01 August, 2021

The Tamil Country

Saddest contradictions are Tamil politicians. They are probably the worst opportunists and the most corrupt, still spouting Periyar and Ambedkar, equally comfortable in a necktie and a konakam (loin cloth)

The Tamil Country

It’s tough to run a news magazine in a 24X7 digital world. You may not even get to slip in a decent obituary on a production day. This is the Holi week and we are going to press without even paying attention to Karti Chidambaram’s arrest, Jayendra Saraswathi’s death, the assembly bypolls and much else. Interestingly, ­Karti Chidambaram and Kanchi Shankaracharya personify a strange contradiction found only in their home state. For me, Tamil Nadu is the most fascinating place in the country. It is the cradle of civilisation carved beautifully in rock. Forget the fights over the antiquity of Tamil and Sanskrit, it also doesn’t matter whether newer archaeological discoveries in Tamil Nadu have discounted the “out of Africa” theory, what matters are the brilliant Big Temple at Tanjavur, Madura Meenakshi, Chidambaram and the countless magnificent structures dotting the landscape. Equally compelling are the competing inscapes of ideas and socio-cultural movements that have shaped the Tamil discourse.

It accommodates the most post-modern of...

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