28 September, 2020

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Revisiting Tamil Self Determination Part II: The Historic Schism In Tamil Politics

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

We have sketched the emergence of the Tamil political community in the 1920s through the activism of the Youth Congress. Their presence on the ground, with the coming of Mahatma Gandhi in 1927, and of Kamaladevi Chattopadyaya, Sarojini Naidu and Jawaharlal Nehru in 1931, gave them immense influence. The traditional leadership of the Tamils was placed on the back foot by the Congress’ challenge over the caste (equal seating) issue in schools. We may trace the origin of the schism in Tamil politics to the Donoughmore report of July 1928. The Donoughmore report lead to the Congress and its offspring emerging as the Left in Tamil politics: the traditionalists and their progeny formed the nationalist camp. The Left, greatly decimated by events which favoured extreme nationalism, now largely survives as a loosely linked fraternity of savants.

Tamil Nationalists and the Donoughmore Report

The Donoughmore Commission appointed by Colonial Secretary Sidney Webb (Fabian Socialist) in 1927 comprised Lord Donoughmore (Liberal), MPs Drummond Shiels (Labour) and Sir Geoffrey Butler (radical Conservative), and Sir Matthew Nathan. The commissioners, observes Jane Russell (Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution), were committed to equality of opportunity, universal adult franchise, and the removal of communal representation which they considered a ‘canker’. Why did their report, both progressive in intent and made in good faith, evoke so much rancour among Tamil nationalists – then and now?

G. G. Ponnambalam

G. G. Ponnambalam

Nearing eighty, Ramanathan’s appearance before the Commission was unpropitious. Holding out for positions the commissioners justifiably found objectionable would have involved much awkwardness. Jane Russell says, “Ramanathan plus most of the ‘conservatives’ (Selvadurai, Sri Pathmanathan, and E.R. Thambimuttu were exceptions) believed and argued that giving the vote to non-vellala castes and to women was not only a mistake leading to ‘mob rule’, but Ramanathan especially suggested that it was an anathema to the Hindu way of life”.

The Reform Bill based on the Report was debated in the Legislative Council from 27th September 1928. In June 1929 Governor Herbert Stanley reported to the Secretary of State that universal adult franchise it espoused was the bone of contention. Some legislators feared adoption of socialistic legislation that would strain the finances. Ramanathan stipulated a literary test for the vote, which would (Stanley observed) advantage the better educated Jaffna folk over the backward Kandyans. The Sinhalese, he said, were prepared for universal suffrage, but with much further restrictions on the franchise of Indian labourers than the Commission contemplated (Ceylon Constitution, Cabinet Paper 31-Aug-1945).

A Beacon in the North

To go behind the welter of misrepresentation and be fair to those concerned, we need attempt to understand the mental climate of those times. The task is harder now: over eighty years have flown, and thanks to the ravages of war much printed and written material has been lost and archives in Jaffna are frequently in a dilapidated state. I have had the benefit of the invaluable booklet Communalism or Nationalism (CorN), published by the Youth Congress in 1939.

Youth Congress delegates participated in the All-India Youth Congress and All-India National Congress sessions in Calcutta in 1928. The Indian Congress, which held out for home-rule, decided in December 1927 on a boycott of the Simon Commission whose remit was to advance India towards self-rule (as with the Donoughmore Commission here a few months later). Events moved towards the adoption of ‘swaraj’ (self-rule) on 31st December 1929. Owing to its close physical and emotional proximity to the struggle in India, events in Jaffna during the late 1920s were no less electrifying, and many of the young in the South were eager to follow.

