Why North and South do not meet
Columns, Point of View

Why North and South do not meet

July 14, 2020

By T.J.S. George

Pardon my parochialism (or is it realism?) but I do feel that North and South are different and never the twain shall meet.  It is the Aryan concepts that make things complicated.  See what Manusmriti (2nd century BCE?) says: “From the eastern sea to the western sea, the area in between the two mountains [presumably the Himalayas and the Vindhyas] is what wise men call the land of the Aryas…  Beyond it is the country of the barbarians.”

The view that those who are not Aryans are barbarians, is barbarian. It is that view that sustains the idea of northern superiority. In fact, in cultural and intellectual terms, the Dravidians have a maturity that enables them to benefit from it, without flaunting it to claim superiority over others. Yes, the North is North and the South is South.

New light is shed on this old topic by Early Indians.  Author Tony Joseph uses new data made available by advance DNA analysis technology.  The “new hypothesis” validates the old hypothesis but in a different way.  According to the new data, there was no large-scale migration to India during the last 40,000 years or so.  Rather “there were two very ancient populations, one located in North India and the other in South India. All of today’s populations descended from the mixing of these two groups, technically given the tags Ancestral North Indian (ANI) and Ancestral South Indian (ASI).”  ANI has Caucasian roots while ASI, in all likelihood, migrated from Africa via the Southern route 50,000 years ago.

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History sustains the North-South divide. Indus Valley/Harappan Civilisation was Dravidian and it moved South following the Aryan invasion.  The phrase “Aryan invasion” is anathema to the politicians of the North. They want us to believe that Aryans came from Thoothukudi and thereabouts.  What is the use of history if it does not serve politicians?

The Vedas are projected as the foundations of Indian civilisation.  Anything that points to the possibility of a civilisation before the Vedas would therefore be a body blow to Hindutva theories of India.  Ironically Rigveda itself describes how the Aryans clashed with the Dasyus to get control of the land. Who were the Dasyus who were in control of the land before the Aryans came?

Tony Joseph’s chapter “The First Indians” begins with the explanation: “How a bunch of Out of Africa migrants found their way to India, dealt with their evolutionary cousins… made this land their own and became the largest human population on earth.”  He has an Appendix that explains how migration from Eurasian Steppes changed the demography in a region extending from Europe to South Asia.  And yet, “there are some who insist that the story of the Aryan invasion is a vast conspiracy.”

Actually this whole thing is tied to, and sustained by, the North-South dichotomy that governs life in India. The BJP is perceived as a North Indian party. (Its foothold in Karnataka is seen as an aberration.) Its cultural essence is Hindi. To that extent, its appeal to the Dravidian, non-Hindi South will remain limited. 

How can the alienation disappear when even our epics appear in variations that suit linguistic differences. The North’s favourite Ramayana, Tulsidas’ Ramacharitmanas, doesn’t do well anywhere in the South.  It is Kambaramayana in Tamil Nadu, Dwipad Ramayanam in Telugu Desam, Torava Ramayana in Kannada Desa and Adhyatma Ramayanam in Malayala Bhasha.  Poor Valmiki is drowned in his variations.

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How do we react to a sentence like: “The Aryan race flourished in India as agriculturists and as conquerors of the aboriginal races.” Or, “the civilised race conquered the whole country from the barbarians.” Or even the claim that the Aryan conquerors went West, settled down in Iran and composed the Zend Avesta.  These were theories propounded even by renowned scholars like Romesh Dutt. But they make no sense when they ignore the inherent preconceptions in terms like barbarians.

E.V. Ramaswamy developed a whole philosophy on Ramayana being a vehicle for Northern cultural domination. That notion is unlikely to change as long as Ayodhya is central to the Rama story.  And, don’t forget, Ravana is seen as a Southerner and as a hero.  This could be a game that no one wins in the end. In fact it can be a game in which there are only losers.  Strong enough reason to pay special attention to Tony Joseph’s exhortation: “We are all Indians. And we are all migrants.”

10 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Why North and South do not meet”

  1. Adithi Raghavan says:

    the two mountains can be eastern and western ghats as well.I think the english translations of ancient vedic literature are messed up to justify political ideologies rather than sticking to the essence of the original.We Indians are actually united by our ancient literature.Aryan dravidian theory was made up during victorian era to rule over us by using the policy of divide and rule.surprised by how the author supports these stances.

  2. Hare Krishna!! says:

    @Adithi
    Best to prove your point, you have to give the actual translation what the original Manusmriti said, to disprove George.
    Manusmirti dates back to BC. Before the Victorian era , which is 1837-1901, the British were in India, ruled India as one country: North and South together, by establishing a common language for communication and administration: English, and setting up common laws, and establish similar administration in every state, and the head of state, the person who ruled India –the Viceroy
    . Hence blaming the British for Aryan and Dravidin divide is utter nonsense.
    Blame if you want the Tamil leaders in the DK and DMK, Dravidian parties for creating this division. When Hindi according to Amit Sha and Modi becomes the ; “one language” for India, then you will see how, North and South gets divided.
    The British did not care for Aryan and Dravidian distinctions or divide. If thought they did, you have not read the History of British rule in India, and simply blame them, because, it is convenient for you. Just look at Tamil Nadu. The Tamilians disagree that the country is united with a common literature, by pointing out that Tamil, unlike Kannada and Malayalam, has no mahaprana letters like: “jha, Tha, Gha which exist in Kannada , Malayalam and Sanskrit. In India,, mainly Hindus are united you can say through common religious thoughts, practices and festivals, although there are significant differences. Here too. As George says , even versions of Ramayana are different in different regions. For example, if you have read Valmiki’s version , you will find Kamban’s version very different in terms of details. In Karnataka, the Ugadi: bevu and bella has no equivalent in Tamil Nadu.
    I studied Sanskrit , and was fortunate enough to study the works of Kalidasa and Bana Bhatta, and except an oblique reference to Vindhya, the South with its glory does not appear in the works. I tend to agree with George, about the North and South which do not meet as far as they were concerned. In fact, Kalidasa did not know about South India at all, being Ujjain ( MP) born.
    George is right, although what he says may be unpalatable to many in the South.

