26 October, 2020

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Tamil Nadu In Ferment: Sri Lanka And The Future Of The Tamils

By S. Sivathasan –

S. Sivathasan

“Youth is the embodiment of revolt and revolt is the very quintessence of youth.” Nehru

What is seen in Tamil Nadu now are the words of Nehru in full flush. The students and the youth have given expression to their depth of feeling in ample measure. An emotional upsurge sparked by the continuing tragedy of Tamils in Sri Lanka has rolled over to spurning the traditional political leadership in Tamil Nadu. Herein lies the significance of the struggle which defines an altogether new political direction in the state. The change in its incipient stage as of now portends great challenges to Delhi. More importantly it has strong implications on Sri Lanka and the future of the Tamils.

The decimation of the Tamils and their plight in Sri Lanka have had an enormous emotive impact in TN. A sea change in their awareness had its beginning with the immolation of Muthukumar in January 2009. The sincerity underlying the sacrifice left its imprint and triggered a movement which has gathered its current dimension. What is heartening to see now is that students have subserved their emotions to sound reason. With redemption of the SL Tamils providing the backdrop, the student movement has signaled the rejection of all political formations that have dominated TN since independence. They have expressed in no uncertain terms trust in their own leadership capability. No longer will they look towards established formations or kow tow to them.

To properly assess the strength of the undercurrents which express themselves in uncontainable forms, the post-independence period of TN needs to be understood. The year 1947 was not a picturesque end of the independence movement. What Nehru saw was that the soul of a nation long suppressed would find utterance. But this did not happen fully in TN. The Rajaji-Kamaraj rule was a golden era in governance and economic advancement. In the years that followed, the Congress was seen as living for itself, the prestige of Nehru notwithstanding. The Congress ceased to be alive to the social needs of the multitude and above all to the linguistic and cultural aspirations of the Tamils.

The Congress in the state has now become a political anachronism. Inertia, corruption and the youth revolt deriving from the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 resulted in its decline and fall in 1967. The current student movement has now put the seal on its irrecoverable fate. The coming Lok Sabha election is sure to place the imprimatur on its clinical death. A state of comatose for 46 years, complicity in the crime against Tamils, pervasive corruption and thorough disregard of political sensitivity account for this demise. The thinking, values, aspirations and attitudes of the Tamils for a century and more were profoundly influenced by the great poet and nationalist Subramania Bharathy. His nationalist invocations and social stirrings had permeated the Tamils. The Congress however was insensitive to them. They were overwhelmed by the thought that as harbingers of independence the goodwill they earned was inexhaustible.

Coterminous with the decline of the Congress was the growth of the Dravidian movement. It originated in the thirties with Periyar and became a mass movement from early fifties under the leadership of Annadurai. DMK was the name of the organization purporting to embrace all Dravidians but spoke only for the Tamils and was Tamil Nadu based. For political appeal it made Brahmins the hate symbol and scored measureable mileage. It spearheaded social issues, stood for equitable distribution and affirmative action for the under-class. Rightful place for Tamil forcefully articulated by the DMK had enormous resonance with the people. The Congress stood inert in this equation

It was at this juncture that the central government’s policy of thrusting Hindi in Tamil Nadu came about in 1965. The students and the youth took the anti-Hindi agitation to unprecedented heights. TN was shaken to its foundations. The Congress government lost its grip on TN. The Dravidian movement had secured its complete sway. Who effected the change? The students. What were the effects? At the height of the agitation the entire population was involved. The people’s sentiment moved the leaders.

A respected leader and Union Minister C. Subramaniam resigned from the cabinet in 1965 expressing solidarity with the movement. A former Chief Minister, an all India Congress leader and King Maker Kamaraj was defeated in the 1967 election. The foundation was laid for the defeat of the Congress in the state. What is surprising is that though a sea change was taking place in people’s political affiliations, even DMK was not fully aware of it and Annadurai contested the Lok Sabha and not the Legislative Assembly seat.

It is at a similar constellation of circumstances that the current student movement has gathered momentum in TN. Not everything that it portends may be easily visible at this point of time. There is a vital difference however. What ignited the students were not issues closer home but the plight of their compatriots in Sri Lanka. What was exasperating and most unpardonable to them was the complicity of the Congress government and the indifference if not positive collusion of the DMK. Added to all these are the counterfeit somersaults of the ADMK. The significance of the movement has to be seen in their total rejection of all three major parties and their disregard of other parties. Also to be noted is their sincerity and passion which can be discerned only from their statements, facial expression and intonation reflecting determination.

