Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Srilankan Tamizh Struggle

As they say, history is written by winners and so this will become too. A genuine and rational demand of the Tamizh people of Srilanka will go down in the history books as the story of a terrorist organization vanquished by the state army. Losers will also write history sometimes when they are left alive, but then when cultural death has already happened and Tamizh will cease to exist as a language because of the Srilankan Govt’s ‘Sinhala only’ policy , even if someone writes , there will be no one who would know how to read.

I don’t know whether it is still sedition in this country if I eulogize about the armed struggle of the Tamizhs and their leader Prabhakaran! But in the current mood I don’t think I would mind if I am charged so. It is a shameful thing to realize that how people are capable of seeing the same stuff in the way that suits their fancy. The Srilankan story is one such phenomenon.

Everyone in the past and present have just used the legitimate aspirations of the Tamizh people to their benefit and played politics. And the biggest complaint about the LTTE is that, it was an organization that did not mix militancy and politics. What a joke! The whole militancy situation rose because of the anger which the boys had on the politicians. I wonder whether even the seasoned politicians in this country would know about the genesis of the Srilankan issue. About how the British who put India in an eternal mess by dividing the country into two, created the same mess by uniting two different countries! The Tamizhs and Sinhalese were two distinct kingdoms and the Portuguese, Dutch before the British and also British for a while, administered them separately. And suddenly for the comfort of administration made it one and handed over the whole place to Sinhalese when they left.

It is a long story of systematic annihilation of Tamizhs, betrayals from within and outside and a violent end to the dreams. Just for the ignorants’ sake, a sample of two statements made by the President and Prime Minister of that country in 1983.‘We will break their (sic) heads. & We will teach them a lesson, are those statements. And the Tamizhs were supposed to have a peaceful dialogue with them!! Which also the Tamizh politicians did when they got elected with the mandate of getting a separate state! It is surprising that many people who complain about the LTTE’s policy of killing even the moderates, do not talk about how the very same moderates used these militants for their use and discarded them. A classic Frankenstein story! Haven’t we seen them once too often? Whether it is Bhindranwale or Osama Bin Laden or the local thugs who get killed in encounters every day??

How many are aware of the fact that India simply used the very same militants to trouble the Srilankan Govt because they were worried about Triconamalee becoming a US base! How the Indian Intelligence officials trained these boys at Indian camps? How Rajiv kept Prabhakaran under house arrest (in Hotel Ashoka, Delhi) while he flew to sign an accord for solving a country’s internal strife!!!

None of these arguments mean that I defend the killings of innocents & moderates by the LTTE, but it is also true that some deserved the killing. Atleast in Srilanka! Where there is a war going on, that too! People should realize that the Srilanka ‘Prevention of Terrorism’ act is one of the most authoritarian, vengeful act that even allowed detention without trial and cremation/burial in case of a suspect dying with no accountability whatsoever. So, people who pass such laws will die by a similar jungle law passed by another powerful animal. In modern history, this is the most blatant colonization that has ever happened! In modern history this is the most uncondemned pogrom that has ever happened!

And we live in a country that will peacefully conduct elections (albeit with money & muscle) and pride itself to be the largest democracy, but no one can do anything about these Tamizhs who were dying. And we have some assholes who neither know history, nor bother to grow brain will comment on all the articles that are published, condemning the Tamizhs for seeking a separate state. These good for nothing jingoists (the same guys would want us to draw blood in Pakistan, despite that being a sovereign state) would not even know the plight of the Plantation Tamizhs who were called ‘Tamils of Indian origin’.

India agreed to take back 5 Lac plus Tamizhs by the Srimavo-Sashtri pact (who the British took there for plantation work). And as of today the Tamizhs who repatriated after 100 years of living in the Srilanka have not been integrated yet in this country. They all are working as daily wages and still being treated as foreigners by the locals when their Govt has thought otherwise. And the politicians who observe fast between breakfast and lunch are not even concerned the status in the refugee camps.

And all the peace loving, straightforward souls in this country should stop to notice the celebrations in the streets of Colombo while remembering that India didn’t celebrate in the streets after Khalistan movement crashed or when Mizo Independence movement stopped in 1975. Is that what is happening there in Srilanka? If someone here can think that the Black Tigers sprung out of orphanages there and the children were put there on first place simply because the Govt killed their parents, then some part of the heart can beat for these souls.

The whole shortsightedness from many of the world countries including us because we thought that LTTE and the Tamizh issue were synonymous! And after 9/11 because a couple of planes crashed into high rises, terrorism was a bad word and they didn’t want hear of any more deaths. Definitely not when it was unleashed by the State! In the current world situation, even if you die you need to die as a white. The other colors are expendable.

There are a lot of arguments that one can place against the LTTE for which I may not have answers. Nor do I intend to find one. I for one do not want to confuse between the original cause and the means to achieve them. And if one sees this as a war between two states and not as a struggle between an Army and a terrorist organization as I see, many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall in place. When a moderate who wins on a mandate/plebiscite of getting a separate state accepts the Govt largesse as an opposition leader with all the perks, then he is definitely a traitor during a war. Would we accept any of our leaders doing a similar thing with Pakistan? Even a pro-Pakistan statement is considered as one against the state here.

Just for the heck, as an argument, had the Srilankan landmass been attached to the Indian mainland and the British partitioned us as Indian, Pakistan and Srilankan based on Hindu, Muslim & Buddhist divides, we would be still fighting for Northeast Srilanka like we do in Kashmir now. We would be the occupation army in that part of the world. But an indigenous army is a terrorist organization according to us. An outfit that had 50 cadres and 30 weapons in 1983 and grew into a well-oiled army is no joke and it doesn’t come because one jingoistic megalomaniac. It comes because of a genuine need. It comes because of aspirations and it comes when people get fed up on the peace process that was supposed to give its due. A country which secretly hero worships Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and Bagath Singh should have a different view about this struggle!

If a freedom struggle should die because one of the fighters/ leaders has his skull blown off, then there is no hope in this world. But then history suggests that it never works that way. After 21 full years, General Dyer was killed by Udham Singh for the Jallianwalabagh massacre.

The Sinhalese will pay and pay more. But then the blood of both the Sinhalese and the Tamizhs will be on our hands. We could have stopped this from happening!


King Viswa said...


Nice to see you Blog after quite long time.

thoughtful one indeed. Do write more.

King Viswa
Carpe Diem.
Tamil Comics Ulagam

Sooraj said...

I have always wanted to know about the root and history of the whole saga from someone. I've read a lot on this, but only from our political standpoint. Thanks, I got some more info from your blog post.
- Sooraj