derogatory language against Thirukkural(4). The person who is responsible for bringing out all the ancient Tamil literature we pride today was U.V. Swaminathan Iyer, fondly known as the Grandfather of Tamil or தமிழ் தாத்தா. It was due to his efforts classical Tamil literary works like Silappadikaram, Manimekalai and Civaka Chintamani were revived. Purananooru, which talks about various aspects of public life, warfare, kings and economics was brought back into the fore due to his meticulous efforts without expecting anything in return. Yet the Dravidian politicians deliberately promote E.V.R as the torch bearer of Tamil language and the leader for people who speak the language.  Despite facts on the ground clearly pointing to lack of any substantial contribution to Tamil by the Dravidian movement, it is indeed a travesty that they agitate against Sanskrit and Hindi to protect Tamil culture! Very surprisingly they want English, that has nothing in common to the Tamil language, to be the savior of Tamil from Sanskrit! It’s a pity that Dravidian leaders are unable to put forth a cogent argument for why Tamil, with such a long and ancient history, should be saved by a foreign language and not defend itself from the so-called Sanskrit-Aryan invasion.


While Tamil and Sanskrit share similarities, complement each other and could together be called the pride of India, why would the Dravidian movement of Tamil Nadu even today paint a gloomy picture about Sanskrit’s alleged invasion into the state?.

Before answering this question, it is important to investigate the history of the Dravidian movement in Southern India.  Taking even a step back, the origins of the word Dravida will be an interesting one to examine. According to the widely accepted view point the word was first used by Adi Shankara prior to his debate with Mandana Misra, a Mimamsa scholar, while introducing himself. Adi Shankara is supposed to have introduced himself as “Dravida Sishu”. Here the word Dravida was used as a geographical identity (southern India) rather than a racial one(5).”Dravida” is in fact a Brahmin jaati appellation. As cruel joke , the Dravidian movement bases its political identity on the idea of Brahmin-hatred and Brahmin genocide.

In trying to appropriate the richness of Sanskrit literature as European and to find a superior identity for themselves, the British East Company utilized the services of Max Muller to create the Aryan Invasion theory. According to this theory, the Aryans were painted as powerful, warrior class people invading India from Europe or Central Asia. These powerful Aryans, then drove the original inhabitants of India (the Harappan civilization) down into the southern regions of the country. Hence the Aryans became the oppressors and if there were an oppressor there should invariably be a victim! To fill the void for a victim, the British through Bishop Robert Caldwell, created the Dravidian identity to be a racial one. He divided India linguistically and religiously and mapped some of these religions on to Biblical frameworks (6).

The process of de-Indianizing Tamil classics like Thirukkural started long before the present day Dravidianists. G.U. Pope was one of the pioneering Christian Missionaries to have set the ball rolling. He studied various Tamil texts like Thirukkural and Thiruvasagam. He openly declared that Thirukkural is strikingly Christian in spirit (Ref 7:)

Since the late 1960s (one could even say since the formation of DK in the 1940s) , Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu started picking up the theories of G.U. Pope and Robert Caldwell to promote the de-Indianized and de-Sankritized theories about Tamil language and culture. The first elected leader of the Dravidian movement, C.N. Annadurai, got rid of his ties with atheism and started propagating “One religion, one God” philosophy, although this was appropriated from one of the Shaiva Siddhantha verses called Thiru Mantiram (திருமந்திரம்). The original lines were in praise of Lord Shiva but got used to promote a separate religion for the Tamil people. This was a deliberate ploy to promote this new-found Tamil “religion” as egalitarian with no caste inequalities unlike its “Aryan” counterpart. However, as Shri. Rajiv Malhotra points out in his book Breaking India; Tamil Nadu despite its Dravidian identity has still got so many caste structures which the “egalitarian” religion has not gotten rid of !

There are three ways in which Dravidianists device their strategy:

  • De-Sanskritize Tamil
  • Alienate Tamil culture and its people from the rest of India by creating a fake Dravidian identity/religion
  • Use the well-funded foreign missionary machinery to declare that his new founded religion is nothing but a corrupt version of Christianity by drawing parallels based on cherry picking.

All three are used or two at a time or even one at a time. If one were to carefully observe the political statements of Dravidian leaders, it will always be in line with one of these three approaches.

To exemplify each of the three points let us examine a few instances:

Recently, the Government of India introduced the NEP (New Education Policy) and the main point of contention for all Dravidianists was the introduction of the three-language formula. Almost every one of the Dravidianists jumped the gun saying it is a ploy to destroy Tamil using Sanskrit. Also, Parliamentarians from the Dravidian parties have repeatedly called Sanskrit a “dead” language without giving reason as to how a language that is dead could destroy Tamil!

