Dravidistan


Dravidistan

:"Dravida Nadu was also the name of a Tamil language publication started by C. N. Annadurai."

Dravidistan, Dravidasthan, or Dravida Nadu was the name of a proposed sovereign state for all non-Brahmin speakers of Dravidian languages in South Asia. Initially, the demand of Dravida Nadu proponents was limited to Tamil-speaking region, but later, it was expanded to include other states with Dravidian speakers in majority (Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka. [cite book
last = Taylor
first = Richard Warren
title = Religion and Society: The First Twenty-five Years, 1953-1978
publisher = Christian Literature Society (for the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Bangalore)
year = 1982
oclc = 9007066
pages = 242
] ) Some of the proponents also included parts of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) [cite book
last = Welch
first = Claude Emerson
title = Political Modernization: A Reader in Comparative Political Change
publisher = Wadsworth Pub. Co
year = 1967
oclc = 941238
pages = 173
] , Orissa and Maharashtra. [cite book
editor = James H. Mills, Satadru Sen
title = Confronting the Body: The Politics of Physicality in Colonial and Post-Colonial India
publisher = Anthem Press
year = 2004
isbn = 978-1843310327
pages = 145
] Other names for the proposed sovereign state included "South India", "Deccan Federation" and "Dakshinapath". [cite book
last = Afzal
first = M. Rafique
title = The Case for Pakistan
publisher = National Commission on Historical and Cultural Research
location = Islamabad
year = 1979
oclc = 8165052
pages = xxv
] [cite book
last = Tirtha
first = Ranjit
title = Society and Development in Contemporary India: Geographical Perspectives
publisher = Harlo
year = 1980
isbn = 978-0818700408
oclc = 6930110
pages = 161
]

The movement for Dravidistan was at its height from 1940s to 1960s, but failed to find any support outside Tamil Nadu.cite book
last = Thapar
first = Romesh
title = Change and Conflict in India
publisher = Macmillan
year = 1978
pages = 75
isbn = 0836402227
] cite book
last = Rao
first = C Rajeswara
title = Defeat Separatist Conspiracy in Andhra
publisher = Communist Party of India
year = 1973
pages = 28
oclc = 814926
] Even in Tamil Nadu, where the anti-Hindi agitations attracted many supporters, there was no serious demand on the part of the common people for a sovereign Dravidian state.cite web
url = http://www.rediff.com/freedom/25pc.htm
title = 'We need to acquire greater coherence as a nation': An interview with P. C. Alexander
author = Archana Masih
publisher = The Hindu
date = 2005-01-16
accessdate = 2007-09-05
] [cite book
last = Hardgrave
first = Robert Lewis
title = Essays in the Political Sociology of South India
publisher = Usha
year = 1979
oclc = 6921408
pages = 2
quote = At the height of its power, the movement for Dravidasthan was virtually dead.
]

The reorganization of the Indian states along linguistic lines through the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 weakened the separatist movement.cite book
last = Danspeckgruber
first = Wolfgang F
title = The Self-Determination of Peoples: Community, Nation, and State in an Interdependent World
publisher = Lynne Rienner Publishers
year = 2002
isbn = 1555877931
pages = 300
] , and the prominent Tamil leader E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker gave up the demand for Dravidistan in 1956.cite book
last = Srinivas
first = Mysore Narasimhachar
authorlink = M. N. Srinivas
title = Caste in Modern India, and other essays
publisher = Asia Publishing House
year = 1962
oclc = 5206379
pages = 31
] . The movement was continued by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which formally gave up its demand for a separate sovereign state in 1963.

Background

The concept of Dravidistan had its root in the anti-Brahmin movement in Tamil Nadu, whose aim was to end the alleged Brahmin dominance in the Tamil society and government. The early demands of this movement were social equality, and greater power and control.cite book
last = Amoretti
first = Ugo M.
coauthors = Nancy Bermeo
title = Federalism and Territorial Cleavages
publisher = Johns Hopkins University Press
year = 2004
isbn = 978-0801874086
pages = 286
] However, over the time, it came to include a separatist movement, demanding a sovereign state for the Tamil people. The major political party backing this movement was the Justice Party, which came to power in the Madras Presidency in 1921.

