Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 21:58:54

Tamil, Terror And Tenacity

Updated: April 20, 2013 5:39 pm

The need of the hour is for the people to stop falling prey to the self-serving separatists and join the national mainstream to get the issue a support of the whole nation as we get against Pakistan’s excesses, or for the Kerela fishermen or any other issues


The nightmares of 2009 armed conflicts in Sri Lanka have been now for political reasons. Students in Tamil Nadu are agitating for the Tamil Eelam (a separate nation’s demand), prosecution of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, imposition of economic sanctions on Sri Lanka and severing of diplomatic ties with the island nation. The war and the related crimes happened four years ago. The politicians in Tamil Nadu, especially those who espouse the cause of Eelam, were docile, dormant and inert while enjoying powers and made no attempt to stop the killings of the innocents in island nation. The students were also there in 2009, but they were docile when people were being killed indiscrimately by the Sri Lankan troops.

The political power and the pleasure of swindling crores of rupees were important for the ruling lot then. They were of the belief that throwing away a pittance worth of their swindle will get them the required number of votes to continue in power. Thus they announced a list of freebies to the general public if they return to power, not to be given from their swindle, but from the taxpayers’ money.

Yet, they lost the elections miserably. The self-styled leader of the Tamil World, Karunanidhi, ran to his native land to contest elections rather than from the much-boasted fortress of his DMK party, Chennai. Karunanidhi’s hand-held heir apparent MK Stalin had won from a suburb in Chennai but nature of that victory is very much debatable. The DMK was routed in the elections with the rival AIADMK getting a thumping majority. The AIADMK made a brilliant move by sticking to the Eelam cause rightly, as the terror organisation LTTE was defeated in the 2009 war. The LTTE guns were silent. The point was to help the common Tamil people in the Sri Lankan territory. They were put up in camps under some of the worst living conditions and most of them are still there. The Sri Lankan Government was to be asked sternly to go in for the welfare works as the war was over and won.

But India, being ruled by people without a vision from 2004, has sided with the Sri Lankan Government bothering little about the wrongs committed by the latter’s troops. The ally from down South Karunanidhi was satisfied with his so called fasting between the hours of breakfast and lunch to protest against the killing of the innocent. It is a fact that death is part of any war, but not something like ethnic and cultural cleansing that has been happening in Sri Lanka after the terrorists were eliminated. However, together with them thousands of unarmed common men, women and children were killed. This was after the false claim of Karunanidhi that the bombings were stopped after his farce of a fasting.

When questioned about this while he was basking in the glory of his own party deputies praising him for ‘solving’ the Eelam problem. He simply blamed Pranab Mukherjee, then External Affairs Minister of India, for giving him the wrong information. But no reactions for the wrong information, which when passed on, was instrumental in the deaths of thousands of unarmed men, women and children. Karunanidhi did continue to support the UPA Government after the 2009 killing of innocents. He famously lamented that he was a slave and he was not in a position to help another slave in distress.

He lost the elections to the State Assembly in 2011 and then felt the heat of the people’s in disbelief. He then tried to bring back TESO (Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation) to life, which he killed decades ago unilaterally while the organisation was jointly headed by two other leaders—K Veeramani, a yes man of MK and the other who still raises voice for Tamils’ cause—Pazha Nedumaran, whom MK hates for opposing his fast changing stances on the issue depending upon his own family’s political and business ambitions.

Now that the TESO failed to take off and deliver the expected results, some kind of soap opera were enacted to make people believe that the UN has been mooted for justice to Tamils. That, too, failed to impress the public, so MK announced that he would withdraw support to the UPA Government. This was done with an expectation of some assurances from the UPA top brass on meeting some of his expectations so that he can stay afloat politically in the wave of the recent Tamil protests and cling on to his self-awarded title of Leaders of the Tamil creed.

