George L. Hart

American academic

George Luzerne Hart, III (born c. 1942) is Professor Emeritus of Tamil language at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the classical Tamil literature and on identifying the relationships between the Tamil and Sanskrit literature. In 2015 the Government of India awarded him the title of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour.


  • Unfortunately, for a short period it became fashionable to read this epic in cultural terms – Aryan vs. Dravidian. This, in my view, is a misreading of the fundamental premise of the epic: the opposition between two views of life, one epitomized by Rama, the other by Ravana. What makes Kamban so great is that he presents both views in extremely convincing and beautiful terms – Ravana is the greatest of all kings and symbolizes this world, Rama symbolizes another dimension. And don't forget, Ravana is a Brahmin.
    • Quoted from Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
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