  3. Hare Krishna! says:

    Sorry for some typos.

  4. Past Mysorean says:

    I agree with George. North and South are very divided in India. Not only these two major parts of India, India is fragmented with states considering their own interests, and the Covid-19 has shown that even within states, a city wants to erect a barrier with another city, village with another village, giving the spread of infections as the reason. I bet, Covid-19 has exposed the bitter fragmentation of India. The common conception is when there is an external threat, a divided country unites, but it is not in the case of Covid-19, Indians give the excuse that they will get united when an enemy attacks from outside India, but when the enemy like Covid-19 enters the country, it is a different scenario!
    The only time, India was united was when the country used a common national language as the official language of the nation, that was when English had this status. It is no longer the case. Forgetting all the common literature nonsense, when Indians in the South of India, recognise that Hindi becoming the sole national and official language , and they would be in the disadvantage category, by studying it, understanding it and be able to speak it, and those in the North do not have to learn another language of the South.
    Indians then unite with a common literature ? In which language?

  5. Hello, hello! says:

    Except Deve Goda for a brief period , all PMs of India were from North. PM Modi dresses up with a head gear, and speaks in Hindi standing on the ramparts of the Red Fort, which was beamed in different languages,. Why not he dress in one year in Mysuru Jartatri Peta, another year in Tamil Nadu dhoti and angavastra etc.. for sake of unity, ditching that funny Marwari headgear that loan sharks adorn while chasing the poor debt ridden victims? No North is always superior to South!

  6. Kummiatmys says:

    The author is clever and cunning. Most of his articles are against anything that promotes unity. He plays the britishers cards of divide and rule very well.
    Coming to this article:
    He quotes eloquently from Tony Joseph’s “”Early Indians” who again quotes some studies but uses his Britisher’s mindset to stitch a story to peddle an ideology that he chose. Have spent 699 INR to read the authors skill to twist facts.
    There is a kannada proverb that translates to “ jaundiced eyes sees everything yellow”.
    TJS always concludes on a theory that is anti and negative Indian and some of us read the same book and conclude pro Indian. The author and his ilk have consistently messed up the history of our land and is a tragedy.
    Summary from Early Indians book (borrowing it from IndianExpress article dated 29/12/2018 and seems close to what we know today):

    ‘Early Indians’ uses the metaphor of a pizza to explain the Indian population structure today.

    The First Indians form the base of the pizza Who came in 65k years ago, it says, since their ancestry is present in all population groups, no matter what region they live in, what caste they belong to, or what language they speak.

    Then comes the sauce that is spread all over the base of the pizza – the Harappans, who moved all over the country in search of new, fertile land when their civilization declined around 1900 BC.

    The rest of the migrants are the cheese, the capsicum, the tomato and other vegetables spread on top of the pizza, though not in a uniform manner – some pieces have a larger share of one and less of the other.

  7. Kummiatmys says:

    For folks who are interested in a genuine debate On the bogus aryan theory google for rakhigarhi

  8. what a culture! says:

    What a poster explains is the structure of a pizza. The base is not readily available, unless it is made from dough and pre-heated .
    Who was in the dough when rolled well , and cut forms the first stage of Pizza? In other words, who formed the local population, as India was not a clean place of the earth, without local population ( no country in the world for that matter was simply vacant with only animals and no humans) Hence, was there indigenous population? Otherwise, it goes against the evolution principle. These foreigners who arrived in the first wave, this poster says, were also evolved in some place in the earth, and hence , it is reasonable to assume that similarly there was native Indian population too then.
    That native Indian population , had to evolve in a reasonably civilised way so that they are ready to receive these foreigners. This is equivalent to pre-heating the pizza at an appropriate temperature in the oven, which takes time, to get ready for toppings, meaning the evolution of these native Indians in a way for a long time, before they are ready to receive the foreigners.
    The flaw in the above poster’s argument, wherever, he copied from, is that it assumes that while human population evolved in place other than India in the globe then, without mentioning local population. it is safe to assume,human population evolved in India too.
    This poster’s explanation is fully flawed. He should not trust one source and blaming another source that is George without proper scrutiny.
    Well, that is the characteristics of Indians!

  9. Kummiatmys says:

    My comments about pizza is from Tony Joseph’s Early Indians which this author TJS claims to quote and quote it wrongly. Intent to post the Pizza summary is to bring out the authors wrong quoting of the book and I have mentioned it clearly. Again a jaundiced eye misreads the comment.
    Evolution explanation is very complex. The theories and hypothesis are difficult to prove one way or the other. I do not support the bogus aryan theory because it has lot of gaps.
    Sri what a culture , please read my comments again, What I am saying is identical to your arguments about local population hence the reference to rakhigarhi

  10. Mann Ki Baat!! says:

    @Kummiatmys
    Jaundiced eye? You are pathetic to accuse a poster who pointed out how silly your explanation was,Instead of acknowledging your incapability to articulate, you indulge in your silly observation.
    Evolution explanation is not complex, as that poster explained . It is that you need some more learning and education. TJS George’s explanation was superb..

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