Read e-book online Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, PDF
By Sumathi Ramaswamy
Why would really like for his or her language lead numerous males in southern India to burn themselves alive in its identify? Passions of the Tongue analyzes the discourses of affection, hard work, and lifestyles that remodeled Tamil into an item of such passionate attachment, generating within the strategy one among smooth India's such a lot severe hobbies for linguistic revival and separatism. Sumathi Ramaswamy means that those discourses can't be contained inside of a novel metanarrative of linguistic nationalism and in its place proposes a brand new analytic, "language devotion." She makes use of this idea to trace the various ways that Tamil was once imagined via its audio system and connects those a number of imaginings to their adventure of colonial and post-colonial modernity. Focusing particularly at the transformation of the language right into a goddess, mom, and maiden, Ramaswamy explores the pious, filial, and erotic points of Tamil devotion. She considers why, as its audio system sought political and social empowerment, metaphors of motherhood ultimately got here to dominate representations of the language.
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Additional resources for Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891-1970
What are the ways in which its logic is used to mount resistance against puta-tive foes, and to garner power? And finally, how is this certitude deployed to produce the modern Tamilian, whose subjectivity is anchored by Tamil and has no existence independent of it? My use of tamilpparru to interrogate the language question thus is not a nativist gesture, for I make the concept do theoretical work for me in ways which exceed the many tasks that speakers of Tamil have themselves assigned to it in their prolific discourses.
In turn, these "non-Brahman" elites received the support of the colonial state, itself seeking allies to counter the growing influence of the Congress. The consequence was an informal alliance between them and the colonial administration, which is reflected in the pro-British stance of the Justice Party (founded in 1916-17 to represent "non-Brahman" interests) and in the eulogies of British rule and English that surfaced within neo-Shaivism (Maraimalai Adigal 1967a, 1974a: 45-46). The Polarization of Tamil And Sanskrit So, from the turn of this century, neo-Shaivism engaged in a complex set of maneuvers.
When this historicizing imperative converges with the patrimonial imagination about Tamil, an entirely novel horizon of sensibilities crystallizes that I characterize as modern. The life of the language is now perceived as inextricably intertwined with the lives of its speakers as an imagined community: their pasts, present, and futures are inseparable. So declared one of Tamil's devotees in 1915: "O Tamil pandits! O Tamil people! Be warned! Guard your language. Language is the life of its community of people.
Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891-1970 by Sumathi Ramaswamy