Dravidianists repeatedly claim Tamil Nadu as the soil of E.V. R (பெரியார் மண்) and this ploy is to portray Tamil identity as unique and exclusive. However, what they conveniently hide is the history of Tamil culture and its relationship with Sanskrit and Sanatana Dharma much before the times of E.V.R. The great Chola empire was one of the shining examples to show how Tamil culture celebrated Hinduism. When the Cholas conquered South east Asia they did spread Sanskrit and Hinduism and not only Tamil (8). Let’s not forget it was the Ramayana that the 12th century Tamil poet Kamban chose to translate into Tamil and not Iliad or Odyssey! However, mainstream discourse and debates in Tamil Nadu today always begin with the underlying assumption that Tamil culture has no relevance or connection with Hinduism or the rest of India

Dravidianists who also pride themselves as rationalists, always attack only Hindu religious festivals and practices as irrational. However, they never speak against Christianity and its belief system. One Dravidian leader, who also happened to be a former minister in the GOI, recently declared openly that his party is only against Hindu beliefs because it is “unscientific” there by implying Christianity is scientific. He even went to the extent of vouching for the authenticity of Christ being born on December 25, declared Christianity as a reformed religion and hence despite being a rationalist he has no problems with it(9).  It is a widely known fact that December 25 is not the original birth date of Jesus but was borrowed from the so called “pagans” by Christianity (11).

Way forward

This dangerous trend of Christianizing Tamil Nadu through alienation is an age-old strategy right from the colonial times. However, since the 1960s due to political power being in the hands of the Dravidianists it has gathered momentum. Since the turn of the millennium the speed at which such fake narratives spread about Christianity and its similarities with the Dravidian religion has reached alarming proportions. For instance, in 2005, a conference in New York on “Re-imagining Hinduism as St. Thomas Dravidian Christianity”, received support from Senator Hillary Clinton who wrote a message in support of finding the presence of early Christianity in India (10). It is very evident that the Dravidian movement even today is getting support from eminent people in the Christian community from across the globe.

The most obvious way out of this scenario is to ensure the political power and the state machinery firmly in the hands of the Dravidianists should be freed from their clutches through democracy. However, change in political power is only a pre-requisite, a basic step. A cultural renaissance should be provoked by policy , through accurate portrayal of the history of Tamil , its Hindu roots and more importantly highlight the relationship between Tamil and Sanskrit. The numerous temples of Tamil Nadu could also play a role in this renaissance by becoming learning centers on the scientific progress made by ancient Hindu civilization, besides promoting art and being centers for Spirituality. Even today millions of Hindus from different parts of India and from across the state of Tamil Nadu visit these temples and there is no better place to help people learn about their true identity than these ancient places of worship.

Tamil movies for long have also been promoting this fake Dravidian identity and have openly started to demean Hindu beliefs and value systems due to its association with Christian groups and individuals. It is time the Tamil entertainment and media industry are cleansed to promote a more positive and inclusive narrative about India and its relationship with the state. 

Once, such a cultural renaissance starts having impact on the ground, people will acknowledge & internalise their origins as part of a larger Bharatiya identity, and a major roadblock to building a Bharatiya Grand Narrative would have been cleared.

Karthik Satyam
Karthik Satyam


  2. Shri. Rajiv Malhotra interacting with Prof. Nagaswamy
  5. Dr. Subramanian Swamy lecture on Dravida terminology –
  6. Breaking India –  By Shri. Rajiv Malhotra, Chapter 6, p:66
  7.  “Christian influences were at the time at work in the neighbourhood and that many passages are strikingly Christian in their spirit. I cannot feel any hesitation in saying that the Christian Scriptures were among the sources from which the poet derived his inspiration” – Breaking India by Shri. Rajiv Malhotra – Chapter 6, page 70
  10. “The first international conference on History of Early Christianity in India will successfully combine different and diverse resources to fully explore the presence of early Christianity in India. I am confident that the breadth of resources presented during the conference will shed light on the impact of Christianity on medieval and classical Indian and its effect on the cultural and political climate of India and throughout the word” – Breaking India by Shri. Rajiv Malhotra – Chapter 9

9 thoughts on “DeraciNadu: Revisiting the Dravidian Faultline”

  1. Very well written. However I think the winds of change has started to blow in TN as there is much better awareness of the nefarious agenda of the D parties and a revival of the Hindu spirituality is happening. More people flock to temples, temples are being managed better and over time things will improve. The biggest threat is from the Christian missionaries receiving massive funding from overseas and indulging in corporatized conversion. Hopefully the changes to FCRA laws will slowly put brakes on this.

  2. Venkata Subba Rao

    While I agree on points such as Dravidianism / Periyarism etc. spoiled TN, but why are people so desperate to link Tamil & Sanskrit ? Both can co-exist independently.

    “Here is how the original character set of Tamil looked like before its modernizing.”

    Are you sure the Grantha alphabets were mentioned in Tholkappiyam which is the undisputed most ancient work on Tamil Grammar ?