The extensive inter-communal solidarity that prevailed could be seen in the list of speakers at Youth Congress sessions in Jaffna and meetings in Colombo: E.W. Perera, T.B. Jayah, P de S Kularatne, Peri Sundaram, D.B. Jayatileke and A.E. Gunasinghe to name a few. The Youth Congress had no truck with communalism in any form. Thus its first reaction to the Donoughmore Report in July 1928 was cautiously positive while disagreeing on the absence of home-rule: “The Congress welcomes the abolition of communal representation and the extension of franchise…” (Ceylon Patriot 12 Sept.1928). It saw no issue in the sharp reduction in Tamil representation as a result. The Hindu Organ backed the Youth Congress while conceding that there were a few Tamils “who in season and out of season trot out the bogey of Sinhalese domination”.

While not influencing the vote on the second reading of the Donoughmore Reform Bill, which passed 19 votes to 17 on 12th December 1929, the Youth Congress did impose a standard of political correctness where it did not make converts. It took away the communal rancour out of the debate. Among statements attributed to Ramanathan by his biographer M. Vythilingam are, ‘Donoughmore means Tamils no more’ and ‘Mathematical democracy would mean purely and simply the total, permanent and absolute subjugation and ultimate extinction of minorities.’ However, at the second reading, no Tamil, not even Ramanathan, objected to universal adult franchise – the main bone of contention – but they, with E.W. Perera, voted against the Bill because it did not grant Home Rule, as Ramanathan personally averred (CorN).

The Boycott and the Rise of G.G. Ponnambalam

Directly under the influence of Kamaladevi’s visit, the Youth Congress boycotted the first elections to the State Council in June 1931 under the Donoughmore reforms – in order to advance the struggle for swaraj. While the South mostly did not join in, the Congress received support from important personages, among whom were Philip Gunawardene, T.B. Jayah, Francis de Zoysa K.C. and E.W. Perera. The Tamil traditionalists had already equated universal suffrage with mob rule and Sinhalese domination. The Sinhalese meanwhile feared that their boycott would reverse their gain of representation in proportion to their numbers. This was a dilemma for the Congress, for they strongly supported universal suffrage and did not want a misunderstanding. I learn that K. Nesiah was against the boycott. When Handy Perinpanayagam informed him of the committee decision to boycott, he left the impression that he opposed it but did not want to divide the Congress. In fact Nehru was in Lanka and had reservations about the boycott. The Youth Congress, in 1939, reflected (CorN), “Mahatma Gandhi himself admits that he has committed ‘himalayan’ blunders in politics. But somehow even these blunders have helped the movement (to freedom).”

The vacancies resulting from the boycott led to by-elections in 1934 where promises to restore communal representation to stop Sinhalese domination became a vote-catching expedient. Handy Perinpanayagam says in his preface to Communalism or Nationalism, “Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan who of necessity and right held a large place in the affections of the Tamil people has been pressed into service by Mr. [G.G.] Ponnambalam [in support of communal representation]. Perinpanayagam pointed out that although Ramanathan made a strong plea for communal representation at the first reading of the Reform Bill in September 1928, at the second reading in December 1929 ‘he stood for ‘Swaraj’ or Home Rule and had given up his plea for communal representation’”.

But unlike Ramanathan who was too much a statesman to give offence to the Sinhalese, Ponnambalam showed no reservations on that score. The Youth Congress’ Communalism or Nationalism was a response to Ponnambalam’s 197 page 50-50 speech in 1939, demanding 50 percent representation for the minorities. It describes Ponnambalam’s ‘Nazi style’ propaganda, beguiling the Tamils as an advanced people tracing their origins to Mohenjadaro in the Sindh, and then using innuendo to demean the Sinhalese. We will say more on this in the next part.

The Youth Congress saw the main hope in building the trust of the Sinhalese. They knew that communalism once kindled would prove an incorrigible monster and the minorities had the most to lose. Communalism or Nationalism convincingly demonstrated that 50-50 was a dangerous expedient.

We examine some of Ramanathan’s arguments for communal representation made before the Donoughmore Commission. One was that the US Senate selects two persons from every state, whether the state has 50,000 persons or a million. Another was the case of Ireland, where Britain created in effect two states because the Scottish and English colonists who dominated six counties in the North feared being swamped by the Roman Catholic majority.

