18 August, 2022


Tamil Casteist Racism: Implications – Part II

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

We should be absolutely clear in our minds why racism in the caste-ridden societies of South Asia can be expected to have an altogether peculiar virulence. Otherwise we cannot grasp why the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka is so recalcitrant to solution that it threatens even to become an eternal imbroglio. South Asian racism has its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism: both enjoin belief in rebirth and in the theory of karma according to which one’s station in this life is determined by right and wrong action in past lives. Inequality and the hierarchical ordering of society in terms of caste are therefore given a religious or transcendental legitimation. It has to be expected that in such societies the drive to regard the Other as inferior or dangerous or both can be overpowering.

The writer has pointed out that ethnic conflicts in the world are very rare but they have been commonplace and spectacular in South Asia, citing as instances the butchering of over a million during the Partition, Sri Lanka’s racist civil war in which a hundred thousand have died and there is no prospect of a solution, and the breakup of Pakistan due to the inability of the West Pakistanis to accept political primacy being given to the East Pakistan “junglies”. The record shows that racism in South Asia has been far more lethal and destructive than in any other comparable region of the world.

The writer will now point to the significance of the prevalence and power of the neo-Fascist ideology of Hindutva in present-day India. The present writer holds that as originally formulated by Savarkar in 1923 Hindutva was not a neo-Fascist ideology because it postulated an inclusive Indic identity, inclusive of the Muslims also: after all the present writer is himself postulating an Indic commonality behind racism in South Asia. But there has for long been an ambiguity about Hindutva because after the formation of the RSS as its political incarnation it came to stand for Hindu dominance. We see the ambiguity today in Prime Minister Modi: he wants to be true to the original noble vision of an inclusive Hindutva but his appointments to high office show a preference for rabid anti-Muslim racists. In practice today therefore Hindutva in action is kith and kin to the populist neo-Fascist movements that are pullulating in several parts of the globe. The difference is that they are newfangled movements whereas the Hindutva movement has flourished in India since the second half of the ‘seventies. The important point is that a neo-Fascist ideology has been very powerful in India as nowhere else in the world since the Second World War. That cannot be accidental. Hindutva should be seen as part of the syndrome – originating in Hinduism and Buddhism – that has led to virulent racism in South Asia. The basic drive is to see the Other as inferior or dangerous or both.

The writer will now make some observations on Tamil casteist racism, taking as illustrative material Tamil Islamophobic attacks on him. Some years ago he started publishing weekly articles in the Island which a little later came to be published simultaneously in the Colombo Telegraph. Initially the responses from Tamil readers, including from Fr. S.J Emmanuel of the Global Tamil Forum, were totally positive and an expatriate magazine in Canada published a couple of the articles in Tamil translation. All that was not in the least surprising as over the decades the writer had acquired a solid reputation as someone who was extremely sympathetic to the Tamils and extremely hostile to Sinhalese racism, of which he himself had been a spectacular victim from 1977 to 1994. That reputation was established through a great many articles published in the Lanka Guardian, the Island, a weekly column for two years in the Tamil-owned Weekend Express, and also through participation in many seminars and public meetings. It is worth mentioning that the TNA leader Mr. Sampanthan told the writer that he not only read his articles in the Weekend Express but cut out and kept copies of them.

Suddenly, and to practically everyone’s surprise, attacks on the articles started to appear in the Colombo Telegraph. It was not a case of this or that article being found wanting over errors of fact or argument. Every article was subjected to withering dismissive attack by seven to ten persons. The message being conveyed was clearly that Editors should reject anything and everything from this writer. They were clearly concerted attacks that went on for several weeks, subsided for a brief while, resumed again in full force for several more weeks and then stopped altogether. The attacks were possibly concerted by the rump LTTE. Thereafter however unconcerted attacks by two, three, or more persons against practically every article by this writer have continued to this day.

Quite early on after the attacks began, this writer noticed some peculiar features about them. Practically all of them were by persons using nom de plumes that declared a Tamil identity. The attacks were usually characterized by what this writer came to call “hysterical hatred and mad dog rage”. The attacks were mainly on the ground that this writer had been notorious for decades for his rabid anti-Tamil racism. That charge suffices by itself to show how utterly mad the Tamil casteist racists can be. This writer has written more than one article refuting that charge in detail and will therefore mention here just one detail. It is that in decades of writing on the ethnic problem he has never even once applied the term “terrorist” to the LTTE because he has steadfastly held that relentless State terrorism from 1977 to 1983 left the Tamils with no alternative but to take to arms, and therefore the LTTE should be regarded as the expression of a national liberation movement though it was of a retrograde tribalist order.

