What has Hindi-dominated India given Tamils?
Posted on January 17th, 2011

Shenali Waduge

17% of the world’s population lives in India which has a population of over 1.18billion. Over 41% (422,048,642) of the Indian population speak Hindi while Tamil is spoken by only 5% of the total population though Tamil Nadu has over 62m Tamils & is the 6th largest populated State among 28 states in India. Hindi remains India’s official language and it is Hindian politicians that control & dominate Indian government. What we are often made to forget is that it is India that is denying freedom for Tamils.

 From 1938 there have been more than a dozen cases of anti-hindi agitations throughout Tamil Nadu culminating in the call for independence in 1968. It is good to wonder why Tamil Nadu has been in search of becoming independent from India. Basis of this stems from the fact that there was never an “India” until the British conquered the Indian subcontinent & decided to set up administrative units to facilitate them to rule. Therefore, people under British rule including Pakistan & Bangaldesh fought to free from British rule as a common goal. Once the British decided to end their rule that common purpose dissolved & soon Pakistan became independent while the rest of the territory became “India”. It must be reiterated that India by name took place only after the arrival of the British. Immediately following independence in 1947, the Indian parliament became dominated by Hindian politicians & naturally Hindu becoming & remaining the official national language of India (even in the non-hindi speaking states). It was only after separatist tendencies began to emerge from Tamil Nadu in 1962 with DMK winning 50 legislature seats on the platform of independence that the Indian Government was quick to introduce legislation disallowing any party, group or individual who spoke in support of freedom from India to contest elections.

 Why would Tamil Nadu wish to separate, why would the domination of Hindi throughout the country spur & inspire separatist tendencies? It is only looking further into how India functions that one begins to understand why Hindi imposition is likely to infuriate. It is not only the domination in the linguistic arena, but knowledge of Hindi affects state employment, including private sector and there remains plenty of criticism as to how the Indian Government controls television & other broadcasts to promote Hindi (private channels are available only through cable & satellites & are costly & available in urban areas only). Another grievance shared commonly by Tamil Nadu & other states is the manner in which taxes from the states go to the central government as revenues & then are returned to the states as infrastructure projects, loans, grants etc.

 While most in Tamil Nadu do not have anything against Hindi language per se, the argument that is raised is why should Indian Government employees from Tamil Nadu learn & work in Hindi (in non-Hindi areas). It was in Kanchipuram in 1938 that the first anti-Hindi imposition conference took place against making hindi compulsory in Tamil Nadu schools. The following year Anti-Hindi march from Trichi to Chennai took place & the slogan “Tamil Nadu for Tamils”. In 1939 the Women’s Anti-Hindi conference was held & a few women arrested died in prison. In view of the opposition, making hindi compulsory was withdrawn in 1940 but was reintroduced two years later igniting anti-hindi protests & once again the order was withdrawn. The same pattern took place in 1946. Following independence hindi was finally made compulsory in 1948. The new Indian Constitution came into effect in 1950, January 26 despite opposition Hindi was made the official language of India, hindi was made a compulsory subject in both middle & high schools & once again intense protests ensued throughout Tamil Nadu till Government once again withdrew the order. It was in 1965, when Hindi was said to become the sole official language of India that the series of random agitations ended up with black flags all over Tamil Nadu. The protests eventually culminated in the first of a series of trends in self-immolation & eventually police & army opening fire in 21 towns across the state, arresting over 10,000 and deaths numbering over 100. In the 1967 general elections Congress Party was defeated and DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) won a landslide victory to form the State Government though this did not stop hindi imposition which came from the Indian Central Government. It was in 1968 that calls for Tamil Nadu to become an independent country began to surface & Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was handed a letter by the Tamil Nadu Students Anti-Hindi Agitation Committee saying that if Hindi imposition continued, the fight for independent Tamil Nadu would continue. It was in 1980s that the Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA) was formed. What makes empathy towards Tamils in Tamil Nadu is the fact that while over 95% of Tamils in India live in Tamil Nadu & Tamil speaking Tamils also live in Tamil Nadu it is surprising why the Indian Central Government would want to continue to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu however, this is not the same in Sri Lanka. The Tamil speaking population in both the North & East while making over 60% when Muslims (who speak Tamil) are taken out of this equation leaves only 35% of Tamils. 

