8 June, 2023


A State Belongs To The People Who Live In It: Telangana Is The Latest Example

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”  – Jawaharlal Nehru, “Tryst With Destiny” speech celebrating Indian independence.

August 15, 1947 midnight India won its freedom from colonial rule ending nearly 350 years of British presence in India.  But, freedom was not without pains. It also saw the saw the birth of the new Islamic Republic of Pakistan.  When the British left, they partitioned India, creating the separate countries of India and Pakistan to accommodate religious differences between Pakistan, which has a majority Muslim population, and India which is primarily Hindu. While the Indian National Congress called for British to Quit India, in 1943 the Muslim League passed a resolution demanding the British Divide and Quit. Before British, Mughals ruled India for over 300 years.

It is still a debatable point whether the partition of these countries was a wise move by the British. The partition has not stopped conflict between India and Pakistan.  Boundary issues, left unresolved by the British, have caused three wars and continuing strife between India and Pakistan. Sixty years on, the status of Kashmir remains unresolved despite a tenuous peace process between India and Pakistan. The bad blood between the two countries  is largely due to the ideological divide between the Muslims and the Hindus of India.  Incidentally  Pakistan  became world’s first Islamic Republic in 1956.

British India, which included most of present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, consisted of fifteen provinces, all British possessions, ruled directly by the British in all respects, either through a Governor or a Chief Commissioner and officials appointed by the Viceroy. Existing alongside British India were 565 princely states, ruled by local hereditary rulers, who acknowledged British suzerainty but who enjoyed local autonomy. It may be recalled the  British Crown assumed control of British India from the East India Company in 1857 and thereafter controlled the internal governance through a Secretary of State for India in London and a Viceroy in India.

In 1724, Nizam-ul-mulk Asif Jah (Asif Jahin Nizam dynasty) established his independence and made Hyderabad the capital of his empire in 1769.  In 1799, the British signed an alliance with Nizam Asif Jah who ceded coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions to the British.  The region remained under the British and the Nizams till 1946, the year of Telangana rebellion, which was quelled by the Nizam’s Razakars (mercenaries).

The  states varied greatly in size and the  four largest princely states were Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, and Jammu and Kashmir. Following independence in 1947, the 565 princely states were given a choice of whether to either join the new Dominion of India or the newly formed state of Pakistan or to remain independent. The Nizam Osman Ali Khan  of Hyderabad initially chose to join neither India nor Pakistan.  He later declared Hyderabad a free, self-governing independent state but the Government of India refused to accept his independence.  The  Indian Army invaded his princely State on 13 September 1948 and Nizam forces were routed and he was  forced to accept accession to India.

In  December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was appointed to form states on linguistic bases.  An agreement was reached between Telangana leaders and Andhra leaders on 20 February 1956 to merge Telangana and Andhra with promises to safeguard Telangana’s interests. After reorganisation in 1956, the region of Telangana was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh. Following the Gentlemen’s agreement, the central government established a unified Andhra Pradesh on November, 01 1956. Thus, Andhra Pradesh was the first state to be carved out (from erstwhile Madras state) on linguistic basis.  It had Kurnool town (in Rayalaseema region) as its capital after the death of Potti Sriramulu who went on a 53-day fast-unto-death demanding the creation of a new state.

Since then there have been several movements to invalidate the merger of Telangana and Andhra, major ones occurring in 1969, 1972 and 2009. The movement gained momentum over decades for a new state of Telangana.

The name Telangana is derived from the word Telugu Angana, which means a place where Telugu is spoken. The Nizams (1724-1948) used the word Telangana to differentiate it from the Marathi speaking regions of their kingdom.  From 230 BC to 220 AD  the Satavahanas ruled this region between Krishna and Godaveri rivers.  The region experienced a Golden Age, in between 1083-1203  under the reign of the Kakatiyas who established Warangal as their capital.  In 1309 AD, Allaudin Khilji’s general Malik Kafur attacked Warangal which led to the decline of the Kakatiyas. The region came under the Delhi Sultanate till 1687 when Golconda (near Hyderabad) fell to Aurangzeb.

