18 August, 2017

Some Conclusions On Tamil Casteist Racism

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Why bother about Tamil casteist racism, the substantiation for which is to be found in attacks on this writer by only a few Tamils? Arguably they represent just a Tamil Islamophobic lunatic fringe and no more than that. However, the problem in Sri Lanka is that on the ethnic front the lunatic fringe is too often right at the center. Since the time of the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact of 1957 every attempt at a solution of the ethnic problem has been aborted by the lunatic fringe moving to the center, a procedure that we might expect over the next attempt as well. The lunatic fringe is to be found on the Tamil side also, not just the Sinhalese one as commonly assumed. For instance, Balasingham and Karuna came to the sober conclusion that the Tamils had better settle for a federal solution. But the lunatic Prabhakaran was right there at the center and aborted that.

The LTTE – which began the attacks against this writer in the Colombo Telegraph – can be seen as a lunatic fringe that took power at the Tamil center. Arguably it began as a credible nationalist movement in response to State terrorism from 1977 to 1983, but it quickly degenerated into lunacy. That was shown by its extermination of the Tamil moderates – the best and brightest of the Tamils – the lunatic belief that it could establish Eelam through a military victory against the wishes of India, and the concomitant rejection of a federal solution. But what evidence was there to show that the LTTE attacked this writer? They were clearly co-ordinate attacks by seven to ten persons every week, all of them were well-written more or less in the same style, and they stopped abruptly after some weeks. Those facts suggest a group behind the attacks, and what could it be but the LTTE? Consider the fact that this writer would be regarded as a moderate, the kind of person who could help in promoting political solutions – the kind of person, in other words, who was utterly detested by the LTTE. There is the case of a friend of this writer, a Sinhalese tycoon and do-gooder who mounted several projects to help indigent Tamils in the North: expatriate Tamils made it clear to him that they hated his guts for doing that. Of course, there is plenty of evidence to show the LTTE’s Islamophobic hatred towards Muslims. It is pertinent to refer also to this writer’s article of some years ago analyzing the blatant display of racism in Hero’s Day speeches of Prabhakaran and Balasingham. The latter declared that the upper storey of the Sinhalese was entirely devoid of content, and that there was only one word that the Sinhalese could really understand, the word “hit”. A contact in London wrote to this writer to state that for the latter remark Balasingham could easily be convicted and punished in London for racist incitement to violence.

So it would be untenable to hold that the writer’s conclusions on Tamil casteist racism have to be dismissed because of inadequate substantiation. The attacks on this writer over weeks, months, and years provide ample material on that racism. It almost certainly afflicts only a minority of the Tamils but it could get to the center stage, very dangerously, should the LTTE ride again. In order to get fully to grips with the Tamil ethnic problem, it is important not just to recognize Tamil racism but to understand why it has a peculiarly horrible virulence. The writer has argued that belief in rebirth and the theory of karma provides a transcendental justification for hierarchy and the caste system, and therefore racism could have a peculiar virulence in the caste-ridden societies of South Asia. The Tamil caste system is much more rigid, much more inhuman, than the Sinhalese one, and consequently it might be expected that Tamil racism will have a peculiarly horrible virulence. Tamil responses to the writer’s recent articles certainly provide very convincing substantiation for that view.

In writing on Ifthikar Cader’s painting exhibition this writer announced that in his weekly articles he would be focusing more on the arts – on literature, film etc. There was nothing even remotely about the Tamils in the paintings or in the review, but a Tamil burst out in contempt and hatred declaring that this writer had engaged in a covert attack on Ifthikar and his brother because he envied their good looks etc. What was the explanation for that seeming bit of lunacy? One of Sri Lanka’s best known creative writers waxed lyrical about that review, which could be presumed therefore to have had a certain quality. The Tamil Islamophobe found the positive quality of that review unbearable. The writer’s next article was on a Hitchcock film, which again had nothing to do with the Tamils. The same Tamil burst out again, provoking a Sinhalese to ask whether he thought that no Muslim should write an article on Hitchcock. The Tamil replied that his position was a simple and straightforward one: films are forbidden under Islam, for which reason this writer could not have seen a single Hitchcock film, about which he knows “bugger all”. Tamil casteist racism is on obvious display: Muslims should stick to menial occupations or trade, and it is intolerable that one of them should dare to write on the high arts.