 Understandably, why would the hindi dominated Central Government desire to put hindi signs across States (in offices, railway stations, bus stands etc) when 99% of the populace do not speak hindi? Since English is taught in every school in India why cannot signs be in English? The opposition against Hindi names etc in Tamil Nadu is essentially to protest against Hindian supremacy, domination & hegemony over Tamils. Most Tamils agree that a Tamil working in a Hindi state must learn Hindi, but why should a Tamil learn Hindi when he is working in Tamil Nadu? Yet what clout has the Dravidian parties like DMK, AIADMK have over the Indian Central Government “¦none”¦except of course pretending to exert pressure on Sri Lanka so that the internal issues get sidelined. But the irony is that when elected representatives from Tamil Nadu & Tamil Nadu State Government cannot do anything about the Hindi imposition by the Indian Central Government in Tamil Nadu why should they be so pleased when the Indian Government pretends to pressure Sri Lanka whose Tamils do not desire to give up Sri Lankan citizenship & reside in Tamil Nadu? Can the Indian Central Government deny that for over 65 years Tamils have been fighting against injustice to them & that is why voices were heard for separatism but Indian intelligence was quick to devise separatist thoughts & have it take off in Sri Lanka so that it would give breathing space for the Indian Government while Tamil Nadu could be made to watch separatism taking place off shore.

 Separatism & freedom for Tamil Nadu certainly did not mean terrorist activity and commercial interests which invariably ended up what LTTE was all about completely departing from what Tamil Nadu people desired in Tamil Nadu? With terrorist activity over in Sri Lanka, and grievances nothing compared to or as near as those that Tamil Nadu has against the Indian Government, it is perhaps good for Sri Lanka’s Tamils to make a self-assessment & accept that they have been fairly treated except the ugly incident of 1983 where total responsibility & accountability must belong with the UNP Government & politicians that were in power at that time.

 In case Tamils in Tamil Nadu & others globally may not know there are some truths that cannot be denied of liberties enjoyed by Tamils in Sri Lanka. Over 30% of professional jobs are held by 12% of these minority Tamils who enjoy twice the per capita income as of Sinhalese, their rate of unemployment is half of the Sinhalese. Unlike India, Sri Lanka has recognized Tamil as a national language & their religious days are given as public holidays while they are also recognized on the national flag through the color yellow. If fairness is the key denominator, was it not unfair for the majority Sinhalese to be deprived its rightful status all throughout colonial rule where even by 1956 (8 years after independence) Tamils held over 75% jobs in the public service.

 But clearly, an ethnic group as large as the Tamils with over 72million population is without a “homeland” and it is this desire that is raising its head from time to time globally. Those that have migrated are similarly crying for that right nevertheless what is unfair in their pleas for separatism is that they are encouraging the unemployed, poverty stricken youth to take up arms & fight while they wish to remain in foreign soil, get on with their comfortable lives and land as “peace” envoys from time to time. It is certainly important that innocent Tamils realize the follies that have prevailed & under the mask of separatism the dishonesty that took place especially in the case of Sri Lanka. Tamils who had not been party to terror activity will better understand by questioning how some Tamils who led ordinary lives either in Sri Lanka or now abroad are living so comfortably now & the links they had to the LTTE networks which would have helped them to leverage their living standards?

 Returning to the question of rights of Tamils in Tamil Nadu where the entire separatist issue was created, it is good for Rahul Gandhi to first satisfy the injustices that prevail as a result of hindi imposition on Tamil Nadu before pointing fingers at sovereign nations. We understand how India functions & these immature retorts can be completely ignored because these are meant to once again divert attention of Tamil Nadu leaders who themselves powerless against North Indian hedgemony prefer to show their colors across the Palk Strait at least giving them a semblance of respect. One poignant question is asked of Tamils & their leaders in Tamil Nadu, if Tamils of Sri Lanka are the brethren of Tamils in India why are they called “Sri Lankan Tamil refugees”, why should they languish in refugee camps, should these people not be treated like their own and welcomed to settle down in Tamil Nadu and perhaps go to the extent of asking all other Tamils who feel they are better looked after in Tamil Nadu to make permanent residency in Tamil Nadu? Those who enjoy depicting the LTTE as an entity that fought to protect its own may like to also explain why LTTE killed scores of Tamils and kidnapped thousands & turned into child soldiers or suicide bombers. Yet, those that speak at Tamil forums globally lamenting the annihilation of the LTTE & its top brass are completely ignorant of the truth or prefer to be blinded by false notions. It is advised that these people perhaps see how the people of the North & East are now living without LTTE nepotism & LTTE threats to realize the extent of that relief that the LTTE is no more. It is well & fine to be crying “war” from overseas but it is the innocent people that end up suffering & have those that sent funds to the LTTE through the years never spent a penny on uplifting the lives of their own people who had to live amongst the LTTE just to show that the LTTE had a support base?