Members of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) launched an indefinite hunger-strike on November 29, 2009 demanding creation of Telangana.  On December 09, 2009 the government of India announced a process for the formation of Telangana state. Following violent protests led by people in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions immediately after the announcement, and the decision was put on hold on December 23, 2009.

The Centre then constituted a five-member Committee on February 03, 2010, headed by former judge Srikrishna, to look into statehood demand. The Committee submitted its report to the Centre on December 30, 2010.

Telangana region witnessed a series of agitations like the Million March, Chalo Assembly and Sakalajanula Samme (general strike) in 2011-12 while MLAs belonging to different parties resigned  from the House.

With its MPs from Telangana upping the ante, Congress made Union Home Ministry to convene an all-party meeting on December 28, 2012 to find an “amicable solution” to the crisis.

On 30 July 2013, the Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution to recommend the formation of a separate Telangana state. After various stages the bill was placed in the parliament in February 2014.  In February 2014, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 bill was passed by the parliament of India for the formation of Telangana state comprising ten districts from north-western Andhra Pradesh. The bill received the assent of the president and published in the gazette on 1 March 2014.

As mentioned above Telangana became the 29th state of India, consisting of the ten north-western districts of Andhra Pradesh with Hyderabad as its capital. The city of Hyderabad will continue to serve as the joint capital for Andhra Pradesh and the successor state of Telangana for a period of ten years. After the division the remaining part of Andhra will be called Seemandhra.  The decision to create a Telangana state has predictably given an impetus to statehood demands in other parts of the country.

Telangana is bordered by the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh to the north, to the west by Maharastra and Karnataka, on the south and east by Andhra Pradesh Telangana has an area of 114,840 sq.kms (44,340 sq mi), and a population of 35,286,757 (2011 census). Hyderabad, Warangal, and Nizamabad are the major cities in the state.

The following schedule shows the 29 Union states of India and 7 Union Territories, their date of establishment, capitals etc.


India 2

India 3

Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao was elected as the first chief minister of Telangana, following elections in which the TRS party secured a majority.

The creation Telangana rubbishes the arguments that people who speak the same language, despite regional differences can’t have two states. Language is only one component that goes towards the creation of a homogeneous culture. Two groups of people could be speaking the same language, professing the same religion and yet consider themselves poles apart culturally. The people of Telangana consider themselves distinctly different from their counterparts in Andhra because of their different histories that have led to the creation of diverse cultures.

After the merger in 1956, the Telugu people of Andhra were ecstatic. For the first time after 1323, an integrated Telugu state  came to be established.  But people of Telangana were in for a rude shock. Their conception of Telugu state was quite different from that of the Andhra people.

Fissures began to emerge when  Andhra proper began to discriminate people of Telangana as poor relations. A perception was created that  bordered on  arrogance that  Telugu proper  were superior to the local Telangana population in terms of modern education and the mores of modern life. Very soon the Andhra people were denigrating at their culture, their language and work ethics.  For historical reasons the Telugu spoken in Telangana was laced with  many Urudu words.  Thinking of themselves as the rightful representatives of Telugu culture, the Andhra people were able to thrust their brand of Telugu as the language of the government. This was the language as spoken in the Krishna district located in the Andhra area. Though there is no standard version of Telugu, this Krishna district Telugu came to stand for the real Telugu. All other variations were considered inferior in status.

Other representations of Telangana culture are also ignored and festivals like Batukamma are not recognized as a state festival. Textbooks for schools perpetuate the Andhra culture as if there was never any Telangana culture. Nowhere has the misrepresentation of Telangana culture been more striking than in Telugu films. People of Andhra Pradesh are avid film viewers and the Telugu film industry churns out more movies every year than even Bollywood. But in these colourful extravaganzas, the hero and heroine mouth the Telugu spoken in the Andhra area. However, the villain, vamp and the comic characters speak Telangana Telugu. This despite the fact  50 per cent of the revenues grossed by Telugu productions come from the Telangana area.

