Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/71

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for several months in the year, patient endurance of the rheumatic pains, chills and other ills due to standing upto the knees in water and trudging on wet sticky clay; this has made the Indian farmer a model of unfailing patience and enduring perseverance, and contributed to the development of what is miscalled fatalistic acceptance of misfortune. When the harvest was over and his granaries filled, he either gave himself up to the festivities of the post-harvest season, eating and drinking, singing and dancing, decorating his person with flowers and love-making developed as a fine art, or to martial exercises. In every village there was a field, kaḷam,[1] set apart for these purposes.[2] Another virtue of the farmer was his readiness to pay the king's taxes. All the world over, people are unwilling to pay taxes and many regard it almost as a virtue to evade payment of taxes. How is it then that the ancient Tamil landowner was differently constituted to modern men? The reason of this was the fact that taxes were payable in kind. A man with a well-filled granary easily parts with a portion of his abundance, all the more so because wealth in grains does not increase, but decreases with keeping; but it is hard to part with specie, as it will keep all right for any length of time, and, if properly invested, barren metal will breed as fast as cattle and sheep, as Shylock well knew. Paying taxes in gold and silver is more difficult, especially if the purse is as ill-filled as generally the Indian farmer's purse is and if one has to borrow for paying taxes.

All the other virtues of the Veḷḷāḷar are but different forms of charity. It has already been explained how one who has a large store of cereals is easily induced to enjoy the pleasure of seeing his fellow-men feed on his substance. Numerous poetical names signifying vēḷāḷar exist. They are maṇmagaḷ pudalvar,[3] sons of the earth-goddess, vaḷamaiyar,[4] the flourishing, kaḷamar,[5] owners of fields, maḷḷar,[6] the strong, kāvirippudalvar,[7] sons of the Kāviri, uḷavar,[8] tillers, mēḷiyar,[9] ploughmen, ērinvāḷnar,[10] those that live by the plough, iḷango,[11] prince, pinnavar,[12] perhaps those that are behind mannavar,[13] perukkāḷar,[14] those that increase wealth, or those that utilize the food, vinaiñar,[15] toilers.

There was a wealth of vocabulary attached to each detail of agricultural operations. Ploughing was uḷavu,[16] toyyil;[17] hoeing, kottudal;[18] trampling, uḷakkudal,[19] midittal,[20] maḍidal;[21] manure,

  1. களம்
  2. மன்னர் குழீஇய விழவி னானு
    மகளிர் தழீஇய துணங்கை யானும்
    யாண்டும் காணேன் மாண்டக் கோனை
    யானுமோ ராடுகள மகளே யென்கைக்
    கோடீ ரிலங்கு வளை நெகிழ்த்த
    படுகெழு குரிசிலுமோ ராடுகள மகனே

    Kuṛundogai, 31.

    I have searched for him in the places where heroes congregate (for martial exercises); and where women gather for the tuṇaṅgai but have not seen the magnificent hero; hence I am but a woman of the theatre āḍukaḷam (ஆடுகளம்); the great hero too who has caused my bright bent bangles cut from conch shell to slip, is also a man of the theatre.
  3. மண்மகள் புதல்வர்.
  4. வளமையர்.
  5. கள்மர்
  6. மள்ளர்.
  7. காவிரிப்புதல்வர்.
  8. உழவர்.
  9. மேழியர்.
  10. எரின்வாழ்நர்.
  11. இளங்கோ.
  12. பின்னவர்.
  13. மன்னவர்.
  14. பெருக்காளர்.
  15. வினைஞர்
  16. உழவு
  17. தொய்யில்.
  18. கொத்துதல்.
  19. உழக்குதல்.
  20. மிதித்தல்.
  21. மடிதல்