Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
An inscription says “Kal thondri mann thondraa kaalathe mun thondri mootha kudi thamizh kudi”. This means that Tamil civilization existed in the world even before sand was born out of stone.
I recently read this article. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-09-25/india/28107253_1_incidence-of-genetic-diseases-indians-tribes. This study was conducted by CCMB scientists in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
Excerpts from this article: The study analyzed 500,000 genetic markers across the genomes of 132 individuals from 25 diverse groups from 13 states.
“The initial settlement took place 65000 years ago in the Andamans and in ancient south India around the same time, which led to population growth in this part,” said Thangarajan. He added, “At a later stage, 40000 years ago, the ancient north Indians emerged which in turn led to rise in numbers here. But at some point of time, the ancient north and the ancient south mixed, giving birth to a different set of population. And that is the population which exists now and there is a genetic relationship between the populations within India.”
The researchers, who are now keen on exploring whether Eurasians descended from ANI, find in their study that ANIs are related to western Eurasians, while the ASIs do not share any similarity with any other population across the world.
Researchers say their study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences and its comparison those of world populations has led to the theory of a “southern coastal route” of migration from East Africa through India.
This is evidence of the statement in the inscription. While civilization existing before sand was formed may be quite an exaggeration, it is a conclusive proof that the Tamil population existed in India before any other linguistic population did. The fact that the language of this group, Tamil, has survived the trials of nature and mankind over thousands of years is an amazing thing!!
This makes Tamil the most ancient and contemporary language in India. Mind you, I am not an anti-Sanskrit/ Hindi person. Sanskrit is a great and ancient language too; with one major flaw of not being flexible. I feel this is the reason it has almost ceased to exist as a spoken language in India. The Tamil population has been more flexible and adaptive to changes than most others, definitely more than Sanskrit. This is evident from the extent of South Indian contribution to Sanskrit literature. Adi Sankara’s works are a case in point. How much of North Indian contribution do we have in Tamil literature? Almost nil. Despite having very less North Indian contribution, Tamil has crossed boundaries and has worldwide contribution in its literature. The quantity and quality of contemporary literature in Tamil is just as good as those from its Sangam phase.
Even today, the Tamil diaspora is a very wide one. Tamil is spoken in over 20 countries by over 80 million people. Some studies estimate it close to 100 million people. Check http://www.krysstal.com/spoken.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_diaspora. Tamil is the mother of many languages but still continues be young and supple. All its individuality aside, Tamil is an Indian language and a language that India and the world should be proud of! The world is just beginning to realize this.
I am very happy that I was born a Tamilian! Tamil pallaandu vaazhga!
For more details on Tamil and its evolution, if you are a beginner, read the book The Smile of Murugan written by Dr.Kamil Zvelebil – a Czech author who dedicated his life for Tamil or the works of Dr.George L Hart (US) or Dr.A K Ramanujan (India).