The creation of chair in the name name of Robert Caldwell at the Tamil University is repetitive, excessive and wasting resources.

The creation of chair in the name name of Robert Caldwell at the Tamil University is repetitive, excessive and wasting resources.

Caldwell, CM panneerselvam

Chair for Robert Caldwell To create awareness at Tamil University: To create awareness on the works of Tamil scholar Robert Caldwell, the State will establish a Tamil chair in his name at Tamil University[1]. To strengthen the infrastructure at Tamil University, Rs 20 crore would be allocated. And taxpayers do not know how this 20 crores would promote Tamil or Tamil University at Tanjore! Thus, the CM made announcement under rule 110 of the TN legislature[2]. Why suddenly, this idea has come or who forced to create such chair is not known. In all Universities, Tamil department has been functioning for more than 40 to 70 years engaging in the same work and research into Dravidian languages. Recently, crores of rupees have been granted to Harvard University for the creation of Tamil chair there[3]. This has also been questioned by many, as it involves crores of money to be spent there. Moreover, already, accusations have been started involving scam and all[4]. There has been International Institute for Tamil Studies working in Taramani campus.

Tamil University

When Tamil University is meant for Tamil, why Caldwell there?: The Tamil University has been created exclusively for the purpose of promotion of Tamil language, literature and related subjects. Therefore, creation of a chair in the name of Robert Caldwell, at the Tamil University appears to be repetitive, excessive and wasting resources. Instead concentrating and doing research of Tamil language, literature and related subjects, it might be focused on Robert Caldwell, his missionary activities and so on. Moreover, in Tamil Nadu, already, there has been an issue that he disparaged the Shanar community and now, Nadars have been criticizing him for such communal bias. Of course, it happened, the moment his book was published, released in Madras[5] and the contents known to the people of Tamil Nadu in 1949.  As there was opposition, it was withdrawn from India. However, next year, revised edition was published in London[6].

200 caldwell tirunelveli function

Church supported researches and celebrations in Tamil Nadu and politicization: The 200th memorial day of Caldwell was celebrated only with the request of Bishop Christudass, Tirunalveli CSI in 2014[7]. Earlier in 1987, there was a controversy about a book released by the International Institute for Tamil Studies working in Taramani campus. It turned out that the controversial Bishop R. Arulappa only sponsored such seat to facilitate one M. Deivanayagam.  R. Arulappa was involved in a case where he gave lakhs of money to Acharya Paul to manufacture and fabricate fake palmleaf books and copper plates. To safe face, he came to compromise and settled the case out of court[8]. Thus, the Christian intrusion into Tamil Nadu politics has been controversial, communal and disturbing. The recent cruel comments of Ezra Sargunam to attack Hindus bleeding could be taken into account[9]. In other words, such celebrations should have been voluntary or with the popular demand or wishes of the public. But, because of politicization, some sort of minority appeasement or forceful celebration thrusted on public should not be there. After all, public money is spent and they should get some benefit out of such celebrations. On the contrary, such biased, communal and parochial celebrations create unpleasant feeling among the suffered people. The Nadars have already openly come out with their protests and books[10].

Caldwell on Shanars, Nadars

Caldwell’s disparaging book on Shanars / Nadars: In 2019, a book published also resulted in controversy over the Shanar / Nadaras[11]. In 2016, when CBSE brought out books, one of such books contained remarks against the Shanar women. The section — “Caste Conflict and Dress Change” — touched upon the strict social codes regarding food and dress in India in the past.The textbook says: “In May 1822, women of the Shanar caste were attacked by Nairs in public places in the southern princely state of Travancore, for wearing a cloth across their upper bodies. Over subsequent decades, a violent conflict over dress codes ensued.” The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has removed from a social science textbook a section on the fight for the right of the so-called lower caste Nadar women of Travancore to cover their breasts, after objections were raised about certain ‘derogatory’ references to them.