With the Congress vacating political space, the Dravidian formations face the onslaught from the students, the youth and the politically conscious. What started as a movement for social reform in the fifties, morphed into a political party, got bifurcated in the seventies for reasons of corruption is now mired deep in corruption and is without direction. A state that was doped with the Dravidian opium for far too long has awakened. This remarkable upsurge will take more than half a century to run its course while dominating political life. In its wake it will take TN towards new vistas. The path is protracted and over a decade will be needed for full political fallout. Only then is a regime change conceivable ie to move away from the Dravidian Maayai (illusion). As of now the DMK and the ADMK are the obverse and the reverse of the same coin.

A coherent political philosophy is yet to evolve, but a new vibrant political formation with a decisive mandate will make its impact in the counsels of Delhi. In India’s relations to Sri Lanka, Delhi will cease to be hijacked by the Foreign Service but will be driven by the weight and force of TN. The strength of 80 million strong by 2020, the militancy of the youth and the vibrancy of the economy will provide momentum to the State and its power.

What accounts for this change? All three parties had taken a stand inimical to the political future of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Their consistent and continuing antipathy to SL Tamils alienated them from mainstream Tamilian thinking. At the 2011 state election the people showed their wrath against the Congress and the DMK. Having no other alternative the people were constrained to vote for the ADMK. The students draw their strength as much from the pro SL Tamil sentiment as from the explosive anger at their corruption. Antipathy boiling for three decades or more has breached the bounds. India’s vote in the UN Resolution became the occasion.

Antagonism towards all political formations has coalesced around the SL Tamil cause. What has crystallized cannot melt away. The movement is a revolt. It is a watershed in TN’s political progress. The groundswell is the most widespread and potent in 48 years after 1965. It may not translate into votes and seats in 2014 or 2016 but the groundwork is laid for a new forceful political formation to emerge. It will not raise plaintive cries to Delhi, nor will it be indifferent towards SL Tamils. A new equilibrium is in the making and fresh bearings have to be taken therefrom.

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Latest comments

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    WHY TAMILS CANNOT BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO RULE THEM SELF IN THEIR OWN TERRITORY?

    DO YOU CONSIDER THEM AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS ?

    WHY THE SINGALESE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE FEELING OF TAMILS ?

    WHY ARE SINGALESE COLONISING TAMIL AREAS! WHERE THEY HAVE THE MOST FERTILE LANDS WITH REVERES AND RAINFALL IN SOUTH – COMPARED TO INFERTILE AND BARRON LANDS IN THE NORTH & EAST?

    EVERY ONE IS BLAMING LTTE! CAN ANY ONE TELL ME HOW MANY SINGALESE CIVILIANS HAS BEEN KILLED BY LTTE ACTION OVER 30 YEARS?

    AND HOW MANY TAMIL CIVILIANS KILLED BY SINGALESE ARM FORCES OVER THAT PERIOD?

    WHY SINGALESE ARMY OCCUPYING TAMILS AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO RESISTANCE ?

    WHY SINGALESE NATION IS PROMOTING EXTREMISM ?

    ARE SINGALESE NATURALLY BAD AND SELFISH PEOPLE ?

    IF YOU ARE A SINGALESE CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTIONS !

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      Mr. Manivannan

      Why can not you wight your comments in lowercase? It is an accepted pratice in english language to right in lower case. Your writing is irritating my eyes.

      I have a simple question for you. Did you ask some of your questions from the Indian Central Government? Do you have similar arrangement in T-Nadu?

      Come and see on your own eyes how SL Singahalese treat own tamil brothers and sisters. DO not go with the flow beating SL Singahele.

      I am damn sure SL Singhaleses will not beat you despite you T-Nadu tamils beat innocent Sri lanakans visiting T-Nadu. Please remember Sri Lankana Culture is bit civilised than horrible T-Nadu culture.

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        Manesh Rajakaruna

        “Come and see on your own eyes how SL Singahalese treat own tamil brothers and sisters.”

        I agree that Tamils are genetically related to Sinhalese and you are right in addressing them as your own brothers and sisters.

        However I am not sure about how SL Singahalese treat the Tamils, Muslims and above all their own Sinhalese people. Could you expand on it.

        ” Please remember Sri Lankana Culture is bit civilised than horrible T-Nadu culture”

        Could you site any comparative studies on culture and civilisation between Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka.

        My elders tell me that there is no difference between Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka in terms of culture, civilisation and beastly behaviour of both people.

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        Mr Rajakaruna

        People like you keep saying “come and see for yourself if Tamils are treated badly.” This is a complete rubbish. SL has been accused of large scale war crimes – I have no experience in investigating crimes of this nature. The right people must be invited / allowed to investigate these crimes – not mr Mannivannan . You should know SL govt has repeatedly refused to give visa for UN HR Inspectors. Please stop posting silly comments and grow up.

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          Mr. Poor Peace or Piece

          You sounds like a another Die-Ass-Poo-Ra. That is the simple comment I have for you.

          • 0
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            No Manesh,

            He is talking sense and you are talking rubbish

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        Manesh,

        First of all Manivannan is not a TN MP. He is
        Elected by North East of London to Represent Them in the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. Deputy . So he cannot speak on behalf of any arrangement in TN.

