Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/51

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40 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS A comparative study of the cultures in the different parts of the ancient world points undoubtedly to affinities and similarities—as I shall presently show, between the institutions of South India and those of the then civilized world. The close parallels must be attributed to frequent contacts which should have been mutual. It is natural that the impacts of alien cultures with our own from age to age should have continuously enriched the old culture but without prejudice to its individuality-an individuality which is still in a marked degree with the Madras emigrants. According to the latest Census Report (1931), we find approximately 23 million Indians residing overseas, the largest number being in Ceylon, Malaya, Mauritius and South Africa. Speaking for Madras emigrants, the Report says: "Family repatriation is commonest with the Madrasi, who is reported to retain longest his connection with his home country and ancestral lands. . . . Emigration has no observable effect on religion. The Madrasi abroad has sufficient of his own kind around him to be able to continue unaltered in a new country such religious practices as he favours at home. . . . Caste rigidity undoubtedly weakens, but so largely homogeneous are the contributions that here too the effect is less than might be expected. Also no Madrasi emigrant. . . . Severs his ties of community with the home country, and on his return he seeks to take a normal place within it. . . . Effects on occupation are less than might be expected. The great mass go forth to carry out in their new countries the agricultural