Another Tamil also thought it outrageous that I should write on the high arts. He conceded that I knew something about politics – “But European Art and the depths of the cinematic world!!! This is the giddy limit … Surely there is a limit to the patience and the courtesy of the readers in their thousands”. The same Tamil, Kettikaran, earlier wrote that the Muslims are breeding “like piglets” and when challenged on that declared that it is quite commonplace to say that the Muslims are breeding like piglets and rats, possibly having the BBS in mind. He declared further that the BBS had been provoked by this writer and similar Muslims. This writer challenged him to substantiate that charge but that has not been done up to now, obviously because the charge is nonsense. The reader will agree that the writer has not been excessive in describing the Tamil attacks on him in the following terms – “hysterical hatred and mad dog rage”.   

Another Tamil has been bellowing like a mad bull for months on end that Muslim pretensions to being of Arab descent are nonsense, except for a tiny handful of them, and that they are really low caste Tamils – sometimes he has been explicit that they are the products of inter-marriage with Sakkilis, that is lavatory cleaners. This writer quoted the following from Lorna Devaraja’s book on The Muslims of Sri Lanka: “From a trading community with tenuous affiliations to the host culture, they developed paradoxically into a group which while remaining devoutly Islamic had a place in the most intimate and innermost recesses of Kandyan life: in the administration of the Dalada Maligawe which enshrined the palladium of Buddhist royalty; in the pomp and ceremonial of the vihares and devales and in the day to day functioning of the monasteries which were the hub of the spiritual and cultural life of the village”. The writer asked how all that was possible with the intense caste consciousness of traditional Sri Lanka. No reply. It was a clear case of Tamil casteist racism in action.

Before concluding the writer must point out that the attacks on him provide valuable evidence on the dehumanizing and bestializing power of racism – for the racist, not his victims. A couple of Tamils keep recurring to the charge that the writer advocated famine as an instrument to subdue the rebellious Tamils. Any reader who turns to Google and clicks on “Izeth Hussain’s reply to K. Arvind – 2006” will find that he has advocated the precise opposite. The writer declared that the LTTE and its clones should be extirpated from off the face of the earth. The Tamil racists insist that in fact what the writer advocated was the extermination of all Tamils. The writer has inveighed against Wahabism and its clones at great length but the Tamil racists insist that he is a notorious supporter of the ISIS. And so on, ad nauseam. The appeal to reason and the moral sense is of no avail with the Tamil racists. Could it be that they have reduced themselves to the level of the rat, the dog, and the pig?

What action should be taken? It is a significant fact that the concerted attacks by what was almost certainly the rump LTTE stopped after some months. Possibly the ripostes of this writer showing how ridiculous those attacks were could have led to that outcome. At present the writer and a Sinhalese who has been writing in his defense in the Colombo Telegraph have come to be convinced that one of the Tamil racists is the servitor of a fundamentalist Christian group. It is relevant to recall at this point that the BBS is believed to have had the financial backing of Norwegian fundamentalist groups. There could be a sinister force at work behind some of the Islamophobic attacks against this writer. Our authorities should look into the political dimension of Christian fundamentalist activity in Sri Lanka, particularly in the Tamil areas. This writer was revolted some time ago by a video showing a mass meeting of a Christian fundamentalist group in the Eastern Province in support of the expansionist policy of apartheid Israel.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRbe-UqeEzU

    This part of the 1000 year old Tamil Islamic culture centered around Nagore in Tamil Nadu and these Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims who are heirs this rich culture are deliberately discarding it

    • 2
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      Kalisha Bee Mahaboob – Nadhaswaram

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfR1mnw0b3M&list=RDpfR1mnw0b3M#t=89

      One time an interviewer asked her “You a Muslim Lady, you are wearing Kumkum Pottu?” Kalisha Bee Mahaboob returned “So what? how else you perform in a temple in front of Hindu audience?.”

      There are Karnatic Music institute in the name Sheik Chinna Moulana.

      Thanks for Allah they did not have come from Arabia, then we Tamil -Hindus would have a stood a lot to lose of our culture.

      • 0
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        Mallaiyuran what culture you are talking about. If you go in the train in Tamilnadu, early morning around 7am you can see people doing poopu (defecating) all along on other side of track. You can see this for hours. Even in streets you can see. Isn’t one of your culture.