Since the late 19th century, the anti-Brahmin Tamil leaders had stated that the non-Brahmin Tamils were the original inhabitants of the Tamil-speaking region.cite book
last = Omvedt
first = Gail
authorlink = Gail Omvedt
title = Dalit Visions: The Anti-caste Movement and the Construction on an Indian Identity
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 2006
isbn = 8125028951
pages = 54-55
] The Brahmins, on the other hand, were described not only as oppressors, but even as a foreign power, on par with the British colonial rulers.cite book
last = Widmalm
first = Sten
title = Kashmir in Comparative Perspective: Democracy and Violent Separatism in India
publisher = Routledge
year = 2002
isbn = 978-0700715787
pages = 101-107
] .

The prominent Tamil leader, E. V. Ramasami Naicker (popularly known as "Periyar") stated that the Tamil society was free of any societal divisions before the arrival of Brahmins, whom he described as Aryan invaders. Periyar was an atheist, and considered the Indian nationalism as "an atavistic desire to endow the Hindu past on a more durable and contemporary basis".cite book
last = Dirks
first = Nicholas B.
authorlink = Nicholas Dirks
title = Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India
publisher = Princeton University Press
year = 2001
isbn = 978-0691088952
pages = 263
]

The proponents of Dravidistan constructed elaborate historical anthropologies to support their theory that the Dravidian-speaking areas once had a great non-Brahmin polity and civilization, which had been destroyed by the Aryan conquest and Brahmin hegemony. This led to an idealization of the ancient Tamil society before its contact with the "Aryan race", and led to a surge in the Tamil nationalism. Periyar expounded the Hindu epic "Ramayana" as a disguised historical account of how the Aryans subjugated the Tamils ruled by Ravana. [cite book
last = Paula
first = Richman
title = Many Ramayanas: The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia
publisher = University of California Press
year = 1991
isbn = 978-0520075894
pages = 175-188
chapter = E. V. Ramasami's Reading of the Ramayana
] Some of the separatists also posed Saivism as an indigenous, even non-Hindu religion.

The Indian National Congress, a majority of whose leaders were Brahmins, came to be identified as Brahmin party. Periyar, who had joined Congress in 1919, became disillusioned with what he considered as the Brahminic leadership of the party. The link between Brahmins and Congress became a target of the growing Tamil nationalism.

In 1925, Periyar launched the Self-respect movement, and by 1930, he was formulating the most radical "anti-Aryanism". The rapport between the Justice Party and the Self-Respect movement of Naicker (who joined the party in 1935) strengthen the anti-Brahmin and anti-North sentiment. In 1937-38, Hindi and Hindustani were introduced as new subjects in the schools, when C. Rajagopalachari of Congress became the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency. This led to widespread protests in the Tamil-speaking region, which had a strong independent linguistic identity. Periyar saw the Congress imposition of Hindi in government schools as further proof of an Aryan conspiracy.

In December 1938, the Justice Party Convention passed a resolution stressing Tamil people's right to a separate sovereign state, under the direct control of the Secretary of State for India in London. [cite book
last = More
first = J B P
title = The Political Evolution of Muslims in Tamilnadu and Madras, 1930-1947
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 1997
oclc = 37770527
isbn = 9788125010111
pages = 163
]

In 1939, Periyar organized the Dravida Nadu Conference for the advocacy of a separate, sovereign and federal republic of Dravida Nadu. [cite book
last = Gopal
first = Balakrishnan Raja
coauthors = Teralundur Venkatarama Mahalingam, Harogadde Manappa Nayaka
title = South Indian Studies
publisher = Geetha Book House
year = 1990
oclc = 24325282
pages = 177
] In a speech on December 17, 1939, he raised the slogan "Dravida Nadu for Dravidians", which replaced the earlier slogan "Tamil Nadu for Tamils". In 1940, the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) passed a resolution demanding a sovereign state of Dravidistan. [cite book
last = Patwardhan
first = Achyut
link = Achyut Patwardhan
coauthors = Asoka Mehta
title = The Communal Triangle in India
publisher = Kitabistan
year = 1942
location = Allahabad
oclc = 4449727
pages = 172
]

