9 May, 2021

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Mirage – The Great Tamil Novel Of Our Time

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

When two distinguished authorities on the history of Jaffna — Bishop S. Jebanesan of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, and Richard Fox Young who holds a Chair in the Princeton Theological Seminary, USA., – collaborated to translate the novel Mirage (Kanal in Tamil), depicting the plight of the despised Tamil outcasts (Dalits) of the North, it automatically raised the significance and the value of the novel to a level way above the rest of modern Tamil literature. In addition to recognising its literary merits, their selective act to translate this particular novel conveys the measure of respectability and socio-political meaning they attached to the narrative written by K. Daniel, a Turumbar, the lowest of low-castes in Jaffna. The Turumbars were the dhobies to the dhobies of Jaffna.

A low-caste writer achieving this recognition is a rare honour. This translation opens up an opportunity for the silenced voices of the Tamils oppressed by the Vellalas, to be heard in the wide world and the translator (Bishop Jebanesan) and the editor (Young) must be congratulated for undertaking this task. Theirs is valuable service because it throws light into the hidden horrors committed behind the ubiquitous cadjan curtains of the Jaffna Vellalas. Unlike other scholarly studies which tend to drift in the conceptual/theoretical levels, Daniel’s delineation of the existential experiences that were etched into his memory exposes Jaffna as the hell-hole of the Tamil outcasts. Reading this novel would certainly make you wonder how the world was taken for a ride by the Vellala propagandists who diverted attention from their historical role as victimisers of Tamils to be the victims of the Sinhala-Buddhist majority.

The two scholars who produced the translation describes the novel as “historical fiction”. Daniel too confirms that the novel is based on incidents that occurred in his little village and adds in his preface : “All of the characters who pass through it were people I saw with my own eyes. Some are still living (in the eighties). Each incident that occurs in the novel actually happened.” (p. xiv). Daniel states that only difference is that he had changed their names. For instance, he introduces a Christian priest to the village as the alternative to Hindu Saivite Vellala oppressor. But he changed his name from Fr. Gnana Prakasar, a towering figure of Jaffna in his time, to “Cwami Nanamutar”. So there could not have been a more sensitive and truthful eye witness of the Hindu Saivite Vellala crimes against their own Tamil people than that of Daniel, who viewed the dialectics of his caste-dominated, hierarchical, dichotomised, oppressive society through Marxist lenses.

Mirage, which was written in the eighties, has been hailed by those acquainted with Tamil literature as a mini-classic. But its value was played down by the Vellala elite who defined and determined, at all times, the parameters, the contents and the icons of Jaffna Tamil culture. For instance, they hero-worship as a literary lion Arumuga Navalar, the caste fanatic who revised Saivite Hinduism to elevate the Vellalas to the apex of the caste hierarchy. At best, he unearthed the old Tamil texts from S. India and reproduced them which led to a revival of the past glories of Tamil literature in Tamil Nadu. His works did not lead to a lasting Tamil renaissance in Jaffna. But the outstanding creative writer of Jaffna, Daniel, who exposed the savagery of the Vellahla oppression is marginalised. His greatness is not only in breaking away from the artificiality of the rigid, formalised, conservative style of traditional Tamil that was in vogue and writing in the spoken idiom but also in daring to penetrate deep into the most oppressive and cruel culture of Jaffna society and exposing their hypocrisy and horrors which were hidden from the public eye.

It is in this context that the translation of Bishop S. Jebanesan, edited by Richard Fox Young, (2016) sweeps in as a breath of fresh air opening up the hidden culture of the Vellalas. It lifts the novel from its obscurity to the English-speaking readers in all communities. It also elevates the novel as a brilliant study of the divided society of Jaffna in the throes of changing in the early decades of 20th century when Jaffna was still trading in fanams. In very light brush strokes Daniel dramatizes the evil and dehumanising culture of the Vellalas who denied the outcast Tamils to walk this earth even with a modicum of dignity. Daniel exposes, in quiet and sober tones, the Vellala masters who warped Jaffna society with unrelenting Vellala violence down the ages. The underlying theme that comes out of every tragic episode highlights the misery of the Tamils struggling to escape the inhuman cruelty of the Vellala overlords. This is something the Vellalas hate to admit. They loathe being confronted by their brutalities that reduced their own people to subhumans.

From feudal and colonial periods to modern times Jaffna remained as an abominable gulag of Vellala violence. They dare not face their guilt. Their defence is to parade in the theatre of the world at large as the innocent victims of the Sinhala-Buddhist majority. But Daniel, a Catholic turned Marxist, refuses to focus on this aspect which looms large in the minds of the Vellalas. His silence is a virtual rejection of the Vellala accusation. There isn’t a single reference to the politicised accusations of “Sinhala oppression” or “discrimination”, the common cry of Northern politics, His narrative is focused entirely on the internal factors that turned the hidden layers of Jaffna society into an everlasting damnation from which there was no escape.

The theatre of all action in the Mirage is the little village of Pirikattayali where the Vellalas rule with an iron fist. It is a microcosm of the overarching Vellala fascism that reigned supreme right across the Jaffna peninsula during feudal and colonial periods until the late nineties. There are still doubts as to whether Vellala casteism has been eradicated totally from Jaffna even today. There are no heroes and heroines in Mirage. There are only protagonists and antagonists playing out their respective roles, highlighting, every step of the way, the internal contradictions clashing at all levels. Both as a political force and a Hindu ideology Vellahlaism reigned supreme riding rough shod over any rival force. They either absorbed the rival castes (e.g., Madapallis) into their fold or crushed the rivals under their jackboots.

A dark and ominous ambience hovers over the grim village of Pirikattayali ruled by the Vellahlas. Those below them survive as slaves. They were kept alive, on minimum wages and provisions, to serve the agricultural, domestic, social, political, religious (nautch girls dancing in temples) and even sexual needs of the Vellahlas. Daniel’s village is in perpetual conflict with the ruthless ruling class/caste. There are only two dominant figures that play their dialectical roles : 1. the Vellala landlord, Tampapillaiyar, ordering, threatening, or enforcing his will with force, or bribing the authorities, to have his way in the village and 2. Cwami Nanamutar, the Catholic reformer, who steps into the village as a “liberator”. The oppressed Nalavar and Palla converts expect the priest to bring salvation through the Church and take them to the promised land. In the end the Church too succumbs to the overbearing forces of Vellalas and divides the Church pews into the Vellahlas and non-Vellalas. The villagers who suffered under Vellala servitude are told by the new messiahs that they are “slaves of Jesus”. It as if they had exchanged worldly slavery to an ethereal slavery imposed by invisible dictators sitting in the skies. Before long, the Church becomes the ally of the Vellalas in maintaining the oppressive status quo.The poverty, the misery, the suffering and the hunger remains unabated. The Church goes along with the contractors who exploit the the low-castes on starvation wages. The Church becomes a part of the establishment. The mirage is in seeing the Church as the liberator.