The fallacy in Ramanathan’s and Ponnambalam’s reasoning is that they sought communal representation under a unitary system of rule, where it would transgress the founding principle of democracy – the legal equality of citizens independent of race and religion.

If Ramanathan or Ponnambalam rather saw the unitary state as the problem, they should have made a coherent case for federalism, in a way the Sinhalese could accept (as the Kandyans might have) without causing hurt.

Ramanathan’s having been a child of his time and circumstance does not take away from his greatness as an educationist and statesman. The problem is how he has since been used by attributing to him positions he did not espouse. The one single biography of him from 1977 is vague on dates and important claims are unreferenced. Vythilingam writes (Vol. II) that Ramanathan was in England during 1930 (the final year of his life) to protest against the introduction of the Donoughmore Constitution but gives no further context or reference. This alleged journey to oppose the reform seems rather pointless and undignified as the Reform Bill had passed its second reading on 12th December 1929 and Ramanathan had not objected to universal adult franchise. The biography is also silent on the caste and the equal-seating issue in schools that dominated the last year of Ramanathan’s life.

However, Vythilingam has left behind ammunition that has been used to attack the Tamil Left to this day. He argues that Tamil interests are best protected by a foreign power that would keep Sinhalese in their place. Without mentioning names, he accused the Youth Congress of infecting the Tamils with the ‘Gandhian virus’ and claims that the ‘flagrant’ punishment the British meted out to the Tamils by imposing the Donoughmore Constitution, was the result of their agitation, which cast the Tamils as sworn enemies of the British Empire. He contends that on the other hand, the British rewarded Jinnah for his solicitousness with a separate state.

Thus G.G. Ponnambalam championed British Imperialism and when it failed, he literally fell at D.S. Senanayake’s feet. The LTTE went to India, got into an ugly fracas and courted the West for many years, to be wiped out with its delusions. Meanwhile Sinhalese leaders who tried to solve the problem were belittled and demonised and Tamils who disagreed with the Tamil nationalist camp were excoriated as traitors. And here we are with dung in our mouth, waiting for the next foreign patron.

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  • 4
    1

    Dr. Rajan Hoole

    RE: Revisiting Tamil Self Determination Part II: The Historic Schism In Tamil Politics

    “The commissioners, observes Jane Russell (Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution), were committed to equality of opportunity, universal adult franchise, and the removal of communal representation which they considered a ‘canker’. Why did their report, both progressive in intent and made in good faith, evoke so much rancour among Tamil nationalists – then and now?’

    Why? It is no secret. The Vellahas are not for Egalitarianism. The are castists and racists. Just read what H L D Mahindapala and Izeth Hussein are writing.

    1.Hindu Tamil Castism, Racism, exemplified by Vellahalism?

    2. “Ramanathan plus most of the ‘conservatives’ (Selvadurai, Sri Pathmanathan, and E.R. Thambimuttu were exceptions) believed and argued that giving the vote to non-vellala castes and to women was not only a mistake leading to ‘mob rule’, but Ramanathan especially suggested that it was an anathema to the Hindu way of life”.

    3. “The Reform Bill based on the Report was debated in the Legislative Council from 27th September 1928. In June 1929 Governor Herbert Stanley reported to the Secretary of State that universal adult franchise it espoused was the bone of contention. Some legislators feared adoption of socialistic legislation that would strain the finances. Ramanathan stipulated a literary test for the vote, which would (Stanley observed) advantage the better educated Jaffna folk over the backward Kandyans. The Sinhalese, he said, were prepared for universal suffrage, but with much further restrictions on the franchise of Indian labourers than the Commission contemplated (Ceylon Constitution, Cabinet Paper 31-Aug-1945).”

    • 1
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      You are clueless!

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        Burning Issue

        “The Youth Congress saw the main hope in building the trust of the Sinhalese. They knew that communalism once kindled would prove an incorrigible monster and the minorities had the most to lose. Communalism or Nationalism convincingly demonstrated that 50-50 was a dangerous expedient.”