According to established convention writers in the Colombo Telegraph don’t reply to attacks against them except occasionally to correct errors of fact. This writer followed that convention. But he noticed after some time that the attacks against him were unique. Practically every article by a well-known Sinhalese writer provoked attacks of a very vicious sort. As an intellectual, a writer, and political analyst he is quite exceptional and for that reason alone his writings can be expected to provoke a terrible hatred. In addition he is a political activist who sides with this or that politician or this or that political party, and that of course can be expected to draw flak in ample measure. But the attacks against him have never been racist and have had nothing like the hysterical hatred and mad dog rage characterizing the attacks against the present writer. What was on display was Tamil racism, a contributory factor to the ethnic imbroglio that has not been recognized by Westerners who tend to see the imbroglio only in terms of Sinhalese racism. It seemed to the writer therefore that he should respond to the attacks as that would build up a solid body of material exposing Tamil racism. That was done, and some time ago therefore the writer desisted from making any further responses to attacks. The attacks themselves diminished greatly in number.

But they have revived vigorously in recent weeks, showing the same hatred and rage as before. The reason is that the writer had the temerity to announce that he intended writing a series on the arts, on literature, films etc. The Tamil reaction to that can only be explained in term of a caste mentality that assigns to the Muslims a very lowly place in society, something akin to that of the Sakkilis whose main function was to clean toilets. A Tamil wrote that he found it utterly absurd that the present writer should want to write on the arts, the same Tamil who earlier wrote that the Muslims are multiplying “like piglets” and who sees nothing wrong in imaging Muslim children as “piglets”. Another Tamil wrote that the Muslims are multiplying “like rats”. He has been bellowing for many long months that the Muslims are really low caste Tamils – he has sometimes been explicit that they are the products of intermarriage with the Sakkilis. The writer leaves it to the interested reader to turn to the CT archives for further details showing the depth of Tamil Islamophobic hatred and rage.

The main reason why the Tamils insist on a solution only through devolution is their caste mentality. They are satisfied with fair and equal treatment in the West and elsewhere without any devolution at all, but not here. The reason is that the caste mentality dictates that they be the equals of the Sinhalese or superior to them in Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese are also cursed with the caste mentality. Consequently it is difficult to believe that devolution with the emphasis on identity and ethnic difference can ever lead to a political solution. That solution can come only through a fully functioning democracy with adequate safeguards for legitimate minority interests. The campaign against devolution should not be left o the extremists.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    Izeth – you must be very smug you got 263 responses to your article.

    However almost all of them are meaningless exchanges with Edwin Rdorigo in “his” sakkli language that only he understand and not related to the headline subject matter.

    • 0

      Most of them are NOT on his article but on the hatred statements made by [Edited out] – Edwin Rodrigo.

  • 2

    List of castes/caste names in Islamic Pakistan that Izzat so admires
    by ethnic group
    96 castes and some these caste names are 1) Ahemdani 2) Zardari( the late Benazir Bhutto’s husband belongs to the caste)3)Wadeyia 4) Umrani 5) Talpur

    Kashmiri 16 castes and some of the caste names are 1)Wains 2) Sheikh 3)Raja 4) Qureshi 5)Mir 6) Mian Rajput 7) Khawaja ( like the Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja)

    Brahui 20 castes some of the caste names 1) Bangulzai 2) Zehri 3) Shahwani

    Pahstun 67 castes some of the caste names 1) Khan 2) Arain 3)Niazi 4)Suri 20 Sulemani

    Punjabi Pakistan’s largest ethic group consisting around 60% of the population . 78 castes. Some of the caste names 10 SHeikh 2) Rathore a caste name shared by Punjabi Hindus too 3) Sahni4) Rajput again by Hindus too 5) Rana a caste common to Hindu Punjabis too6) Muslim Khatris as you get HIndu Khatris too 7) Mir 8) Mia 9)Jat 10) Gujar all Hindu Punjabi castes too.