The coming of the missionaries to Jaffna was also a period of confrontation. It was the first serious invasion of modernity challenging the feudal Hindu structure. It opened up a transitional phase which failed to deliver their expectations of escaping Vellala servitude. In any case, the Vellala Hindus, led by Arumuga Navalar, resisted the Christian invasions. They saw it as a threat to their supremacy with the Church backing the low-castes. The conversions by “the Christian beef-eaters” were limited mainly to the low-castes who saw them as their redeemers, socially, politically and spiritually. But in the end it was the Vellalas who won. The powerful Vellalas took on every new ideological, political, social, religious force that threatened to challenge their supremacy and crushed them. They remained throughout the feudal, colonial, and post-independent periods as an ineradicable force. In the last resort, when their Hindu theology was running out of steam to sustain their divine right to rule the low-castes, they turned Jaffna into an enclave of mono-ethnic extremism. Under Saivite theology the enemy of the Vellalas was the low-caste. When the ideological power of Saivism ran out the Sinhala-Buddhists became the bogeyman in the post-Donoughmore period. Their biggest selling point was to claim victimhood, accusing the Sinhala-Buddhists as the victimisers, while hiding under the carpet their unrelenting role, over the ages, as the most vicious victimisers of the Tamils.

Their success in propagating this myth is a remarkable feat in caste/class history. They turned Marxism on its head and proved that a decadent, oppressive class need not necessarily collapse under the revolutionary forces of the oppressed. The Vellalas proved, time and again, that they could manufacture “a false consciousness” and survive successfully by donning the Emperor’s clothes of saviours / liberators. Daniel’s unique place as a Tamil intellectual was in his refusal to buy this anti-Sinhala-Buddhist line. A Catholic turned Marxist, he viewed the internal struggle convulsing Jaffna in class terms. Not in racist terms.

The Vellala political elite, on the other hand, turned the tables and portrayed themselves – the most privileged community in Sri Lanka — as the victims of the Sinhala-Buddhist majority. The cover-up of their crimes against their own people is the biggest propaganda coup next to that of the Jews. The reality, however, is that the Vellala cruelty to the low-caste Tamils has no parallel either in the Bible Belt of America against the Afro-Americans or the indigenous S. Africans confined to apartheid ghettoes. For instance, in segregated America the Afro-Americans could ride in the seats reserved for them in the back of the bus while the whites had the privilege of sitting in the front. But in Jaffna the low-castes were allotted only the “buck” seat – i.e., the floor between the aisle seats of the bus. They could not sit at the same level in any place in the bus with that of the high-castes. That is how low the Vellalas placed their fellow-Tamils in Jaffna.

Prof. Bryan Pfaffenberger of the Syracuse University, USA, produced magisterial studies of the Jaffna caste system, in which he detailed the misery of low-castes. In Political Construction of Defensive Nationalism: The 1968 Temple Entry Crisis in Sri Lanka he wrote: “In Jaffna in the 1940s and 1950s, for instance, minority Tamils were forbidden to enter or live near temples: to draw water from the wells of high-caste families; to enter laundries, barber shops, or taxis; to keep women in seclusion and protect them by enacting domestic rituals; to wear shoes; to sit in bus seats; to attend school; to cover the upper part of the body; to wear gold earrings; if male, to cut one’s hair; to use umbrellas; to own a bicycle or car; to cremate the dead; or to convert to Christianity or Buddhism.” Compare this to the hue and cry they raised to high heaven about the Sinhala Only Act of 1956 which would have affected, if at all, only the Vellala high-caste in government service. The champions of the Tamil masses, the Marxists, the Churchmen, the NGO-allied academics, and fashionable pro-Tamil (Vellala) pundits turned a blind eye to the insufferable indignities imposed by the Vellalas. This gave the Vellalas the opportunity to turn their guns on the Sinhala-Buddhists who had given to all layers of Tamils what the Tamil leadership of Jaffna refused to give their own people.

Daniel is one rare Tamil intellectual who did not swallow the racist rhetoric. Driven by his personal experiences he penetrated deep into the historical suffering of the Tamil masses which the other intellectuals refused to see. The refusal of our intellectual to examine critically the Vellala politics that warped Jaffna society has strengthened and solidified their mistaken belief that the Tamils have been the victims of the majority. Daniel is the only Marxist who had the guts to unmask the Right-wing Tamils and the Left-wing Sinhala mytho-maniacs who diverted attention from Vellala evils to Sinhala-Buddhists. In siding with the Vellala masters of Jaffna the Left-wingers and the liberals served the most cruel ruling class ever to darken the pages of Sri Lankan history. They used the vocabulary, the theories and concepts available in human rights, Marxism, Leninism etc., to serve the Vellala caste/class, abandoning their moral responsibility to stand up for the Tamil masses.

Daniel, however remained faithful to his Marxist tenets. He identified the Vellalas, the ruling caste/class, as the enemy of the Tamils. He steadfastly refuse to conform to the communal cries of the Vellala elite. Why? Perhaps, as a Turumbar, his memory of Vellala servitude ran deep in him. Can he be blamed? Consider the way in which the Jaffna Vellalas treated the slaves. Jaffna had the most number of slaves. The following statistics of the slaves were cited by Bishop Jebanesan from the Census of 1837 in his book The American Mission and Modern Education in Jaffna (Kumaran Book House, 2013) :

Western Province – Male: 393; Female 332
Southern Province — Male: 432; Female 342
Eastern Province — Male : 12 ; Female : Nil
Central Province – Male 687 ; Female 694.
Northern Province – Male: 12, 600; Female : 11,910 – (p. 157)

This figure of 25,000 slaves was quite disproportionate to the overall population. In the census of 1881 the population of Jaffna district was 261,902. (Cited in Distinctive Features of English in JaffnaSri Lanka , M. Saravanapava Iyer, p. 8., – Kumaran Book House). The Vellalas controlled and kept nearly 25,000 slaves in line by cracking the whip over their backs. They were slave-drivers who forced the Tamil slaves (atimal) to sit in “buck seats” in buses, making sure that they will never rise to their level. Daniel’s memory of these experiences of his ancestors would have been sharpened by his 1968 experiences at Maviddipuram Temple “where (low-caste) protestors conducting a satyagraha were attacked by Vellalars using iron rods and sand-filled bottles…” – (p. 296, Mirage, Afterword (2), Richard Young.) Amidst all this, who can forget Prof. C. Suntheralingam, a caste fanatic, walking up and down the inner courts of Maviddipuram Temple threatening to bash with his walking stick any low-caste pariah who dared to step inside the outermost court of the Temple!