Caldwell on Shanars, Nadars-2

Why Tamil Nadu Government succumb to the communalism of the Christians?: Under such circumstances, the creation of chairs for persons with controversies have to be avoided. As wealthy Nadars now could create a chair against the controversial aspects of Robert Caldwell, as he came here to convert the people and this fat has been duly recorded in the TN government website itself[12]. The thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis could produce results, but, here, in controversies and controversial issues, there would be more heat that could lead to undesirable effects. Instead of allowing it under the guise of any principle would not bring anything good to society under prevailing conditions.

© Vedaprakash

25-07-2019

Caldwell on Shanars, Nadars-3

[1] The Hindu dated July 21, 2019. He said a chair will be created in the name of scholar-missionary Robert Caldwell at Tamil University.

[2] DT.Next, Grant for poor students in premier institutes, Published: Jul 21,201909:19 AM https://www.dtnext.in/News/TamilNadu/2019/07/21091900/1167414/Grant-for-poor-students-in-premier-institutes.vpf

[3] https://harvardtamilchair.org/

[4] https://shiva4senate.com/dr-shiva-ayyadurai-stops-harvard-tamil-professorship-scam/

[5] [5] Robert Caldwell, The Tinnevelly Shanars: A Sketch of Their Religion and Their Moral Condition, and Characteristics as a Caste. With Special Reference to the Facilities and Hindrances to the Progress of Christianity Amongst Them, London, 1849.

[6] Michael Bergunder, Heiko Frese, and Ulrike Schröder (Edited by), Ritual, Caste, and Religion in Colonial South India, Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle, 2010, p.139

[7] தமிழ் பல்கலைக்கழகத்தில் கால்டுவெல் பெயரில் தமிழ் இருக்கை உருவாக்கப்படும் என்று முதல்வர் எடப்பாடி பழனிச்சாமி சட்டசபையில் இன்று அறிவித்தார். இன்றைய சட்டசபை அமர்வில் 110 விதியின்கீழ் முதல்வர் எடப்பாடி பழனிச்சாமி பல புதிய அறிவிப்புகளை வெளியிட்டார்.  நவம்பர் 1ம் தேதி தமிழ்நாடு நாளாக கொண்டாடப்படும், தமிழ் பல்கலைக்கழகத்தில் கால்டுவெல் பெயரில் தமிழ் இருக்கை உருவாக்கப்படும். கால்டுவெல்லின், 200 ஆண்டு நிறைவு விழாவை, அரசு விழாவாக கொண்டாட தென்னிந்திய திருச்சபை திருநெல்வேலி திருமண்டலப் பேராயர் கிருஸ்துதாஸ், முதல்வருக்கு, கோரிக்கை விடுத்ததையேற்று, 2014ம் ஆண்டு அப்போதைய முதல்வரான ஜெயலலிதா அரசு விழாவாக அதை கொண்டாட உத்தரவிட்டது நினைவிருக்கலாம்

[8] The court documents expose the dirty Christian tricks in the creation of forged documents, evidences etc., yet, these people play trick unabashed.

[9] A complaint against the unruly Bishop has been filed by state BJP. Ashwathaman, State secretary of Tamil Nadu BJP legal wing, in his complaint to DGP mentioned that Pastor Ezra Sargunam has attempted to disrupt the communal harmony in the state and has hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

https://rightlog.in/2019/06/bishop-ezra-sargunam-hindus-01/

[10] உமரி காசிவேலு, பிஷப் கால்டுவெல்பிழையுரையும், பொய்யுரையும், திராவிட இனவாதமும், பதிப்பகம், திநகர், 2018.

[11] T Lajapathi Roy, ‘Is Nadars’ history black or saffron?’

[12] Bishop Robert Caldwell was born on 7th May 1814 in Ireland. Caldwell arrved in Idayaiankudi after walking Hundreds of miles on behalf of the society for the propagation of the Gospel Mossion in the year 1841. http://tndipr.gov.in/memorials/caldwellmemorial.html

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