Speaking about the people of Telangana, the Telugus used language  that was quite derogatory, if not out right insulting. Nearly  90 percent of Telugus from Telangana are of the opinion that Andhra Telugus are cunning and business-minded whereas  they  believe in friendship and kinship. However,  about  10 percent of Telangana people  conceded that Andhra people were more enterprising.

There are certainly differences between the cultures of the people. Telangana was under feudal rule and this reflected in the extremely servile behaviour of the people who had never been allowed to think, much less take any initiative. This continued till the 1960s, much after the Nizams had gone. But in Andhra Pradesh there was no feudalism, so the attitude of people was different and they could not figure out what was wrong with the Telangana people. Paradoxically, though Telegus openly lampoons Telangana people for their laziness, yet assert that there is hardly any difference between the two. On the contrary, the Telangana people harp on the differences and highlight how different  the two peoples are.

During the past 700 years Andhra Telegus and Telangana Telugus lived separately. Urdu was the language of education and official language of Telangana.  Andhra and Telangana have distinctive cuisines. Semi-arid Telangana state region millet-based breads (rote) are predominant staple food, while rice and rage are popular. Many of the curries (known as okra), snacks and sweets vary in the method of preparation and differ in name, too.

The state being the leading producer of red chilli, rice and millets in India influences the liberal use of spices — making the food one of the richest and spiciest in the world. Vegetarian as well as meat and seafood (coastal areas) feature prominently in the menus. Dal (lentils), tomato and tamarind are largely used for cooking curries. Spicy and hot varieties of pickles form an important part of Telugu cuisine.

Since independence India has got split first  language-wise  and later due to regional and cultural differences. Though Hindi is the linqua franca in states like  Uttar Pradesh, Madya Pradesh,  Rajasthan, Bihar,  Himachal Pradesh (January 21, 1971) Uttarankhand (November 09, 2000)   Jarkhand (November 15, 2000)  Chhattisgarh (November 01,2000) they have created separate states.

Modern democratic nation-states are based on the  principle of the right of people to self-determination. The  right to self-determination, whether as a nation-state or as a more limited state within a nation like Telangana,  flow  not merely from a people’s assertion of their ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or any other social identity, but more from the political legitimacy of  people’s right to self-determination and  from universal and  inalienable human rights. It is the only sensible  way to forge  unity, not  unity from homogeneity or uniformity, in ethnic diversity.

A state belongs to the people who live in it and Telangana is the latest example.  

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Still living the doomed Tamil Elam dream?

    Tamils belong to Tamil Nadu established in India in 1950 “for Tamils”. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    India has only one official language – Hindi.

    Tamil is NOT an official language.

  • 2

    Cultural Reveloution:)

    Is It The Reconquista (“reconquest”) like The winning warriors of north india added a suffix to their name `fearless` – Singh and Kshatriya.


  • 3

    Mr Thangavelu, Can you answer the following questions:
    1. What do you mean by ‘self-determination’? As I understand, it is an ambiguous concept. Do you mean Eelam?
    2. There are no states in Sri Lanka as in India. How does your argument then apply to Sri Lanka?
    3. Assuming by ‘state’ you mean a designated area does Wellawatte belong to Tamils?
    4. Should other communities who live in the North and in places like Wellawatte leave the place? If you say Wellawatte should not belong to Tamils can we ask Tamils to leave the place?

    • 4

      Self determination can be an “Eelam” if there is no security for Tamils in the United Srilanka. It can be a state in a United SriLanka where Tamils can exercise their rights equal to Sinhalese.

      There are no states in Sri Lanka but there were states in Sri lanka and Tamils have been living in their homeland of North East for long. It is not pre requirement to have state. You can create a state.

      Yes it is designated area where a group of people who have a distinctive identity live traditionally in a designated area with natural population increases.

      No, They should have the same right as Tamils who live traditionally in this area. The law and justice should be equal to all and it should be applied equally but in Sri lanka it is not.

      Overall you should realise that this island is not belongs to Sinhalese only.

