Why Speaking Tamil

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WHY DO MUSLIMS OF SRI LANKA SPEAK TAMIL?

The origins of the Sri Lankan Moors is a matter that has aroused much controversy in academic circles. While it is generally believed that the Moors are descended from Arabian merchants there are those historians who continue to argue that the Moors originally hailed from India,mainly on the basis of their spoken language – Tamil,which is an South Indian Language.This article proposes to show that the nucleus of the Moorish community comprises the descendants of Arabian settlers hailing from Iraq and the Arabian peninsula who arrived in the country during the medieval period. Oral tradition, genealogical records, anthropological details and literary, linguistic and epigraphic evidence will be adduced to support this view. Alexander Johnston has recorded that the first Muslims who settled in the country were, according to the tradition which prevails among their descendants, a portion of those Arabs of the House of Hashim (The Prophet Muhammad’s [pbuh] clan) who were driven from Arabia in the early part of the eighth century by the Umayyad Caliph Abd-al Malik bin Marwan, and who proceeding from the Euphrates southward, made settlements in the Concan, the southern parts of the Indian peninsula, Sri Lanka and Malacca.WHY TAMIL?Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of South India and North-east Sri Lanka. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Puducheri. Unlike sinhala Tamil has Reconized as a Widely Spoken language Which not Bound with one Geographical Area. Tamil is also a national language of Srilanka and an official language of Singapore, and Widely Spoken in Malaysia, Mauritius Island, New Guinea Island, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Switzerland.

It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is the first language that was declared a classical language by the government of India in 2004.

Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world, other Classical Languages such as Roman, Greek, Baylonian and Latin were all evaded from the Tongues of Man and no more spoken in any parts of the World and considered to be an ancient and authentically original in its form and rich literature It has been described as “the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past”

Tamil literature has existed for over 20000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from the 300 BCE – 300 CE. Tamil language inscriptions written c. 1st century BCE and 2nd century CE have been discovered in Egypt, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The two earliest manuscripts from India, to be acknowledged and registered by UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997 and 2005 were in Tamil. More than 55% of the epigraphical inscriptions (about 55,000) found by the Archaeological Survey of India are in the Tamil language. It has the oldest extant literature amongst other Dravidian languages. The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to its being described as “one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world”.

By : Mohammed Jehan Khan

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