Language, Religion, and Ethnic Assertiveness: The Growth of Sinhalese Nationalism in Sri Lanka
University of Michigan Press, 1992 - Social Science - 366 pages
For nearly four decades, Sri Lanka has been the scene of an escalating ethnic conflict between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamils, who form the largest minority. Language, Religion, and Ethnic Assertiveness traces the development of Sinhalese nationalism by paying particular attention to the Sinhala language and how it relates to Sinhalese national identity.
After Sri Lanka became independent from Great Britain in 1948, an official national language had to be chosen - either "Sinhala only" or "parity of status for Sinhala and Tamil." The victory of the "Sinhala only" proposition that won in the general election of 1956 started the antagonism between the Sinhalese and the Tamils that persists to this day.
Using hitherto untapped primary sources, K. N. O. Dharmadasa delineates some of the peculiar features of the linkage between state, religion, and ethnicity in traditional Sinhalese society, providing insight into a tragic conflict that has a long and turbulent history. The book has much to offer historians, political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists of language and religion, as well as students and scholars of South Asia, postcolonialism, ethnicity, cultural identity, and conflict.
The Triumph of English and the Emergence of Sinhala
The Sinhala Language as a Nationalist Cause
The NineteenthCentury Buddhist Revival
Revivalism Social Mobilization and the Sinhala Language
Identity Language and Modernization
Political Developments and the Position of the Vernacular
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activity Anagarika Dharmapala Anuradhapura Arya-Sinhala identity Aryan authenticity ayurveda Bandaranaike became bhikkhu British Buddhist Ceylon National Congress Christian classical Colombo colonial concern cultural Cumaratunga D'Alwis D'Alwis's Debates Dharmapala E. W. Perera early editorial emerged English English-educated elite established European Fishman grammar guage hala halese Helese Hence ideological idiom Indian island James D'Alwis Jayewardene journal K. M. de Silva Kandy Kandyan leaders lese linguistic literary literature Maha Mahavamsa majority Malalgoda mass Migettuwatte missionary mobilization modern movement nationalist native newspaper nineteenth century official language Oriental Pali Pali and Sanskrit percent Perera Pirivena Quoted religiocultural religion religious revival revivalist S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Sabha Samagama sangha Sanskrit Sarasavi scholarly scholars schools Sidat Sangarava Sinha Sinhala and Tamil Sinhala language Sinhala Maha Sabha Sinhalese Sinhalese community Sinhalese ethnic Sinhalese-Buddhist social society south India Sri Lanka status Subasa tion tional traditional vernacular Vidyodaya writings