        “The fallacy in Ramanathan’s and Ponnambalam’s reasoning is that they sought communal representation under a unitary system of rule, where it would transgress the founding principle of democracy – the legal equality of citizens independent of race and religion.”

        This was a multi-variable problem with castism, racism, communalism and democracy, the tyranny of the majority over the minority, especially when the minority is of a different race, ethnicity or religion, was at play here, with universal franchise. Since the Sinhala Buddhist were more numerous, they gained the upper hand.

        The British did not have the foresight to understand the underlying ethnic issues, and the only protection they had was 2/3 majority to change the constitution. The Sinhala Buddhists did change the Constitution twice, and made a special place for Buddhism. The secular state went our the window.

        The changing of the constitution should have required 4/5 majority or 9/10 majority. The 2/3 majority r change the constitution was completely arbitrary.

    • 2
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      Have you read the article properly? The Tamil representation of the Youth Congress; who were they? Have you thought about their caste denominations? If indeed, the Vellalas had there way, according to you, the Donoughmore reforms would have been totally objected. There were people like GG who was trying use the communal politics for his political milage! There was indeed a fear that the minorities would be disadvantaged naturally. In any case, the power was handed over to Sri Lanka under a unitary state. The Tamils accepted this and participated in the general elections. You cannot blame the Vellala for the Sinhala mismanaging the country!

      • 5
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        Burning Issue

        “If Ramanathan or Ponnambalam rather saw the unitary state as the problem, they should have made a coherent case for federalism, in a way the Sinhalese could accept (as the Kandyans might have) without causing hurt.”

        “However, Vythilingam has left behind ammunition that has been used to attack the Tamil Left to this day. He argues that Tamil interests are best protected by a foreign power that would keep Sinhalese in their place. Without mentioning names, he accused the Youth Congress of infecting the Tamils with the ‘Gandhian virus’ and claims that the ‘flagrant’ punishment the British meted out to the Tamils by imposing the Donoughmore Constitution, was the result of their agitation, which cast the Tamils as sworn enemies of the British Empire. He contends that on the other hand, the British rewarded Jinnah for his solicitousness with a separate state.”

        “Thus G.G. Ponnambalam championed British Imperialism and when it failed, he literally fell at D.S. Senanayake’s feet.”

        Vellahalas or not, the Unitary state with the Sinhala Majority would have dominated. Instead of protesting the Donomhore forms, Tamils and Up Country Sinhala Should have gone for a Federal State, like in the US and India. The British should have put in more checks and balances that what they left with. Democracy is a concept of the Greeks, and it is the tyranny of the Majority over the Minority, as we have seen on Sri Lanka, and many other places. Federalism, buffers this tyranny.

        With a Federal North, the Vellahala would have reigned supreme and continued their hegemony. Unitary state gave some hope for the Low Caste Tamils.

        G.G. Ponnambalam championed British Imperialism, that allowed for continued Vellahala Hegemony.

        • 6
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          I am completely dumbfounded to say the least. It is a fact that without much fuss Sri Lanka gained independence under a unitary state; is it not? Hence, the so-called Vellala did not shout much; did they? They did not shout knowing that their so-called dominance over the lower caste people was at a peril! The Tamil elite sighed up to the unitary state; did they not? Then What is your point?

          The Kandians were the first to agitate for a federal state. The Tamil elite certainly worried about their representation. The caste issues would have died down far quicker if the Tamils had indeed secured a federal state. Democratically, it would have been completely untenable to maintain rigid caste observations. This has proved right in the US with civil rights movements. The lower caste people in the North being higher in proportion than the coloured people in US, the reforms would have been accelerated!

          Amerasiri, please talk some sense. I know you have fallen head-over-heel to the garbage writings of the Mahidapala and IH, but use your head a little!