The Vellala obscenities portrayed in Mirage make a mockery of the Vellala claim to be the victims of the Sinhalese majority. The horrors of the Vellala crimes against their own exploited people condemns the Vellalas as a brutal caste/class that showed no mercy to the non-Vellala Tamils of Jaffna. Worst was when the Vellalas, quoting Hindu texts, assumed the divine right to oppress and exploit their fellow-Tamils as slaves. Their contempt for their own people was displayed when they categorised a segment of their own people as pariahs who were kept out of high-caste Vellala society. Some of them were forbidden to walk even in daylight. The Turumbars, for instance, were allowed to walk only in the night just in case they should pollute the purity of Vellala eyes. No other community suffered the humiliating indignities as the Tamil slaves of Jaffna society at the hands of their Vellala masters. And no one is better qualified to document the agonies of the oppressed Tamils than K. Daniel, a Turumbar.

Daniel’s Mirage runs on several layers of meaning. Many of its layers are yet to be explored – later.

(Publishers : Kumaran Book House, No. 39, 36th Lane, Wellawatta)

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Latest comments

  • 12
    3

    Dear Mahindapala,
    There is a good lesson for you in your own finding which you might have missed totally. Bishop Jabanasan’s love towards his own tribe made him finding their own issues, faults.. why he did that.. I am sure he wanted to make his closest tribe better people, the way to move forward is to identify our own faults and try to fix them. don’t you agree?
    But what are doing.. You assume our brother Tamils are your eternal enemies and finding their faults. it is like your purpose of life. What you gain from that??
    Did you notice Eastern Province had only 12 male slaves and no female slaves in 1830s!!… How admirable were our majority Muslims in Eastern Province in 1830s….. Have you learn anything about our Muslim brothers & sisters from these figures?

  • 14
    7

    Get a life dude and stop harping on identity politics, and Tamils and Muslims.

    Pl. write about POLITICAL CORRUPTION in the Miracle of Modayas!

    Ethnic conflict in SL is because HISTORICALLY the corrupt politicians( who are importing super luxury SUVs by the millions today) , and have beggared the people of Lanka, use RACISM against minorities to DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE the moda masses..

    Racism is used by corrupt politicians to Distract the Sinhala people from the POLITICAL CULTURE OF CORRUPTION and impunity for Financial Crimes enjoyed by the corrupt politicains of the Diyawenna Parliament of Corrupt morons.

    • 5
      17

      A proud Tamil who does not like to say he is tamil, instead of Stupid Demala he says S, modaya.

    • 9
      8

      “Ethnic conflict in SL is because HISTORICALLY the corrupt politicians( who are importing super luxury SUVs by the millions today) , and have beggared the people of Lanka, use RACISM against minorities to DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE the moda masses..”

      Did the clean Tamil politicians rejected the offer to import duty free luxury SUVs? Aren’t they using racism to keep the conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese to keep their privileged position. Did you hear the racist venom spitted by Tamil representatives at the UNHRC. All talking about a genocide using highly inflated figures to discredit Sri Lanka and Sinhala people. With that kind of talks, I say go to hell with reconciliation.

      • 10
        1

        SLCitizen

        Why did you chose this pseudonym instead of Eagle Eye?

        • 1
          8

          The name I use is none of your fking business

          • 5
            1

            SLCitizen/Eagle Eye

            “The name I use is none of your fking business”

            Of course I agree your name is none of my business however we do care about people who suffer “Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD)”

            The danger you pose to the this island and people is clearly explained in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

            You should seek medical advice and treatment.

          • 1
            4

            SLCitizen, this Kaluveddah calls himself Native Vedda just to feel happy. Being a Herpestidae, he is curious like a cat and puts his dirty nose in to everything. Have pity on him.

            • 4
              0

              EDWIN RODRIGO Zoophilia

              Some months ago you did beg for a ceasefire. As a gentleman Veddha I stopped thrashing you in this forums and been holding ceasefire unilaterally.

              Now that you have broken your side of the bargain I have decided to withdraw from unwritten ceasefire agreement.

              The battle begins here and now.

        • 0
          3

          Stupid Vedda all ways bring up this kind of trash!
          Never write something with intellect.

      • 9
        3

        SLCitizen/Jonny Boy/ Eagle Eye

        Did HLD M advise you to use multiple pseudonyms to record your protest against the Tamils? However, you have once again confirmed your stupidity.

    • 5
      0

      Dead on SM,
      Political Corruption and Financial Crime by politicians against ALL the people of Sri Lanka and the culture of impunity for Financial Crimes enjoyed by politicians is what we should focus on., instead of endless talk about Tamil and Muslim and SInhala culture which are all quite backward because trapped in the island of Modayas and mod Diaspora fools who seem to think they are still in Lanka although in Australia and Canada etc.!

  • 10
    3

    HLDM,
    Some questions for you :
    Hope you are not related to Maj Gen Chagie Gallage is related to you ?
    Who is Christopher William Wijekon Kannangara ?
    What do you think happened in 1944 ?
    What does the terms, “free education “, “social mobility ” means to you ?
    Did the catholic schools and protestant school had any cast based admissions prior to 1944 ?
    Is there a divide among up country and low country Buddhist Clergies when it comes to Mahasangah and their different chapters ?
    Do you see the matrimonial columns in Sinhalese and English news papers the parents put their cast and many seeks bride or groom from prefered cast ?
    Did you marry up or down in cast ?

    Finally do not you think education , economic progress are scocial levellers and brings social mobility ?
    What is the cast break down of Sinhalese Politicians since 1948 ?

  • 5
    12

    Mr.Mahindapala,

    Bravo! Please keep on exposing the dark side of the Tamil society. I am really happy that there is someone who is capable of digging these things and brought to light.

    The love Jesus preached work in mysterious ways according to the circumstances. I wonder in which side Cristian church is standing now; with the oppressors or the oppressed. Are they licking the balls of Vellala politicians and turning a blind eye to the plight of the Dalits?

    • 8
      1

      Eagle Eye/SLCitizen

      It seems Colombo telegraph has generously provided the same icon for both of you.

      Congratulations.

  • 9
    3

    HLDM,

    Are you a Tamil or a Singhalese?

    When are you going to write something about the Singhalese!

    • 8
      3

      He is a hybrid of low class Malay and low caste Sinhalese.

  • 4
    10

    Even today, discrimination against low-caste Tamils must be going on. That could be the reason why marginalized caste associations and individuals mainly in Jaffna opposed giving police and land powers to high caste dominated Northern Provincial Council (Report on Public Representation on Constitutional Report, pp55-56). Wellala Tamils use Thesawalame to prevent low caste Tamils acquiring land. These morons who do not treat human beings as human beings want to show to the rest of the world that they are champions of Human Rights.

    • 11
      4

      SLCitizen

      “Even today, discrimination against low-caste Tamils must be going on.”

      Though you are not 100% certain about it, yet you want make a song and dance about it.