    • 1
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      Real Siva Sankaran Sarma

      “At a dargah (Islamic shrine) situated in the south-east part of India, the singers sing devotional songs in the Qawwali style, with percussion accompaniment. The lyrics are a mix of the local south Indian language, Tamil and Arabic, while the music style is that of northwestern India.”

      “This is from EarthSync’s album Nagore Sessions: a unique musical collaboration featuring Sufi, Indian, Middle Eastern and Western elements. “

      Thanks for the U tube link. Would you claim that all those Tamil Muslims are “low caste” Muslims? If so, did the Muslims follow the caste system in India, like the Hindus and the Others? Are these Muslims the sole source of Muslims in Sri Lanka? What about the Maldivian Muslims? Are they from “low caste” Tamils too?

      Need DNA genetic analysis and data to rebut or support a hypothesis. In the absence of that, you need to go after other evidence. Are the Italian Americans and German American of English ethnicity, because English is their mother tongue?

      Certainly, this is a culture that was impacted by Islam, Arabs, Sufis, and North Western India, that was impacted by the Persian, the Afghans and the Mongols (Moguls).

      I can see why the Satan following Wahhabis would like to distance themselves because of the music. However, the evidence does not fully support your hypothesis that the Sri Lankan Muslims solely descended from “low caste” Tamils.

      Amarasiri sees the problem. has mostly to do with the so-called “high” caste Tamils., who wants to group the “low” caste Tamils, the Eastern Ta,mils, the Up-country Tamils and the Muslims into the Tamil “speaking:” low caste bucket.

      Did you ever wonder why the “high ‘ caste Tamils voted to disenfranchise the Up Country Estate Tamils, by voting with the Sinhala racists, when the Sinhala left opposed it? Because they are in the Tamil “speaking:” low caste bucket.

      C. Suntharalingam: Tamil Story Telling On The Citizenship Bill

      By Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
      Cooked up Commitments to Hill-country Tamils

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/c-suntharalingam-tamil-story-telling-on-the-citizenship-bill/

    • 1
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      Real Siva Sankaran, I read your comments on few articles related to Sri Lanka Muslims. You call Sri Lankan Moors as low caste Tamil convert, you don’t even write just Tamil converts. Here you had given a link to a website and 1000 years old Tamil Islamic culture and these Tamil SL Muslims are heirs to this rich culture. But you in your other comments call SL Muslims low caste Tamil convert who came from Tamilnadu. That means they had lost their rich culture after coming to Sri Lanka. Do you see the people who are playing the Daira or Rabban and singing in Tamil. You can see such people in various places in North India, same costume but sing in different language. Even in Pakistan and places like Oman, Yemen you can see such people. These people do not have Tamil’s facial features although singing in Tamil and their music is 100% different from your original Tamil music. You have so much hatred toward Sri Lankan Moors because history tell us before European they only came to India and sri lanka and made you tree climbers civilized.

  • 1
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    One needs to understand that why Izeth is wiggling that hard to establish his imbecile theories with his THREE “F” RESOURCES” (filth, false and fraud). .First the readers need to know these three “F” resources are not born with Izeth, but acquired during his tenure, through the Foreign Ministry services. During the last UNHRC sitting, when a Minister from TGTE confronted Mangala on the corridor of the meeting halls “Why are you telling all these lies?”, Mangala did not throw back a question “What lies? Or which lies?” but he vanished. Allowing peeling the mask of FM diplomats is very painful for them. It is attached on their face with super glue. They cannot change their faces to normal.

    The latest from Izeth seems to be is, in addition to the FM certification of his excellence, he want to show off that he can be an excellent Muslim spy employed by Old Brother Prince on readers and commentators. Our authorities should look into the political dimension of Christian fundamentalist activity in Sri Lanka, particularly in the Tamil areas.

    This lazy threat is though simple indication of his own feeling of Izeth’s downfall on his theories of democratizing Lankawe equivalent to West, nonetheless these threats were efficient tools used by Sinhala Government all the way from 1948. Under the PTA a neighbor who did didn’t simply like the peaceful life of another neighbor needed was to complain to Rapist Army that his good neighbor is a LTTE. Then the good neighbor’s wealth, family, wife children & everything comes under the control of the bad neighbor, and good one eventually vanishes into the thin air. This imbecile idiot Izeth is trying to play the PTA game here in the public forum, in addition to his FM trained Aappa diplomacy.