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            Burning Issue

            “The lower caste people in the North being higher in proportion than the coloured people in US, the reforms would have been accelerated! “

            Amarasiri was under the impression there were more Vellahalas and other “upper” Caste Tamils, to keep a lid on the “lower” caste Tamils, as the Unitary Sinhala State has been doing all these years with the Tamils.

            Even if there were many “lower” castes, the Vellahalas and the other “upper” caste Tamils would have found ways to block the voting by the “lower” caste Tamils, as was done in the American South.

            However, overall, it would have been a better solution compared to the current Unitary state with the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” trying to impose their hegemony over the Para-Tamils Hindus. Both the “Lower” caste Tamils and Muslims will be second class citizens in the Federal State.

            An interesting Para-puzzle, that has not been solved yet.

            • 0
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              “Even if there were many “lower” castes, the Vellahalas and the other “upper” caste Tamils would have found ways to block the voting by the “lower” caste Tamils, as was done in the American South.”

              I told you to talk sense! How can the Vellala prevent the lower caste people from voting? The federal government of the US intervened on several occasions. The supreme court will be the highest court!

              You know very little about the dynamics of Jaffna caste issues. You bought into the ostensible writings of Mahendapala and IH without eruditely analysing of their motives! As someone pointed out here, the Tamil members (mainly from the Vellala stock) of youth congress stood against the caste barriers. The TULF went out of the way to include representations from all sections of the communities at parliamentary level.

              Your Vellala centric utterances are meaningless in todays context. The fact remains that the Sinhala marginalised the Tamils collectively. If you had read Mahindapala’s chauvinistic articles glorifying the Sinhala Buddhists and at the same time projecting that they are rightful owners of SL, you would have put two and two together if you indeed possess a rational mind!

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                Burning Issue

                “I told you to talk sense! How can the Vellala prevent the lower caste people from voting? The federal government of the US intervened on several occasions. The supreme court will be the highest court! “

                It took a century.

                In the meantime there was the Ku Llux Klan.

                The Backs, before they had to vote, they had to register to vote.

                They, KKK, had the targets identified.

                The message got across to blacks.

                What did the Blacks do? Move North.

                May be the lower Caste Tamils could have moved South to escape the Vellahala Castism and Racism in the Vellahala Federal North.

                However, one slices it, the Vellahala Tamils from Jaffna have played a pivotal role, and their Castism and Racism, got in the way.

                “But unlike Ramanathan who was too much a statesman to give offence to the Sinhalese, Ponnambalam showed no reservations on that score. The Youth Congress’ Communalism or Nationalism was a response to Ponnambalam’s 197 page 50-50 speech in 1939, demanding 50 percent representation for the minorities. It describes Ponnambalam’s ‘Nazi style’ propaganda, beguiling the Tamils as an advanced people tracing their origins to Mohenjadaro in the Sindh, and then using innuendo to demean the Sinhalese. We will say more on this in the next part.”

                “Thus G.G. Ponnambalam championed British Imperialism and when it failed, he literally fell at D.S. Senanayake’s feet. The LTTE went to India, got into an ugly fracas and courted the West for many years, to be wiped out with its delusions.”

                G. G. Ponnambalam preferred British imperialism to independence, as they would have been able to maintain their Castism and Racist hegemony.

                In the end the Tamils, Vellahala, non-Vellahala, Muslims and Sinhala citizens paid the price, as the British left without sufficient checks and balances.

                The role played by Vellahala Castism and racism shoukd be acknowledged.

                Going forward, Vellahala Castism and Racism should be repeated exposed, as has been dome in America with White Racism.

                • 0
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                  I say it again; I am completely dumbfounded! Universal franchise was accepted by the Tamils unlike certain southern states in the US. It crystal clear that you cannot accept that you got it wrong! I have no time to waste with you.

                  Of course people should be reminded and educated of the past caste injustices but convolute it with the current collective Tamil political aspirations is insidious. It is a divertionary tactic and you know it!