        If writing in capital letters is irritating your eyes why bother to read.

        Come and see on your own eyes how SL Singahalese treat own tamil brothers and sisters. DO not go with the flow beating SL Singahele.

        Sinhalese treat Tamils worse than animals.

        I am damn sure SL Singhaleses will not beat you despite you T-Nadu tamils beat innocent Sri lanakans visiting T-Nadu. Please remember Sri Lankana Culture is bit civilised than horrible T-Nadu culture.
        The above applies he is not from TN. The Sinhalese will not beat him up and that is an understatement as he will be bloody killed( cut to pieces like the Canadian Tamil who visited Vavuniya to reclaim his land ) if he comes to Sri Lanka and will never return alive.
        Dont go on about your culture which is barbaric and the following bear testimony.

        1) The Matale Graves
        2) Killing thousands of innocent Tamils
        3) Rape and murder
        4) Killing of Lasantha
        5) Mervyn still doing business as usual despite evidence implicating him ( I know a man is innocent untill proven guilty).
        6) No respect for Law & Order and due process and Dr.Shirani is an example.

        Verdict: Barbarism in your gene and it is a Chromosome abnormality.

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      WHY TAMILS CANNOT BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO RULE THEM SELF IN THEIR OWN TERRITORY? There is no tamil or sinhalese terrorites in Sri Lanka. It is for all.

      DO YOU CONSIDER THEM AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS ? Is this what you experience in T-Nadu?.

      WHY THE SINGALESE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE FEELING OF TAMILS ? We understand it very well than you guys? Your feelings about our tamils are seasional especially just before the T-Nadu elections.

      WHY ARE SINGALESE COLONISING TAMIL AREAS! WHERE THEY HAVE THE MOST FERTILE LANDS WITH REVERES AND RAINFALL IN SOUTH – COMPARED TO INFERTILE AND BARRON LANDS IN THE NORTH & EAST? People in SL can live their life anywhere. There are more tamils in the capital colombo than sinhaleses.

      EVERY ONE IS BLAMING LTTE! CAN ANY ONE TELL ME HOW MANY SINGALESE CIVILIANS HAS BEEN KILLED BY LTTE ACTION OVER 30 YEARS?
      AND HOW MANY TAMIL CIVILIANS KILLED BY SINGALESE ARM FORCES OVER THAT PERIOD?

      Where have you been for last 30 odd years. Having a long slumber or too flat out collecting funds for blood sucking LTTE terrorits?

      WHY SINGALESE ARMY OCCUPYING TAMILS AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO RESISTANCE ? There is nor Singhalese or tamil armies in SL. It is Sri Lanakan Army and it can be anywhere within SL including Kachchtive.

      WHY SINGALESE NATION IS PROMOTING EXTREMISM ? Like in T-Nadyu there are bad people in any communities and do not blame a nation for a few.

      ARE SINGALESE NATURALLY BAD AND SELFISH PEOPLE ? Sri Lankan has been a multicultural society for thousnads years. Our history has revealed there were tamil worriors and batallions working under Singalese kings protecting our motherland. We had very intellignet and hard working gentlemen serving a;; part of SL and it was that idiot Prabakan ruined everything.

      IF YOU ARE A SINGALESE CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTIONS ! Did I answer your silly and billy equestions?

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        Manesh Rajakaruna

        ” There is no tamil or sinhalese terrorites in Sri Lanka.”

        I agree, please leave my ancestral land.

        “People in SL can live their life anywhere.”

        Do you think so? Then why don’t both Tamils and Sinhalese go back to India, your homeland and live their happily ever after?

        “Lankan has been a multicultural society for thousnads years.”

        Multiculturalism is recent invention. What has it got to do with many old kingdoms?

        “I answer your silly and billy equestions?”

        Yes you did, with your stupid answers.

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          Vadda

          Do not pork your big brown nose to all the holes you see. You get that idiot?

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            Manesh Rajakaruna

            “Do not pork your big brown nose to all the holes you see”

            I see a very big hole in your head but I don’t want to poke my nose in it.

            “You get that idiot?”

            What do you mean?

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              Vadda

              You are badly mistaken poor Vadda. That holeis not in my head but in my butt. Did you smell that to? Better than the smell of toilet nadu? heh

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            Manesh Rajakaruna

            “That holeis not in my head but in my butt. Did you smell that to”

            So your head is in your butt. I am sorry.

            It is such a big hole I can see it from far away, no need to come nearer to you.

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            “That holeis not in my head but in my butt. Did you smell that to?”
            Butt Biscuit Bufon go sit on a box of razor blades asshole.

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          Native Sinhalese,

          Yes there is Sinhalese and Tamil Teritory and if in doubt read history or ask your elders the wise counsel.