      • 3

        All this time I was waiting for an intellectual like you.
        Now, can you list me the rights of the Sinhalese that the Tamils don’t have? For the convenience of the readers can you list side by side the long list I assume you have?

        • 0

          [Edited out] We are sorry the comment language is English – CT

          • 0

            I wrote this comment in Tamil because how far can this man understands the sufferings o0f the Tamils.

            • 0

              where is the list?

              • 0

                Where is justice to the victims of 1983 black july? How many criminals were convicted by the so called legitimae srilankan state? Once again you will disappear in thin air.

  • 3

    Below my answers

    (1) Self-determination denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order. Self-determination is a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognized as a general principle of law, and enshrined in a number of international treaties. For instance, self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a right of “all peoples.”

    The scope and purpose of the principle of self-determination has evolved significantly in the 20th century. In the early 1900’s, international support grew for the right of all people to self-determination. This led to successful secessionist movements during and after WWI, WWII and laid the groundwork for decolonization in the 1960s.

    Contemporary notions of self-determination usually distinguish between “internal” and “external” self-determination, suggesting that “self-determination” exists on a spectrum. Internal self-determination may refer to various political and social rights; by contrast, external self-determination refers to full legal independence/secession for the given ‘people’ from the larger politico-legal state.
    (2) Before the advent of Portuguese there were 3 kingdoms in the island of Ceylon. In the Northeast Jaffna Kingdom; in the central hills the Kandyan Kingdom and (3) the Kotte Kingdom in the South. If not for the colonial conquerors these 3 kingdoms would have existed. In fact the Kandyan Sinhalese wanted 3 federal states – Kandyan, Low Country Sinhalese and Thamils.

    (c) Definitely not. It is only the Northeast.

    (d) It depends what you mean by state. If it is a federal state people can continue to live where they lived. If it is an independent state the movement of people either way like Pakistan/India is possible.

    Take Switzerland as an example.

    It is a federal state composed of 26 cantons (until 1976: 25 cantons) with far reaching autonomy. For historical reasons, six of the 26 cantons count as half-cantons (created by splitting three originally united cantons in two autonomous halves each), so the total number of 23 cantons given in some other sources is also correct in a way. Apart from voting arithmetics in referendums and in the small chamber of parliament, the half-cantons have exactly the same status as full cantons, however.

    Switzerland’s government, parliament and courts are organized on three levels:
    •cantonal (based on 26 cantonal constitutions)
    •communal (in a few small cantons and in some 2500 small villages reunions of all citizens are held instead of cantonal and communal parliaments; local courts are usually common to several communities)

    The federal constitution in principle reserves the areas of foreign relations, the army, customs examinations and tariffs, value added taxes and the legislation on currency, measure and weight, railways and communications to the confederation. On the other hand only the cantons (and some major cities) do have armed police forces, run hospitals and universities (with the exception of two federal institutes of technology). Legislation on public schools is made by the cantons, resulting in 26 different education systems, but the public schools are actually run by the communes, much like many other public services (like water supply and garbage collection). The confederation, the cantons and the communes do collect income taxes to finances their affairs.

    Switzerland with a federal constitution prospers with 4 different official languages. So why not Sri Lanka with two languages and 2 federal (3 federal states if Kandyan Sinhalese wishes) states? Since independence the Sinhalese and Thamils are fighting each other, so why not a friendly divorce. If a husband and wife always fight the answer lies in a friendly divorce. The crux of my argument is if Telangana separated from Andhra due to slight differences in the language they speak the Thamils have a solid case for self-determination due to language, cultural, religious, history and regional differences.
    When British quit India, Muslims under Jinnah demanded “Quit, but before that divide India!”. Jinnah secured what he wanted – a newly minted brand new country. The Thamil leaders were foolish not to ask the British like what Jinnah demanded. They were duped by the late Rt. Hon. D.S Senanayake who gave a solemn assurance from the floor of the House on behalf of the Sinhalese that no harm would befall the Thamils by their joining the Sinhalese in working the constitution. Section 29 together with the assurance by D.S. Senanayake, made the polity of the Dominion of Ceylon a conditional polity. The condition is obviously an assurance of the ethnic majority that they will not avail themselves of the numerical superiority to discriminate against the Thamils. Discrimination they did through a series of discriminatory legislation – the Indian Citizenship Act, Sinhala Only etc.

