There is a tendency to refine culture to the extent that the underbelly of the culture which produces the base products and provides labour, are marginalised to such an existence of mere subsistence. The effect is that the refined tastes and products become the ASPIRATIONAL VALUES of the whole society. The consequence of such universal aspiration drives the whole community towards the single spire of perfection of the educated and the well heeled. Diversity exists out of necessity and the NATURAL ASPIRATIONS of the deprived and the uneducated are marginalised through discouragement of funds, knowledge and opportunities.
The above is the condition of most of the cultures in India, but the outstanding exception in India is Thamizh Nadu.
This has not been achieved thru the efforts of Thamizhans alone but with the complementary contributions of the Telugu people, especially the Andhra & Rayalseema people. One may wonder how the Thamizh got integrated with the Andhra! But without the Andhra rice, tobacco, chillies and their entrepreneurial involvement Thamizh culture wouldn’t have evolved to where it is today.
The seeds of the so called Dravidian culture was sown by the Justice Party, which was against the refinement expressed by me above. Refinement leads to removal of all fibre in the society and it becomes maida, with no essentials for smooth movement of the bowels! Stagnation leads to grumpiness and ossification with little capacity to meet the exigencies of the evolving challenges.
EVR, TM Nair, Natesa Mudaliar. Subbarayulu Reddiar, Panagal Zamindar and Theagaraya Chetty led the Justice Party , which had democratically won the hustings and ran the diarchic government of the Madras Presidency between 1920 and 1936. The only exception to the leaders of the Justice Party was T.M. Nair, having his community base in Travancore and Cochin kingdoms. Thus as an outfit to obtain representation of the other communities other than Brahmins worked together in close ranks, which in today’s context could be explained as having worked for the upliftment of the DEPRESSED CLASSES.
I think one of the realisations which dawned on the promoters of the party was the fact that having capital, land and labour cannot EMPOWER those who brought those inputs but in the new order, it was important to have the LEGISLATIVE POWER to make laws which would provide opportunities for education and bring managerial skills to the uneducated and the uneducated but wealthy classes!
So the process of rectification of the power balance within the Madras Presidency as a society started from 1920 and lasted till 1937 when Congress, which the Justice Party perceived as being controlled by Brahmins came to power. The essential reason for Justice Party losing power were twofold, primarily there was no charismatic leaders with the ability to enlist new acolytes to its line of thinking; secondly, Gandhi’s popularity along with a rejuvenated Nationalism brought the people under the new perception and the social engineering came to an end. However Rajagopalachari’s imposition of Hindi kept the embers alive, but Justice Party became Social outfit without showing the necessary belligerence to politically fight the Congress. It was only in 1949 that this was corrected by Annadurai forming the DMK with a political agenda of capturing power. The 1950’s linguistic division of Madras Presidency further clove the Thamizh Telugu unity, with Prakasam and Potti Sriramulu rooting for a separate Andhra. The Madras Presidency split leaving a residue of Thamizhs and Telugus sharing the state of Thamizh Nadu. As is their wont, the Keralites went back to their state except for those who had small businesses and jobs, but all the Malayalees kept their native place lands and never cut their umbilical cord with their Travancore-Cochin state. This is true of all malayalees, whether in Delhi or New York, they build their native homes before buying a flat in the domiciled country. This is where the Telugus differed, the Naidus and Reddiars who had flourishing businesses were not inclined to quit the state for multiple reasons. Predominantly they are that the Telugu culture is complementary to Thamizh, in that Telugu ability to take financial risks in entrepreneurship was complementary to the Thamizh disciplined skilled workforce desirous of reasonable wages only and uninterested in the ultimate profits or losses made by the landowning and capital bringing Telugu; their shared eating habits; their empathy with the religious rituals of the Thamizhs and also that the Telugus were not able to exit their businesses and build alternative businesses in Andhra. The infrastructure of Thamizh Nadu provided a better movement of goods and services. Thus the Thamizh and Telugu cultures have become complementary in the right proportion and shall remain so.
Let us see the areas on which Telugus have excelled within Thamizhnadu: in the textile industry; in the film industry; in the finance sector; in educational institutions; in restaurant businesses; in component manufacturing industry they have inextricably linked to the Thamizhs. More than all this the Telugus who had contributed have all been from those communities which were supported by the Justice Party. Hence, there is a composite culture of those deprived classes in huge numbers, whose aspirations are not ‘REFINEMENT’ but earning a good education and livelihood. These have made the present day Thamizh Nadu the most INCLUSIVE STATE, with lesser priority in merely acquiring ‘refinement’ at the cost of the fundamentals. Thamizh culture rarely adopts other cultural icons, it borrows and quickly adapts those cultural traits and integrates them efficiently.
For the above reasons, Thamizh culture periodically is susceptible to purging of the vestiges of the alien cultural trappings which smuggle themselves in thru disguised Trojans, like the aspirated consonants like jha, sha, bha etc, which were promptly replaced through purging of ‘contaminated’ Thamizh. The Serfogis of Tanjore and Naicks of Madurai had brought many of those sounds and empowered them to become aspirational sounds. For example, ‘agam’ became ‘aham’ ; mugam became muham, etc. These purges are essential and the assertiveness of the Thamizh from time to time is not for berating other cultures but a purging of the vestiges of elements foreign to its culture. Jallikattu and the aspirations of the Thamizhs is to be seen in this light. The farmers and livestock owners are opportunities for the Thamizhs in their periodic exercise at INCLUSIVENESS.