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History of languages in India | Discussion

edited July 2014 in Miscellaneous
I have a doubt.

Ancient Indian literature (vedas/upanishads) is in sanskrit, the language of early dravidians. When aryans invaded India, they brought with themselves the caste system and many aryan languages which on mixing with the various local dialects of north india produced indo-aryan languages such as punjabi, bengali, urdu, assamese, gujarati, marathi etc.

Some believe that using the caste system, they subordinated the dravidians and asserted their brahminical supremacy, against which occurred several movements in south India. But brahminism soon became extremely ritualstic, the source of such rituals being primarily the yajur-veda. In this background came Buddha and Mahavira who provided their own religious alternatives.

My question is that 'Is it really true that aryans used the dravidian texts (vedas) to subordinate the dravidians?' If not, what is incorrect in what I have written above? Any help? Thanks.
I don't like to reply to idiots and if you think I am referring to you, you are probably correct.

Comments

  • edited July 2014
    Sanskrit itself is an Aryan language, not Dravidan. Early Dravidans spoke a language that gave birth to Tamil in 3rd century B.C.
  • edited July 2014
    Sanskrit is not the language of ancient Dravidians, AFAIK. The Vedas were written at a time when Sanskrit had imbibed quite a few Dravidian loan words and the languages had fused to some extent. The Vedas are essentially "Aryan;" the Rig Veda has references to a nomadic central-Asian style of life - a landscape very different for South India.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/171083/Dravidian-languages

    Therefore, the "Aryans" used their own texts to justify subjugation of native people.

    http://books.google.co.in/books?id=hgb-MKcsSR0C&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=subjugation+of+dravidian+races&source=bl&ots=Vg0MjKuVeq&sig=HQvbyVstCCFMkBJbOwekV-8FG8s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vgbSU_auH9aVuASXrYAo&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=subjugation of dravidian races&f=false

    Again, if we look at the relationship between current Indian languages, we note that pockets of Dravidian languages (Brahui - supposed to be related to the IVC language) have somehow been landlocked within "Aryan" territory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_the_Indian_subcontinent

    This indicates that the two branches - Sanskrit and proto-Dravidian have coexisted for a while and it also lends credence to the Aryan invasion hypothesis, showing a direction of the invasions (North-West to South). The linguistic branches have exchanged loans as well. That explains the Dravidian root words in the Vedas.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • Also how you can conclude that Aryans subordinated the Dravidian.We have instances in the Vedas of Paninis with whom Aryans were in constant fight and who did not performed any Aryan sacrifices.So we can conclude that along with Aryans there were many other communities living side by side in constant fighting with the Aryans.Though the texts of these communities have not survived , so we do not know their viewpoints.The period which you are referring (brahminism soon became extremely ritualstic) is around 600BC.During this time frame , peninsular India was in Neolithic-Megalithic stage and Aryan culture was confined to north of Narmada.We cannot in any way prove that Aryans subjugated the dravidians.
    first person to be honored with the title of dasasahasratikapati on forumias
  • edited July 2014
    Ok @all thanks.

    @foxtrot please note the use of bold letters. I have no interest in stretching this discussion in that direction.
    I have a doubt.

    Ancient Indian literature (vedas/upanishads) is in sanskrit, the language of early dravidians. When aryans invaded India, they brought with themselves the caste system and many aryan languages which on mixing with the various local dialects of north india produced indo-aryan languages such as punjabi, bengali, urdu, assamese, gujarati, marathi etc.

    Some believe that using the caste system, they subordinated the dravidians and asserted their brahminical supremacy, against which occurred several movements in south India. But brahminism soon became extremely ritualstic, the source of such rituals being primarily the yajur-veda. In this background came Buddha and Mahavira who provided their own religious alternatives.

    My question is that 'Is it really true that aryans used the dravidian texts (vedas) to subordinate the dravidians?' If not, what is incorrect in what I have written above? Any help? Thanks.
    I don't like to reply to idiots and if you think I am referring to you, you are probably correct.
  • edited July 2014
    The Aryan invasion theory is only a "theory" - there are points in favour and against. But genetic analysis has detected many sources of the Indian population - could even have been the other way round.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_archaeogenetics_of_South_Asia

    There is no Aryan or Dravidian alive today in India. It's all amalgamated. Our ancestry / descendence stretches from Western Eurupe to Eastern China and the Indian heartland itself (well, all the way to Africa, actually).

    It's all mixed (and I guess - going by the population growth figures - with tremendous hybrid vigour - bad joke)
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • As others have pointed out, the Vedas were not 'Dravidian' scriptures and Sanskrit wasn't a 'Dravidian' language: if it wasn't for the fact that we're all fairly well-educated individuals on here with gaps in our knowledge nevertheless, this would actually be one of the most amusing things I've read on the internet. This is schoolkid-level general awareness, no? (do not take this personally @woman; I'm *only* addressing the content of your post here)

    Indo-Aryan and Dravidian are the two largest language families in India, yes. Not the only ones, of course: there's also representatives of the Austro-Asiatic family (languages such as Munda, which are neither Indo-Aryan nor Dravidian) and those from the so-called Sino-Tibetan or Tibeto-Burman category. The Austro-Asiatic languages are in particular related to the pre-colonial languages spoken in Australia, Papua New Guinea, etc. Over millennia, they all contributed to and influenced development of the other languages in India. Proto-Munda influenced old Sanskrit as much as OS did old Tamil, etc - you get the drift.