      Have you ever had the time or rational mind to observe how frustrated are the Govi academics who continue to complain about the invasion of Karava’s into academic world and increasing their grip on influential jobs.

      Useful paper:

      Caste Discrimination and Social Justice
      in Sri Lanka: An Overview

      Chapter 2

      Caste Discrimination in Sinhala Society

      By

      Kalinga Tudor Silva
      P.P. Sivapragasam
      Paramsothy Thanges

      When will you ban caste requirements in matrimonial sections of leading news papers?

      You should spend lot more time cleaning your own cowshed than worrying about others’.

      • 6
        9

        Turumbars, Kurumbas and Goviyas

        Kala Veddah, we are talking about homo sapiens, the most advance form of life ever seen on this planet. We are discussing the problems between Tamils, Sinhalese, Vellalas, Govis, Karavas, Turumbars, Dalits etc. Caste differnces are synthetic differences that exist in the advanced brains of homo sapiens. But genetically they belong to one species. A Sinhalese Govi man like me can produce off pring with a Tamil Turumbar woman (I almost did when I was bout 16, phew!) but not with a kalaveddah like you whatever your sex may be. You belong to a lower species. It is great that you speak and write English almost like a homo sapien. But you are not a homo sapien. You belong to a species called, Herpestidae, which are small feliform carnivorans native to southern Eurasia.

        We know that you try hard to act like a homo sapien by hiding in our ceilings and listening to us and observing us. But that is useless – Once a kalveddah always a kalaveddah.

        So please keep away from this imporant discussion. You can make your claim for equal treatment, like the Muslim women do, elsewhere in CT and we will give it due consideration. But that should come later. OK, kalaveddah?

        • 5
          1

          You are not Govigamma stop lying . Rodrigo is a Typical Karawa surname.,
          Rodrigo is a typical Tamil Catholic Paravan surname from around the Thoothilkudi area in southern Tamil Nadu India. The so called Sinhalese Rodrigos are the descendants of these Tamil Catholic Paravans who migrated to the island around a100 years ago or even less and settled along the western littoral and now call themselves Sinhalese. Whom are you trying to fool you recently Sinhaliesed Tamil low caste from South India

          • 1
            6

            And you fool believe people comment with real names!

            • 4
              0

              Then why use a typical Karawa/Paravan family name and then claim to be Govigamma. It is even more odious to see people using caste to put down others but it is even more odious to see people members of the same lower castes, who claim to be oppressed, pretending to be high castes and running down and poking fun of other low castes in the name of ethnicity caste and language, especially when the person commenting is of the same origin and ethnicity of the people whom he/she is poking fun of. Understood

      • 1
        7

        “You should spend lot more time cleaning your own cowshed than worrying about others’.”

        Wellala Tamil politicians should spend more time cleaning their cowshed before talking about discrimination from Sinhalese.

        Mahindapala is doing a great job exposing the shit in Tamil cow shed.

        • 0
          3

          SLCitizen, Your advice is in vain. The Tamils consider the cows holy and their droppings manna from heaven. They will never clean the cow shed. they like to wallow in cow dung.

  • 7
    1

    As a young kid I have met writer K.Daniel many times in my house in the East and in his Garage or Metal workshop he owned in the Jaffna town on Stanley Rd. I believe. the last time I saw I would have been 13. his most popular book at that time was “PANJAMAR” (five tribes?)
    as my father was left leaning and a friend of him and a bit involved in writing there would be many a dinner meetings of like minded people in my house. writer Ilankeeran was another one that comes to mind.
    it was a mix of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ cast friends who did not believe in cast. they knew first hand about the Sinhala state oppression of the Tamils but they thought it was part of a larger problem which encompassed the state of the economically oppressed Sinhala people too. but the high handed manner of the Lankan regimes in dealing with the Tamil issue pushed these people out of the scene and paved way for the more extreme and less responsible elements to take the center stage.
    in the name of religion and race( which is the real ‘mirage’) much blood has been shamelessly shed in this island as in some other parts of the world.
    by sheer number and the political domination Sinhalese are the oppressors of Tamils. more damage has been done to Tamils by Sinhalese than the other way around. an impartial investigation could easily establish this .
    but the Tamils could have done the same thing to Sinhalese if they had domination politically and numerically.
    in my teens and twenties I have countless time witnessed and experienced myself the inhuman treatment and indignity forced upon Tamils by the security forces. they never asked if I was a lower cast Tamil so they can let me go :)
    of course Tamils could have pushed back better if they did not have internal faults like casts which weakens them considerably. but it is a dying thing if it is not dead already.it is more than half dead mostly thanks to the Tamil militant movements even though they themselves are dead!. some people like to keep it alive like the above author. a wolf cries not because the sheep is getting wet.

    • 0
      3

      It is an empty statement to say ‘more damage has been done to Tamils by Sinhalese than the other way around.’ Tamils are a minority so your statement is hollow. The truth is more Tamils are victimised by Tamils.

      Do not point finger at others when you are victimized by the very circumstances created by you. The only reason Tamils suffer was WAR, which was started and maintained by you. See You are a victim to a circumstances you created.

      The forces have retaliated southern insurgents in far more oppressive and violent manner even unimaginable in north. So do not come with forces are brutal because we are tamil mantra. When we look at the ground situation it is nonsense.

      While it may be trute SLG did not handle tamils problems in an intelligent manner, what is very clear is Tamils had a bigger problem in caste issues than in any other problem. If Tamils faced far worse discrimination and state oppression by the government since 1948, its literature would have reflected that. Instead it was the caste that has taken the centre stage. Not only in this book but in every literature ( I read some translations of a collection of Tamil novels base in 1950-60 SL.

      This is the point. We need much more research done into caste issue in North and its relationship with so called ethnic war.

  • 6
    2

    Two christians are involved in translating and editing of a novel published in Tamil about forty years ago and a well known buddhist fanatic is writing a review. What sort of conspiracy exist behind this? Having known Mahindapala’s deep seated anti Tamil / Hindu views, who asked him to write a review? is there anyone else to write ? Who asked Jebanesan to translate this novel when Daniel is not alive ? What was he doing when Daniel was alive ? How accurate the translation is? I respect Daniel for his concern in the welfare of oppressed voiceless people but the general view among a section of the Tamil writers was that most of his writings were mere propaganda without any literary merit.

    There have been a few other Tamil writers who dealt with caste oppression, contemporaries of Daniel, and I wonder what made Jebanesan and Mahindapala to turn to Daniel after so many decades ?

    • 0
      3

      The point is Jaffna was a place of inhuman disgusting caste oppression than the so called state oppression

  • 7
    2

    There are over twenty castes among Sinhalese community. Some I know are here below:

    Goyigama
    Salagama
    Karawa
    Durawa
    Wahumpura
    Berava
    badahala
    Hannali
    Rodiya
    Hinna
    Panniki
    Ahinkuntaya
    padu

    Mr Mahindapala, where do you fit in sir ?

