Lessons from Indian History — Tamil nationalism does not work always
Tamil nationalism or Tamil chauvinism is no less dangerous than Hindi chauvinism and in fact can be a greater threat for other states in South India. This isn’t about present or recent past. It isn’t a unique phenomenon of post-independence India either. Tamil Chauvinism was one of the reasons for the division of the Pallava Empire and the formation of the Kadamba Kingdom in Banavasi, Karnataka. That is the beautiful story of Mayura Sharma.
Story of Mayura Sharma and the Kadamba Dynasty
India, fourth century Christian era. Northern India was ruled by Samudragupta while the Pallava dynasty reigned supreme over major areas of South. The present day Karnataka, Kerala, large parts of Andhra and Telangana were controlled by Pallavas. Shivaskandavarma was the ruler with Kanchi as the capital. His son, Pallava Vishnugopa was the de facto centre of power in the kingdom.
Mayura Sharma was a poor but self respecting Havyaka Brahmin from Talagunda near present day Shimoga in Karnataka. Since Kanchi was the seat of higher learning in those times, Mayura Sharma proceeded to Kanchi with his grandfather and a lot of enthusiasm. Once in Kanchi, he was attracted towards martial arts more than the studies of Veda and Upanishads. When he expressed his wish to learn martial arts, he was turned down by the martial arts Guru because he was a Brahmin.
Mayura decided to pick up martial arts by secretly observing others being trained in a school of martial arts and warfare. Without anyone knowing, he turned himself into a strong wrestler and warrior and knocked down the strongest wrestler of Kanchi in a challenge bout. The fame of Mayura Sharma spread across Kanchi. This didn’t go down well with Vishnugopa, the Prince of Kanchi. Vishnugopa tried to humiliate Mayura using his horsemen. Some sources claim, it was the insult of his Guru and grandfather Veera Sharma that led to Mayura’s revolt.
Mayura survived the encounter with Vishnugopa’s men but he was deeply humiliated by the slurs hurled at him by Vishnugopa and his men. One of the slurs was related to Mayura being a mere Brahmin living on the alms of the Pallava rulers. The second slur was related to a small town intruder from lowly placed Kannada speaking regions in the heartland of Tamil supremacy.
Mayura’s self respect forced him to retaliate and Vishnugopa got humiliated in an impromptu one to one sword fight, a form of warfare he was supposed to be unbeatable in the kingdom. Vishnugopa forced the king to punish Mayura by charging him with Rajadroha. Shivaskandavarma declared Mayura guilty and ordered his execution by hanging. Mayura’s well-wishers helped him escape from Kanchi in the nick of time.
Mayura moved into forests of Sri Sailam and connected with the tribals and people marginalised by the Pallava kingdom. With the might of Shivaskandavarma on the wane, Samudragupta raided Kanchi and left Vishnugopa and his army defeated and demoralised. Mayura, who was biding his time till then, decided to strike. He gathered a well knit troop of tribals, reformed robbers, native Telugu people and ambitious youth from Banavasi and surrounding areas. His raid on Kanchi was met with practically no resistance as Vishnugopa was left with no strength to fight.
Image source: Google
With deference to Shivaskandavarma and those people of Kanchi who had loved him and protected him, Mayura left Kanchi unharmed but captured large areas of present day Karnataka and parts of Andhra surrounding Sri Sailam. He declared a new independent kingdom with capital in Banavasi. That was how the first Kannada Kingdom under Kadamba dynasty was formed. As advised by the Brahmins of his kingdom, Mayura Sharma converted to Kshatriya fold and changed his name to Mayura Varma. The Kadamba dynasty went onto reign for almost two centuries till the arrival of Chalukya dynasty in the second half of the sixth century.
This piece of history tells us the likely existence of Tamil chauvinism even before the arrival of Periyar and the ridicule the Brahmins, especially those from Non-Tamil regions, faced even in the fourth century Tamilnadu. No wonder the Kannada Pride raised its head through Kadamba Mayura Sharma. If at all Stalin dreams of leading Dravidanadu, the modern day Kadamba will be ready even before his Utopia becomes a reality.
If anyone in South India in general and Tamilnadu in particular is yearning for United States of South India, they must be ready to receive it as a stillborn baby. Karnataka will not remain part of a union that is likely to be dominated by the Tamil nationalists. Andhra and Telangana will follow soon and then Kerala too will secede. The Divided States of Dravidanadu will have to wage water wars with Kannadanadu and Malayalanadu. The United States of North India will remember their loyalties. In spite of a million problems, United States of India still remains our best bet as long as we are united. Divided, we fall!
Source: Produced verbatim from https://www.myindiamyglory.com/2018/03/25/dravidanadu-conflict-story-mayura-kadamba-dynasty/