    Sindhi 1) Galani 2) Lakhani

    Caste names for Arab ancestral 36 some of them are 1) Abasi 2) Zuberi 3)Syed 4) SIddiqui 5) Rizvi

    Caste names of Iranian ancestral
    36 some of them are Ansari 2) Zand 3) Zain 4) Rizvi

    Caste names for Turkish ancestry
    1) Agha 2) Pasha 3) Chugtai 4) Barlas

    Far more divided by castes in all major ethnic groups in Muslim Pakistan than the Tamils
    Caste names for

  • 0

    “Tamil Casteist Racism”……..
    “It should surely be recognized that he is engaged in the noble task of saving the Tamils from the Tamils”
    I and Edwin are engaged in the task of making their buckets boomerang on their faces. My message to them is this: Fuck off! – I
    (there is no “I and Edwin” in Queen’s English, it is “Edwin and I”)

    Whether it is in Queen’s English or Landon’s cabs’ English, there is no word in English as “Casteist”. UNP Yahapalanaya fooled the world with its fake hate speech bill to relaunch PTA. So, that went nowhere. So a person calls him as a writer is sitting and lazily coining maximum superlatives to launch his hate message against his enemies, the Tamils, claiming it as a noble cause of saving Tamils from Tamil with Queen’s’ English. What an imbecile proposition?

    Prophet Edwin denied to publicly sharing his name with Izeth, though Izeth volunteered to learn filth from the filth Prophecy. That tells Edwin had no share in inventing and loading in the Titles of those essays with the most possible abusive word to Tamils, the “Casteist”. Prophets collection of insulting words for Tamils to help Izeth does not come here. That is only because Izeth asked for it and prophet is helping. This how Izeth has asked his Prophet to launch war on Tamils to save Tamils.

    Izeth knowledge in Tamils or Sinhalese Caste system is something never proved by an authority. He has no basis to substantiate what of his knowledge gave him authoritative confidence to analyze Tamils caste system. His intention of insulting Tamils has to be interpreting as a revenge on Tamils for who tried to point out the flaws in theories of political solutions to Tamils. I am not going to revisit his Essays to impose political solutions on Tamils. But my memory suggests that many Sinhala pseudonym comments too have been questioning at least the accuracy of his theories if not the intention for such big flaw.

    • 0

      To Editor CT. Please give my email address to Mr. Izeth Hussain so that he may contact me.

      MU, you are satisfied now?

      • 0

        Prophet, me to get satisfied, we have to travel a long way. Please be patient. We can guide one another.

    • 0

      Malla Urine – you are stinking up the CT with your torrents of urine. There is a danger you might drown in your urine. In this New Year season why don’t you lay off and take an oil bath?
      To the reader – I must explain why I support Edwin Rodrigo in his splendid use of four letter words – splendid because he has made the Tamil racist faeces boomerang on the Tamil racist faces. He is supported by three of the greatest English writers – Chaucer, Swift, and Lawrence. But of course we can assume that they approved of the use of four letter words only when the occasion demanded it. The Tamil casteist racists have shown themselves to be impervious to normal English. So go at it Eddie boy – boom boom boom on their faces! – IH

      • 0


        You may be showing your true color; an invalid & worthless filth writing rubbish.

        You show behaviors lower than the foreign ministry trained rowdies like those who fight in Iddi Appa Parties over their government and public wealth looting and women.

        It is true yours and your filth Prophet’s filth is going flourishing not met with any resistance on a public forum. Well, we will be losing that war as we are not trained in the filth producing Aappa Diplomacy factory, the foreign services.

        Some decent guys wrote here and begged to the braindead rowdies to mind the woman and children folk may browse this forum. But the braindead-s are showing no capacity to pick that but showing excellent enthusiasm in learning additional filth from the filth prophet.

      • 0

        Yahapalanaya has cheated to bring the “Hate Speech Bill”. Otherwise those who spend time to invent filths to throw on Tamils at large like “Tamil casteist racism” and call it Queen’s English should be residing inside and eat rice and salt. It is not one heading; it is not one series; it is not one month; It is not one year; those rowdies are dedicating their life time in spending on splitting Muslims from Tamils for the perks of the 11th hour of their life. That is a cruse Don Stephan sowed into Muslims Leaders and writers with MMDA, a reward for raising hands in Parliament to deport Tamils. That makes some Muslim Leaders and writers rowdies to think that they can do to or says of Tamils anything. That is the temptation to write filths against Tamils at large like “Tamil casteist racism”, without knowing any damn majesty of the width and breadth of Tamils’ culture.