          We are not leaving our ancestral land and we are staying put.
          No man peope in Sri Lanka cant live anywhere they want if the intention is to colonise.
          I agree that Tamils are genetically related to Sinhalese and you are right in addressing them as your own brothers and sisters.

          Man you are joking we are not genetically related.
          But could have been your brothers and sisters if you had treated us like human beings.

          “Lankan has been a multicultural society for thousnads years.”

          Multiculturalism is recent invention. What has it got to do with many old kingdoms?

          I am sure you are confused so have hot bath sit down and analyse the above as it dosent make bloody sense ask the wise counsel for help.

          Admit it you like the word STUPID dont you because it crops up in all your arguments and noramlly it is Stupid Tamils

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    Manivanan,

    I live in Colombo 6 where the majority is Tamil. Tamils constitute about 33% of the population of Colombo, which is more than the percentage of Singhalese. Are you asking for self rule in Colombo 6. There are about 900,000 Tamils in the Northern Province, which is less than 5% of the population. Like you, they want to get rich quick by using the ethnic issue to emigrate to developed nations.

    Plans are in progress to have the Provincial Council election in September. According to recent newspaper articles by Tamil writers, the people in Killinochi prefer the Army personnel to the politicians and get their help whenever necessary. There are also nearly 2000 Tamil Women soldiers from their area to help them.

    Fly to Jaffna and see for yourself what you are talking about. Talk to ordinary people and get to know their needs and wants and get the help of the Tamil Diaspora to satisfy these needs.

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      Is there another SRi Lanka than what I live in. I do not how many Tamils ypou have spoken in the Sri Lanka, I am living. May be Truth has spoken to the other Sri Lanka. Army is helping by thrashing our Representatives, burning our papers and press , raping our girls and women, graping our land, destroying our Temples. Surely what truth says must be about another Sri Lanka

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        Raja,

        Of course there are many Sri Lankas within Sri Lanka, many groups of Sinhalese within Sinhalese , many groups of Tamils within Tamils and so on. Each group presents its interests, prejudices and opinions as those of everyone. There is the diversity that has to be recognised within this country and the communities. Ultimately, what is good or right for the largest number of people, especially in terms of the results all the people have borne and some people have borne more, over several decades, has to prevail. There are some trying hard to promote the larger cause, but are being called names and insulted at every turn.

        Further, there is also the issue of leadership. The leaders must present a viable and laudable vision and lead their people towards a higher goal. Leaders have to hear a higher voice, convey it to their people and convince them of its sensibility. Politicians hear the noise of the lowest common denominator and claim that is the voice of the people. When followers are projected as leaders, the country and its peoples are in trouble. This is the sad fate of Sri Lanka. Leaders are born and the people instantly recognise them, respect them and adore them. Unfortunately, we are a country cursed with a multitude of politicians, but not blessed with even one leader.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Truth

      What you are saying is not completely true.

      Traditionally Tamil speaking people have inhabited the NE for centuries. Please look at the census since independence. Due to the continous violence Tamils who could afford moved out of NE for safety reasons. The displaced people have taken refuge in cities like Colombo. Since the war ended, large number of Tamils are going back to their ancesteral homes in the NE. This is the fact.

      Unitary governance system will never work in SL. I believe country should be united by passion. What we need is a Federal system of governance based on the Indian model.

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        So these Tamils sought refuge in the heartland of their ‘enemy’ instead of taking a quick swim across the Palk to the Tamil homeland. That’s interesting, you should write a paper.

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          Siva

          Didn’t you know Tamils as many as 200,000 crossed Palk Strait and took refuge in India. Do you live on this planet, I wonder?!

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            So I suppose they decided to move in with the genocidal Sinhalese because there wasn’t any room left in India huh. Just like all those Jews who moved to Berlin to escape from the Nazis – wait, did actually that happen?

            Keep trying :D

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              This one is Sinhalese not Tamil.

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        Not enough Tamils are moving back! They have come to like the life style and comforts in the Southern cities. They are visitors like the Tamil Diaspora now.

        Dr.RN

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      Truth,

      What you have writen above is lie , whole lie and nothing but a lie and you know that.

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    Despite Manivannan’s distraction, the writer has provided food for thought.

    This new resurgence of the Nadu Uni students is a direct result of the hard yards put in by Seemon, Valko and Nedu,

    JJ and Karu getting on the band waggon and making noices is pure padding to pritect their backsides.

    These geriatric leaders who have been conning the poor Naduans since independence, , taking turns have only filled their tills, and got their children and relatives lucrative jobs and plum Govt positions including Ministerial positions.

    In the meatime the poor have become poore, and the less than a Dollar a day crowd has grown bigger.

    It is about time that the new generation organize themselves into a new front and get rid of these serial crooks.

    Our Tamil people from the North . as I understand never had any liking for the Naduans.

