The English plural of Ravana, denoting multiple 'Madrasi' or South Indian men, Esp. if very large-framed, black-skinned, hyper-muscular, macrophallic & hyper-sexual, as these are attributes ascribed to Ravana of Lanka in both the Ramayana & Ravayana. Hence particularly applied to feared South Indian Goondas, tough Malabar Negroes, heavily-armed Tamil Tigers, dreaded Andhra Black Cobra Gangs, militant Dalit Panthers & the omnipresent 'Sambar Mafia'. Considered the incarnation of evil in Indo-Aryan North India, but venerated as the epitome of manliness in Dravidian South India.
Derived from Ravana or Ravan, a common term for a Dravidian man, So called as South Indians often claim descent from Ravan of Lanka or Ravana the Great, a deified Shaivite Dravidian King worshipped by large numbers of South Indians, with his 'Kapala-dhvaja' or Skull-Flag prominently flown.
In contrast, 'Ravanas' are considered the epitome of evil in the Indo-Aryan North: "PATIALA: Corrupt persons are modern day Ravanas and people must help the government deal with such persons, said Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh while addressing people on Dusshera at Veer Haqiqat Rai Park in Rajpura Colony here on Sunday evening." 'Corrupt persons modern day Ravanas, says CM' Times of India (6 Oct 2003)
1) In the S. itself, 'Ravanas' are associated with physical size & strength: "BIRTH: Are all that are born in Ceylon Rávanás ? ... This is really a Tamil saying, the reference being to the Rámáyana & to the wars between Rámá and Rávaná, the mythical King of Ceylon who abducted Sitá. The people of Ceylon obtained a reputation for fierceness & courage in South India as Rákshasas or demons; &, as Mr Denham has it, 'this saying as used to-day would mean that, though a person is born in Ceylon, he need not necessarily be possessed of supernatural strength.'" - 'Dictionary of Proverbs of the Sinhalese' John M. Senaveratna. Colombo: Times of Ceylon Co, 1936. reprt Asian Educational Services 2005, p 10. Also in: 'Tamil Proverbs with Their English Translation' P. Percival. 2 ed. Little Bourne, Mylapore, Madras: Dinavartamani Press, 1874. reprint N Delhi: Asian Educ.nal Services, 1996. Nu. 1075, p 106.
2) "There is a lot of controversy with the concept of integrating the North and the South of India. ... Why does the N. have such a negative perception of the S. - calling Southies as 'Madrassis, Ravanas, Blackies, Idlis & Indian Negroes ?" - 'North Indian/South Indian Marriages' Rahul. 24 Jun 2000. indiafamily.net/talk/messages/54/2278.html
3) "Sonia, Pranab, BJP are all too happy to portray all Tamils & South Indians as Looters, Marauders, Ravanas." 'Pranab Vs Chidambaram : the Sonia angle' Pasupathi K Pillai 23 Sep 2011, pasug.blogspot.com/2011_09_23_archive.html