That in days so remote as to be undateable, a Dravidian people driven from their primitive home in the hills of the Indian Deccan made their way south via Ceylon (where they may to-day be regarded as represented by the Veddahs) and eventually sailed and drifted in their bark boats to the western and north-western shores of Australia.
Hunter states that the Dravidian tribes were driven southwards in Hindustan, and that the grammatical relations of their dialects are " expressed by suffixes," which is true as to the Australian languages.
He states that Bishop Caldwell,' whom he calls " the great missionary scholar of the Dravidian tongue," showed that the south and western Australian tribes use almost the same words for " I, thou, he, we, you, as the Dravidian fishermen on the Madras coast."
When in addition to all this it is found that physically the Dravidians resemble the Australians; that the boomerang is known among the wild tribes of the Deccan alone (with the doubtful exception of ancient Egypt) of all parts of the world except Australia, and that the Australian canoes are like those of the Dravidian coast tribes, it seems reasonable enough to assume that the Australian natives are Dravidians, exiled in remote times from Hindustan, though when their migration took place and how they traversed the Indian Ocean must remain questions to which, by their very nature, there can be no satisfactory answer.
This race is believed to form the basis of the people of the Indian peninsula, and of some of the hill tribes of central India, to whom the name Dravidian has been given, and by its admixture with the Melanochroic group to have given rise to the ordinary population of the Indian provinces.
The languages of the south are Dravidian, not Sanskritic. The letters of both classes of languages, which also vary considerably, are all modifications of the ancient Pali, and probably derived from the Dravidians, not from the Aryans.
There are six main divisions of the people: the Dravidian tribes, who formerly held the country; Hindi-speaking immigrants from the north and north-west into Saugor, Damoh, the Nerbudda valley and the open country of Mandla and Seoni; Rajasthani-speaking immigrants from Central India into Nimar, Betul and parts of Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur and Chhindwara; Marathi-speaking immigrants from Bombay into Berar, the Mahratta districts and the southern tahsil of Betul; the Telugu castes in the Sironcha and Chanda tahsil of Chanda and the south of Bastar; and the Hindu immigrants into Chhattisgarh, who are supposed to have arrived many centuries ago when the Haihaya dynasty of Ratanpur rose into power.
The chief of these languages are Western Hindi, Eastern Hindi, Rajasthani, Marathi, Oriya, Telugu and Dravidian dialects.
Long, is perhaps the finest example of Dravidian architecture.
They annually visited the coasts of India or Ceylon, and often married Indian wives, thus acquiring distinct racial characters of an approximately Dravidian type.
The Chalukyas themselves claimed to be Rajputs from the north who imposed their rule on the Dravidian inhabitants of the Deccan tableland, and there is some evidence for connecting them with the Chapas, a branch of the foreign Gurjaras.
Broadly speaking, the Himalayas are peopled by Mongoloid tribes; the great river plains of Hindustan are still the home of the Aryan race; the triangular table-land has formed an arena for a long struggle between that gifted race from the north and what is known as the Dravidian stock in the south.
Tibeto-Chinese Family Tibeto-Burman Sub-family (9,560,454) Siamese-Chinese Sub-family (1,724,085) Dravidian Family (5 6, 5 1 4,5 2 4)
The Munda or Kolarian family, which is now distinguished from the Dravidian, is almost confined to Chota Nagpur, its best-known tribe being the Santals.
The Dravidian family includes the four literary languages of the south, as well as many dialects spoken by hill tribes in central India, and also the isolated Brahui in Baluchistan.
All three kingdoms were occupied by races speaking Dravidian languages.
A third army, commanded by Malik Kafur, a Hindu renegade and favourite of Ala-ud-din, penetrated to the extreme south of the peninsula, scattering the unwarlike Dravidian races, and stripping every Hindu temple of its accumulations of gold and jewels.
When the fair-coloured Aryan immigrants first came in contact with, and drove back or subdued the dark-skinned race that occupied the northern plains - doubtless the ancestors of the modern Dravidian people - the preservation of their racial type and traditionary order of things would naturally become to them a matter of serious concern.
Be this as it may, the physical appearance of the population of this central region of northern India - Hindustan and Behar - clearly points to an intermixture of the tall, fair-coloured, fine-nosed Aryan with the short-sized, dark-skinned, broad-nosed Dravidian; the latter type becoming more pronounced towards the lower strata of the social order.'
At the same time, one could more easily understand how such a system could have found general acceptance all over the Dravidian region of southern India, with its merest sprinkling of Aryan blood, if it were possible to assume that class arrangements of a similar kind must have already been prevalent amongst the aboriginal tribes prior to the advent of the Aryan.
The grossly idolatrous practices, however, still so largely prevalent in the Dravidian South, show how superficial, after all, that influence has been in those parts of India where the admixture of Aryan blood has been so slight as to have practically had no effect on the racial characteristics of the people.
Roughly there are four great sections of the population: the Mahratta section, who belong to the ruling circles; the Rajputs, who are also hereditary noblemen; the trading classes, consisting chiefly of Marwaris and Gujaratis; and lastly, the jungle tribes of Dravidian stock.
The last section, that of the jungle tribes, is mostly of Dravidian or mixed Aryo-Dravidian origin, these tribes being the modern representatives of the former rulers and inhabitants of this country.
The Dravidian races (Brahuis), who are chiefly represented by the Kambaranis and Mingals or Mongals (the latter are doubtless of Tatar origin), spread through southern Baluchistan as well as the eastern hills, and are scattered irregularly through the mountain tracts south of Kharan.
Peoples of Arab extraction intermixed with people of Dravidian and Persian stock are all lumped together under the name of Baluch.
Grierson, have resulted in his placing it among the Dravidian languages.
It is now used uniformly by scholars to indicate the Eastern branch as a whole, a compound, Indo-Aryan, being employed for that part of the Eastern branch which settled in India to distinguish them from the Iranians (Iran is of the same origin), who remained in Bactria and Persia, while Aryo-Indian is sometimes employed to distinguish the Indian people of this stock from the Dravidian and other stocks which also inhabit parts of the Indian peninsula.
The Veddahs are not to be confounded with the Rodiyas of the western uplands, who are a much finer race, tall, wellporportioned, with regular features, and speak a language said to be radically distinct from all the Aryan and Dravidian dialects current in Ceylon.
There is, however, in Travancore, on the mainland, a low-caste "Veda" tribe, nearly black, with wavy or frizzly hair, and now speaking a Malayalim (Dravidian) dialect (Jagor), who probably approach nearer than the insular Veddahs to the aboriginal pre-Dravidian "negrito" element of southern India and Malaysia.
In the earliest times of which any record remains the greater part of the west coast of India was occupied by Dravidian tribes, living under their kings in fortified villages, carrying on the simpler arts of life, and holding a faith in which the propitiation of spirits and demons played the chief part.
On the death of Asoka in 231 B.C. the empire of the Mauryas broke up, and their heritage in the west fell to the Andhra dynasty of the Satavahanas of Paithan on the Godavari, a Dravidian family whose dominion by 200 B.C. stretched across the peninsula from the deltas of the Godavari and Kistna to Nasik and the Western Ghats.
Excluding immigrants the languages spoken by the people of Bengal belong to one or other of four linguistic families - Aryan, Dravidian, Munda and Tibeto-Burman.
The Aryan languages are spoken in the plains by almost the whole population; the Munda and Dravidian in the Chota Nagpur plateau and adjoining tracts; and the Tibeto-Burman in Darjeeling, Sikkim and Jalpaiguri.