In July 1940, a secession committee was formed at the Dravida Nadu Secession Conference held in Kanchipuram. On August 24, 1940, the Tiruvarur Provincial Conference resolved that Dravda Nadu should be an independent state ("thani-naadu").cite book
last = Rajagopalan
first = Swarna
title = State and Nation in South Asia
publisher = Lynne Rienner
year = 2001
isbn = 978-1555879679
pages = 139
] The proponents of Dravidistan also sought to associate and amalgamate Tamil Islam within a supposedly more ancient Dravidian religion, which threatened the Islamic identity of Tamil Muslims, some of whom had earlier supported the demand for a sovereign Dravidistan movement. [cite book
last = More
first = J B P
title = Muslim Identity, Print Culture, and the Dravidian Factor in Tamil Nadu
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 2004
oclc = 59991703
pages = 166-170
]

By 1940s, Periyar supported Muslim League's claim for a separate Pakistan, and expected its support in return.cite book
last = Ram
first = Mohan
title = Hindi Against India: The Meaning of DMK
publisher = Rachna Prakashan
year = 1968
oclc = 35586
pages = 79-80
] In an interview with the Governor of Madras, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the main proponent of Pakistan, said that India should be divided into four regions: Dravidistan, Hindustan, Bengalistan and Pakistan; Dravidistan would approximately consist of the area under the Madras Presidency. [cite book
last = Menon
first = V. P.
authorlink = V. P. Menon
title = Transfer of Power in India
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 1998
isbn = 8125008845
pages = 106
] Jinnah stated "I have every sympathy and shall do all to help, and you establish Dravidistan where the 7 per cent Muslim population will stretch its hands of friendship and live with you on lines of security, justice and fairplay." [cite book
last = Jinnah
first = Muhammad Ali
authorlink = Muhammad Ali Jinnah
editor = J. C. Johari
title = Voices of Indian Freedom Movement
publisher = Anmol Publications
year = 1993
isbn = 8171582257
pages = 198
chapter = A Time-Bound Plan for Muslim India
]

In August 1944, Periyar carved a new party called Dravidar Kazhagam out of the Justice Party, at the Salem Provincial Conference. The creation of a separate non-Brahmin Dravidian nation was a central aim of the party. In 1944, when Periyar met the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar to discuss join initiatives, Ambedkar stated that the idea of Dravidistan was applicable to entire India, since "Brahminism" was "a problem for the entire subcontinent".

At the Dravidar Kazhagam State Conference in Tiruchi in the 1940s, prominent Tamil leader C. N. Annadurai stated that it was necessary to divide India racially to prevent "violent revolutions" in future, that according to him, had been prevented due to the British occupation of India. [cite web
url = http://www.tamilnation.org/hundredtamils/annadurai.htm
title = C.N.Annadurai
date = 2007-08-28
accessdate = 2007-09-05
]

On July 1, 1947, the separatist Tamil leaders celebrated the "Dravida Nadu Secession Day". On July 13, 1947, they passed a resolution in Tiruchirapalli demanding an independent Dravidistan. On July 16, Mahatma Gandhi expressed his opposition to the demand. [cite web
url = http://in.news.yahoo.com/070815/43/6jgwc.html
title = The 60 days to Aug 15, 1947
publisher = Indo-Asian News Service
date = 2007-08-15
accessdate = 2007-09-05
] Also in 1947, Jinnah refused to help Naicker to help create a Dravidastan.cite web
url = http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items07/190307-3.html
title = War and Peace in Sri Lanka: the other battle - Part I: South Indian backyard
author = C. Wijeyawickrema
accessdate = 2007-09-05
]

When India achieved Independence in August 1947, Periyar saw it as a sad event that marked the transfer of power to "Aryans", while Annadurai considered as a step towards an independent Dravida Nadu, and celebrated it. Over the time, disputes arose between the two leaders. They fell out after Periyar anointed his young wife to as his successor to lead the party, superseding senior party leaders.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

In 1949, Annadurai and other leaders split up and established Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Annadurai was initially more radical than Naicker in his demand for a separate Dravidistan. [cite book
last = Jaffrelot
first = Christophe
title = India's silent revolution: the rise of the low castes in North Indian politics
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 2003
pages = 244
isbn = 8178240807
]

