If any reader of this blog jumps to a conclusion that SARAH NAVAROJI, is a Gujarati, he is wrong! Sarah Navaroji is a THAMIZH nun, who runs a Church in Kuttiappa Gramani Street, Kilpauk, Chennai. So the surname NAVAROJI has nothing to do with Gujarati, but a part of her Saurashtrian culture.
In the latest language census of India, the Saurashtrian language is listed as a dialect of Gujarati! The old Gujarati did exist between AD 1100 to AD 1500, whereas, Saurashtrians claim that they left the surroundings of the Somnath temple upon the invasion of Mohammad Gazhini. If Mohammad Gazhini died in AD 1030, and Old Gujarati itself evolved only between AD 1100 and AD1500, how could Saurashtrian be classified as a dialect of Gujarati- at best Saurashtrian could be called the uninterrupted Grand Mother of Gujarati!
Now coming back to the topic on Sister. Sarah Navaroji, she must have got converted to Christianity from Hinduism. If one were to go to the temple town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, one could find a lot of Saurashtrian Schools and also people still residing there and according to the latest Language census of India, 0.45% of Gujarati speaking people of India reside in Tamil Nadu, as they have taken Saurashtrians as ethnically and linguistically akin to the Gujarati people.
Can you believe that this people enjoyed the patronage of various Tamizh kings since the sacking of Somnath? In Tamizh these Saurashtrians are called a PATTUNOOLKARAR- which means “people who are connected with silk thread” and these Saurashtrians are not only domiciled in the state of Tamil Nadu, but most of them consider themselves Tamizh. The “accommodation” of the Thamizh people is unmatched, as there is not a single state in India which has not only “allowed” a different cultural community to live uninterruptedly in their state for more than 1000 years, but have encouraged them to MAINTAIN THEIR CULTURAL IDENTITY UNMOLESTED AND UNCORRUPTED!
Sister Sarah Navaroji, is a great Tamizh Christian Lyricist, composer and singer. I for one believe that there are three, nay, four songs which melt my soul anytime and suffuses me with divine rapture- if only one cares to find out those songs, they are:
1. Um paadam panindhen (link to Sis. Sarah Navaroji unavailable)
2. Paavikku Pugalidam (http://www.dhingana.com/paavikku-pugalidam-song-ennai-marava-yesunnadha-tamil-latest-223da31)
4. Anaadhi Devan un (http://www.dhingana.com/anaadhi-devan-song-ennai-marava-yesunnadha-tamil-latest-3a3da31)
The beauty about these Tamizh devotional songs is that all these songs were written by Sis. Navaroji, for whom Tamizh must have been the second language after Saurashtrian, while she was a part of the CEYLON PENTECOSTAL MISSION, which split up after one Pastor Alwyn of Ceylon was excommunicated and defrocked by that church! Her voice is replete with devotion to her God and though she is a Saurashtrian had written the lyrics in chaste Tamizh and sung them flawlessly and also composed the music for her lyrics. The rendition was under the directorship of T.A Kalyanam, who was a Tamizh film music director during the 50’s.
I personally think, if Mohammad Gazhini had not invaded India and had not these Saurashtrians migrated to the Tamizh speaking regions of the present day India, Sis. Sarah Navaroji would never have sung or written or composed these songs! WHAT A LOSS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN? I would also like to add that T.M Soundarrajan, Tamizh playback singer was also a Saurashtrian. What a great gift these Sourashtrians have been to Tamizh culture!