    • 2
      2

      [Edited out]

    • 3
      5

      In our sinhalese society we never had such caste system. this is the concept built by catholic action which came up since arrival of portuguese here for easy conversion of sinhalese buddhists to catholicism. catholic church learn this concept from south india and was trying hard to implement this system here as well for their advantages. invasion of nayakkar kings in kandyan kingdom added to it. Nayakkar kings relatives wanted same system that existed in south india to implement here as well. catholic action divided sinhalese on upcountry and lowcountry line..Nayakkar kings relatives divided sinhalese on caste system. otherwise no such division was existed here among sinhalese people.people expelled banished from main society due to unsocial activities and crimes were existed as rodiyas and kinnaras. they were made to beg for their livelihood in order stop growth of that population. do not comment without knowing subject very well.

      Catholic action made even mythical stories like one you posted here earlier occasion on my caste. so called karava. they related that story to mass migration of austra asian population lived in east indies to India due to greatest toba volcanic eruption that took place in sumatra around seventy five thousand years ago. catholic action says millions of people with their king migrated to odessa and latter to lanka to make so called karava caste. that is totally a myths.catholic action wanted to have political power that granted under donomar commission under their belt. after that premiership as well. for that purpose catholic action created all sort of stories. catholic churches are now very silence now but earlier they wanted controlling powers in every fields. now new church is emerging. evangelical churches. they are doing same thing. greedy of political power to destroy all other religions. even catholic churches. history is repeating itself.

      • 4
        1

        ranjith(sprrw) the scatter brain Anthropologist

        I know it is difficult for you to hold a rational discussion based on facts. Therefore I suggest you read appropriate information available on websites before you start typing.

        The discussions do not involve sorcery therefore we are not competing with your family’s traditional profession/vocation.

        Please read:

        Caste And Exclusion In Sinhala Buddhism
        by Punya Perera

        Colombo Telegraph
        March 7, 2013

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/
        index.php/caste-and-exclusion
        -in-sinhala-buddhism/

        • 1
          5

          Native wedda or monitor lizard

          you are a muslims fellow, what do you know about sinhalese society. did I mention anything on sorcery in my comment. no I did not. I wrote what I gathered from my associates. I do not want to refer anybodys saying. but you have to as you are muslim and know nothing on sinhalese culture. what rights do you have here to make any comments . this is meant to be discussed by sinhalese buddhists and tamil hindus. you are outsider.

          • 3
            1

            Mr. Sparrow,
            You argument is giving me a headache.I am a Sinhala Muslim. Can I comment on your argument plz? And plz use English in yr reply sir.

      • 6
        0

        Do not lie despite being predominantly Buddhist the Sinhalese are very caste conscious even worse than the Tamils. Despite the indigenous Sri Lankan Tamil population being predominantly Hindu by religion (80%)and Vellalah by caste(50%). The will still elect/accept a Christian and a non Vellalah belonging to a lower caste as their leader. Sinhalese will never all their leader have to Buddhist and Govigamma. Christians like Bandaranaicke , Jayawardene , Wickremesinghe, and all the rest had to convert Buddhism , even Mahidna Rajapakse kept his wife’s Christian religion very low key. The only non Govigamma Sinhalese leader was Premadasa and this was something of an aberration and the Govigamma elite bumped him off and then as usual conveniently laid the blame on the LTTE.

        Even now most Kandyan Sinhalese will not marry into a low country Sinhalese family unless they belonged to certain families. They consider them lower than them and not actual Sinhalese but largely descendants of low caste Tamil immigrants from India who now have taken a Sinhalese identity. In fact all Govigamma derogatively call the Karawa Salagama, Durawa, Hali, Hunu, Etc as “Demala Jarawa” meaning Tamil dirt or the dirt of the Tamils , Referring to their recent low caste immigrant Indian Tamil origin. The irony is most of the so called Govigamma too are descended from Immigrant Indian Tamils and some Telugu, however since these are upper caste Tamils it does not matter.

        The Rodiya were considered untouchables and had to live separately and their women were not allowed to wear a blouse but forced to go around topless until the 1940s. The Karawa, Salagama. Duawa. were not allowed to build brick homes until the British banned this practice.. There were not allowed to enter Govigamma Buddhist temples and were refused ordination and they had to start their own temples and go to Siam or Burma get help and start their own sects to ordain monks and nuns belonging to their caste. Even now Buddhist sects associated with the Govigamma caste will not ordain them.

      • 5
        0

        contd

        Lastly read the matrimonial columns were 90% of the Sinhalese parents are insisting brides and grooms from their own caste.
        Before throwing stones on others please correct yourself. Caste discrimination is not particular to Tamils alone in South Asia , all South Asian communities in India Pakistan Banglasedh, Nepal and Sri Lanka practice this. Caste is an issue even in Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh. It not caste it is tribes. Certain tribes amongst Arabs, Pashtuns and even amongst ancient Jews were considered superior to others.
        What Mahindapala and all other Sinhalese racists are trying to do is justify their state sponsored Sinhalese racism and genocide on all Tamil including the low castes , stating the Tamils have a caste system, that even Sinhalese and every other South Asian community has and relate stories of caste discrimination, that happened in the 1920s or 1940s that has all vanished.

        • 2
          5

          so called brahmin lunatic or RSS

          Yes for you all except your people are dalite.as you believe you came out from mouth of maha brahma and others from lower part of the body. and you want us to believe same. that is the nature of so called brahmins. as such I can not see any meaning in your comment.

          you so called brahmins categorized indigenous people who were original inhabitant of tamilnadu as low cast people and got them as slaves. your idea is same with regard to local population here as well. recent migrant lot from tamilnadu still speak tamil and hindus. live in up country tea state mostly. All others are descendants of austra asian digenous population. if this population could be existed in your part of south India at the time of your ancestors invasion in south india from elam region of Iran., can you tell me good reason as to why they could not be existed in lanka at that time.

          as such do not talk bullshit as you are so called brahman or self proclaimed one you think you know everything. until nayakkar kings took over power. there were no caste system like this in kandyan kingdom. under kotte kingdom till don juan darmapala no caste system existed, can you show me any record on this,

          if people lived in north were hindus, Elara could have built thousands of hindu temples there. rama could have celebrated victory over ravana in KKS or somewhere in jaffna. but celebration done in indian soil. siva linga was erected in danukody beach.by sitha by herself.

        • 1
          5

          contd……

          All the houses built in coastal belt were limestone or cabok. it was tradition. bricks were not used.but our old houses had been built with bricks as we lived around one KM away from beach. it was built by my great grandfather in dutch era. my father renovated it and we lived there. as such I can say you are a big liar.

