A Tamil is not a Tamil by virtue of having the ability to speak Tamil or for being born to parents who speak Tamil. But a Tamil is one who considers this land as his, the rivers as his and the Deities who are associated with this land and rivers as his. He may move to any other land, but only as long as he considers the deities of this land as his and follows the worship of these deities and the festivals of these deities, can he be considered as a Tamil. None others who worship other deities can claim themselves as Tamils because just by speaking Tamil, one can not to be considered as a Tamil. By this Christians and Muslims who speak Tamil can not be considered as Tamils, just because they speak Tamil. Even we speak English but that does not make us English people, for the simple reason that we do not follow English culture. Similarly let not all those Christians, Muslims and Atheists who do not follow the core principle of deity- culture of the ancient Tamils be not considered as Tamils.
For all those who may find this view unacceptable, let me draw their attention to what Shahi Imam told about Anna Hazare movement. He called upon the Muslims of this country not to support Anna’s movement because they can not accept this land as their God. They can not call this land as their Mother or Goddess. Similarly the Christian organizations have opposed Anna’s movement. For these two communities, their Gods are outside India. They can not accept the Gods of this land. The same logic holds good in the case of who a Tamil is.
A Tamil is one who swears allegiance to the numerous Hindu Gods of this land. Any one taking glory on Tamil’s literary past and culture can not accept alien Gods imported from outside. Let all those who have allegiance to outside Gods, call themselves as Christians and Muslims who can speak Tamil but not as Tamils who are Christians and Muslims.
In this context I also wish to sound a warning to all those who have defied the Hindu culture of Tamils and taken refuge in alien religions, that defiance of Gods of Tamil land would only land them in trouble as those deities which were once worshiped by their Hindu ancestors are now neglected by them after they have embraced alien religions.
They want to claim yourselves as Tamils and not want to give up the language. Giving up a language would not do any harm. But giving up the deity of the land would do. More important than the language is the deity that guarded this land. By giving up these deities / by ignoring them, they have no right to claim any connection to Tamil lands and its basic culture which is Hindu.
To cite just one text, Silapapdhikaram is full of Hindu Gods, description of worship of those God and Hindu customs. One full chapter was dedicated to the marriage of Kanangi and Kovalan which was done as a Brahma Vivaha. Numerous narrations on Karma theory and many characters coming to know of the past birth happenings etc., are revealed in Silappadhikaram. This Karma theory is the very core of the Hindu Concept. Even the decision of the Cheran King to found a temple for Kanangi was made after a discussion with his wife on concept of Godhood of Hinduism.
The entire story of Kannagi was narrated to the author by Kannagi Herself according to this text. In the last chapter of this book, Kannagi in Deity form (after consecration) delivers an advice to the author which is full of Hindu Thought. She begins by calling people to know what is God and search for God in order to get a better understanding. Her last advice is to do good karma in order to get a better rebirth! This certainly can’t have any resonance with the Christians and Muslims. Any one shifting to these two religions, automatically forfeit their connection to Tamil culture and therefore to Tamil language.
(Given below is the full text of Kannagi’s advice to Ilango in the last chapter of Silappadhikaram)
”தெய்வம் தெளிமின் தெளிந்தோர்ப் பேணுமின்
பொய்யுரை அஞ்சுமின் புறஞ்சொல் போற்றுமின்
ஊனூண் துறமின் உயிர்க்கொலை நீங்குமின்
தானம் செய்ம்மின் தவம்பல தாங்குமின்.
செய்ந்நன்றி கொல்லன்மின் தீநட் பிகழ்மின்
பொய்க்கரி போகன்மின் பொருண்மொழி நீங்கன்மின்
அறவோர் அவைக்களம் அகலாது அணுகுமின்
பிறவோர் அவைக்களம் பிழைத்துப் பெயர்மின்
பிறர்மனை அஞ்சுமின் பிழையுயிர் ஓம்புமின்
அறமனை காமின் அல்லவை கடிமின்
கள்ளும் களவும் காமமும் பொய்யும்
வெள்ளைக் கோட்டியும் விரகினில் ஒழிமின்
இளமையும் செல்வமும் யாக்கையும் நிலையா
உளநாள் வரையாது ஒல்லுவ தொழியாது.
செல்லும் தேஎத்துக் குறுதுணை தேடுமின்
மல்லல்மா ஞாலத்து வாழ்வீர் ஈங்கென்”