Headline, March 22 2022/ ''' '' TAMIL -RICE BOWL'S- *TALE '' '''

''' '' TAMIL -RICE

 BOWL'S- *TALE '' '''

NO ONE DISPUTES THAT TAMILS, who are roughly the same in number as the Germans [not including 3 million in Sri Lanka and a 5 million strong diaspora spread from South Africa to Singapore to Silicon Valley.]

Tamils have a long and illustrious past. The Sangam literature, a corpus of some 2,381 love poems by 473 poets, dates back to a country age when south Indian kingdoms traded with the Roman empire.

Seafaring Tamils later carried Hinduism and Buddhism to SouthEast Asia; the giant temples of Borobudur in Java of the seventh century AD, and those of Angkor Wat in Cambodia from the 12 century, emblazon that legacy.

CHENNAI : THE POLITICS OF HISTORY : THE RICE BOWL'S TALE. Archaeological finds in Tamil Nadu complicate the story of civilization in India. Welcome to The World Students Society - for every subject in the world.

RARELY CAN A SPOONFUL of rice have caused such a stir. When M.K. Stalin, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, addressed the south Indian state's legislature on September 9th, he celebrated a musty sample of the country's humble staple.

Carbon dating by an American lab, he said, had just proved that the rice found, found in a small clay offering bowl - itself tucked inside a burial urn outside the village of Sivakalai, near the southernmost tip of India - was some 3,200 years old.

This made it the earliest evidence yet found of civilisation in TamilNadu. The top duty of his government, the chief minister triumphantly declared, was to establish that the history of India ''begins from the landscape of the Tamils.''

The received wisdom about India's early history has been that civilisation generally flowed the other way, from north to south. So why is a provincial politician so keen to turn this narrative upside down?The answer lies in modern identity politics as much as archaeology.

Mr. Stalin'sparty, which returned to power In Tamil Nadu in May after a decade in the wilderness, has secular roots and is sworn to defend south India, and particularly its Dravidian languages, from perceived cultural dominance by the far more populous north.

This threat has grown since 2014, when the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] won control of the national government. With its strong hold in the conservative north, the BJP tends to see not strength, but weakness in diversity.

It also tends to view the past as a simple story of the rise of Sanskrit civilisation - Sanskrit being the language of  Hindu texts, and ancestor of most Indo-European languages spoken across north India  -which peaked in a pan-Indian golden age, followed by sad decline during a Millennium of Muslim and Christian rule.

Sustaining a Tamil counter-narrative requires evidence - which is why archaeology matters. Aside from the rich and sophisticated ancient Tamil poetry known as Sangam literature, until now proof of the south's claim to equal antiquity has been thin on the ground.

Tamil Nadu's two annual monsoons and long seasons of extreme heat are destructive to brick or wooden remains. Ethnic nationalists also accuse authorities in far-off Delhi, India's capital, of devoting far more resources to archaeology in the north than in the south.

But the balance of discoveries has been changing Mr. Stalin's rice pot was not the first startling recent find in Tamil Nadu.

Over the past decades estimates of when urban settlement began in the state have been pushed steadily back, from around 300 BC to the 1155 BC carbon date of the Sivakalai rice offering.

The biggest breakthrough came in 2014 near a village called Keeladi, outside the city of Madurai. It is said that a local lorry driver overheard archaeologists chatting at a roadside tea stall. He took them to a palm grove where he confessed to stealing coconuts. It was littered with shards of ancient pottery.

NOW in its seventh excavation season, the no-acre site has not turned up big monuments or rich treasures.

The grid of deep trenches, cut into six actres so far, has instead produced abundant evidence of continued urban settlement from as long ago as the early sixth century BC, as well as of industries such as weaving and pottery and extensive trade.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research of all great civilizations and history, continues. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, History, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - E-!WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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