    Not sure if it is due to the poverty or the pedigree.

    It is about time the new generation wake up to

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      Sumanasekara,

      I am not quite sure of what to make of your comments as it is of very poor quality both in language and substance.

      This new resurgence of the Nadu Uni students is a direct result of the hard yards put in by Seemon, Valko and Nedu.
      I am not sure of what you mean by hard yards would they be measuring tapes .
      Get the names right first:
      It is Seeman and not Seemon
      Vaiko not Valko

      These geriatric leaders who have been conning the poor Naduans since independence, , taking turns have only filled their tills, and got their children and relatives lucrative jobs and plum Govt positions.
      including Ministerial positions.

      The Geriatric Leaders you are referring to are no different to your Criminal Leaders who have looted the country and appointed their brothers and sisters and sons and daughters and frankly it is a family run business which you wont find anywhere else.
      Rajapakse
      Rajapakse
      Rajapakse
      Rajapakse ……………………………………….

      It is about time that the new generation organize themselves into a new front and get rid of these serial crooks.

      Yes you are right and I agree with you the Sinhalese youth need to organise themselves and form a new front and get rid of the Crooks who are now ruling Sri Lanka.

      Our Tamil people from the North as I understand never had any liking for the Naduans.
      Not sure if it is due to the poverty or the pedigree.

      You are wrong man in respect of the above as we love the people from TN and poverty applies to Sri Lanka as you are the ones going round the world with a begging bowl as your foreign debt burden surpassed Rs. 3 trillion earlier in the year.
      It is about time the new generation of Sri Lanka and wake up to save the nation from disaster

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    When Tamil Eelam will stop to haunt Tamil minds, maybe political, administrative solutions will become possible. At present, Tamil diaspora is using instrumentally the massacre of 2009; if you believe in human rights, then condemn unequivocally the LTTE. You’ll see how easier it would be to bring accountability on the SL government as well. On Tamil Nadu: there people are equally using Sri Lanka as instruments: in Chennai people are fighting for THEIR independence. To mention Sri Lanka is simply useful (see Karunanidhi).

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    WHY TAMILS CANNOT BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO RULE THEM SELF IN THEIR OWN TERRITORY?
    Yes, They had their own territory until 18/19th century but started moving south to take up jobs created by the British. Therefor we don’t consider them have the right to self rule.

    DO YOU CONSIDER THEM AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS ?
    Yes, As long they work for us(don’t open Business or Industries), we call them brothers and sisters. Otherwise, we raid their business with series of riots (1958,77,81,83 and then went to war with them and won!). We have now started to do the same thing with the Muslims to put them in place.

    WHY THE SINGALESE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE FEELING OF TAMILS ?
    I do not think this applies only to Singalese. It applies to all animals(including humans)

    WHY ARE SINGALESE COLONISING TAMIL AREAS! WHERE THEY HAVE THE MOST FERTILE LANDS WITH REVERES AND RAINFALL IN SOUTH – COMPARED TO INFERTILE AND BARRON LANDS IN THE NORTH & EAST?
    We say anyone can live anywhere in the land. But the Tamils must use their own money to buy properties. However, we get the govt (tax paid by the people and loans and grants from other countries including India ) and military to forcibly acquire land and settled our people to keep an eye on the local population.

    EVERY ONE IS BLAMING LTTE! CAN ANY ONE TELL ME HOW MANY SINGALESE CIVILIANS HAS BEEN KILLED BY LTTE ACTION OVER 30 YEARS?
    Not sure, They have come to south and did few bomb blasts and raids. May be couple of thousand lives.

    AND HOW MANY TAMIL CIVILIANS KILLED BY SINGALESE ARM FORCES OVER THAT PERIOD?
    We don’t keep count. We drop bombs from air and no of way of knowing. We don’t kill civilians but everyone says that we killed 40000 in the last few months of the war.

    WHY SINGALESE ARMY OCCUPYING TAMILS AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO RESISTANCE ?
    It is better to have the idle army in the north than in the south. They may harass our women in the south. Also, we expect another round of revolt.

    WHY SINGALESE NATION IS PROMOTING EXTREMISM ?
    Again, this applies to all human animals. Muslims(Taliban),Hindus(RSS), Buddists(Burma & Srilanka), Christians(Holy wars)

    ARE SINGALESE NATURALLY BAD AND SELFISH PEOPLE ?
    Again, this applies to all human animals.An idle mind is the devil’s playground. We have lots of monks who does nothing so they come up with creative thinking.

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    With what ease focus on an article can be shifted away with a single comment and drawn into irrelevant terrain! Manivannan has shown the way.