                  • 0
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                    Burning Issue

                    “I say it again; I am completely dumbfounded! Universal franchise was accepted by the Tamils unlike certain southern states in the US. “

                    Do you have statistics on this? G G Ponnabalam wanted it to be selective, even though the Tamil Youth Congress was for it.

                    Accepted by most Tamils, but not by All, especially by most of the controlling Vellahalas because of the relative numbers.

                    The Sinhala South accepted Universal franchise, and the controlling UNP disenfranchised the Up country Tamils because they Voted Mostly for the Left, in the 1947 elections, but used the number of seats allocated, to gain more seats in the 1952 elections.

                    It is called Self-Interest.

                  • 0
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                    Sir P Ramanathan in his evidence before the Donoughmore Commission opposed franchise for women and the uneducated. He was lambasted by Ms Mangalammaal, a women’s franchise activist.
                    Ramanathan failed to win the support of the majority of Tamils on this issue.
                    He may have had caste in mind.
                    But, to be fair, he did not put it that way to the Commission.

  • 9
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    A brilliant and convincing analysis of Tamil politics in the late 1920s.

    It also makes sad reading because it lays bare how narrowly the the Youth Congress failed to carry the day. Had they succeeded, later developments in Sri Lanka would have been so different!

  • 6
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    Dr. Rajan Hoole

    Revisiting Tamil Self Determination Part II: The Historic Schism In Tamil Politics

    “Jane Russell says, “Ramanathan plus most of the ‘conservatives’ (Selvadurai, Sri Pathmanathan, and E.R. Thambimuttu were exceptions) believed and argued that giving the vote to non-vellala castes and to women was not only a mistake leading to ‘mob rule’, but Ramanathan especially suggested that it was an anathema to the Hindu way of life”.”

    Tamils should have given up Hinduism and embraced Wiccan beliefs. Would the Vellahalas allowed it? Would it have confused the Sinhala Buddhists?

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_beli.htm

    General principles of Wiccan beliefs:

    Wicca is an almost completely decentralized religion. George Knowles, a Wiccan author, has said: ““Wicca has no high authority, no single leader, no prophet and no Bible to dictate its laws and beliefs”. 1 Many, perhaps most, Wiccans are solitary practitioners. Others form small local groups called covens, groves, etc. Thus, there probably are almost as many sets of Wiccan beliefs as there are Wiccans.

    However, in 1973, a group of about 73 representatives from many Wiccan paths and traditions met in Minneapolis to form a temporary “Council of American Witches” under the leadership of Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, of the well known Llewellyn publishing house that specializes in books dealing with alternative health and healing, astrology, earth-based religions, shamanism, Gnostic Christianity, Kabbalah, etc. The group successfully created a set of beliefs that harmonized the beliefs of the many Wiccan traditions in the U.S. at the time. The group disbanded shortly afterwards. However their 13 principles are still endorsed by many American Wiccans.

    Of particular interest are:

    * Principle #2 which stresses the importance of care of the environment. Recall that this statement was prepared over four decades ago.

    * Principle #4 which affirms the equality of women and men. It briefly touches on sex magick. These are a belief and practice foreign to many of today’s organized religions who continue to denigrate women and fear human sexuality.

    * Principle #10 refers to the intense opposition and oppression experienced by many Wiccans at the time, typically from conservative Christians. This culminated in a lynching of a Wiccan, and two fundamentalist Christian pastors calling for government programs of genocide to wipe out Wiccans. This hatred has largely faded since these principles were written.
    horizontal rule

    The 13 principles of Wiccan belief:

    We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

    We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

    We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called ‘supernatural’, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

    We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same Creative Power lies in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energy used in magical practice and religious worship.

    We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, the Inner Planes etc – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

    We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

    We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it – a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft – the Wiccan Way.

    Calling oneself ‘Witch’ does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seek to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and without harm to others and in harmony with nature.

