Model Question and Answers for APSC | Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment.

Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment.

Model Question and Answers for APSC |  Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment.

Ans: Sangam literature, the earliest writings in the Tamil language, is thought to have been produced in three Sangam, or literary academies, in Madurai, India, from the 1st to the 4th century CE. The Tolkappiyam, a book of grammar and rhetoric, and eight anthologies (Ettuttokai) of poetry were compiled. A ninth anthology, Pattupattu, consists of 10 idylls that present a picture of early Tamil life.

 

Not much useful for the political history of South India:

  • Since poets were patronised by ruling elites- exaggerations about the victories, territorial influence. Even a cattle raid on a village would be narrated as war.
  • More focus on Hero-worship rather than how they shaped power balance and foreign relations with other states.
  • Some of the names, titles, dynasties, territories, wars and like mentioned these poems are Imaginary.
  • No archaeological evidence to corroborate certain settlements mentioned in Sangam e.g. Kaveripattanam.

 

The Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness:

 

Social history:

  1. The poems are concerned with two main topics: those of the first five collections are on love (akam), and those of the next two are on heroism (puram), including the praise of kings and their deeds.
  2. These love poems actually indicate the primitive marriage and family system in South India.
  3. Many of the poems, especially on heroism, display great freshness and vigour
  4. Society is shown as divided into varna lines but it was strict division like north India
  5. Condition of women is depicted, love marriage was allowed but sati was also prevalent in upper-caste

 

Economic history:

  1. According to Sangam literature there existed five ecozones which consisted of forest, hills, deserts, coastal regions, and fertile All these regions had a different patterns of economic and social life are there existed uneven development.
  2. Agriculture, hunting, gathering, fishing and pastoralism were primary Crafting, and weaving served as secondary sources of income.
  3. Women formed a significant part of the labour force, particularly in paddy cultivation, craft and weaving..
  4. Kings received income from trade, tributes and plunder.