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The Language Question

The language question, has been, at times, explosive during Kamaraj's Presidential tenure and even at the cost of being misunderstood, he has tried to steer the ship to an even keel. India is a multi-lingual country; language and not so much geography has divided this country more than anything in the past and continues to do so even now. There may be racial differences in parts but culture has superimposed itself on such differences of race or colour. Indian thought and outlook on life are remarkably the same from Kanya Kumari to the Himalayas and from the interior of rural Bengal to the interior of Gujrat or Maharashtra. Language is, however, the great divide and particularly troublesome have been the language complications in the South and in particular, in Tamil Nad, and this has been due to two main factors.

Tamilians have always considered themselves the hard core of Dravidian culture. The Telugus, the Malayalis and the Karnatakas have had Aryan and northern influences in different degrees. The legend goes that the earlier inhabitants of the north, on being pushed out by the invader, trickled down to the South along the Arabian coast and provided the early settlers of the South. Whatever, the truth of the legend be, the fact is clear to an observer today that there is considerable influence of Sanskrit on the thought and culture of Andhra, Kerala and Karnataka but Tamil Nad has noticeably resisted the impact of successive northern cultures. It is also noticeable that the southern Brahmin, the Ayyar and the Ayyangar.

 
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