The recent Tamil Eelam protests have got a fillip with Channel 4 telecasting videos of killing of a teenage boy, Balachandran, by the Sri Lankan army. That boy happened to be the LTTE chief Prabakaran’s son. This is unthinkable by any human mind to kill an unarmed boy after assuring him of no harm and offering him some snacks. The argument that Prabakaran has given guns in the hands of many teenage boys and girls while allowing his own children to have fun, will not justify the killing of the teenager. Killing of Balachandran is culpable homicide amounting to murder and punishable by any law.

Now, let us look at the students protesting for the Eelam cause with fasting and a series of demonstrations. Some students even claim a ‘Gandhian way’ of travelling in trains without tickets. They also claim of organising a boycott of classes conveniently facilitated by the state government by declaring a holiday in all colleges. The engineering and medical students have been spared from this forced leave of study. What is the benefit the Eelam cause is going to derive from spoiling the studies of almost all students? Traveling in train without tickets would incur losses to the railways without strengthening the cause of Eelam.

Some questions could be raised on students’ protest in 2013:

■    What were they doing from 2009 to 2013?

■    Why didn’t they protest in 2009 when the killings were taking place?

■    Why are they boycotting classes and ruining their future?

■    Why are the parents silent on their kids’ future?

Many of the student protesters are not aware of the history of the Sri Lanka’s bloody conflicts from 1983 and how do they protest for something that is unclear to them?

A ready-made answer is ready by the protesters and their masterminds that the opponents of the protests are against the Eelam and hence anti-Tamil. They also say that the North Indians are not supporting their cause. While Pakistan is a national issue, Eelam is not. It is a fact. But why is Eelam not an issue of national importance like Pakistan or Bangladesh? We need to delve deep into the issue. The Eelam issue nor the attack on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan troops was taken to the national stage effectively by Tamil political parties. They simply play with the emotions of the locals and students, claiming that the Tamils are given a step-motherly treatment by the North Indians.

While other southern states are aligned with the mainstream national politics, only Tamil Nadu is emotionally separated due to diversionary tactics employed by the Dravidian outfits aiming for a separate nation for themselves and their patriarch EV Ramasamy Naicker had even observed the Independence of India as a black day. The Dravidian separatists demanded a Dravidian country encompassing the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The three states had wriggled out of this devil’s thinking, while the Kannadiga EV Ramasamy Naicker and Telugu bidda Karunanidhi have succeeded in making the Tamils believe that they are their saviours by following the lines of TM Nair, a Malayalee who had started a movement to split Hindus along caste lines and remain in limelight based on those divisions.

Their plan was to deride Hindu religion and thus cut the emotional bond with the rest of the nation culturally. Their ammunition was movies with which they created a hatred towards Hindu culture and projected Tamil as if a separate atheist language, while a great deal of religious literature of thousands of years were simply kept off the eyes of people. Religion is projected as a malice along the communist lines while the leaders who espoused all sorts of things, including violence, did not even question their women folk going to temples for worship. They were so money-minded that they started to loot the state on all fronts.

The Tamils supporting the Eelam were used by Karunanidhi and his cronies as a vote bank in Tamil Nadu on emotional grounds rather than a cause for bettering the lives of their so called Tamil brethren on the other side of the Palk Straits. The Katchatheevu, a prime island on the Indian side, was given away to Sri Lanka by the Indira Gandhi government in the 1970s and Karunanidhi did not even raise his eyebrows for compromising the interest of state’s fishermen. When the fishermen were being killed by Sri Lankan Navy for decades, MK who was in power in Centre, did not even grunt.

However, I would suggest some measures which would boost the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils:

■    Get the BJP on board as it has shown concern over the killings in Sri Lanka, while Congress leaders were keen to satisfy self-centric DMK.

■    Get non-political organisations with a national presence to espouse the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils

■    Stop blaming North Indians for apathy towards Sri Lankan Tamils

Without bringing the Sri Lankan issue to national mainstream, blaming the North Indians will not serve any cause.

By C H Arun Prabu

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