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    Raja & the writer S. Sivathasan,

    If you have not visited Jaffna & Killinochi recently, please do so and spend at least four days talking to a cross section of ordinary people to understand the realities. One of the best actions taken recently was to enlist Tamil girls to the Army in the Killinochi District. We need more girls to join the forces in the Northern Province, to safeguard the people from local politicians and their supporters. This is why majority of the people in Sri Lanka want the 13th Amendment repealed and get back to the system of administration we inherited.

    Politicians in the North of Sri Lanka are worse than the politicians in Tamil Nadu. However, we do not have any who want the people to kiss their feet and do not allow anyone to sit next to them, even if they are not from a low cast. However, some were trained in guerrilla war fare in India. Some do not hesitate to use similar tactics on people and newspapers that support opposing political parties.

    It is the duty of the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the high caste people do not oppress the low caste people in the Northern Province by reviewing laws like the Thesavalamai law.

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      Truth

      “Politicians in the North of Sri Lanka are worse than the politicians in Tamil Nadu.”

      How did you manage to arrive at the above conclusion? Is it based on any comparative studies conducted by dispassionate academics?

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    The Rajapakse Brothers and their “advisors” must understand in perspective the current upsurge in Tamilnadu – and indeed elsewhere in the vast country – this time lead by University students; is qualitatively different to previous shows of support that was based mainly in the deep south of Tamilnadu mainly – and, lead by political activists with a pro-LTTE orientation. Incidents of self-immolation by distraught Tamils in sympathy in TN have increased and must be treated seriously. They spark up local passions. Both CM JJ and DMK treat this seriously and are using pressure on Delhi.

    These have to be read with the regular incidents of “killings” and “harassment” by SL Navy personnel of fishermen alleged to cross the IMBL. This is an emotionally troubling issue on the Indian side that gets regular TV, radio and print media time/space. Certainly more than previously. There is information here, rightly or wrongly, SLN takes extreme action not in the interest of Tamil Northern fishermen but are deeply involved in making big money in connivance with Sinhala fishermen – now seen in large numbers in Northern waters. Similar complaints have been heard from the Jaffna side for some years now, which GoSL must look into seriously and pronto.

    With the possibility of an earlier than scheduled General Election and the widely expected victory of the BJP over the Congress, the Rajapakses options to negotiate favourably in their favour with a cool New Delhi could well be receding. If Narendra Modi gets to be PM his excellent equation with Jayalalitha will go against the Rajapakses.
    Worst, she may do her best to flame the fires of Separation – with or without an active and strong LTTE. The Rajapakses have hidden away the fact JJ refuses to sanction the appointment of a SL Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai. The task, of course, is with Delhi but it cannot be done arbitrarily if the CM of TN takes an opposite stand.
    It is unfortunate our vital cordial relationship with TN appears to be
    badly strained since the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    Senguttuvan

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    Truth

    It should seem clear that what the writer sought to convey was the change of political direction in Tamil Nadu which the student revolt had sparked. The thrust runs through the whole course of the article. In Tamil Spring? Prof. Pandian speaks of the fire that the spark had ignited. It was pointed out by me that the fallout can be seen in the course of this decade and next.

    Truth, with facile purblindness slips out of TN assimilating precious little, strays into Jaffna and Kilinochchi and recommends a tour with a rubbing of shoulders thrown in.

    The Economist quotes Prof AJP Taylor about “turning points in history” and speaks of Thatcher’s indellible impact. The New York Times assigns the change of direction in UK to her. Have they discerned it from a visit to Glasgow and Edinburgh and after a gossip with the commonalty? Is it suggested that what is needed is not intellection but a flippant tour? Truth’s attention has gone disparate loosing its focus. Without waiting for an answer, may I ask what is truth?

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    I found the paper to provide an illuminating account of developments in Tamil Nadu. I am inclined to agree with the author that these are sea changes bound to impact the future of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

    I do not think it is not worth one’s effort to argue against the hollow and spurious assertion that the Tamils and Sinhalese are living in harmony after the end of the war. The Tamils continue to live in fear and humiliation and the ‘peace’ that one speaks of is the peace of the graveyard.

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    Sivathasan,

    I think what we need inside this country and in the voices/acts of those outside who express concern, is not emotion, but clear, rational thinking. A old shower of reason should drench all of us. The history of the past six decades has not made as rational beings. We are yet victims of our emotions. The history of man has not yet provided me an example of emotion triumphing our reason. Madness has triumphed over a short period, when it was applied in a objective and cunning manner. This was Hitler’s way in recent history. However, rational thinking and rational actions in pursuance of rational objectives ultimately triumph and such achievements prevail. This was Gandhi’s way in recent history.
    Right thoughts and right actions always triumph. Emotions cripple right thought and right action. Right thought and right action could come about only through a commitment to facts- untainted knowledge.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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      Correction: a cold shower of reason —

      Dr.RN

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    Mr Sivathasan,

    The agitation of the students in Tamil Nadu is centered exclusively on the single Sri Lankan Tamil issue.