    • 2

      The politics of blood shedding have brought the Tamils and Sinhalese to go in separate ways for good. The social, economic, political and religious forces have fashioned not only by the state but masses by actual events on the ground and suicide bombers. The political developments have taken unprecedented forms as a reaction to actual problems. I would be reiterate so that we do not depend on these forces who could mislead the whole community under their influences and outside their influences.
      Take for example when Kotte King paid to protect his rule lost his Kingdom to them. Through Kotte king all others including Sankili in Jaffna lost his Kingdom. It was the case with Dutch colonialists and British in 1815 when the locals lost their sense of direction and brought aliens to exploit the economy and the wealth of Lanka.
      Likewise Tamils going to India, US and UN might bring undesired end to the blatant human rights violations. Like in 1987, they may end up with worse solutions. During the first round of Talks in Bhutan, the government representatives also were treated like common criminals and that opened their eyes. Indo-Lanka accord was imposed by force not by reason that hardly benefits parity of both parties.
      Sri Lanka itself is highly divided among Sinhalese and their division itself can bring down not only the regime but the country too.
      This is task of the new government in the making.
      Lets see briefly the notable milestones:
      (1). When we had leading politicians who united the people under the federal program. In 1920s Bandaranayake openly discussed the growing dissention among Tamils and Sinhalese, it was Tamils who rejected his idea of Federalism. Even after writing the series of article in morning star and went to Jaffna, he could not convince the Jaffna Tamil community!!
      (2). As Tamils do not campaign on the representation they made at Cameron or Soulsbury commissions, I assume apart from Mahadeva, there was no else any mention of self-rule. GG’s idea of 50:50 was considered undemocratic.
      (3). When LSSP and Communist Party were campaigning for self-determination, apart from Iyer and Vaithianathan et. al, no Tamil forces joined ranks because the Tamils were unrepresented and Colomco based-elites and their economical interests prevented them. Even Pieter Keuneman suggested Self-determination to Ceylon National Congress. Communist party promoted the idea that if the Tamils wanted to secede, it must be supported.
      (4). SJV+GG+Thonda all failed to impress upon their people to lead a struggle in line with Gandhi or Martin Luther King(jr). The concept of non-violence was failed by the people who adopted their mode of struggle. SJV Chelvanayagam was a forgiving Christian, aged and alien to Jaffna self-centeredness from Malaya. If it had been today, Tamils would be able to see whites marching with Black made the difference; Tamils nationalists were politically reactionary and culturally conservatives to seek such alliance with Sinhala civil society and even National Left parties!
      (5). The above leaders also missed out on the birth of the linguistic nation-states in the federal form in India. Pakistan met similar fate like Lanka for the political intransigence and Bangladesh was born. Now make no mistake, such federal arrangements are TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE. Without land and police no Tamils (even Muslims)will consider any political solutions.
      We lived in Tamil areas and were part and parcel of Tamil regions until 1983, when the Tamil “Jihadists” picked on Sinhalese and terrorised them. Like Jaffna students protected their fellow Sinhala students or Left parties protected the Tamil workers, there was no organised body or benevolence among Tamil people/civil society to protected us. When we were mortified we were left to only force that defended – army. Instantly they became protectors of civilians and civility to our chagrin. It triggered me to think at that time “Why are they fighting against an superior force who had eradicated JVP?” In 1983, they were far stronger and these forces would be repressed too. But against 100% Sinhala forces, Tamils stand no chance…But if they diverted their energies else where and win over the Sinhala masses and Army and talk the walk and walk the talk, Sinhalese will stand by the new regime for that change. That change should be for federal arrangement of government with the new constitution.

