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Why Tamil Chauvinism Cannot Counter Hindutva

Overlap Political

Why Tamil Chauvinism Cannot Counter Hindutva

Was Rajaraja, the imperial Chola king, now better known as Ponniyin Selvan, thanks to Mani Ratnam’s grand film, a Hindu?

Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur

What indeed was the religion of the Tamil land during Rajaraja’s days, which were in the 10th and 11th centuries of the Common Era? What was its religion in earlier times, say, in the early centuries of the Common Era? The answers to these questions are easily available to all those who care to read some basic history books, written by real scholars. But Tamil Nadu is a strange place. In the popular imagination, its history is conjured, right out of thin air, by scores of regional and linguistic chauvinists.  But in the jejune world of media, chauvinism is often mistaken for serious scholarship and most in the media unerringly choose those who often make spectacular statements about the antiquity and the uniqueness of Tamil. Since these statements give Tamil a high, unapproachable and hoary pedestal, they are seldom questioned.

Religion in the Sangam period

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