    They give the impression to be indifferent to other burning issues in Tamil Nadu/India.

    This may be due to their inability to comprehend and being confused about the political situation and to conceptualize a way out resulting in an impotent rage on the Sri Lankan issue and How it will lead to regime change is unimaginable.

    The era of coalition politics will continue at least for the foreseeable future in India.

    However single party rule may survive for the time being in Tamil Nadu.
    Until the situation crystallizes,it is difficult to predict the future
    and how it will affet the Sri Lankan situation.

    The anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 could only be considered as a catalyst for the Dravidian parties assuming power in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu congress being marginalized since then.

    The parallel in Sri Lanka is the 1956 revolutionary regime change through the ballot.

    Now the Dravidian ideology seems to have lost its magic and populism and welfare measures are the order of the day.

    How long this will continue is unpredictable.

    Again see the parallel in Sri Lanka.

    Caste seems to be the critical issue in India including Tamil Nadu and corruption is another issue.

    It is being argued that neo-liberalism always leads to corruption and it is an all Indian phenomena and attempts by the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare had already lost steam and will fizzle out before the elections in 2014.

    But the same political culture is pervading in all states in India and also Sri Lanka.

    what is common in Sri Lanka and India is the neo-liberal polices being followed in both countries.

    I very much like to have Mr Sivathasan’s observations to my above comments.

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    What is seen in Tamil Nadu now are the words of Nehru in full flush. The students and the youth have given expression to their depth of feeling in ample measure. An emotional upsurge sparked by the continuing tragedy of Tamils in Sri Lanka has rolled over to spurning the traditional political leadership in Tamil Nadu. Herein lies the significance of the struggle which defines an altogether new political direction in the state. The change in its incipient stage as of now portends great challenges to Delhi. More importantly it has strong implications on Sri Lanka and the future of the Tamils.

    I agree with the above sentiments and the reason for the upsurge in support for the plight of the Tamils in Eelam is beacuse it is only now the true extent of the horror inflicted on the Tamils has been brought home to the Tamil brotheren in Tamil Nadu ( as this ws denied under Karunanithi as he controlled 28 Channels ) and it is a natural reaction.
    The interest shown by Karunanithi is simple electioneering but the support from the Iron Lady is an honest and genunine outpouring of support and although she is a recent convert to the plight of the Tamils that is because she has seen video footage of the carnage. I am totally convinced that she will deliver Justice , Freedom and Equality and above all Dignity to the Tamils. Whether the Sinhalese diehearts like it or not Sri Lanka cannot ignore the Indian Dimension in the affairs of Sri Lanka and after the next election she will be an important power player in Indian ploitics and in terms of Sri Lanka she has made her intention clear and no one should doubt her resolve.

    In India TN is the only state where Hindi is not spoken widely and that is because the Tamils will never accept Hnidi being imposed and this was an assurance given by Mrs.Gandhi which has kept the Indian Union together. In Sri Lanka it is a different ball game and the Rajapakse clan have seized on the oppotunity to ethnically cleanse Sri Lanka and convert Sri Lanka into a Sinhala State which they have tried over many centuries but failed and the vast majority of the Sinhalese support this wholehearteldly.So it is no use pretending that the Tamils will be granted equal rights which in the absence of the means to protect will be meaningless.
    Some people in Sri Lanka argue that Sri Lanka belongs to everyone and it might be perceived to be correct only if the Tamils can preserve their Language Culture and Heritage with the means to protect under a Federal System like in India. The argument goes that the Tamils live everywhere in Sri Lanka so why cant the Sinhalese do the same. But there is a huge difference as we are the minority and we will be never be a threat to the Majority as we dont control anything and if the Sinhalese start to move into Tamil areas as happening now ( colonoisation by Rajapakses) we will be submerged and cease to exist as a race. This is why MR is ruling by deception to buy time in the hope that if he manages to put enough Sinhalese into Tamil areas and his calculation is the at some point the whole thing will become irreversible just as in the West Bank. He wil then say that a permanent Army presence is needed and justified to protect the new Sinhalse arrivals.

    The political landscape in India is totally different as there is no longer a dominant Hindi Figure at the centre and regional parties hold sway. Rahul Gandhi is not in the same mould as Mrs. Gandhi and he is half baked ( half Italian) and cannot revive the fortunes of Congress and congress is a thing of the past. Especially in Tamil Nadu Congress will be decimated.

    1) Antagonism towards all political formations has coalesced around the SL Tamil cause. What has crystallized cannot melt away. The movement is a revolt. It is a watershed in TN’s political progress. The groundswell is the most widespread and potent in 48 years after 1965.
    2) It may not translate into votes and seats in 2014 or 2016 but the groundwork is laid for a new forceful political formation to emerge. It will not raise plaintive cries to Delhi, nor will it be indifferent towards SL Tamils. A new equilibrium is in the making and fresh bearings have to be taken therefrom.