          Dutch agreement with kandyan king accepted king of kandyan as king for whole Island. people who wanted to worship sacred tooth relic were allowed to visit temple. on the way to kandy and way back people of low country visited temples located in kandyan kingdom. as such you are lying and lying like lunatic in desperation.

          our people elected even tamils as leaders at elections. voted people of other caste as well. UNP put forwarded premasada. if SLFP did same people might have voted him or her as well. if you go through electorate wise you will see the voting trend of people. caste was not a criterion. but party and policies was.

          can you name few of not vallala MPs who elected from jaffna electorate.

          • 4
            1

            Idiotic person your only come back against me is that I belong to the Brahmin caste , you often repeat this like a sad mantra but will not argue or debate, as you cannot.
            I do not care about caste but will use this against people who in the name of fake upper caste origins and other racial origins, that they think are superior to their actual origins like Aryans/Arabs claim superiority and are trying to put down and discriminate others, when they themselves in are of the same caste and racial origin of the person discriminated. You and many others in this forum belong to this category.
            Yes I use the terms/origin Adi Dravida and low caste not because I think they are low or inferior , we are all human and a Brahmin is not by birth but by his or her behaviour but because people who originated from these Adi Dravida and low castes are denying this and are now pretending to be superior Aryans and Arabs and are trying to discriminate kill rape and loot the very same people from whom they originated from in the name of this fake Aryan/Arab origin.
            If you had some brains ( which I doubt) you should have realised in what context I used these terms

    • 6
      0

      There are over twenty castes among Sinhalese community. Some I know are here below:

      Goyigama
      Salagama
      Karawa
      Durawa
      Wahumpura
      Berava
      badahala
      Hannali
      Rodiya
      Hinna
      Panniki
      Ahinkuntaya
      padu

      Mr Mahindapala, where do you fit in sir ? He will never fir into any of the above

      He is mix of Malay Bathha and Sudhu Rodiya – barber clan

    • 2
      0

      MR,
      First ask him where his wife (Tamil) fits in.
      No respectable Sinhala female – any “caste” – would marry him.

  • 6
    5

    My Favorite Author HLD

    HLD, you are my favorite author in CT. Not even AKD surpasses you in my esteem.

    Your latest article is fascinating BUT unbelievable. almost like fairy story stuff. I get the feeling that you are trying to pull our leg there. For example, you say, “The reality, however, is that the Vellala cruelty to the low-caste Tamils has no parallel either in the Bible Belt of America against the Afro-Americans or the indigenous S. Africans confined to apartheid ghettoes”. I cannot believe that a community living in such close geographical proxility to us could be so different from us.

    The Sinhalese too have caste differences, but those differences are considered when getting married only. When we mingle, work etc. we do not consider whether someone is govi or karava. You go on to say, “They could not sit at the same level in any place in the bus with that of the high-castes”. You say this is worse than the color bar that existed in the US, where seating was segregated. I wonder, what would have happened if they had double deckers in Jaffna and a turumba went to the upper deck.

    I have to be completely fair in this as a sceintifically minded person. We have to consider the energy, the most fundamental thing and the most important for us. The mechanical energy of a bus passenger has two components, the kinetic energy (KE) due to the motion of the bus and the potential energy (PE) due to the level (vertical position) of the center of gravity of the passenger.

    There is nothing the Vellalas could do about the KE, because all passengers were moving at the same speed. But PE was a different kettle of fish altogether. They could play with it and that is what they did. By making turumbas to sit in the floor they ensured that the the turumba PE was lower. It was pure genius. The Tamils were good in math.

    I wonder what would have been the case if the turumba was carrying a bunch of kurumba in the bus. It is a purely hypothetical question as there were no kurumbas in Jaffna.

    • 7
      2

      If you have guts, build a Buddhist temple in Kattankudi, or at least erect a Buddha statue in the town center.

    • 3
      2

      Edwin
      HLD M does not possess the intellect to see through your tongue-in-cheek comment!

      • 3
        2

        Pillai, I use tongue in cheek tactic in my comments sometimes. But the above comment is not one of those. I really like his articles as I like this one.

        • 4
          3

          Edwin Rodrigo

          ” I really like his articles as I like this one.”

          Is he another practitioner of Zoophilia or Bestiality?

          • 4
            5

            I do enjoy his articles because they reveal the unknown side of our enemy for thousands of years, the Tamils. To know your enemy is half the battle.

    • 1
      4

      Edwin rodrigo:

      Are you a RAW agent playing the game from every side. YOu are Dravidean too..

      Ithe whole Indian sub continent has the caste system. It is Like sirs, Knights, barrons in the UK and rich poor middle classe, celibrities in US etc., Caste system is either religon reletaed of ancient kings related.

      Sinhala caste systrm is not that prominent as That of Tamils are. Tamil caste implies their origin from India.

      • 3
        6

        No. I am neither RAW nor Dravidian. Here are my enemies in their pecking order: First Tamils, Second Tamils, Third Tamils.

  • 3
    1

    Mahindapala is repeatedly firing a spent bullet, mis-interpreting some of the progressive working by activists to his regressive campaign. He is fully assured he is not going anywhere.

    Adimai-Kudimai is Tamils’ caste related service arrangement. Kudimai is outside worker- Caste service. A Kudimai worker had to be paid from harvest by sharing the heap proportionally with the serviced castes. Before the heap is split the caste worker has to be allowed to see the total quantity and agree for his share. Even a Paraiya who services in the funeral has to be paid as per the rules established; many times the kinds used to honor the dead in funeral. Sharing with his master’s funeral properties is the recognition of his service he did for his dead master. A high caste wedding has its rules to compensate. No social ceremonies are exempted to be out of caste related payments. A service caste’s ceremony must be visited by upper caste to whom he serviced and paid in kinds and cash. Adimai is not the traded western slavery by color or other attributes. Adimai is a worker attached to home, not bound under any legal or customs. There is no caste difference between him and the master. There is no legal title and no escaping penalties. The “Slave” is not interchangeable to “Adimai”. Cruelty is not coming here. It was taken advantage of situation. A Sinhala government officer does not work at office, but take out the jeep and go pick up wife to market and child to school. Instead Tamil clerk collect the commission for him and latter face legal battle like Emil Mahendran. There is no legal base for that arrangement, only taking advantage of Sinhala Chauvinism. Kings’ ruling is gone. Castes should follow it. No exemptions!

  • 5
    1

    Dougie’s or Karuna’s paramilitary ruling system has no place in Adimai-Kudimai, though used by Tamils when their Kings’ Justice System broke down. This Idiot, who does not know Tamils’ castes, reading the books wrongly and interpreting in his own way.

