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The conference will host over 40 scholars of various disciplines from North America, Europe, South Asia, and Australasia:


Artist: Vasuki
Artist: Kiko
Artist: Vasan

Abraham, S.
Ambalavanar, D.
Arasu, V.
Champakalakshmi, R.
Cheran, R.
Fukao, J.
George, G.
George, U.
Ghose, R.
Guruge, S.
Jegathesan, M.
Kanaganayakam, C.
Kanthasamy, P.
Karunakaran, K.
Karunanithi, G.
Kingsolver, A.
Mason, R.
Maunaguru, S.
Maunaguru, Sitralega
McNaughton, S.
More, J.B.P.
Orr, L.
Pai, G.
Palaniappan, S.
Pandian, M.S.S.
Rajesh, V.
Renganathan, V.
Sangarasivam, Y.
Seylon, R.
Shanmugam, K.
Sivalingam, H.
Sriramachandran, R.
Sundar, A.
Tambiah, S.J.
Tyyskä, V.
Vaitheespara, R.
Vivekananthan, P.
Whitaker, M.
Xavier, S.
Young, K.
Younger, P.

J.B.P. More

Research Scientist
Institute for Research in Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Kannur

The Demand for Dravidanadu and the Tamil Muslims
Saturday, June 2nd | 9:30 - 11:30 AM

The demand for Dravidanadu was born in the year 1938 during the first anti-Hindi agitations, against the imposition of Hindi by the Madras Government under C.Rajagopalachari. It was actually launched by Periyar E.V.Ramasamy and his Self-respect movement, which was avowedly anti-Brahmin, anti-Aryan, anti-God and anti-north Indian. Its aim was to achieve a separate State for the Dravidian-language speakers of southern India. The Tamil-speaking Muslims who were considered as Dravidians participated in large numbers in the anti-Hindi agitations. But their support for the Dravidanadu demand was always lukewarm and not always without its problems. This was mainly because of the revival of the All India Muslim League by Jinnah from 1934-35, which culminated in the demand for a separate State for Muslims called Pakistan in the year 1940. Due mainly to the politics of the Muslim League at the all-India level, the Tamil Muslims were unable to identify themselves fully with the demand for Dravidanadu.

As a matter of fact, the demand for Dravidanadu was born when Periyar Ramasamy took over the leadership of the non-Brahmin Justice party in 1938. The party’s name was changed to Dravida Kazhagam in 1944. During this period and until 1947, there was some Tamil Muslim support to the Justice party and the Dravida Kazhagam. So in the first part of this paper I intend to study how far the Tamil Muslims supported the Dravidanadu demand and why their leaders distanced themselves from such a demand.

After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the political situation in India had drastically changed. But the Dravida Kazhagam and its offshoot the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, led by C.N. Annadorai, known popularly as Anna, carried on with their demand for a separate Dravidanadu, until it was dropped finally by the latter in 1962. With the breakaway of Pakistan, the All India Muslim League had ceased to exist in India. Instead the Indian Union Muslim League under the leadership of the Tamil-speaking Muslim, Mohammad Ismail had come into existence. So in the second part of this paper, I intend to look into the relationship of the Tamil Muslims with the Dravidian parties and the Dravidanadu demand from 1947 to 1962 and why the Tamil Muslims in their great majority were unable to identify themselves with such a demand.

Dr. More's notable publications include Religion and Society in South India: Hindus, Muslims and Christians (2006), Muslim Identity, Print Culture and the Dravidian factor in Tamilnadu (2004), Political Evolution of the Muslims of Tamilnadu and Madras, 1930-1947 (1997), and Freedom Movement in French India.