    We must respect these tribal languages as much as we do the more 'civilized' tongues, because not only did they contribute greatly to all Indian languages, these speakers may also have been in India for thousands of years before the arrival of Dravidian or Indo-Aryan speakers and perhaps laid the foundations of what it meant to be truly 'Indian', in the geographical context.

    We must also be careful with making a distinction between speakers of a language and people or ethnic groups -not all Dravidian speakers are genetically Dravidian, and not all Indo-Aryan speakers are Indo-Aryan, for example.

    This is as much as a UPSC aspirant need know, particularly in the context of the Sanskrit week hoopla.

    If I'm allowed a minor digression to make a point: Indians for some reason feel very strongly about such things because we seem to still be unsure of our place in the world and of our identity as a people, and so tend to see tenuous links where none exist. Egypt is therefore a fine example to illustrate the simplicity of our attachment to language -ancient Egyptians originally spoke different dialects of the Egyptian language, an extinct member of the Afro-Asiatic family. In Ptolemaic Egypt and later under the Byzantines, many of the elite were half-Egyptian and half-Greek, and the common populace could speak Greek as well as any foreigner. Roman and Sassanid rule had little effect, but then the Arabs invaded --and Egyptians almost universally speak Egyptian Arabic, today. Egypt was also under the sway of a people as exotic as the Ottomans -Turks were a Mongol people more closely related to Mongolians than to Indo-Europeans -that had absolutely no role to play in the long history of Turkey itself until its conquest by the Seljuks! The point is, this linguistic orgy has not at all taken anything away from the Egyptian people or from the achievements of their non-Semitic forebears: we are still in awe of the pyramids.

    Lesson for us to take away, every time we give in to some sentimental rubbish about what is 'our' language and what isn't, what constitutes a colonial language and what doesn't, just because we happened to be -by pure chance- born in this part of the world or that. You and I aren't go to be around five thousand years from now -these rights aren't ours to proffer.
    Brog

    Quisque est barbarus alii
  • As others have pointed out, the Vedas were not 'Dravidian' scriptures and Sanskrit wasn't a 'Dravidian' language: if it wasn't for the fact that we're all fairly well-educated individuals on here with gaps in our knowledge nevertheless, this would actually be one of the most amusing things I've read on the internet. This is schoolkid-level general awareness, no? (do not take this personally @woman; I'm *only* addressing the content of your post here)

    Indo-Aryan and Dravidian are the two largest language families in India, yes. Not the only ones, of course: there's also representatives of the Austro-Asiatic family (languages such as Munda, which are neither Indo-Aryan nor Dravidian) and those from the so-called Sino-Tibetan or Tibeto-Burman category. The Austro-Asiatic languages are in particular related to the pre-colonial languages spoken in Australia, Papua New Guinea, etc. Over millennia, they all contributed to and influenced development of the other languages in India. Proto-Munda influenced old Sanskrit as much as OS did old Tamil, etc - you get the drift.

    We must respect these tribal languages as much as we do the more 'civilized' tongues, because not only did they contribute greatly to all Indian languages, these speakers may also have been in India for thousands of years before the arrival of Dravidian or Indo-Aryan speakers and perhaps laid the foundations of what it meant to be truly 'Indian', in the geographical context.

    We must also be careful with making a distinction between speakers of a language and people or ethnic groups -not all Dravidian speakers are genetically Dravidian, and not all Indo-Aryan speakers are Indo-Aryan, for example.

    This is as much as a UPSC aspirant need know, particularly in the context of the Sanskrit week hoopla.

    If I'm allowed a minor digression to make a point: Indians for some reason feel very strongly about such things because we seem to still be unsure of our place in the world and of our identity as a people, and so tend to see tenuous links where none exist. Egypt is therefore a fine example to illustrate the simplicity of our attachment to language -ancient Egyptians originally spoke different dialects of the Egyptian language, an extinct member of the Afro-Asiatic family. In Ptolemaic Egypt and later under the Byzantines, many of the elite were half-Egyptian and half-Greek, and the common populace could speak Greek as well as any foreigner. Roman and Sassanid rule had little effect, but then the Arabs invaded --and Egyptians almost universally speak Egyptian Arabic, today. Egypt was also under the sway of a people as exotic as the Ottomans -Turks were a Mongol people more closely related to Mongolians than to Indo-Europeans -that had absolutely no role to play in the long history of Turkey itself until its conquest by the Seljuks! The point is, this linguistic orgy has not at all taken anything away from the Egyptian people or from the achievements of their non-Semitic forebears: we are still in awe of the pyramids.

    Lesson for us to take away, every time we give in to some sentimental rubbish about what is 'our' language and what isn't, what constitutes a colonial language and what doesn't, just because we happened to be -by pure chance- born in this part of the world or that. You and I aren't go to be around five thousand years from now -these rights aren't ours to proffer.
    Oh yes, its school kid level stuff. Perhaps, of the nursery kind. May be you can go and ask this to them, they will tell you all this. Don't take this personally haan?
    I don't like to reply to idiots and if you think I am referring to you, you are probably correct.
  • Ok. Question asked, answer discussed. Purpose of the thread is served. Closing it down.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
This discussion has been closed.

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