Asko Parpola gets award from the controversial Karunanidhi!

Asko Parpola gets award from the controversial Karunanidhi!

Karunanidhi has been modern day racist Dravidian leader, who runs government in the name of “Dravidian race superiority” against the imaginary “Aryans”.

Just like Hitler, he believes that “Aryans” were responsible for the “downfall” of “Dravidians” and therefore, he has been waging perpetual war against those “Aryans”.

Now, the racist Karunanidhi has recognized that asko Parola has been responsible for indetifying the undeichiphered IVC script as “DRavidian” and therefore, he is awarded by that Dravidian racist leader!

Let us see the response of the academicians.

Already, his controversial “Tamil conference” is infested with various problems. The original Tamil Body had refused to participate in the conference.

Classical Tamil Award for Asko Parpola

Asko Parpola. Photo : N. Sridharan
THE HINDU Asko Parpola. Photo : N. Sridharan

Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award: For his work on Dravidian hypothesis in interpreting Indus script, Asko Parpola gets the award in the name of controversial racist leader. Asko Parpola, leading authority on the Indus script and Professor Emeritus of Indology in the University of Helsinki, Finland, has been chosen for the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award for 2009. He was selected for his work on the Dravidian hypothesis in interpreting the Indus script because the Dravidian, as described by him, was very close to Old Tamil, an official release issued on Saturday said. Professor Parpola will receive a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh, a citation and a memento during the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore in June.

Selection appears to be more political than academic: His selection was made at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who is also chairman of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil. Two hundred and thirty nominations were received from different countries, including Australia, U.S., the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and Finland besides India. Administered by the Institute, the award was established out of a donation of Rs.1 crore made by Mr. Karunanidhi in July 2008. The amount is being deposited in the name of Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Language Trust.

Asko Parpola: Born in July 1941, Professor Parpola has devoted his life to the task of solving the Indus script. Since 1968, he has been stressing that the Indus civilisation and its writing are Dravidian. His research and teaching interests include Indus Civilisation, Samaveda, Vedic rituals, South Asian religions and pre-historic archaeology of South and Central Asia. His magnum opus “Deciphering the Indus Script” proposing Dravidian as the language of the Indus script has been hailed a classic in the field. His ‘Concordance to the Indus Texts’ has been serving as a valuable source for researchers. The two volumes of ‘The Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions,’ reproduced the original seals and their impressions.

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20 Responses to “Asko Parpola gets award from the controversial Karunanidhi!”

  1. ephraim Says:

    comments by Vedaprakash about honouring Asko Parpola by Mr. M. Karunanidhi is absurd and childish. His views expose his immaturity in accepting facts based on reserach, rather than myths or mythology.
    Mr. Asko’s works are praiseworthy and commendable in exposing the truth than Dravidians are the real inhabitors of this ancient land and Hindi Speaking Aryans are just ‘invaders’. You cannot erase History, my dear. You can alter and modify story to suit your needs, but not History. So, I feel sorry for Mr. Vedaprakash. Please learn to acept ‘truth’ and don’t live on imaginary world.

    • vedaprakash Says:

      Dear Ephraim,

      I am not doubting the scholarship of Asko Parpola, as I have listerned to him Chennai four / five times (recently also at Roja Muthaiah).

      The issue is racist Karunanidhi honouring him – yes that is the issue.

      Coming to your other comments – Mr. Asko’s works are praiseworthy and commendable in exposing the truth than Dravidians are the real inhabitors of this ancient land and Hindi Speaking Aryans are just ‘invaders’.

      Here, what you want to say exactly. Note carefully, some ambiguity is there.

      Clarify your position.

      I know history and respect it. That is why the postings.

      Kindly refute it specifically, so that I can also respond accordingly.

      • Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:


        You are right. Noone (Asko Parpola included) beleives in invasions so the question of subscribing to invasions at this late date does not arise. Acculturation is the key. It is highly unlikely that large-scale ever migrations took place. Most genetic data shows they could have been small. As far as the Dravidian Harappa hypothesis goes, i think it is highly unlikely given the vast distances between the IVC and South India – Morevoer(!) there is no such thing as a Dravidian race. Dravidian is a language label. There is no such thing such as an Aryan race. Aryan is a cultural term

  2. K. Venkatraman Says:

    The “Aryan” based racism originated, developed and resulted in world wars and thus, the westerners dumped such race hypotheses and theories aside to proceed further.

