Our glorious heritage, a dravidian experience
As much as we are proud of our status as Indians not only in this country but also as an integral
part of the international community, there Is reason to take greater pride in our identification - an
identification which involves our language, religion, culture and traditions and which characterizes religious,
linguistic and cultural groups all over the world.
This publication records not only the rich cultural legacy that has been bequeathed to us by our
forebears but also portrays the life, achievements and aspirations of the people of South Indian origin in
this country. It is a dedication to the spirit of our ancestors, a fitting tribute to their endeavours and a
monumental legacy for posterity to inherit.
Whllst not discounting the significance orour present history relative to more recent developments,
greater emphasis has been laid on the historic past a glorious past which forms the nucleus for
our present and future development.
In a publication of such magnitude, encompassing the multifarious activities of our people, the
problem of selecting an appropriate title poses itself. The title chosen Is both significant and relative to
the rich cultural milieu in which our ancestors, who hailed from the Dravidian stock, were reared and
nurtured. Through the efflux of time, this glorious culture, which was transmitted to successive generations,
had a tremendous impact on posterity. This Dravidian experience not only stimulated them but also
moulded them into a unique social pattern which has distinguished and characterised them as a distinctive
religious and cultural group.
Before a task of such magnitude could be undertaken, it was necessary to formulate certain aims,
consonant with the theme of this publication, viz.,
(a) to focus the attention of the people on their rich .:: .. 1 ural heritage,
(b) to foster a closer relationship between the pe,.,0 11'> in order to achieve greater group identification
(c) to cultivate a greater sense of awareness ar.,ong the younger generation of the Importance of
their religion, language and culture,
(d) to portray the achievements of the past and present generations in the interests of cultural
(e) to Inculcate In the minds of succeeding generations a sense of pride in the achievements of
their forebears in various endeavours and disciplines.
While it was not physically possible to include the entire universe of South Indians In this country
on a.regional basis, an attempt was made to Incorporate a reasonable cross-section of the community. In
this colossal task and in the interests of economy and consistency, consideration had to be given for the
Inclusion of pioneer families who have identified themselves with the progress of the community by means
of unstlnted and dedicated service and others who distinguished themselves In some walks of life thereby
not only bringing prestige and honour to themselves, but also enhancing our status in terms of group
identity. We are not unmindful of the outstanding contribution of many others whose names were either
not available or who preferred anonymity.
Whilst the importance of the many and varied organisations and Institutions which have been
established by our people since their arrival In this country could not be minimised, only those which have
played a vital and meaningful role in our community - bodies with a long and colourful history and wtiich
have made a tremendous Impact on our growth and development - were Included. It will be observed
that much time and energy has gone into this production and it will glye the Author immense satisfaction
If, in the final analysis, the aims of this publication could be vindicated.
In the compilatlon of this volume, while the emphasis Is on the portrayal of the life and achievements
of the South Indians in particular, occasional reference has been made to the valuable contribution
by the other sectors of the community of which the South Indians constitute an integral part.The exclusion
of appendages e.g. Mr, late etc, done in the Interests of economy will, I hope, not ln~cur the
displeasure of some sensitive minds.