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Home > Library > History > Tamil Renaissance and Dravidian Nationalism - Nambi Arooran > The Tamil Heritage - History & Geography
TAMIL NATION LIBRARY: History & Geography
From the conclusion:
"In the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to trace the relationship between the Tamil Renaissance and Dravidian Nationalism during the first four decades of the 20th century. It was Robert Caldwell who introduced the term 'Dravidian' into modern usage when he used it on philological grounds to denote a group of languages to denote a group of languages mainly spoken in South India. Soon the philological term 'Dravidian' was given a racial connotation to denote South Indians in general and Tamils in particular.
Along with this cultural
awakening came a new sense of Dravidian self-consciousness and cultural pride. During
the first two decades of the 20th century much concern was shown for the recognition of
Tamil on a par with other subjects in Collegiate education. At the same time the Non
Brahmin Movement was started with the object of securing communal representation in the
Legislature and in public service.
E.V.R. started the Self-Respect Movement purely as a non-Brahmin social reform movement and subsequently merged it with the Justice Party. E.V.R. assumed the leadership of the party in the wake of the Anti-Hindi Agitation. The opposition to Hindi was partly political and partly sentimental arising out of the comparatively better qualities of Tamil when compared with Hindi. The opposition in turn gave rise to the demand for a separate Dravidanad: this claim was again partly based on linguistic grounds. The plea for the inclusion of Tamil songs in classical music concerts was an illustration of the impact of the Tamil Renaissance in the realm of fine arts.
It can hardly be maintained that the Non-Brahmin Movement, the Self-Respect Movement, the rise of Dravidian consciousness, and the Tamil Renaissance centred around a small section of society based in Madras City.
It may not be right to simplify the entire gamut of the Dravidian Movement as a mere scramble for loaves and fishes in the Government service. A careful study of the related events has shown that the demand for government posts was only one aspect of a wider cultural conflict which began at the turn of the century. The Tamil Renaissance required the non-Brahmin, who was supposed to be the descendant of the Dravidian race, to become the custodian of his own culture. The Non-Brahmin Movement not only provided the catalyst to a new cultural awakening among the Tamils but also brought a new sense of Dravidian consciousness and cultural pride which led to the. rise of linguistic sub-nationalism in Tamilnad."