    Similarly, the “Dravidian” based racism originated (or rather exclusively presented to them with the connivance of the Christian missionaries), developed and resulted in anti-brahmanism, just like Hitler’s fascism against one particular community.

    During early first decades of 20th century, comparision used to be made between Jews and Brahmins. The Mohammedans used to fond of such theories.

    Ironically, they were picked up by the Dravidian radicals, to convert into parallel anti-semitism i.e, anti-brahmamism.

    While there have been studies about the persecution of Jews, there has not been any study about the persecution of brahmins carried out in India.

    Just like, as the anti-semites used to say, the Dravidian radical mentor mentor also used to say, “If you happen to see a snake and a brahmin, leave the snake and kill the brahmin”.

    Moreover, he prescribed the very black dress to his cadres, who perhaps, unwittingly follow the fascism. The flag design was also reportedly copied from them, which still continues even today.

    Therefore, the “race” in the dravidian polity cannt be ignored. Of course, they do not care about the chronology, historicity etc.

    • vedaprakash Says:

      Your point is taken, but it would be dubbed as “typical Parppan’s / Brahmin’s apologia”, in Dravidian circles.

  3. Says:

    What was the purpose of the discussion initiated by vedaprakash? The discussion is on Indus script or Karunanithi ?By infusing politics in discussion vedprakash has only created doubts about his hidden agenda.

    If one were to discuss about Amita bachan the discussion should be about his contribution to popular cinema and not about he being the brand ambassador to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.
    Vedprakash’s writing(… Asko Parpola gets the award in the name of controversial racist leader ……Now, the racist Karunanidhi has recognized that asko Parola ……therefore, he is awarded by that Dravidian racist ….Selection appears to be more political than academic)
    reveals only a sense of frustration. Next what ? Possibly he will initiate another discussion on Iravatham Mahadevan to vent his feeling!

    • vedaprakash Says:

      Kindly read the other earlier postings, which clearly prove the interest.

      I do not know as to whether you attended the IHC (Bhopal), SIHC (Warangal), TNHC (Trichy) etc., where Iravatham used to talk differently about the decipherment of IVC as Dravidian, Aryan, Dravidian-Aryan or nothing, neti-neti, as he used to say.

      So also Asko Parpola. He has come to Madras / Chennai many times and lectured about IVC.

      On February 27, 1989, he said that the whole affair was between “Aryans and Aryans” in a lecture at Madras.

      Then in another lecture, he said that Rama and Krishna were Dravidian Kings, as they were black!

      For his recent lecture at Rosa Muhaiah Library, see my earlier postings.

      He took just the symbol of a fish with vertical stroke and then staerted reading their combination as ஒரு மீன், இரு மீன்……….அறு மீன், மைமீன் and so on! But he could not read all in the same way.

      So how one could say his decipherment is final and conclusive and deliver judgment that the language in such inconclusive reading of script / pictograms could be Dravidian, proto-Dravidian, proto-Tamil and so on?

      Here, where is Karunanidhi?

      Karunanidhi comes, when he announces award for Asko’s deceipherment of IVC as “Dravidian”.

      • Says:

        I do not know who the ved prakash is.Please present your credentials and also where I can find your earlier postings.

        If you have attended the IHC (Bhopal), SIHC (Warangal), TNHC (Trichy) etc.,
        where Iravatham used to talk differently about the decipherment of IVC as Dravidian, Aryan, Dravidian-Aryan or nothing, neti-neti, please reproduce the lectures in verbatim.Iravatham Mahadevan has successfully deciphered Tamil Brahmi script.He is also well versed in sanskrit.He has always maintained that these are only attempts to decipher IVC script and that there are many claims to decipherment.
        Please keep your Aryan thoughts away from discussion.The earliest of four vedas is Rig veda.The language is technically ‘Rigrit’. Those who believe that the language is Proto Dravidian read the text from right to left,where as vedic scholars read it from left to right.
        Please reproduce Asko Parpola’s lecture on February 27, 1989 at Madras.It will clarify the difficulties in decipherment of IVC script to readers , than your attempts to confuse them
        You have stated that in another lecture, he said that Rama and Krishna were Dravidian Kings, as they were black!It is view!Please accept it or refute it.
        Horses, spoked wheel,’Samudra’,Indra -the destroyer of fort,Yaham and yogam,Proto siva,Mother godess worship and the status of women in manu smriti are pointer to the conclusion that IVC is not Rigrit.

