Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/25

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14 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS have it, Max Müller spoke also of a corresponding 'Aryan race. And this mistaken notion gained currency in a short time in all Europe, as all erroneous notions do. The repercussions to this theory were so much that Max Müller tried to explain his theory and wrote: "I have declared again and again that if I say Aryan, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language. . . To me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan hlood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar" (Biographies of Words And the Home of the Aryans, London 1888, p. 120). But it was too late. The theory had stuck firm roots and evoked firm adherents. The persecution today of Jews at the hands of Herr Hitler is one of its far reaching consequences. Whatever this may be, seekers of truth and scientists regard the Aryan race theory as entirely erroneous. In the same way we have to look upon the theory of a Dravidian race. If the Aryan race theory is a myth, the theory of the Dravidian race is a greater myth. The word Dravida” is the name for the speakers of a group of South Indian languages-Tamil, Malayalam, Kanarese and Telugu. No stretch of imagination is required to believe that of them Tamil is the oldest dialect and in my opinion the parental dialect. Though a claim has been recently made for the ancientness of the Kannada tongue, still it is safe to assert that Malayalam, Kanarese and Telugu became