Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Origins of Indians: Version 7.0

The migrations that made up India:
1. Y-Hg-C coastal migration: Unknown language/ mtDNA: M*
2. Y-Hg-H migration : Unknown language/ mtDNA: U, R
3. Y-Hg-R2 migration : Unknown language/ mtDNA: ?
4. Y-Hg-O migration : Austro-Asiatic/ mtDNA: X?
5. Dravidian migration : Defining lineages Y-Hg-J2b and Y-Hg-L/ mtDNA: J2, T1
6. Indo-European migration : Defining lineage Y-Hg-R1a1/ mtDNA: H?, W?
7. Aryan migration : Defining lineage Y-Hg-J2a and Y-Hg-G2 (probably Semitics or Caucasian speakers)/ mtDNA: H?, W?

I would consider Indo-European urheimat in Kurgan lands and Aryan urheimat in South Caucasus, Afghanistan.

Arya probably a later identifier for this people once they adopted IE language. Arya as a self-designation is not used by any other IE peoples.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hart's caste system - III

George L Hart's rather innocuous looking work on "Caste in ancient Tamil society" has too many flaws as I have discussed previously. In this post, I am further exploring menstrual blood concept, an argument used very innovatively by Hart. Hart's whole discussion boils down to;

Shamanic native Dravidian tradition was considered uncontrolled and inauspicious by upper class native Dravidians. They also had the similar notion about menstrual blood. Therefore, Dravidian priestly classes indulged in Shamanic traditions were called 'pulayan' (in Tamil), where the root of the word pol* means 'menstrual blood'. These Pulayans became later day untouchables. In other words, a community that became untouchable was the result of unique Dravidian world view. A world view unrelated to north Indian people like Brahmins.

The drawbacks:

1. The word pole meaning menstrual blood is attested in Kannada, Tulu and Kodava Takk but not in the quintessential Dravidian Tamil language. That does not stop George L Hart from giving credit to Tamils for having such stunning world view without any help from Indo-Europeans and does not even discuss the probability of development such high culture in Karnataka region. An unknown Atlantis in Karnataka before Tamil civilization.

2. The biggest Dravidian speaking region Andhra Pradesh does have an equivalent outcasts though their caste identity is not derived from pole. Of course, the caste system in Andhra region was enforced during Satavahana period whose suzerainty over that region predates Tamil literary period.

3. Vediks did have all the taboos associated with menstrual blood exemplified in Manu smriti. If I remember correctly, Vediks did consider worshipping ghost is inauspicious. Krishna says if somebody worships ghost he will become a ghost in the next life.

Menstruation Belt:
My research takes me to the conclusion that menstrual blood meaning of pole is secondary to the word and most likely conceived by Indo-Aryans who merged with Dravidian speaking population in the South. However, as we have seen, purity and pollution concepts are not really part of European Indo-European culture. There is a strong connection between division of society in Norse society and Indo-Aryan society. Though it should be noted that correspondence exists for Ksatriya(chieftains), Vaisya(common people...herders) and Sudra(slaves/serfs) but not for priests. The Norse caste system is three fold whereas Vedic caste system is four fold with priests at the top.

As I have said, European society did not have extreme taboos associated with menstrual blood. So, obviously, if Indo-Europeans of India had it then they might have absorbed it somewhere beyond India as they migrated from Kurgan lands. I did web research on menstrual blood taboo. I considered a motif of segregating women during their menses.

I found this precise motif among;
1. Arabs (Semitic)
2. Jews (Semitic)
3. Zoroastrians (IE)
4. Kalash (IE)
5. Lambani (IE)
6. Roma (IE)

Indeed, there were speculations of Zoroastrian influence on Semitic traditions. However, in this case it is the other way round.If PIE people had this tradition then it should have observed in Norse society. Since it was not the case we can conclude that IE people absorbed concepts of pollution associated with menstrual blood from West Asian people.

Lambani and Roma may suggest this tradition probably was already part of India and likely that Dravidians might have had it. But Lambanis have Y-Hg-R1b lineage in high frequency. This is not observed among Indians and most probably derived from West Asian lineages. Roma practice of menstrual taboo is a mystery. Probably, as this group IE-ised it absorbed Indo-Aryan tradition of menstrual taboo. However, Roma practice of separate dwelling during menses shows a rather West Asian tradition. I guess Hindu practice was not that severe. Probably, they might have picked up that practice during their stay in West Asia.