 Yet one thing that is common to the uprisings that took place in Tamil Nadu & Sri Lanka echoing separatist tendencies is the link to the Church. It was the Christian Bishops & priests that were instrumental in creating a Tamil movement in India but the large Hindu component with Brahmin leadership managed to defeat Christian ideology which unfortunately was not the case in Sri Lanka. Chelvanayagam who formed the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi later to be known in English as Federal Party was a Christian and the formation of this party which literally translates to “Tamil state” was formed in 1949 far earlier than the often mentioned Sinhala Only introduced in 1956 which hardly took off the ground. Therefore, desire in some quarters for a separate Tamil state existed far before Tamils in Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka would like the world to believe. In Sri Lanka the lame excuse has been to raise the Sinhala Only policy as the reason to start fighting against oppression by Sinhalese against the Tamils but the Federal Party with its mission to work towards a separate state was formed 6 years before the Sinhala Only policy was introduced and almost immediately after Sri Lanka gained independence. So these “grievance” rhetoric was only a camouflage against a greater design & plan.

 The Church has a way of entering into conflict stricken countries & create further unrest & division. In India the Church has made inroad success in states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland while interior states have thus far proved to resist Christian domination though coastal states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka have shown vulnerability.

Similarly, it was the Church that divided Sri Lankans along linguistic lines (Sinhala “”…” Tamil) and it was the Church that backed the LTTE as can be seen by the numerous Christian & Catholic based NGOs operating during & throughout the conflict. LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham himself was a roman catholic while Prabakaran himself was a turned Christian. This in no way diminishes the respect Buddhists have for intellectuals like Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Commraswamy, the former who was responsible for pushing to make “wesak” a public holiday.

 In India, the Churches influence in Tamil Nadu can be seen in the manner Jayalalitha repealed the anti-conversion law enacted by her own Government to appease the Christian community & became recipient of the “Golden Star for Dignity & Honor”.by a Ukraine-based Christian organization named International Human Rights Defense Committee (funded by the USAID) She has even spoken against the Sethusamudram Project, her election manifesto speaks of exclusive commitments for Christian Dalits, “All Souls Day” to be made a holiday though she remains uncommitted on repeal of the ordinance on Tamil New Year. It is clearly evident that a great Eelaam means a greater Christian state encompassing Tamil Nadu & North & East Sri Lanka.

 Keeping to the topic of homeland it must be accepted that when 84% of the world’s Tamils live in Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu is the homeland of the Tamils and therefore it is pointless any separatist activity taking place in other countries on the excuse of creating a separate Tamil Homeland. All colonial rulers (British, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese) created colonies but they kept to one homeland, and though there are large populations residing in countries like US do they also demand separate homelands just because of their numbers. Of course the excuse that is being propagated is that an ancient Tamil kingdom existed before the Sinhalese kingdoms. This again raises the argument that if there were such Tamil kingdoms why are there only a mere 2.4m Tamils against 15m Sinhalese? There are no historically written evidence, no monuments, no inscriptions to prove this theory except that Tamils that arrived from India came only as mercenaries. However, there are plenty of ancient Sinhalese monuments & inscriptions throughout Sri Lanka to prove the presence of the Sinhalese.

 A lesson from India is that despite the injustice that prevails in terms of Hindi imposition in states that do not speak Hindi & despite agitations against these unjustified actions which has India bring legislation to protect India from separatist tendencies disallowing political parties, groups & individuals who demand freedom & separation from India, why has Sri Lanka not taken steps to also include similar legislation?

We cannot tell India how to rule India whether the impose Hindi in all of its 28 states remains the decision of India & those against such moves must sort it out with the Indian Government, however India must stop demanding Sri Lanka to do what India wishes. Now, if this is so difficult to do it is best that India invites all Tamils that feel they can find better pastures in India to permanently reside in India.

Sri Lanka’s Tamil who have been languishing amongst a terror group after almost 30 years are breathing without fear. Obviously people including some Tamils living all this time in foreign climes do not understand nor can comprehend the magnitude of that fear that these Tamils were living under. People who have supported the LTTE from afar & those that have done so for commercial gain will never understand how much in fear the people of Sri Lanka lived. As a country, we can now travel without the fear of bombs exploding or suicide bombers disguised as civilians deciding to bomb themselves up just to get media attention for the LTTE.

