These are times of 'historians' getting exposed of their null knowledge of history. The Ayodhya verdict did a great job of exposing the 'secular' historians of their true worth. I don't know when our self- proclaimed 'drvidian' historian of Tamilnadu (Karunanidhi) is going to get a similar treatment and be made to stop meddling up with history.
His recent handiwork at bungling up history was seen in his autocratic style of getting the name of the author of Silappadhikaram attested to Bharata Muni, the eternal name connected with Natya sastra in whose name the legendry dancer of our times Padma Subramanyam wanted to establish a Foundation for research on performing arts of Asia.
The land for this foundation was originally allotted by Jayalalithaa. But when Karunanidhi came to power he withdrew the allotment. Such is the nature of this so-called art lover who donated land for cine artists recently. His grouse was that the nature of art and research was about "Aryan" or Sanskritised works.
This self styled historian's knowledge of history of Aryan or Dravidian is well known to us. "Amma" (jayalalithaa) is Aryan whereas "Annai" (Sonia) is Indian! Going by the basis of Karunanidhi's theory of who is Aryan, Sonia Gandhi fulfills the definition better than Jayalalithaa. I don't know who will tell this to him. Or he may be knowing this but reserving it for the ultimate time which he wishes not to appear – if Sonia snaps ties with him. Perhaps at that time we may hear Karunanidhi serving expletives on Aryan conspiracy of Sonia and Jayalalithaa to displace the Dravidian rule!
Well, coming to Karunanidhi's obsession with Ilango, his justification was that the author, Ilango adikal has described natya sastra in his book, Silappadhikaram. Bringing in Ilango's name is perhaps an excuse to give a go–ahead to the project of Padma Subramanian which he had stalled. Perhaps he wanted a Tamil- based excuse to allow that project.
But in doing so, he is as usual putting himself in a poor light as a half- learned Tamil scholar and a biased historian.
Looking at some of the issues that arise from his interpretation of Ilango Adikal as a protagonist of Natya sastra,
· Would Karunanidhi call Ilango as a Vishnu Bhaktha or Ilango Azhwar because he has devoted one full chapter on the song and dance form called Aaichiyar Kuravai which is a replica of Gujarath's Hallisaka in praise of Lord Vishnu?
· Would Karunanidhi admit that he has misunderstood Rama and would henceforth revere him not only as a historical reality but also as a God because Ilango praises Rama as God and has described the events from Ramayana in that chapter?
· Would Karunanidhi accept that all the dance forms of Tamil nadu had been created by Gods themselves – namely by Shiva, Krishna, Muruga, Kaama deva, Lakshmi and Indraani – because Ilango says so?
· Would Karunanidhi accept the Aryan elements in the dancing tradition of Madhavi as described by Ilango? Ilango tells at 2 places the origins of dance related items. According to him, once the celestial dancer Urwashi was dancing in the court of Indra to the music of Narada. Inspired by her dance, Indra's son Jayantha (the same one who took up the form of a crow and troubled Sita in vanavaas) joined her in dancing. At some moment the duo exhibited sexual desire in their eyes while dancing. This was noticed by Narada who, in a bid to bring them back to their senses struck an inauspicious note in his veena. Sage Agasthya was also present in the court at that time. Irritated by the inauspicious note, he cursed Jayantha to be born as the "thalaik kol", the decorated stick used by the singers of the dance programmes. Urwashi was cursed by him to be born as a dancer in whose lineage Madhavi was born in the period of Silappadhikaram events. Narada's Veena was cursed to become the wooden plank on which the singers used to strike the decorated stick (Thalaik kol) while singing for the dance. This story has all the trappings of an Aryan myth. Does Karunanidhi concede this story?
· Ilango also describes the science of gemology in a chapter while describing the market place. His narration on Ruby is so exhaustive that it gives an impression that Ilango has studied gemology which is part of astrology. Moreover in numerous other places Ilango does give astrological inputs. Would Karunanidhi realize this facet of Ilango Adikal and come forward to bring back the Department of Astrology in Madurai Kamaraj University which was dissolved under his instructions after he assumed office 4 years ago? There is no problem to use Ilango's name. Let him rename the subject as 'Ilango Jothidam' and bring back the study of astrology which had the highest intake of students when it was taught.
· Finally, Ilango does indicate the submerged land of Tamils in the Indian ocean. His narration is completely against a land for Tamils in the Indus valley. Silappadhikaram and the commentary to the expression of "ThodiyoL bauwam" clearly describe the nature of that submerged land of Kumari. Would Karunanidhi bow to Ilango and accept his version of Tamil's land and origins in the South? Will he wake up from his schizophrenic obsession with a Dravidian identity??
Aryan-Dravidian touch to dance centre
Oct. 11: Chief minister M. Karunanidhi, who recently said in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict that Aryan culture had succeeded in planting superstitions in people's minds even while the true aspects of Dravidian history remained unknown, has now cleared a memorial for Bharata Muni, the author of Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on Indian classical dance.
The Dravidian leader has struck a compromise formula with famous Bharatanatyam dancer Padma Subramaniam to return the five acres of land for her trust to build the memorial. Under this pact, the centre would be named Bharata Elango Foundation for Asian Culture — Elango Adigal had authored the Tamil epic Silappathikaram, which contained an elaborate treatise on dance. The chief minister will himself lay the foundation stone on October 17.
Earlier, during the AIADMK regime, Ms Jayalalithaa had gifted the land near Mamallapuram to the Bharata Muni trust run by Ms Padma Subramaniam. Dravida Kazhagam president K. Veeramani and some other Dravidian scholars had criticised the gift as an attempt to Sanskritise Tamil culture.
Mr Karunanidhi, who has a passion for dance and drama, cancelled the land allocation as soon as he assumed office in 2006 since the centre had an Aryan tag.
Ultimately, the chief minister had a change of heart and a grateful Ms Padma Subramaniam authored the mega performance by 1,000 dancers at Thanjavur Big Temple millennium celebrations recently.
"The foundation is meant for research on performing arts and to promote awareness on the spiritual culture of Asia. It is not a training centre. A library will be named after Sankaracharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi and there will be a pan-Asian museum of performing arts," Ms Padma Subramaniam said. Extensive research has already begun. Artists and philosophers from Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Sri Lanka will visit for interactions.