        Please note that neither Iravtham mahadevan or Asko Parpola have ever said that they have deciphered the IVC script.They have only said that they try to decipher the script through the dravidian languages.In fact Iravatham Mahadevan has disagreed with the phonetic of வேய் (vEy) and மை (my) in Asko Parpola’s proposed decipherment of fish sign.
        For your information the ‘rigrit'(language of Rig veda) word ‘mEnam’ is a loan word from dravidian mEn(மீன்).You may ask why then the fish sign is read as star and other celestial bodies visible to the naked eye at night. It is because that the word also represents star and other celestial bodies visible to the naked eye at night,where as it is not so in rigrit. Asko Parpola has only proposed an interpretation of the fish sign based on DED (Dravidian Entymological Dictionary)
        Please note that Asko Parpola has never claimed that he has deciphered the IVC script.
        Karunanidhi only awarded Asko Parpola for his contribution to decipher IVC through Dravidian languages.
        What did Manuvadis do? They sent Thugs to interrupt freedom of thought and expression calling scholars as CIA agents!
        Ved Prakash, please illuminate!

      • vedaprakash Says:

        1. You can read my postings here and also by a simple GOOGLE search.

        2. I have given about me in the net and blogs.

        3. Can you say something about you?

        4. You have passed some remarks, “Please keep your Aryan thoughts away from discussion”, Please reproduce Asko Parpola’s lecture on February 27, 1989 at Madras.It will clarify the difficulties in decipherment of IVC script to readers , than your attempts to confuse them”,,…………… “You have stated that in another lecture, he said that Rama and Krishna were Dravidian Kings, as they were black!It is view!Please accept it or refute it……….., What did Manuvadis do? They sent Thugs to interrupt freedom of thought and expression calling scholars as CIA agents!……………Ved Prakash, please illuminate!

        5. I am single person struggling and spending many hours in research. I cannot type or upload all maerials in the net. You have to read and come fr discussion.

        6. as for as your other fremarks, aa I have been living in Chennai and parts of Tamilnadu (sometimes north India), I know the politics played by the Dravidian parties personally. So if you come out with specific point, I can reply straight. But indulge in such sweepings…………

  4. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    Even if a small linguistic component is added – rebus principle or punning (Witzel Kyoto, 2009 or Sproat in his presentations) or acriphony is added, it qualifies for full literacy. I assume some ’sound coding’ would have been useful to them atleast on some occasions.. the longest seal is 17 characters non-analomous and 26 characters analomous. I have never said that what Farmer is saying is necessarily fully wrong, but even Parpola has been reading them mostly as logograms with a linguistic component. So how much of what Farmer is saying is new apart from the fact that he popularized the idea? These men have been saying almost the same thing and fighting with each other?Till 2900 BC Egypt and Mesopotamia were considered proto-literate even if their texts are shorter(not non-literate!!!!)- even if there is small difference between the 2 maybe the Indus system was more expressive than Egyptian proto-literate- because conditional entropy, order of signs, combinations probably did play a major role in meaning in the Indus script (Korvink). ????Terminologies pertaining to literacy cannot be changed unless all scholars agree – and any demands to change terminology must be met with suspicion, naturally. Only a very small portion of the IVC has been excavated, you know, 5% maybe! Even Farmer agrees “Judging from modern examples and research in the linguistic history of South Asia, the Indus Valley was probably intensely multi linguistic throughout its history. This may have provided the Indus emblem system with an advantage over ordinary writing as a means of providing the civilization with social cohesion. The fact that the majority of inscriptions rely on a surprisingly small core of symbols suggests that the meaning of Indus signs could have potentially been known by almost or all (ALL!!) of the population, resulting in a pervasive quasiliteracy far beyond that achieved in Mesopotamia or Egypt.” No other civlization mass produced writing or (”writing”!!). Where else did they have public signboards then apart from the Indus?
    I can instead cite Farmer and declare it the most literate civilization on erth. And he and I could be saying the same thing. I say such terms must be avoided. if they had learned how to use the rebus principle , they would have used it whenever the need arose. Seal writing is always short . Sproat’s smoking gun cannot be used to test the stability or the complexity of the system. It has weaknesses. It cannot also be used to prove that the Indus script didn’t have a linguistic component.