 The fact of the matter remains that all separatist agendas that are taking place all over the world really have nothing to do with “separating” & separately living from an aggrieved party. These conflicts are created only to ensure the commercial advantages to some, the encirclement of agendas to another set & eventually the means of creating monetary transactions to make a few richer at the cost of the poor.

 Shenali Waduge

17 Responses to “What has Hindi-dominated India given Tamils?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “We cannot tell India how to rule India whether the impose Hindi in all of its 28 states remains the decision of India & those against such moves must sort it out with the Indian Government, however India must stop demanding Sri Lanka to do what India wishes.”

    The question is will India do that? Certainly not.

    We have to find ways to force India do it. We have to identify India’s fears in relation to Tamil Nadu and play by them cleverly. We have to have a Chinese military presence in the island. That will keep India at bay. How India licked its wounds in 1962 after a brief confrontation with China shows India will never want to clash again.

  2. Leela Says:

    There are over seventy million Tamils all over the world. You can name them as Indian Tamils, Sri Lanka Tamils, Malaysian Tamils, Jaffna Tamils, Colombo Tamils, Diaspora Tamils or any Tamils as you may like. In essence however, they are all one. They speak one language and have one culture. The all lack one thing; they do not have a country. And, that is the problem.

    Now let’s come to the point. Make no mistake and be no fools; aspiration of all those Tamils is for a Tamil country. It doesn’t matter where it is; all they want is a Tamil country. If you want proof, just dig in to contemporary history of south India.

    The Central Government of India had empowered the then Madras Presidency with federal powers at the time of Indian independence. It had land as well as police powers. Were the Tamils satisfied? No. Tamils instigated other Dravidians to join them to demand ‘self rule’ for that Madras Presidency. And ‘Self rule’ is just another word for separate country.
    Tamil separatism had been more of a threat is to India than to Sri Lanka. It is timely and good sense that India acted wisely and let us bury genocidal LTTE for good. Had LTTE been successful to create Eelam by any chance, Tamil Nadu would have fallen next like a domino. Tamil Diasporas being better anglophiles than British themselves, that ‘Greater Eelam’ would have been a puppet of the British. I mean the US could have both a land bases as well as naval bases. I am sure the US and the British anticipate this scenario to come true even to date.

    India thought demarcating of southern states on racial and linguistic line would wither that struggle. In 1953, Andhra Pradesh was formed. In 1956 the Bellary and South Kanara districts were given to Mysore state. Kerala was formed from the Malabar district, Travancore and Cochin. All Dravidians other than Tamils abandoned that self rule demand after that demarcation. But when other Dravidians gone; Madras state has become 99% Tamil. Tamils reached their goal; a no.1 criterion for a separate state. A clever move indeed!

    Then, Tamils moved on to the next stage of operation. The DMK contested 1962 election on a separatist platform. Actually it was a plebiscite for separation. DMK increased its share of seats from 15 to 50. Thrilled with the electoral success, 200,000 DMK supporters said to have marched through the streets of Chennai on September 22, 1962 to a DMK rally to demand a separate country for Tamils.

    It proved that Tamils wanted not more power but separation. Since Hindi was made the national language of India six years afterwards in 1968, Tamils couldn’t have claimed that they wanted separation because Hindi was forced upon them. And that is good example to show that language demand of Tamils in both India and Sri Lanka today is just a pretext. The real aim of Tamils is separation. Sooner the Sri Lanka and Indian government understand it the better.
    Those that blame for making Sinhala the official language for Tamil demand for separation and the rise of LTTE do not speak candidly.

    They cover up; Ponnambalam had demanded his ‘50-50’ long before Sinhala was made the official language, and likes of Sundaralingam, the Tamil intellectual had presented separation ideology long before independence.
    Anyway when Tamils voted vehemently in support of separatism, Nehru grasped the game plan of Tamils and responded in a very clear manner. On 5th October 1963, he introduced the 16th amendment to the Indian constitution. In short, it banned individuals and political parties that promote separation from contesting elections. That was a very wise move indeed on Nehru’s part. But it put Karunanidhi and his DMK in to a predicament. The separatists of the DMK had to choose between losing their parliamentary seats and dropping the demand for separation. The Central Committee of the DMK met at Royapuram on November 3, 1963, and unanimously voted to drop its demand for independent Dravida Nadu.