    We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

    Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be ‘the only way’ and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

    As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

    We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as ‘Satan’ or ‘the Devil’ as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

    We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being. 1

    Detailed Wiccan beliefs about deity:

    Beliefs among individual Wiccans differ:

    * Monotheism: Some Wiccans believe that a single creative force exists in the universe, which is sometimes called “The One” or “The All”. Little can be known of this force. Other Wiccans — typically feminists — worship the Goddess by herself.

    * Bitheism (a.k.a. Duotheism): Many regard the Goddess and the God as representing the female and male aspects of the All. These deities are not “out there somewhere;” they are immanent in the world. Others regard the God and Goddess as two separate deities, representing the male and female principles.

    * Polytheism: Many regard the thousand of ancient pagan Gods and Goddesses (Athena, Brigit, Diana, Fergus, Odin, Pan, Zeus, etc.) as representing various aspects of the God and Goddess. The term “Wicca” normally implies that the person’s religion is based upon Celtic spiritual concepts, its pantheon of deities, and seasonal days of celebration. Other Neopagans include deities, beliefs, practices and symbols from ancient Pagan religions (e.g. Egyptian, Greek, various mystery religions, Roman, Sumerian) or upon Aboriginal religions (Native American Spirituality, Shamanism).

    * Pantheism: Some Wiccans believe that the universe is divine and should be revered. Pantheism identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God.

    * Agnosticism: Some Wiccans are actually Agnostics, who take no position on the existence of a supreme being or beings. They often look upon the Goddess and the God as archetypes, based on myth.

    * Strong Atheism: Some Wiccans are strong Atheists and maintain that no deity exists. They often view the God and Goddess as concepts or principles, not as living entities.
    It must be stressed that Wiccans have no supernatural being in their pantheon of deities who resembles the quasi-deity Satan found in Christianity and Islam. This belief was quite common among conservatives of other faiths. It is now fading since so many Wiccans have come out of the closet and gone public with heir faith.

  • 1
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    Rajan Hoole:
    “Revisting Tamil Tamil Self Determination: Part 2”.
    Where is part 1? I couldn’t find it in the CT archives….

    Re The Youth Conngress:
    The YC started the first ant-caste movement in the North and all its leaders,I believe, were Vellahas

    • 2
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      Oppression breeds rebellion.
      The depressed castes did not sit back and watch as things happened around them.
      They struggled in various ways. Early in the 20th century they formed workmen’s associations and expressed themselves through publications etc.

      The contribution of the Youth Congress was great, but in course of acknowledging it let us not lose sight of the capability of the oppressed to speak and to struggle for social justice.

  • 5
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    Sinhala Man.

    I agree with you.Perhaps to really understand Hoole,one needs to be on a higher plane!

  • 1
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    Dr Rajan Hoole:
    “Vythilingam has left behind ammunition that has been used to attack the Tamil Left to this day. He argues that Tamil interests are best protected by a foreign power…he accused the Youth Congress of infecting the Tamils with the ‘Gandhian virus” etc.

    Will the author kindly say what the link this C Vythilingam had with the left in Jaffna for his utterances to hurt the left?
    I hope that he can also briefly enlighten the reader on the contexts of the attacks and the attackers.

    I know only of one வைத்தியலிங்கம் (English spellings of Vaithiyalingam / Vaithilingam vary) associated with the left in the North (A Vaidialingam). He contested Vaddukkoddai on the CP ticket in 1956 and 1960 twice and would not have uttered such parochial sentiments.

  • 0
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    I believe the reference was to M. Vythilingam the author of

    The life of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Volumes 1 and 2, Ramanathan Commemoration Society, 1971 (605 pages)

    I believe he was the Principal of Chavacheri Hindu College

    • 0
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      reader
      Thanks for taking the trouble to clarify.
      I now have a downloaded copy of the book.

      My concern was whether the person referred to had a left identity because a statement uncharacteristic of a leftist is attributed to him; and there appear to be extrapolations from there.

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