    I agree with 1) wholeheartedly but have some reservations in respect of 2) as I am not sure if the writer is referring to the new political formation in Tamil Nadu or Nationally.
    In TN I think Dye is cast for a clean sweep for ADMK and Nationally I am certain BJP ( the third force) will emerge vicitorius in alliance with other regional parties and the alliance will be more sympathetic to the plight of the Eelam Tamils. I am hopeful that the end for Tamil misery is in sight.

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    Majority of the so called students in Tamil Nadu are pawns of Political parties, who will do what ever their political masters want them to do. They have no idea what is happening in Sri Lanka except what is told to them by the Hippocratic Tamil Nadu political leaders.

    They have no brains to think beyond what they hear, as they are sitting on it all the time, like the Celluloid Jokers who lead Tamil Nadu.

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      Don
      At least they will not be beaten up or killed by thugs like in Sri Lanka.
      The Judges, Journalists and ordinary men and women who disagree with the Crooks who are ruling the Country.
      I take it that you have a brain which is good news. The people who rule TN are Celluloid Jokers but your leaders are Robots driven by Power and Greed. Can you tell me where Gotha got the money from to own the White House in the middle of the City. Did he build it from the Salary as the Defence Secretary or was it the money he plundered. Must be a huge Salary

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    Don
    Have you read a single account in the Tamil media in Sri Lanka or India?
    Have you read at least any news item in English even? Have you heard a single syllable of what the students spoke,on TV or video or on internet?Have you at least read the article where the writer says the students have veered from the politicians? Are you aware that any politician who went near was given a cold shoulder? Do you know the mettle of IIT students?If stupor is your life why bring CT to dispute by splashing your rubbish?

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    Kali

    The new political formation is in TN

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      Thank you for enlightening me ( but I am not convinced) and may Lord Buddha bless you.

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    Sri

    My response to your request.

    It is seldom or never that a movement gains traction or gathers momentum for a single cause. Still less does it sustain an agitation. To a disenchanted youth population, wild with those contributing to the fate of the Tamils and thirsting for change there was both inspiration and motivation. The Tamil cause provided the spark and four years of growing awareness made the revolt a bitter one.

    I do not agree that there was confusion. There was clarity about the struggle. Emotions did not override reason. For a movement to remain alive and to go forward capability is needed for theorising, organising and leading. This is a protracted process they have to mature in the struggle and learn the art of the possible. The demise of the Cong. and the Dravidian parties is in sight and a new formation is needed. As for regime change I referred to the state.

    Corruption is an infirmity of character having nothing to do with prevailing economic philosophy. To cite neo liberalism is a detraction. Mao Tse Tung has a telling analogy. An egg in an incubator hatches in 21 days but not a stone. For external factors to operate the necessary internal circumstances have to prevail. Before unimpeachable integrity, money power is dead. If neo colonialism is dominant, can Kamaraj be bought? If one is well inducted in Kural 282, ” Ullaththaal ullalum…..enal” can he be lured?. Valluvar says therein ” The very thought of robbing amounts to theft itself”.

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    Mr Sivathasan,

    Thanks for your prompt response!

    But I disagree with you on one or two points.

    It is not possible for a student movement to sustain for a long period.

    The students being economically dependent the movements could only be a short term phenomena.

    It could only act as a catalyst and a spark.

    If it fails to turn into a massive mass movement in the short term it will simply fizzle out or could be crushed by simple police actions because the the society, being conservative will not like to encourage the emergence of another center of power.

    A faith in student movement is only wishful thinking!

    About corruption Rajaji and Kamaraj belonged to a different era when the political culture was different.

    It could be observed that all over India,not only in Tamil Nadu,but even in Sri Lanka at that time as well when corruption was minimal and the leaders were serving the public not for any monetary gain,but just to serve the people.

    The arrival of neo-liberalism signaled a paradigm shift.

    After the collapse of communism and with the arrival of globalization and neo liberalism, the equation changed and development was associated with corruption and everybody accepted it as a matter of course.

    Corruption is a very powerful human instinct to be controlled by law or persuasion or appealing to the good sense unless the neo liberal system itself is overthrown.

    Thankls!

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    Thanks to Sivathasan for a very good analysis.
    He has mentioned about the “Dravidian Maayai (illusion)”.
    There is no hope of any other Dravidians from other States joining any of these Multiple Tamil Parties with the Dravida Label on them.

    Then why are these Parties still holding on to this Label?
    Can anyone explain from within the Parties or without?

    It is high time all these Parties rid themselves of this obnoxious label and call themselves ‘TAMIL’,and not ‘Dravida’.

    Otherwise the Dravida Parties should be considered as Parties of
    non-Tamils,people who cannot call themselves as Tamils.

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    Just give us tamils a place to live.
    om nama shivaya

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