Showing posts with label Goa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goa. Show all posts

Myths of Pallava Granta Script

Pallava Granta script is touted as script from 300AD to 10 century AD to write Sanskrit , It is also spread overseas and used by locals to derive their own script. Let us analyze the facts.

Pallava Dynasty
Though Pallava history is analysed by scholars for a long time, there are still gaps in knowledge. This is especially the case with the first period of Pallava history, the period ranging from the middle of the 3rd to the end of the 6th century A.D. The sources for the history of this period being limited, very little is known about its rulers beyond their names. The genealogy of these Pallava sovereigns and the actual duration of their reigns are still unsettled. Whether all the members mentioned in the charters actually ruled as kings is itself doubtful. We, however, get a clearer view of the dynasty during the second period, extending from the 7th to the 9th century A.D., as the epigraphs are distributed over a wide region with the advantage of some sidelights being thrown from the records of other dynasties. The Granta and Vetteluthu variations are evident from 8th century onwards until then, we find only Kadamba script. Moreover Granta and Vetteluthu are variations of Kadamba script and they evolved from kadamba script.

Pallava plates
The Earliest Pallava inscription is Mayidavolu, Hirahadagalli copper plate grants(4th century AD) uses Kadamba script, But after that we have a gap of inscriptions from 4th to 6th century AD. Even during vunnuguruvayapalem of paramesvaravarman I(669-700AD) and Reyuru plates of Narasimhavarman I (630-668AD) Kadamba script is used. The kurram plates of Narasimhavarman II (Raja Simha ) (700-28), Kasakudi and tandantottam plates of Nandivarman II pallavamalla (730 -96AD) and Bahur plates of Nirpatungavarman 9th century AD show variations from kadamba script , we can see first apperance of variations which latter evolved into Granta script around 11th century AD.

Pallava Granta Overseas
  • There is a tendency among scholars to describe early inscriptions in Indonesia and Indo-china as pallava granta and speak of expansion of pallava culture and influence. These views are wrong because of following reasons
  • The Script used in pallava inscriptions from 4th to 7th century AD and early epigraphs belong to Kadamba script which was widely used in south and western India.
  • Early writing in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sulawesi were written in Verse like records of kadamba kannada speaking areas unlike Pallava script.
  • Boxheaded alphabet used in epigraphs of King Bhadravarman of campa(south Annam) is not characteristic of pallava inscriptions, but is generally found in central and upper Deccan as well as Kannada speaking areas of western India.
  • Saka era introduced around 6th century AD in Indo-china and Indonesia is never used by Pallavas but chalukyas of Badami popular now in Kannada and marathi speaking areas.
  • Number inscriptions early ruling families such as Arakan(Burma), Sailendras of srivijya(palembang , sumatra) are written in kadamba and siddhamaka script of Eastern India.
  • The names of cities generally localised names of Vedic cities. Seventh Records indicate all India contact The city of Prom was also known as Vanadesi, similar to capital of the Kadambas Banawasi also the script is similar to kadamba script.
  • The Name ending varman found in East Asian dyansities is not exclusive to pallavas ,but also used by Kadambas,Alikuars, Salankayanas,Gangas, Maukharis, Matharas ,Pitrbaktas also have varman ending.
  • Many of Chronicles of South east asia are chronicles of Kalinga( orissa) and Sinhala.
  • Pallavas except a brief period in 7th century were feudataries of Satavahana , Kadambas, Chalukyas Rastrakuta and Cholas, they never took titles such as Maharaja and Rajadiraja which denote the rulers of Empires
So we can see the Truth in relation to myths floated around about Pallava Granta scripts.
  1. The Pallavas also used kadamba script and variations developed due to application of the script for writing local vernaculars tamil and malayalam
  2. Scripts used overseas are based on Kadamba script not pallava granta script, though Pallava script influenced them in the later period.
  3. Pallava Granta script developed after 8th century AD and previous inscriptions are in kadamba script only

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Indus Script Myths
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Pallava Granta Script

Konkani Literature Myths

Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese there was highly developed Konkani literature, which was destroyed by them.

There was no literature in Konkani at the time of Portuguese occupation of the tiny island or adjoining Konkan Kshetra. There is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the theory that the Portuguese destroyed literature in Konkani. If they had destroyed Konkani literature than it would have existed in the adjoining areas of the Nova Conquistas, which did not face the wrath of the Inquisition. The Church played a major role in producing religious litereature in primarily in Konkani and secondarily in other languages.

Konkani written in Devanagari script is of high quality and Konkani written in Roman script is of sub standard quality.

The Devanagari is the natural script for Konkani language advocated first by a Portuguese scholar Monsenhor Sebastio Rudolf Dalgado in 1905 and later adopted in the first Konkani Sahitya Parishad in 1939 in Goa. Vaman Varde Valaulikar stressed that ‘Konkani had right to Sanskrit’s script as any other Indian tongue’ (Pereira 1973: 69). The scholars argue against the use of the Roman script because it is not suited for the native languages. William Jones argued against use of the Roman script. He claimed the English alphabet and orthography are disgracefully and almost ridiculously imperfect. Sir William Kirkpatrick stated ‘he employed Devanagari characters to help the student to pronounce more correctly than he or she could be taught either by Persian or English’ (Wakankar 1986: 8).