    • 3
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      Truth, The First Casualty of War

      (Rating PG. Parental Guidance recommended)

      They say that truth is the first casualty of war. In the case of Eelam wars also, the first casualty was truth, closely followed by the Vanni chicken population. No one can deny that. We have the satellite imagery to prove it. The Vanni chicken population was decimated to a few hundred chicks by the time the war ended. Since then it has gone up to normal levels.

      Mallaiyuran, you are saying “a Minister from TGTE confronted Mangala and he vanished,” which may well be true. It is not surprising that Mangala, himself a well known TGTE (Trans Gender Terrestrial Entity) vanished. Perhaps he had had a hard night and did not want to be Trans Genderlized in daytime too. That is not avoiding lying. It is avoiding an assault with a friendly weapon by the TGTE Minister in full daylight. And in the corridor too!

      Silvestra has prepared Appa with Butter chicken (Buttter chikkken as you guys say) for dinner and I will get back to the chicken story after enjoying that. That is silvestras Appa diplomacy, as I am angry with her. She knows how to prepare Lakawe food.

  • 1
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    Lankawe Foreign ministry build Aappa Diplomacy’s peak was when Kathirgamar was shot to death. The power built into that mirage made IC to believe that LTTE shot him. It was Ranil who understood the loss of Kathirgamar challenged Old King in the Parliament “if you want we can have that also investigated”. (Then it seems Ranil fixed his mistake by silencing Kathirgamar family who called for re-investigation) Then the Old King properly milked all 32 nations locked up Aappa Diplomacy and made then to contribute for his $18 Billion foreign bank account. Then it slipped a bit because the 32 nations put into that one single basket was dreadful enemies to each other like Russia – America, India-Pakistan, India- China, Israel-Iran, Israel-Pakistan……. The first one started to rebel feeling short of benefits against China was Sonia – Manmohan Singh’s India; Then President Obama & PM Cameron. Now they all are replaced and Ranil have rebuilt a lot the Aappa diplomacy again. The IC players are basically all new and they need their lesson of this game from Lankawe.

    Ranil has put together again China – Japan – India – Russia- America- Vietnam – Saudi and even to some extent Israel too. He has won two ample years to work on resolution 30/1. EU is still not sure of what to do with GSP+. In starts of 2010s, EU has been begging Old King to take GSP+, but kicked on the back of EU and chased them away with their silly GSP+. Instead of Kicking on the back, Ranil is using better Aappa Diplomacy and keeping EU utterly confused. That is why they could not decide on anything yesterday also. They are taking one more moth (May 15th) to decide on GSP+.

  • 1
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    So there is a fresh hope of reviving the age old technique, rowdy Vijaya used on Kuveni, in name of marrying, stealing her kingdom and letting the queen and her children die in the jungle as orphans. The IC players all are coming back to board again. August is the time to renegotiate the Unitary Yahapalanaya under 19A. Izeth has been trying to do his contribution by destroy the secret solution, the new constitution making, with his theory of democratizing Lankawe. He wiggled/wiggling maximum with this his three “F” word resources to establish his due place in the newly rived Aappa Diplomacy process. How much Izeth success will be is on how much attention Izeth can pay to his Prophet Rodrigo’s words. Please let us not stop there. let us not repeat the mistake of just talking about it and not doing anything about it as those philosophers did. Let us go forward together to solve the problem.

    • 3
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      MalUrine,that’s a rant of a badly frustrated person.

  • 5
    0

    Any Izzeth Hussein article is of great interest.Averaging on about 100 – 120 comments per article is no mean achievement , especially from an academic perspective.Viva Hussein!

    • 3
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      Hiran S.

      Any Izzeth Hussein article is of great interest because he hits the nail on the head and focuses on the core-issues. That will give guidance towards possible solutions.

      “95% of the solution is identifying the problem”-Bertrand Russel.

    • 0
      1

      Averaging on about 100 – 120 comment

      99% of the comments are Edwin Rodrigo’s silly jokes supported the likes of Israth.

      • 3
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        Thanks Raa Jazz. 99% eh? So I wrote more than 190 comments. A great achievement for Edwin.

        • 0
          2

          you mean great achievement for Izeth Hussain;

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