It is again tough to find original Dravidian view about menstrual blood. There are many Dravidian tribes where I believe Shamanic tradition is still alive and those people have not been made outcasts. I still do not know much about these tribes' view on menstrual blood. I found this article by Paul Zacharia where he states;

Menstruation is, after all, not such a dread sin for everyone in Kerala. There is even a temple where the devi’s ‘menstrual blood’ is revered.

Okay, that is equally pathetic as fearing menstrual blood. Fear and reverence are two sides of the same coin when it comes to spiritual world. So, I believe it may not be diagonally opposite world view.

Development of Menstrual blood taboo:

The moot point is why West Asian society developed menstrual taboo concepts while Europeans did not. A European member at Quetzalcoatl anthropology forum feels concept of purity-pollution is not for the ultimate machos like Europeans. This is a view that finds an echo in Ahmad ibn Fadlan's writings.

But I believe the society that developed a philosophy before inventing a clothing akin to present day underwear might have come up with menstrual blood taboo and the society that developed philosophy after complete covering did not bother about menstrual blood. As we know West Asian society was the first one to develop a civilization.

The greatest contribution of George L Hart to the culture of Tamil "race" with irrelevent Brahmins of Indo-European "race" is that they had a distinct world view that discriminated women and created class of people who would become untouchables, as far as I can see. I was trying to find Tamil responses to that. One Tamil propagandist states that Tamils should be proud of their contribution to Indian society both good and bad. Of course, bad is clearly as explained by George L Hart. He too probably believes a distinct Tamil race. Curiously, In one of the forums, he mentions a word sounding similar to pole being used in Nepal associated with blood rituals. And also, mentions about untouchability in Japan. Well, a bird view observation finds common thread in Buddhism. Again, a religion of Indo-Aryan speaking people.

Another Tamil propagandist claims Tamils did have a unique world view as explained by George L Hart but no it did not lead to all those gory things. Does he think uniqueness of Tamils as explained by George L Hart is 'good'? If he accepts it from a neutral point of view then why he is opposing the conclusions drawn with that world view. That makes me to conclude he thinks that world view is 'good'. What a pity!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Web propaganda against EV Ramaswami

I think there is a huge propaganda against EV Ramaswami all over the web. His writings/words are being twisted, are quoted out of context and selectively lifted by few Tamil propagandists for their nefarious designs. Consider this article by Cho. S. Ramaswamy. According to him;

He abused Tamil as the language of barbarians

I could not find those exact words used by EV Ramswami but I found his views about Dravidian languages here.
As expected, he was totally ignorant and irrational about Dravidian languages. This is what he says;

Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada are of Tamil origin only. The Tamil that is spoken in Malabar is called Malayalam; the Tamil that is spoken in Karnataka becomes Kannada; and the Tamil that is spoken in the regions of Andhra becomes Telugu. All the four speak only Tamil.

Some scholars consider that Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada came from the same tongue that is they are the offspring of the same mother. This is only a deception according to me. There is only one a deception according to me. There is only one Dravidian tongue, and she is Tamil. And we call her four different names. Because she is spoken in four different regions, she has four different names. It is only Tamil that is spoken in these four regions.

If he considered Tamil barbarian then from his writings it is obvious that he considered all Dravidian languages, including his mother-tongue Kannada, are barbarian. Probably, he held Infosys founder Narayana Murthy's view, an enlightened and not a parochial view. But Cho. S. Ramaswamy gives it anti-Tamil tone.

Then Cho. S. Ramaswamy goes on and makes more damaging accusation of belittling Tamils.

and ridiculed the Tamil people by claiming that he, a Kannadiga, could become a leader of the Tamils because there was no Tamilian fit to lead them.

Now, let us see EV Ramaswami's exact words on this.

Some even asked me: 'You are a Kannadiga; how can you be a leader of Tamils?' I countered; ' Dear fellow! No Tamil has qualified himself to lead! This is because one Tamil does by no means tolerate the rise of another Tamil to a position of leadership '.

Well, the tone is very emotional. It only talks about Tamil infighting or jealousy(My high school teacher once told me that his distinguished colleague once told him that jealousy is the national character of Indians; Now I see it's a cliched observation).

EV Ramaswami might have made many mistakes. I do not agree with many of his views that I read on that page. But the kind of accuasations against him over the web are very stark and really damaging. All I wonder if those accusations(generally, people quote him) are really true or just a propaganda like that of Cho. S. Ramaswamy.