Monthly Lecture: The “High-West: Low East” Dichotomy of Indus City Layouts: A Dravidian Paradigm

Prof. M. Anandakrishnan Endowment Lecture Series 5

The “High-West: Low East” Dichotomy of Indus City Layouts: A Dravidian Paradigm
R. Balakrishnan
Honorary Consultant, Indus Research Centre, Roja Muthiah Research Library

Summary of the talk
The speaker announces that the “High-West: Low-East” matrix observed in the dichotomous lay out plans of the Indus cities encode a concurring association with the “High-West: Low-East” paradigm of the Dravidian languages while differing diametrically from the “Front-East: Behind-West” paradigm of the Indo-Aryan.Subscribing to the view that the ‘practical layouts’ of Indus cities represent a consciously created urban form shaped by “long held patterns of thoughts” of the natural and social order of things, the speaker anticipates embedded clues in the language, the Indus people likely to have spoken. Based on this he investigates the sources and methods of lexical encoding and naming of the cardinal directions and their ‘metaphoric extensions’ in the Dravidian and in the Indo-Aryan languages and finds out evidence for a paradigmatic nexus between the core values of the Indus urbanism and the Dravidian worldview.

The speaker presents a mass of evidence from Indian Toponomy, both historical and current and argues that the ‘High-West: Low-East” dichotomy lingers, as a legacy of the Indus Past.


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