'16'th century was the golden era of Konkani literature.

Konkani saw better days in the 16th century when European missionaries embarked upon its systematic study and created religious literature in it. The establishment of the printing press in 1556 helped to publish books in as well as about Konkani.This good work continued for about five generations of European missionaries, that is, from about 1550 to about 1675. And then began the dark period. At the instance of the new generations of European missionaries, the King of Portugal issued the Decree of 1684, which abolished the use of Konkani in education as well as other fields. So Konkanis consider the 16th century as the golden era of konkani literature.

Sravana Belagola Inscription
The undated Shravana Belagola inscription ascribed to 983 A.D has the following line in nagari script Konkani language: “Sri Chavunda Rajem Karavailem” meaning that Sri Chavunda Raya caused the statue of Gomateshwara to be constructed.
In marathi 'Chamundaraye Karaviyale' meaning built by Chamundaraya. This statue of lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla
Probablity: It is in prakrit. Both Konkani and marathi are from Prakrit. The first insription in prakrit is neither in konkani nor in Marathi ,but in prakrit. Eventhough the installation of statue is 983AD, the date of the inscription is still in Doubt, it is said to be of later date.

Myths of Konkani Language

Konkani Language carry many myths- Let us see one by one.

1. Konkani is a daughter of Sanskrit.
Konkani like its sibling marathi evolved from Shouraseni Prakrit.

2. Konkani is the mother tongue of over 50 lakhs of people.
Government 1991 Figures put 17,60,607 (17Lakhs)

3. Konkani is an Aryan language. Therefore Devanagari script is the natural script for Konkani.
Konkani evolved from Prakrit, but devanagari script is used for both Marathi and
konkani from Mid 20th century onwards only. Previously Kannada script was used.

4. Konkani sounds cannot be correctly written in Roman script.
Again it depends on konkani of which area. In Goa english is used even in village
meetings and in this case appropriate script will be Roman, but it cannot be said
about konkani in Karnataka, kerala or Madhyapradesh.

5. Those who know Devanagari script can easily read and write Konkani.
Yes , but not understand. Konkani remains mutually intelligible to konkani's form
different states.

6. In Goa Roman Konkani and Devanagari Konkani are found.
Goa became active in konkani only after konkani language was made scheduled

7. Compared to Catholics, Hindus speak pure and good Konkani.
Konkani is corrupted or influenced by the surroundings, whereever they are and not
with respect to religion. Kerala- Malayalam, karnataka- Tulu, kannada, Goa-
English ,Portuguese, Madhya pradesh- Hindi.

8. Konkani spoken and written by the Saraswats is the standard Konkani.
Agari of Kolaba ,Parabhi (Kayasthi, Damani) ,Koli ,Kiristav ,Dhanagari ,Bhandari , Thakuri (Thakari, Thakri, Thakua, Thakura) ,Karhadi , Sangamesvari (Bakoti, Bankoti) ,Ghati (Maoli) , Mahari (Dhed, Holia, Parvari ,Standard Konkani (Goan) ,Bardeskari (Gomantaki) ,Sarasvat Brahmin, Kudali (Malvani) , Daldi (Nawaits) , Chitpavani (Konkanasths) , Mangalore are the dilects of Konkani. So saraswats of konkani spoken in Goa is not the only konkani spoken. There is no evidence to show Saraswats speak pure konkani. Since it is the state language of Goa, it gets much legitemacy.

9. Spoken Konkani is inferior compared to written Konkani.
There is again no standard konkani. Konkani is mainly a spoken language. So the idea itself is absurd.

10. Portuguese missionaries corrupted Konkani language of Goan Catholics.
Konkani got revived because of Portuguese. Portuguese introduced first printed works. When Mangalore can retain konkani , why cant Goa.

11. Missionaries learnt Konkani to spread their faith and not out of love for Konkani.
That is true , which may be controversial.

12. Konkani written in Devanagari script is Marathicized Konkani.
Devanagari is just a script , so many languages are written in Devanagari.

13. One, who knows to speak, read and write only Konkani is a semi-literate.
Not necessarily.

14. The original inhabitants of Goa were Austro-Asiatic people and Konkani vocabulary is influenced by Mundari language.
Konkani derives its name from konka tribe who lived in present day konkan, They migrated to other regions due to unknown reasons. There is no evidence to suggest konka's spoke konkani. Konkani is related to Bengali and Assamese.

15. In the 16th century there was only one standard Konkani, namely that of Salcete. Gradually other dialects emerged from it.
Konkani existed as dilects before portuguese introduced the printing. They resurrected a dying language. All the dilects emerged from single language, but not salcete.

16. Konkani words of Portuguese origin are to be replaced by native words.
Each language is enriched by its vacabulary , so it goes with konkani.