epigraphist + dravidian scholar iravatham mahadevan, bust

November 26, 2021

or Rebust, ya know what I mean?

One of these days, say within the next few years, I should gather together all the old notes/jottings (as and when I locate them from three different locations & as and when I decipher :-( them) and write about or annotate a few following things that Sri Iravatham Mahadevan worked on relentlessly – thereby forming a ‘cutout dravidian pride’ template for us chest-thumping, clueless, self-centred & divisive Tamils.

1. ‘Dravidian’ epigraphy

2. His idea of how the Indus valley / Harappan civilization was ~’Dravidian’

3. His work on Indus valley seals/script via concordances and rebus (more like divining a ‘Dravidian’ origin hypothesis for it; he has talked of ‘Indus Dravidian Languages’ etc)

4. His separate descriptor of what was essentially Brahmi script which evolved later into the Tamil Script – as ‘Tamil’ Brahmi and which nowadays is being proudly called by the moniker  ‘Tamizhi.’

(However, the fact is that, most of the current Indic scripts, in fact ALL scripts of Indian South, have evolved from Brahmi – but, no one calls their regional variants/development of their roots as Telugi, Kannadi, Odishi etc over a period of many centuries, but only we Tamils show-off with ‘Tamizhi.’

Do you know why?

Because, ‘Tamizhi’ is not a linguistic or a significant scriptwise differentiator at those points of time, but merely a yet-another-new-tool for the political stunts of the Dravidians, that is being weaponized for separatist ‘more ancient culture than thou’ kind of masturbatory and counter-scientific narratives, even as we speak now…)


I first bumped into Sri Iravatham Mahadevan (IM) in the context of my own hair-brained efforts at understanding the Harappan ‘script’ and wrote at least twice about IM – .one rather tastelessly***.

Of course, I respect IM for quite a few things – especially for his relentlessness and his occasional tentativeness about his hypothesis and findings – but alas, his ideas have been hijacked  (at one level, may be they were meant to be) in the popular ‘dravidian’ imagination, oh what to do…

Postscript: Yesterday, I got hold of the photo of IM’s bust (as below, will acknowledge it if someone points to the source)  from an acquaintance – never knew he was honored so, though the honor should have much, much greater in scope than that – considering the fact that, IM was the one who created a whole lot of scaffolding for the cardboard cutout edifice of Dravidian Theology, erm, more like Teleology – and assorted spins.

This meta-post is because of IM’s bust.

The photo below is from TheHindu, the Mountroad Monstrosity – apparently it is from the inaugural/unveiling function of the bust etc.

Could locate/identify at least two bandicoots – am so, so happy.


Today is third death anniversary of Sri IM.

He moved on, as of 26th Nov, 2018.

May we all learn from his relentlessness.

6 Responses to “epigraphist + dravidian scholar iravatham mahadevan, bust”

  1. mukhilvannan Says:

    The Hindu is apart from your “Mount Road Monstrasity” description is Chennai venomous serpent. Each page is tinged with venom like Cunega scent in days gone by.

  2. R Gopu Says:

    Artist Chandru (as he is popularly known) designed and sculpted this bust of Sri Mahadevan. I think Roja Muthiah Library was looking for a way to honor him, and

    Sri Chandrasekhar (Artist Chandru) is an amazing artist, was formerly Principal of Govt college of Fine Arts in Egmore. You can see some of his sculptures – poi kaal kudira, karagaattam, gaja-vrshaba (elephant/bull) at popular traffic islands like near Valluvar Kottam, Gemini flyover, near the lighthouse etc. His replicas of the paintings in Chittannavasal, Tanjvaur Big temple, Kanchi Kailasantha temple are hosted in the museum at Tirumalai Nayakkar mahal in Madurai.

    His lecture on the Nalagiri sculpture of the Amaravati gallery is a masterpiece


    • Hey man! Thanks so much – I did not know that Chandru bust Iravatham Mahadevan. Nice trivia.

      …in spite of his bust, I note to watch the vid, thanks – because I have bust intentions.

      OTOH, I really like the way you adapted the fine story, ‘The Cow and the Coconut Tree.’

      Brilliant. Like totally.

  3. Vijay Vanbakkam Says:

    Sometimes if you spend many years studying something arriving at no definite conclusions, one alternative is to chuck out the whole thing as insoluble due to some reasons. Another way is to keep speculating intelligently, gibing plausible hypothesis. IM followed the second course as also Ask Parpola. I have listened to IM (in videos) – he has admitted we don’t know the language of IVC as no symbols have been decrypted. We have to wait till a bilingual inscription with a known language/script comes up; then we have a better chance.
    That is what Mark Kenoyer who is #1 in IVC studies and who has spent many decades in IVC archeology also concluded. ie we don’t know the language or languages of IVC

    Of course , few droppings of the word ‘dravidian’ in learned circles or academic papers gives the Dravidian movement orgiastic delights.

    “Reading IVC symbols” is an energetic cottage industry in Tamilnadu

    • hmm… no other linguistic group in India is even quarter as stupid as that of our Tamils.

      We seem to revel in absolute fakeries, and pass of half-steamed idlis as history – as a matter of routine.

      Where have we gone wrong OR Were we EVER correct about ourselves?

மேற்கண்ட பதிவு (அல்லது பின்னூட்டங்கள்) குறித்து (விருப்பமிருந்தால்) உரையாடலாமே...

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