Documentary maker S. Anwar explores deep-rooted connection of Islam in Tamil

The message conveyed through the old Tamil adage, Yaadhum oore, yaavarum kelir (every country is my own and all are my kinsmen) is the crux of the documentary Yaadhum which was screened at Jamal Mohamed College in the city on Monday.

The screening and interaction session were jointly organised by the departments of English, History and Tamil of the college.

Yaadhum, which is a documentary on the history and heritage of the Muslims in South India, is directed by S. Anwar, an independent researcher and documentary filmmaker. It delves into history and traverses culture, literature, language, and explores architecture in places of worship, in order to establish the deep-rooted connection and co-existence of Islam in Tamil culture.

Mr. Anwar, who hails from Kombai in Theni district, sets out on a journey in search of his roots and his identity and traces the influence of Islam in Tamil culture. The project took seven years of research and four years to film. Made entirely using Mr. Anwar’s personal finances, the film was launched in November 2013.

“Islam is a misunderstood religion. Common misconceptions about the origin of the religion in India, architecture, and language are dispelled in the film. In today’s politically surcharged atmosphere, it becomes all the more important that people become aware about the roots of Muslims,” said Mr. Anwar, speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the event.

“Islam acknowledges diversity and many people are not aware. So, I am here to create awareness and stop biases and prejudices against the religion. I also explore the fact that a person can have multiple identities. I am an Indian, A Tamilian, and a Muslim,” he added.

“The documentary is the first of a three part series that has been planned. It is only an introduction. I have hardly traversed half the distance. The other two parts will focus on the Tamil Muslim Diaspora,” said Anwar.

One hundred students participated in the session.

A.K. Khaja Nazeemudeen, secretary, K.A. Khaleel Ahamed treasurer, were present. For more details, visit the website of the film,