  • 0

    Except a couple of states, all the other states are way larger than whole Sri Lanka. Why, don’t we try to divide Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or Maharashtra which are approximately 5 times bigger than Sri Lanka and put all the people who want a seperate state in Sri Lanka (not all Tamils). There are a lot of other states that are 3-4 time bigger than Sri Lanka. Any suggestions????

    • 0

      Suggestion is the size of Israel and and other countries

    • 4


      “Why, don’t we try to divide Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or Maharashtra which are approximately 5 times bigger than Sri Lanka”

      It is for the Hindians to decide whether they want more state or less states.

      You are so entrenched in your Sinhala/Buddhists Aryan mindset you have failed to see the changes taking place in India since its independence.

      Only recently a new state was created in South India and named as Telangana and founded on 2 June 2014. Now India has 29 states and other union territories.

      Please check your facts before start typing stupid comments.

    • 0

      “Except a couple of states, all the other states are way larger than whole Sri Lanka”

      Srilanka is much larger than the list of smaller countries below. Is there a possibility that Srilanka be devided for the benefit of different cultural/ethnic group of people?

      1. Vatican City – 0.2 square miles – The world’s smallest state, the Vatican has a population of 770, none of whom are permanent residents. The tiny country which surrounds St. Peter’s Basilica is the spiritual center for the world’s Roman Catholics (over 1 billion strong). Also known as the Holy See, Vatican City is surrounded by Rome, Italy.

      2. Monaco – 0.7 square miles – The tiny state of Monaco lies along the French Riviera on the French Mediterranean coast near Nice. An impressive 32,000 people live in this state known for its Monte Carlo casinos and Princess Grace. It has been independent off-and-on since the 13th century.

      3. Nauru – 8.5 square miles – The 13,000 residents of the Pacific island Nauru rely on diminishing phosphate deposits. The state became independent in 1968 and was formerly known as Pleasant Island.

      4. Tuvalu – 9 square miles – Tuvalu is composed of 9 coral atolls along a 360 mile chain in Polynesia. They gained independence in 1978. The former Ellice Islands are home to 12,000.

      5. San Marino – 24 square miles – Located on Mt. Titano in north central Italy, San Marino has 29,000 residents. The country claims to be the oldest state in Europe, having been founded in the fourth century.

      6. Liechtenstein – 62 square miles – This microstate of 34,000 is located on the Rhine River between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps.

      7. Marshall Islands – 70 square miles – The atolls (including the world’s largest, Kwajalein), reefs, and 34 islands (population 58,000) gained independence in 1986; they were formerly part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (and administered by the United States).

      8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – 104 square miles – This Caribbean country of 39,000 gained independence in 1983. Nevis is the smaller island of the two and is guaranteed the right to secede.

      9. Seychelles – 107 square miles – The 81,000 residents of this Indian Ocean island group have been independent of the United Kingdom since 1976.

      10. Maldives – 115 square miles – Only 200 of the 2000 Indian Ocean islands which make up this country are occupied by 340,000 residents. The islands gained independence from the U.K. in 1965.

      11. Malta – 122 square miles – This island is just south of the Italian island of Sicily. It became independent from the United Kingdom in 1964 and the British military were completely gone by 1979. The population is 400,000.

      12. Grenada – 133 square miles – This Caribbean country (population 90,000) became independent of the U.K. in 1974. It’s located quite close to Venezuela.

      13. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 150 square miles – 117,000 people live on these Windward Caribbean islands which gained independence from Britain in 1979.

      14. Barbados – 166 square miles – About 280,000 people live on this Caribbean island, the farthest east of the Lesser Antilles. Barbados obtained independence from the U.K. in 1966.

      15. Antigua and Barbuda – 171 square miles – This Caribbean nation of 69,000 has been independent from the United Kingdom since 1981. The three islands which compose this country rely on tourism (as do many of the Caribbean countries and territories).

      16. Andorra – 180 square miles – The independent Principality of Andorra is co-governed by the President of France and the Spain’s Bishop of Urgel. With just over 70,000 people, this mountainous tourist destination tucked in the Pyrenees between France and Spain has been independent since 1278.