In 1950, Naicker stated that Dravidistan, if it comes into being, will be a friendly and helpful state to India. [E. V. Ramaswami. Republic Supplement, January 26, 1950. Quoted in cite web
url = http://www.hindu.com/af/india60/stories/2007081551140800.htm
title = Reconstruction of society
publisher = The Hindu
date = 2007-08-15
accessdate = 2007-09-05
] When the political power in Tamil Nadu shifted to the non-Brahmin K. Kamaraj in the 1950s, Naicker's DK supported the Congress ministry.cite book
last = Kothari
first = Rajni
title = Politics in India
publisher = Orient Longman
year = 1994
isbn = 8125000720
pages = 333-343
] In late 1950s and early 1960s, the Dravida Nadu proponents changed their demand for an independent Dravida Nadu to an independent Tamil Nadu, as they didn't receive any support from the non-Tamil Dravidian-speaking states. [cite book
last = Ghurye
first = Govind Sadashiv
title = Caste, Class, and Occupation
publisher = Popular Book Depot
year = 1961
oclc = 175030
pages = 318
] Periyar changed the banner in his magazine "Viduthalai" from "Dravida Nadu for Dravidians" to "Tamil Nadu for Tamils".

The reorganization of the Indian states along linguistic lines through the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 weakend the separatist movement. In June-July 1956, the founder of Kazhagam, E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker, declared that he had given up the goal of Dravidistan.

However, by this time, DMK had taken over from DK as the main bearer of the separatist theme.cite book
last = Manor
first = James
editor = Atul Kohli
title = The Success of India's Democracy
publisher = Cambridge University Press
year = 2001
isbn = 978-0521805308
pages = 89
chapter = Center-state relations
] Unlike Khalistan and other separatist movements in Republic of India, DMK never considered violence as a serious option to achieve a separate Dravidistan.

DMK's slogan of Dravidistan found no support in any state of India other than Tamil Nadu. The non-Tamil Dravidian speakers perceived the ambitions of the Tamil politicians as hegemonic, ultimately leading to the failure of the Dravidistan concept. [cite book
last = Stein
first = Burton
title = A History of India
publisher = Blackwell Publishing
year = 1998
isbn = 0631205462
pages = 402
] Even in Tamil Nadu, the common people did not seriously support the idea of a separate Dravidian state. C. Rajagopalachari, the former Chief Minister of Madras State, stated that the DMK plea for Dravidistan should not be taken seriously. [cite book
last = Erdman
first = Howard Loyd
title = The Swatantra Party and Indian Conservatism
publisher = Cambridge University Press
year = 1967
oclc = 301813
pages = 216
]

Decline

The decline in support for the Dravida Nadu within the DMK can be traced back to as early as the Tiruchi party conference in 1956, when the party decided to compete in the Tamil Nadu state assembly elections of 1957. E.V.K. Sampath, who was leading a faction within DMK, argued that Dravida Nadu was "not feasible". However, the party did state Dravida Nadu a "long-range goal" during the elections. [cite book
last = Ghurye
first = G. S.
editor = S Devadas Pillai
title = Aspects of changing India : studies in honour of Prof. G. S. Ghurye
publisher = Popular Prakashan
year = 1976
isbn = 8171541577
oclc = 4497385
pages = 108
] The political observers doubted the seriousness of their demand for a sovereign state, and stated that the demand for a separate Dravida Nadu was just a side issue, and a slogan to catch the imagination of an emotional public. [cite book
last = Pande
first = Ram
title = Congress 100 Years
publisher = Jaipur Pub. House
year = 1985
oclc = 12978554
pages = 253
] In the 1957 elections, DMK managed to win only 15 of the 205 seats in the state assembly.

In 1958, V. P. Raman, a Brahmin leader, joined the party and became a strong opponent of the Dravida Nadu concept. In November 1960, the DMK leaders, including Raman, decided to delete the demand of Dravida Nadu from the party programme at a meeting held in absence of Annadurai. Political scientist Sten Widmalm writes, "It seems that the more the party distanced itself from the demand for Dravida Nadu, the more it was supported." In the 1962 election, DMK more than tripled its seats, winning 50 seats to the State Legislative Assembly, but still could not displace the Congress from power.