    Making fun of ancient people is absolutely disgraceful.It is in poor taste~!!!!

    I hope more Indians take up research. people are taking us for a ride.

  5. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    Here is my complete , comprehensive solution to the so-called Aryan problem
    Part one is a high level overview. Part two is much more interesting
    This is one of the longest research papers published in a peer-reviewed journal since independance.
    Part 2 is particularly important
    > Mirror:
    Links to the journal
    Part one
    Part Two

  6. Says:

    You have stated that you cannot type or upload all materials in the net. You have to read and come fr discussion.
    The kind of discussion that is going on is just Karunanidhi bashing.Again I repeat: the discussion should have been initiated under Karunanidhi and not under Asko Parpola.
    My credential is that I do read the experts and I do not pretend to be a researcher with half-baked ideas.
    You have asked me to come out with specific point. Here it is:What did Manuvadis do? They sent Thugs to interrupt freedom of thought and expression calling scholars as CIA agents!……………Ved Prakash, please illuminate

    I must thank SUJAY RAO MANDAVILLI for the links provided.It is the only positive to have come out of this forum.

    • Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:


      Thanks. Do read the papers. It think they’re quite self-explanatory. read both but focus on part two

  7. Gabriel Lacey Says:

    You have done it again! Amazing article.

  8. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    September 24, 2010 at 8:37 am | Reply
    Please find the response by Steve farmer . He is happy that India is no longer represented in a new book. Then why do they have to be indologists? Let them resign. This is not an isolated instance. This happens with them all the time.

    re: [Indo-Eurasia] BOOKS: Visible Language

    This book is not actually out yet, but when it is, it will be available for sale
    as well as for download free of charge at:

    Some teasers from the exhibition installation are appearing on facebook at

    -Chuck Jones-

    —- Original message —-
    Steve Farmer wrote:
    > New book out from the Oriental Institute, passed on
    > from the Agade List.
    > Note how the so-called “Indus script” — which is
    > certainly not a “script” as linguists view that term — is
    > slowly but surely disappearing from the world of international
    > scholarship. About time, and I’m happy with Michael and Richard
    > to have started that process.
    > Steve

    P.S Indology should flourish in Harvard and elsewhere – that is what we all want . But is this the ideal? I invite other commentors to judge. This is not an isolated instance!!

    The link to the book was below the mail on IER.


    Posted by Steve Farmer – Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:01 am

    These are only isolated examples

    People should be aware of all these before spending so much on courses.
    This will hold good until the joker duo are around.

    Earlier they were using (deliberately?) wrong terminologies pertaining to literacy (just to confuse the public?)

  9. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    Pleased to announce the publication of my paper ‘The reconfirmation and reinforcement of the Indus script’ . This shows why the Indus script was a logo-syllabic script and longer texts certainly existed in the Indus. This shows why Sproat’s smoking gun is wholly invalid. If Farmer chooses to disagree with me, he has to reply to me point by point. Back to square one

  10. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:


    Facts about the Dholavira signboard
    (f) It is one of the most famous of Harappan inscriptions.
    (g) It was very large in size.
    (h) It was located in Far from Mesopotamia Dholavira and in one of the furthest sites from Mesopotamia.
    (i) It hung over the citadel there.
    (j) It must have represented the name of the place and must have been closely tied to speech: note the sign repetition.
    (k) The sign which was used as a determinative was a very common Indus sign.
    (l) The sign used as a determinative appears to have been also similar to determinatives in other writing systems.
    (m) The Indus script was also related to Proto-Elamite which means it probably had a linguistic component.
    (n) The other signs with which the determinative was used were also common Indus signs.
    (o) Few sensible scholars will now dispute the fact that the Indus script was a logo-syllabic script on the basis of this evidence.
    (p) Few sensible scholars will deny the fact that speech encoding was one of the major functions of the Indus script and had this feature had reached a very precocious maturity.
    (q) This inscription was apparently more closely tied to speech than most proto-Elamite inscriptions.
    (r) Dholavira was not even the most important of sites.
    (s) The fact that it was hung over the citadel meant it was meant to be read by elites.
    (t) It was put to the most frivolous use.
    (u) Speech encoding would have been a prized possession: no one would have used it just for a decorative signboard at far-from-Mesopotamia Dholavira. Why would a man who had inscribed this, done so (a) if nobody else could read it (b) why would he have learnt to encode speech only to inscribe this signboard? This automatically implies the existence of longer texts. It also shows that the Indus elites used more complex forms of communication.
    (v) Even if we assume that speech-encoding was added in Mature Harappan 3B, this logic would still hold good.
    (w) This logic is already accepted by mainstream Indus archaeologists as a precursor to the existence of longer texts

    Jane Mcintosh states::
    Farmer also draws attention to the absence of long Harappan inscriptions onpotsherds.
    If the Harappan signs were a script, he contends, this absence would make it
    unique among the scripts of literate cultures, who all used potsherds often
    like scrap paper.This need only, imply however, that the Harappans had
    other media that were easier toscribble on, such as cotton cloth or
    wooden boards, or that the writing medium was not wellsuited for
    use on sherds. Likewise the absence of long monumental inscriptions seems
    significant to Farmer, but the Harappans did not create monumental art or
    architecture onwhich such inscriptions might have been written; the
    nearest they came to this is theDholavira signboard, which is quite possibly the
    tip of an iceberg of a now vanished publicinscriptions.”
    “He (Farmer) also considers that the proportion of singleton and rare signs is
    unusually high; other scholars such as Parpola (2005) demonstrate that this is
    not so, sincein general logo-syllabic scripts contain a small corpus of
    frequently used signs and a largenumber of much less common ones.
    Moreover, new signs are continuously added, evenwhen the writing system is
    a fully developed one, something Farmer also denies. Statistically the
    Harappan script does not differ significantly in its sign proportions from other
    logographicscripts. A further point regarding the singletons is
    that Wells (n.d.) has demonstrated thatmany are variants or ligatures of
    basic signs, rather than completely different signs; again,this is
    something to be expected in a genuine script”“Perhaps more significantly, the
    brevity of the majority of the Harappan texts (four to fivesigns on
    average) makes it less likely that signs would repeat within them than it is in the
    longer texts with which Farmer compares them (McIntosh 2008, p. 374).

    Farmers arguments fail to account convincingly for the structural regularity
    analysis have revealed in the usage of Harappan signs. These support the hypothesis that the indus script is a writing system

  11. Says:

    Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:
    September 24, 2010 at 10:46 am Dravidian is a language label. There is no such thing such as an Aryan race. Aryan is a cultural term.
    So by language Aryans are Dravidians and by culture Dravidians are Aryans!Both are Hindutva! Muslims and Christians do not belong to this culture and are not Indians!Reincarnation of Veer Savarkar?

  12. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    i am pleased to announce the publication of my fifth research paper in a peer-reviewed journal

    this deals with the origin of Brahmi . this is a logical and self-explanatory paper and is written using a multi-disciplinary approach. it is written in such a way that anybody can cross-verify the conclusions.

    sujay rao mandavilli

  13. Sujay Rao Mandavilli Says:

    I am publishing my sixth research paper directly online as it is an extension of my previous papers. Kindly read pages 4 to 18 as it contains a detailed discussion of the term ‘Aryan’. This paper explains why the Dravidian, Vedic and Paramunda Indus theories are not tenable.

    Methods to reconstruct the languages of the Harappans were presented in the present and previous papers.

    The older papers were written taking the 19th century school of Indology as a base and working backwards. These may appear to be outdated now (at the end of our very long journey). However, the fundamentals are still correct

    Part one

    Part Two very,very important!

    the first 5 papers were published in peer-reviewed journals — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

    Sujay Rao Mandavilli

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