Sankara
              The word "sankara" in Sanskrit language
means joining of two different kinds of people
in marriage to produce a third kind of people.
This is supposed to have happened after the
Kurukshetra war between the Pandavas and
Kauravas in India. There could have been
shortage of men with the result that a few men
married many women.  There were children
born to these mixed race couple who had some
common features of both the races. In later
years there were marriages among these new
groups resulting in further merger of the races.
New languages and cultures developed among
these new people. It is said that Sanskrit was
the spoken language during the Vedic period.
            But during the days of Mahavira and
Buddha the spoken language was Prakrit
language, a derivative of Sanskrit. Many
languages evolved in later decades which
derived their names by referring to the regions
where they developed. Hindi was the language
spoken in Central India, referred to as India by
the international travellers and traders. Later
as time passed Hindusthan and India became
the common names for Central India.
            The language spoken in Hindusthan
and India was referred to as Hindi language.
Tamil developed in Tamil country, Kannada in
Karnataka, Bengali in Bengal and Odiya in
Orissa, and so on. For each person his or her
language is the basis of his identity.  Every
person eventually feels comfortable with his
language to speak, read and write, and to
make deals with others. A trader would learn
the languages of his customers and use the
language of the customer to do business.  
            Every trader finds that the customer is
attracted towards the traders who speak and
deal in the language of the customer. All the
rulers of Indian states in the past have tried to
learn the languages of the local people in order
to rule them effectively. Mixing of the races of
the invaders and the residents continued
rapidly during the period between the
Kurukshetra war and the present. That is why
we see in India faces that are showing colours
and features of Chinese, Dravidian, Negroid,
European, and Middle East people.
            The features that have evolved have
developed the identity of an Indian. It is not
difficult to pick and identify an Indian in a large
crowd in an airport lounge. Sometimes it is not
difficult for a person to identify his own kind. A
GSB woman can fairly correctly point out
another GSB woman in a crowd of different
kinds of people in an audience. Yet there are
many common features that add to this identity,
such as the skull cap of a Muslim, the 'bindi' on
the forehead of a Hindu married woman, etc.
These added features are becoming rarer and
rarer with the result that there is now a trend
towards merger of cultures. Each one tries to
find a common denominator to claim
membership of a community, region, nation and
continent.
            Our latest craze for photo identity
cards is an example. Now it is useful to
possess a photo identity card to announce our
names, dates of birth and residential address.
Our religion could be identified based on the
name and surname that appears on the card.
There has been an attempt among the people
in India to wipe out the surnames that
announce the caste.
            
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"SANKARA"
by Mohan Shenoy
Adyar Gopal Parivar
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YOUR CHOICE
By Mohan Shenoy
Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
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Adyar Gopal Parivar
Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
  Many GSB people have stopped using
their surnames. Many upper caste people in
Tamil country have also stopped using their
surnames to make it more convenient to get
work done in offices, market places,
schools, colleges and other institutions. Our
names have also undergone changes during
these historic upheavals in the past
centuries in India.
  One glaring example is the change of
name of the Shanbhag group among GSB
community. A large number of people opted
to write Shenoy in place of Shanbhag in the
period between year 1880 to 1910 in the
Kanara districts. The opening of schools
and admission of children in these schools
by the British Government in this period of
time was responsible for this change in
name. People preferred the shorter and
concise name Shenoy in place of
cumbersome Shanbhag, although the name
Shanbhag is not really cumbersome. The
name Shanbhag however had different
spelling in different areas. Some people
used to write it as Shanbhogue or
Shanubhogue. My father Adyar
Gopalakrishna Shenoy was born to Adyar
Manjunath Shanbhag. Gopalakrishna's
mother Kamala preferred Shenoy as
surname for him when he was admitted to a
school in Gurpur village in the year 1912.
Since then our family name has been
Shenoy rather than Shanbhag as prevalent
in the past. Some people spell the name
Shenoy with a letter 'i' in the end, 'Shenoi'.
          There have been religious
conversions among the GSB community
during the Portuguese rule in Goa. Many
people with Shenvi or Shanbhag surnames
have been converted into Christianity but
they retained their surnames. Some of them
changed their surnames into Shenoy or
Shenoi, the latter more common among the
Christians. The Bhanup, or Shenapaiki, or
Shenapanche sect stopped using their
surnames during these early years of British
rule in Kanara districts, and instead they
used the name of the place of their birth as
their surnames. Karnad is such a surname.
Karnad is a village in South Kanara.
Gulvady, Hattangady, Manjeshwar are other
names of places which have become the
surnames of many of the Bhanups or
Shenapaiki people among us.
          It is necessary for us to merge all
these Konkani Brahmans into a common
people so that there can be more marriages
between members of these communities,
facilitating Indianisation, and ultimately
globalisation. It will also be inevitable for
boys of our community to seek girls from
other castes to marry. This is because there
are many choices available to the present
generation of children in India. Times have
changed. And an educated boy from the
GSB community can live happily with an
educated girl from any other caste, and vice
versa. A new culture will be born from
among these intercaste marriages. Sankara
is actually Indianisation leading to
globalisation.

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