      17. Palau – 191 square miles – Palau (also known as Belau) was a Trust Territory of Pacific Islands. It was formerly known as the Carolines and is composed of more than 200 islands in the Pacific; the population is about 20,000. It became independent in 1994.

  • 1

    This is a great article. Thank you Mr. Thangavelu for posting it. I consider you another Buddha (Enlightened one). As you have detailed in your above posting, the experience of India in nation building is something we Sri Lankans should take note of as an example of ‘How to do it Right’.
    Throughout history, Sri Lankans have failed dismally in our efforts at Nation Building, although we have had such good examples of it just across the border.
    As to answer Prem Vaidyaratne’s questions: Prem, we should not be so hung up on this Eelam thing. Even presently there are ‘states’ in Sri Lanka (although we don’t call them that). The people of different ‘states’, are not ‘separated’ by ethnicity nor language nor culture nor Religion(to determine where they should live). That is exactly what Mr. Thangavelu is highlighting here. Take the different states in India. The majority of the people who are living in one state are so diverse to the majority in a another state in language, ethnicity, culture, Religion etc. But all states are united in their values under the modern India Constitution. It allows all people in every state to follow their aspirations independently of the culture, language, Religion etc. of the geographical area where they live.
    Let’s think about it.

  • 3

    A State belongs to the people who live in it, NOT to 5% who happens to live in a part of it.

  • 3


    It also doesn’t belonged to 75% of the population.

    It is also not a divine right of the 75% to occupy 100% of the top bureaucracy, armed forces, judiciary, foreign services, state corporations, monopoly on governance, nation building process, distribution of wealth,…………… life and death decisions, or I forgot to mention 100% of corruption.

    How about creating a state which takes care of rights, security and dignity of the rest?

    • 3

      Why do you think 90% (not 75%) occupy 100% of the “top bureaucracy, armed forces, judiciary, foreign services, state corporations, monopoly on governance, nation building process, distribution of wealth,……………”

      Can you site any laws that prevent the 10% from getting such positions?
      How many Tamil young were destroyed by the LTTE terror activity during the last 3 decades? Who do you blame for that?
      What % of Tamils can speak and write Sinhalese fluently so that they can serve 90% of the population?
      What rights of the Tamils are not protected?
      What happened after eliminating the terror that battered Tamils of N&E? Wasn’t that restoring security and dignity of those Tamils???

      • 0

        “What % of Tamils can speak and write Sinhalese fluently so that they can serve 90% of the population?”

        Back in the 70’s GL Peiris could not lecture at campus as Sihala had no dictionary.

        How have you stolen from the rest of the world starting from the ambude??

        We can teach you sihala via sanskrit how to suck eggs.

  • 3

    Tamils could not have a country in their entire history. Of course except for a brief period of 70 years. That is for the entire Tamil history.

    That means Tamils are brainy enough to have their own country except for the name Tamil-nadu.

    • 2

      How did some Jaffna Tam`ill` terrorists survive war?

  • 0

    We had so many scholars like Mr Thangavelu who write lucidly without fanfare and following a logical pattern with sequence. Sadly they are a dying race. Whether they are focussed on subjects pertaining to a particular agenda or not it is the clarity and delivery which make readers take congnisance of and they do not lean on quotes from obscure professors and unheard of philosophers.

    They can stand up for themselves with confidence.

    Thank you Mr Thangavelu

    • 0

      Like Churchill or Premadasa who could never peace time leaders.
      The easiest thing is oppose and it’s difficult to govern.
      A genius sees similarities.

  • 0

    “Before British, Mughals ruled India for over 300 years.”

    They came via khyber pass once again 1498 with Sharia law BUT…..

    They never ruled the whole of India at any point in time and especially Tamil Nadu. Neither the far eastern sector, sikkim, nagaland nepal etc.

    The last battle they and the Brits had was with the `only martial race` (see indian archives or treaty of london)Maratha Army (Sivaji the Great)

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