    Neither Shanmugathasan nor Suntharalingam gained from Maviddapuram temple entry an event funded by Sirima and SLFP targeting SJV. VP faced the same failure allowing Sirima to lead the CP in North.
    SJV publicly denied to get involved, allowing people to feel his religion prevented him to interfere into Hinduism; but silently handled it with Dudley. It was another past failed attempt of Sinhala governments funded to Tamils split though Muslims easily succumbed to MMDA with in their culture.
    That is what you call Tamils (who still keep their freedom fight).
    It is not that American slavery cannot be compared Tamils’ one- (The idiotic does not know American history like he does not know who Tamils are though married to a Tamil slave). There is no parallel in human history for how the so Called Sinhalese wiped the Kuvani’s race the Rodiya. The most beautiful race on the earth, their figures comparable to Ajanta and Sigiriya art works, was called by these stupid-s as Yakas, was not allowed to dress in public, raped and slaved for generation until they are extinct. Their names were in Tamil.

  • 3
    1

    The rest are stories of Mahindapala. The actual existence of Thurumpa was not verified though it had appeared in books before 1950s. A story is said Thurumpas are washers to Pariah. Remember, the word washer is in English and means cleaner. The Tamil word is Vannaan, which is saying only as dyer –a coloring person. It is not cleaner. Further, pariah is not one job caste. Some of them are richer than others because they had the monopoly to make and sell garments. Of cause they needed the service of Vannaan, the dyer. When the Aryan Hinduism penetrated, the drum makers – cow killers and silk worm killers- the garment makers were categorized as Pariahs. Thurumpa or Vannan and Pariah were wealthy castes making and exporting Cloths from India- named as cloth exporting country.
    Here a Thurumba, who lived with other suffering castes in Jaffna, but wrote his novel in English for a time when extremely a few Tamils could have read it? Is this work was produces to catch the common interest of Tamils of that time? Daniel a Christian is launching a Hindu reform activity? Is the caste system in Tamil Christians is gone? The Child Pala-Mahinda does not know what is he talking, but misinterpreting the progressive books. Probably, Jaffnahistory.com, a gang of bald heads and Paalan Mahinda is trying to resurrect Shanumagathasan? Best of luck Mahindapala!

  • 5
    2

    MR.

    Thanks mate for the list of castes amongst the Sinhalese.
    HLDM has habitually taken a hit at the Tamils and their social formation.
    He is of course married to someone from Batticaloa
    We may have to define a new caste-V.Low of-course!
    Shall we call it Pallar Mahin?.

    • 0
      6

      Plato:

      None of the Sinhala leaders high castes.

      How many low caste leaders that TNA has unless christians become successful ?

  • 4
    1

    HLD M again uses the caste practiced couple of hundred years back to justify the present oppression by his own masters. This implies his tribe never had a caste system and do not have this practice now – it is just accident that the present Mahanayakas are Govias. Anyway there are these imbeciles wanting to hear such fiction. HLD M’s next bag of 25 kg Basmathi is on its way – his weekly requirement.

    HLD M, read “Emergency 58” by Tarzie Vitachi and learn something about journalistic integrity.

  • 4
    4

    Write the wird CASTE or the DALIT.

    Tamils go nuts.

    Major grievance for Tamils living overseas is they have money, but not a country and a caste.

  • 3
    7

    Since 500 BCE prince of chola and pandyan dynasties invaded Lanka and ruled part of it time to time. Elara is the famous one. He never built any hindu temple here in this Island. Why. As Hindus considered local inhabitant Austra Asians as shudras or dalits or untouchables. as such no point in building hindu temples here as locals never ever be able to enter into them as per hindu traditions and tamil culture. As such it is not surprise to see tamils strict implementation of caste system in jaffna. that is typical tamil hindu culture. reincarnation together with karma make people different.

    looking at the way they treat their own so called low caste people, we can imagine agonies sinhalese underwent under those tamil prince in good old days and under the tamil civil servants who dominated .during british colonial era here.

    this is the hate sinhalese society still have with tamils I suppose.

    • 7
      0

      “this is the hate sinhalese society still have with tamils I suppose”

      Rather reinvented for political exigency I would say.

    • 6
      1

      ranjith(sprrw) scatter brain Sinhala/Buddhists historian

      “Since 500 BCE prince of chola and pandyan dynasties invaded Lanka and ruled part of it time to time.”

      What did happen before 500 BCE?

      Weren’t there any Chera, Chola Pandya before 500BCE? Didn’t they invade this island before 500 BCE? Didn’t they know how to sail from their respective land to other parts of the world? Didn’t people live on this island before BCE?

      Why is timeline 500 BCE important to you?

      Could you check your magic Mirror, mirror, on the wall and ask it

      “Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
      Why in this land 500 BCE is important of all?.

      • 0
        0

        N.V,
        ” Didn’t they know how to sail from their respective land to other parts of the world? “
        You forget that sailing was not necessary. They could walk over in a couple of hours at the time.

  • 3
    3

    HLDM what is u r definition of slaves?
    when I grew up in Colombo , my parents had Sinhalese slaves both male and female helping around the house , cooking, cleaning, driving etc

    Now in the UK I have eastern European slaves .

    • 1
      2

      So your family did have Sinhala servants…so this discrimination by racist Sinhalese is some bullsh1t you created to win refugee status?

      If Tamils lives in an environment of a racist sinhalese who always targeted Tamils for their ethinicty such a thing cannot happen.

  • 0
    0

    Kumaran Book House

    http://www.kumaranbookhouse.com/OurAuthors.aspx

    unhappily the English books are not listed

  • 4
    4

    ” Now in the UK I have Eastern European slaves . “

    Great! Legal Immigrants serving Bogus Refugees.

    • 5
      0

      Great! “Legal Immigrants serving Bogus Refugees.”

      what a turnaround!

      Life is unpredictable

  • 8
    1

    There is no use in getting agitated over HLDM’s remarks. He does not mean well, and writes to offend.

    Caste based untouchability has existed in all Hindu religions, but absent among offshoots like Lingayats who rejected Brahminism and hence Hinduism.
    There was caste hierarchy among Sinhalese, despite Buddhism, and partly inherited from the later Indian origins of the Sinhala race. (There is plenty on the Internet on caste among Sinhalese.)
    The way Sri Lanka was colonized ensured that Govigama domination was not total. The Karave were the first to challenge Govi hegemony during the Dutch period.
    It was only after SWRDB that backward groups like Bathgama (aka Padu, derogatively) made social advance.
    There are still backward Sinhala castes and communities. The Rodi folk are still outcasts, and gypsies are resented.
    But the Sinhala society has modernized faster in de-emphasis of caste than Tamils, especially of the Jaffna Peninsula. But caste still exists strongly as an identity.

    That does not mean that the Tamils can pretend that everything is all right.
    Much has changed since Daniel’s writings, thanks to the militant campaign against untouchability 1966-1972 led by “Peking Wing” Communists. There was the famous Maviddapuram temple entry struggle as well as many far more violent local struggles.
    Caste discrimination in public places is a thing of the past I will agree. But there is much of covert practice and discrimination still going on. There are many who still certainly in private and at times in public give expression to their caste arrogance. There is evidence for it on this website.