On September 17, 1960, a "Dravida Nadu Separation Day" was observed, which resulted in arrests of Annadurai and his associates. [cite book
last = Bhaskaran
first = Ramaswami
title = Sociology of Politics: Tradition and Politics in India
publisher = Asia Pub. House
year = 1967
oclc = 342442
pages = 48
] The demand for a sovereign Tamil state was considered as a threat of Balkanization to India [cite book
last = Iyengar
first = K R Srinivasa
title = Two cheers for the Commonwealth; talks on literature and education
publisher = Asia Publishing House
year = 1970
oclc = 95129
isbn = 978-0210223079
pages = 65
] , and also raised concerns among the Sinhalese politicians in Sri Lanka. In 1962, a Sinhalese M.P. stated in the Parliament: "The Sinhalese are the minority in Dravidistan. We are carrying on a struggle for our national existence against the Dravidistan majority." [Sri Lanka, House of Representatives, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), vol. 48, col. 1313, 3 September 1962. Quoted in cite book
last = Bookman
first = Milica Zarkovic
title = The Demographic Struggle for Power
publisher = Routledge
year = 1997
isbn = 978-0714647326
pages = 15
]

Annadurai, who had been elected to the upper house of Indian parliament (Rajya Sabha) in 1962, reiterated DMK's demand for independence for Dravida Nadu in his maiden speech on May 1, 1962. However, at the time of Sino-Indian War of 1962, he proclaimed that his party would stand up for the integrity and unity of India. A faction of DMK contended that the party should publicly abandon the demand for Dravida Nadu. [cite book
last = Barnett
first = Marguerite Ross
title = Electoral Politics in the Indian States: Party Systems and Cleavages
publisher = Manohar Book Service
year = 1975
oclc = 2197571
pages = 85
]

In 1963, on the recommendation of the Committee on National Integration and Regionalism of the National Integration Council, the Indian parliament unanimously passed the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which sought to "prevent the fissiparous, secessionist tendency in the country engendered by regional and linguistic loyalties and to preserve the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity" of India. This was essentially in response to the separatist movement demanding a sovereign Dravidistan. [cite book
last = Connor
first = Walker
title = Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding
publisher = Princeton University Press
year = 1993
isbn = 978-0691025636
pages = 27
]

At a party conference in 1963, DMK formally dropped the secessionist demand [cite web
url = http://www.hindu.com/mag/2005/01/16/stories/2005011600260300.htm
title = Hindi against India
author = Ramachandra Guha
publisher = The Hindu
date = 2005-01-16
accessdate = 2007-09-05
] , but also asserted that it will continue to address the issues that led it frame its demand for separation earlier. [cite book
last = Sharma
first = Phool Kumar
title = India, Pakistan, China, and the Contemporary World
publisher = National
year = 1972
oclc = 693687
pages = 51
] The Sino-Indian war doesn't seem to be a decisive factor in dropping the demand for Dravida Nadu; prominent DMK leaders Era Sezhiyan and Murasoli Maran have stated that the demand for Dravida Nadu had been dropped in practice before 1962. Maran explained that the there was not really enough support for Dravida Nadu in Tamil Nadu at the time, and it was concluded that there was no use pursuing the demand. He declared "I am Tamil first but I am also an Indian. Both can exist together provided there is space for cultural nationalism." Era Sezhiyan declared that it was impossible to continue to demand Dravida Nadu when the policy lacked support even in the Tamil-speaking areas, let alone Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam-speaking areas. Sezhiyan was a member of the committee that wrote the new party programme, which omitted the demand for Dravida Nadu. Sezhiyan stated that it was more practical to demand a higher degree of autonomy for Tamil Nadu instead.

After DMK decided to relinquish its demand for Dravida Nadu, it devoted more attention to the language issue (anti-Hindi agitations), and the 1962 election figures were almost exactly reversed in the subsequent 1967 elections. In 1962, the Congress had won the majority of seats, while DMK managed to win only 50 seats. In 1967, DMK won a clear majority of 138 seats, while Congress won only 50 seats. DMK came to power with Annadurai as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

References

External links

* [http://www.tamilnation.org/heritage/dravidanadu.htm The Demand for Dravida Nadu]


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