        Tamils are not “Aruthali Pillai” – (children of a Widow) to every Tom, Dick, and Harry Rowdies bash at them to show off their superiority and go unquestioned. The Sinhala Racist Appe Andu is not ready to provide Justice to Tamils from 1948. And the fire lived inside of leaders SJV & Pirapaharan my miss in rest of the Tamils. But they still have self-pride. Leader Pirapaharan fought with an army notoriously known worldwide to rape Tamil women. But he had inspired Tamils to fight and die without touching a Sinhala woman. Tamils are a community inspired that king noble resolves. There are ways to fight filth throwing or Aappa diplomacy trained rowdies. We will find out those and follow it.

        Until that, you can stand upside down. But taking your anti-Tamil Crusade in a public forum cannot go as free launch.


  • 0

    There is an observed tendency in CT if there is an essay about Muslims, and then many commentators take pseudonym of Tamil. If it is about Sinhalese, they take Muslim names and if it’s about Tamils, most stay with their usual names and come and blast LTTE vanished in 2009. One time a person used a Pseudonym similar to Izeth’s real name and Izeth jumped into defend him and possible might have complained to CT too. That is the count of the CT’s pseudonyms’ reliability. There is where Izeth set the titles of his essays to target Tamils at large, based on Tamil pseudonym commentators commented on Izeth’s essays. .

    Izeth’s explanation of using a non-existing superlative hate on Tamils at large is because somebody (I don’t remember reading it, but I believe Izeth on that) called him “farter”. The person had a Tamil pseudonym, as per Izeth. So Izeth, without attempting have clarified the meaning of that use from that person whom he assumes as Tamil, he launched a massive numbers of Tamil hating essays. The “farter” in Tamil means (Kusuvuravar) a person unnecessarily enters into others conversations and says unrealistic or awkward things. It is not filth though an apparent low class slang.

    For now for years, Izeth essays are, instead of simple filths, very cunningly and eloquently arguing of how to destroy all Tamils’ endeavors to seek a political solution. Tamils have unanimously voted in support for the Vaddukoddai Convention, in the election following it. After that the Sinhala government under Junius Richard introduced 6th amendment which was described as a draconian act of Tamils freedom of self-expression by International Jurists Commission. Izeth is trying hard to falsify the Tamils unanimous opinion on their need for devolution.

  • 0

    “It should surely be recognized that he is engaged in the noble task of saving the Tamils from the Tamils” This not something new to Lankawe landscape. There were sincere explanations given by Muslim leaders to support Sinhala government in 1948 why the Tamils who built up the Ceylon’s economic muscle had to be deported. Those were well understood when the MMDA come out. There was more refined and civilized explanation (to spread the Tamils achievements in education to their rural areas) given by Muslim leaders why they had to introduce standardization on Tamils. Muslims leaders and writers have patriotic explanations to join in Athulathmuthali’s and CBK’s on “war for peace” and Old Royal’s in their Humanitarian Rescue Mission operation to give liberation of 157,000 souls in 5 months. So, here Izeth has written “Tamil Casteist Racism” to support Edwin’s noble cause.

  • 0

    Malle Urine Learns Yinglish

    Malle Urine (MU) opts to go Yingish Class because he finally realizes Yiddish is not enough to be a commentator. Here is a dialog between MU and his English Teacher Punyandi.

    Punyandi: Yennada Ishland? (Translated to English this means ‘What is an Island?)

    MU: Ishland ish a land yendirely shorounded by votaah (Translated to English this means ‘Island is a land entirely surrounded by water’)

    Punyandi: Nallama. Yennada Beach? (Translated to English this means ‘OK. What is a Beach’?)

    MU: Bitch ish an yenimal yendirely shorounded by dogs (Translated to English this means ‘Bitch is an animal entirely surrounded by dogs’)

    To get the full effect, you have to picture MU moving his head in a sort of rotary simple harmonic motion, with the upper part going opposite to the way the lower part is going, while saying ‘yendirely’.

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