    Please let us ignore taunting by the likes of HLDM and search within us about caste prejudices and practice and act to eliminate what still exists.

    We cannot wish away our ills.

  • 1
    4

    SJ, Your comment has shown that HDM’s article has had good results too.

    The elimination of caste mentality has to be a gradual process. Sudden and forced changes would produce violent social upheavals.

    I blame the Brahmins and Hindu religion for all this. Buddha was born in to a social system, where these were very strong and his main campaign was against the Brahmins. They could not do much against Buddha because of his royal lineage. anyone less would have been terminated by the Brahmins. However, the Hindus managed to erase off Buddhism gradually after Buddha’s death.

    Buddha’s solution was to form 100% caste free model society called the Sangha. The members of the Sangha society were judged by their performance rather than by birth.

    “Najatta Vasalo Hoti – Najatta Hoti Brahmano – Kammana Vasalo Hoti – Kammana Hoti Brahmano (whether someone is a Brahmin or an Outcaste is determined by his/her actions and not by his/her birth” summarizes Buddha’s opinion about caste.

    The Sinhalese are much less strict about caste than the Tamils. It is considered important only when arranging marriage.

    • 3
      0

      Edwin
      The Hindu caste system has been the curse of South Asia. The practices that exist in some parts of India are far more horrible than in Jaffna.

      It was an inherited system which the Colonial rulers did not dismantle. It suited their purpose to preserve it. Its rigidity varies with geographic location. The dominant caste varies with region.

      The Sinhalese, despite the Buddha, inherited the caste system: partly from their ancestors who immigrated and partly the way society was structured in a kingdom. Caste oppression was there in the 19th Century & early 20th century. There was humiliation both verbal and physical. (Ask any member of the Bathgama community. There are others even lower.)
      Things have been getting better over the years. Two key factors helped: Unlike in the North, the Southern coastal regions had caste groups strong in business, education and industrial leadership.
      The second was the social change that came about in 1956. It benefitted the oppressed castes generally. But the system in Jaffna had more inertia,

      Things are far better than the time Daniel wrote his novel. But caste as identity is still a strong factor. The Tamils on average may take a generation more to catch up with the Sinhalese.

      The Hindus were not a very organized force throughout history. Brahmin power was not uniform across India, Even today that is the case.
      Buddhism, sadly, had its internal conflicts and power rivalries.
      Of the five major early Tamil classics three were Jain two were Buddhist. Tamil had a wealth of Buddhist & Jain works of ethics and knowledge. Buddhism did well in South India until 10th Century.
      The decline of Buddhism in India also may have to do with its reliance on state patronage instead of being a mass religion which attracted the oppressed.

    • 4
      0

      There are such sayings in Tamil as well. Auvaiyar who is said to have lived during the Sangam period said that there were only two castes. Those who give to charity were high caste. Those who hoard their wealth are low caste. Thiruvalluvar defined a Brahmin as a good man. Goodness is defined as the shunning of anger, jealousy and desire. Among the 67 Tamil saints, there were people of many castes-weavers, hunters, clay pot makers.
      Caste has been a bane of India from whence it came to us in Sri Lanka. But, there were reformers who put things right during all periods. It has been an old struggle. In the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka, the nikayas are based on caste.

  • 6
    0

    Mahindapalan never fails to amuse. First there is the picture with his beady Malay eyes staring at you. Then there is his pre tense at being more Sinhalese than even Mama Sinhalam. He talks of Tamil caste and Vellala oppression. I thought Prabha was a fisherman and he was the leader of the Tamils for a long time along with sundry barbers like TamilSelvan and countless paraiyars, koviars and nalavans,
    all living together in camps and sharing plates.

    I, Mama Sinhalam, remember caste when I was a child. There were people who came only through the back door. There were people for whom I used to draw water from the common well because they were not allowed to do so. I do not see that any more. Caste does exist but people no longer know what castes people belong to unless they still live in the same village. Mobility and upward movement has changed social structures quite a deal as had, to give him his due, Prabaharan.

    Mama Sinhalam remembers caste among the Sinhalese in the past. The first experience of seeing boobs was when a rodiya colony relocated to Colombo for a short while. They were not allowed to wear anything on the top. Then, when young at university, the Colombo university arts faculty was called the fisheries corporation because all who taught there were Karawes who left Peradeniya to become professors in the new Colombo university. There were the odd Padu caste lecturer there who had a tough time. There was also a Tamil lecturer who had a tough time because he did not belong to the right caste.

    Caste is almost unknown within the Tamil diaspora. As the most prosperous guy is the plumber who pays no taxes and charges like the white plumbers, these guys are very prosperous. Economics dictate that the rich do not have castes. Who cares what caste Navaloka Mudalili or the Maliban Mudlali is. They queue up to marry their daughters.

    So, hate filled Malay, Mahindapalan, please as the pre tense progeny of Vijaya, sired by a lion, do trouble your family dog and let us Sinhalams be.

  • 4
    0

    This guy is so obsessed with the term ‘Vellala’; I think he should change his name to ‘Vellala”

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 5
    0

    It is funny to see Mahindapalan and the rest of the Sinhalese crying crocodile tears about Tamils belonging to the lower castes when the Tamils who suffered most and are still suffering a lot from the state sponsored Sinhalese oppression are the very same lower castes for whom they are shedding their crocodile tears.
    Who oppressed the largely low caste Indian origin Tamils not the Jaffna Tamils, they hardly see them or even meet them, as they live in a different part of the country but the Sinhalese. Most the Tamils killed in 2009 belonged to these so called depressed castes and the Sinhalese care two hoots for them and what to hide what they did to them. It is the upper caste Tamils who are fighting for justice for them. Who are Tamil victims of Sinhalese land grabs and ethnic cleansing? It is largely from these lower castes. It is the Tamil fishermen and peasants largely belonging to these so called lower castes ,who are largely suffering in the north and east and not the upper castes.
    Yet in the name of caste and divide and rule Mahidapalan and the rest of the Lanka web patronising Sinhalese racists, who want these very dame Tamils oppressed killed raped and ethnically cleansed are now coming and crying crocodile tears here , stating our oppression genocide and ethnic cleaning of all Tamils especially the lower castes is justified, as there was book written 40 or 50 years ago about caste discrimination in the Tamil areas in the late 19th and early 20th century. When caste discrimination in a more oppressive form was common in the rest of south Asia and even amongst the Sinhalese.
    What a wanker.

  • 3
    1

    Another article by this author on his favourite topic, bashing Tamils. Like the far right-wingers in the western world, he has nothing useful to say, offers nothing but bigotry and hatred.

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