    “While this modernization was done under the guise of simplifying the language, the real intention was to de-link Tamil from Sanskrit, promote it as a unique language and consequently prove that the native speakers are very different racially and culturally from the rest of India.”

    Whether you like it or not, Tamil is unique in its own way. Who linked Sanskrit with Tamil in the first place ? The linguistic researchers believe It was Pallavas who started using the Grantha alphabets along with Tamil first which has been rightly de-linked.

    1. Basically, tamils poured their venom on hatred on brahmins for a hundred years, citing sanskrit, priesthook, oppression, and all that. But they themselves wanted all that they were made to hate brahmins for. We can observe it today. TN is only increasingly sanskritizing. What is happening is…the groups that benefited most from the dravidian movement, and acted as the foot soldiers – Vanniyar, Nadar, Konar et al, they are trying to break free of dravidian movement, and want to embrace “Hinduism”. Funny thing is..the threat of “christianity” this author is warning about was caused mainly by nadars. The groups that used christan forces to challenge their position in the caste ladder are also the groups that acted as the steady crowd of the dravidian movement. Tamils are playing a game with people who dont know who they are, what they have been up to. India needs to know what Tamil Nadu has been doing to Brahmins for a century. Tamils have a big price to pay.

      Its a big, big story. Tamil Nadu and dravidian Movement and institutionalized brahmin hatred. It was a tamil thing. A caste thing. Christianity is nowhere in the picture. I am highly critical of Mr. Rajiv Malhotra too. He is trying to place happenings in tamilnadu within larger mosaic of “Hindu”, “Hindutva”. Discussing breaking India forces with Tamils is like discussing freedom struggle with British. Tamils are sneakily trying to bury their own involvement in dravidian movement.

      The powers of tamil country used a lot of props to build a propaganda, a socio-political framework to incite hate against brahmins

      “Brahmins are holding on to sanskrit. They dont respect tamil”.
      “Brahmins dont allow tamils to enter the garba graha, and dont sing to god in tamil. They only say sanskrit mantras”
      “Brahmins occupied all positions in british government, and didnt allow tamils to enter.”
      “Brahmins had monopoly over education and didnt allow anybody else to get education for 2000 years”|
      “Brahmins call all shudras as bastards and slaves”
      “Brahmins created the evil caste system and untouchability….
      Basically, all evil in society, and non-existent evils were caused by brahmins. Only dravidian politics and Thanthai (father) periyar attacked brahmins and got rights and freedom for tamils, supposedly.

      Imagine saying over and over again, with great fiery anger, all over Tamil Nadu for a hundred years. That is dravidian movement. All tamils participated in it. Tamil dogs (Especially Vanniyar, Nadar, Konar) attacking and decrying dravidian movement today is the greatest hypocrisy on earth. They want to bury the real himalayan crimes, and their involvement in it. Tamil Brahmins are the sole witnesses to it. India has NEVER seen such institutionalised hatred. India doesnt know what tamils have been up to. India doesnt know how much fire of hate Brahmins in TN have had to face. Please dont bring “Hinduism” into this. Who told you hinduism needs saving. Mr. Rajiv Malhotra talks about “Breaking India forces”. Excuse me, but was it you who “Made India”, in the first place?

      You have one broad thing called breaking india forces, and you have, like, 3 options. One is church, another islam, another whatever, and you want to classify everything under one of the options you have pre-decided. Its laughable, man. Of course, I am inexperienced, and I see the need to have larger frameworks to identify threats and protect our interests.

      But, just leave Tamil Nadu and dravidian movement alone. That was a *completely* different thing. Dont mix that with other things. My heart burns with rage. You have to know what tamil demons have been doing in that godforsaken country of theirs for a century. If Hindutva/India/Hinduism is going to become friends with tamils and fight against dravidian hold (!), I am going to have to excuse myself from India/Hinduism/Hindutva. You dont know what we have had to go through. Just that there was no actual, physical violence, doesnt mean nothing happened. Amen.

    2. In fact there is no need for anybody to link tamizh and Sanskrit is there? Don’t they appear already linked? Except for mahapranas and may be some dual consonants is shra or gya, tamizh has all the sounds that are in Sanskrit. mangai – for a girl – has the ga sound. panju for cotton has ja sound. thandai for father has da sound. iraNDu for two had Da sound. No distinguishing letters are present. what about gna and njya – both are present. Present in any Indo european language? So only the h suffixed sound is absent – as in gha or dha. These were specifically remembered as sounds of mahamantras in tamizh tradition.

      Even the dual consonant ksh is present in the form of tch as in meenatchi – Atchi means rule!

      Order of consonantal letters is exactly like the sequence from throat to palate. So what more do you need to say they are from the same culture?

  3. Guruswamy Karnam

    Very good article, even in Telugu also removed few letters from varnamala, now it sounds less sweet and melodious.

  4. Nice article Karthi a lot of my own research on the possible co existence are covered as well keep up the good work

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