    When chauvinistic Tamils realized their dream would not come true in India, they geared up for a strategic move: To keep up their pipe dream of Chola Empire alive, they shifted their emphasis to Sri Lanka. Kiths and kin of Tamil Nadu politicians, the TULF started to follow scheming by DMK to the letter. In 1976, TULF declared the infamous Wadukodai resolution and planted the Eelam disease to divide Sri Lanka.

    By 1977, TULF had tagged on to everything what DMK did in India and more. So much so, they contested 1977 election on a separatist platform just like its brethren in India and won 18 seats out of 19. JRJ was popular at the time and moreover, he had two third majorities in parliament. He should have taken a leaf from Nehru’s preventive action. JRJ could have easily incorporated his District Development Councils and the contents of the sixteenth amendment of the Indian constitution to his new constitution. But, it looked as if JRJ was not averse to TULF stand – demand for separation. He was more determined to knock out the down trodden SLFL and its leader Mrs.Bandaranayake than to smash Tamil separatism. For that reason alone, I place him high on the list of people that allow LTTE to pester us for thirty years.
    Leela

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Leela,

    Absolutely!

    But I blame both Mrs B and JR for it. India passed the sixteenth amendment banning seperatism on 05 October 1962. Sri Lanka’s sixth amendment that banned seperatism came only on 08 August 1983. Even after the riot!

    Far too late. Why this 20 year delay? Our delay was exploited by seperatists. They squeezed in the Wadukodai resolution, planted the Eelam disease, formed LTTE, TNT, etc., chased away the Sinhalese (by 1981) from Jaffna, even had bases in Tamil Nadu.

    This delay costed us dearly. Had Mrs B copied the Indian 16th Amendment in 1962 we would have been much better off. But no attempt was made to change the Constitution then. It was changed in 1972. At least then we could have incorporated something similar to the Indian 16th Amendment.

    Chola or Chol(er)a Empire was surely their objective.

    But what can we do now to eliminate the threat or substantially weaken the threat now? Pointing out the absurdity of Tamil seperatism alone is not going to work. We have to destroy the possibility of Tamil Elam beyond recovery.

  4. Abhishek Says:

    All you lankans have no idea about what is INDIA. First of all the article itself is misguiding. India is having a Sikh PM, A Tamilian Home Minister, A Bengali Finance Minister, A Malayalee Defence Minister, A Kannadiga Foreign Minister. These are the top brass who decide what is good for India. Ruled by hindians… my god I am laughing my A off.

    India is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country where there are a dozen of religions, hundreds of languages and thousands of castes co-exist peacefully. You cannot simply white-wash saying hindians. It is more complicated than that. For example, Rajasthan speaks Rajasthani and Gujjar. Gujarat speaks Gujarati, Bihar speaks Bihari. Orissa speaks Oriya. Punjab speaks Punjabi. Karnataka speaks Kannadiga.. etc etc.. Every state has its own language and there are 18 official languages in India. Hindi is one of them. I can point out a lot of BS in this article, I just have no time to waste on this BS article.

    Bro Shenali Waduge, get your facts right before righting a BS like this again!

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Shenali, for a very good analysis.

    Something is wrong with the Indicators of the basic Measuring Systems in the world.

    (1) MATERIAL WEALTH : The GDP measures the wealth of a country. This requires unlimited manufacturing of Goods & Services to go on. Endless Games & Wars are played out to acquire these items.
    Material Wealth of Goods & Services have to play a subordinate role to Human well being, measured as through the PQLI method. Then each country would look to measuring Longevity, Infant mortality, Health, Education, etc. as a means to acquire Real Wealth, and not waste money and time on acquiring arms & subjugating other countries.
    Measured in proportions, Real Wealth:Material Wealth should be in the ratio of 4:1. I leave it to the Economists to work out the best ratio.

    (2) SPIRITUAL WEALTH: The Spiritual Wealth of a Nation is the Happiness & Contentment of its People. While the Great spiritual Teachers of this world stated that God/Truth lies in the Hearts of every human being, something else has taken over this simple message. The core Teachings have been covered over with the acquisitiveness of material wealth and power. To reach the Human Heart, Meditation has to be done. Dhana, Seela & Bhavana is a good way to go. A Peaceful Heart is a Happy Heart. A study done in the 1980s by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi College found that if at least 10% of a population Meditates, the crime rates in those areas go down rapidly. Have any studies been done to find if natural disasters & wars can be avoided through Human Meditation ? As a Buddhist country, we should attempt such a study.

    While I may sound rather simplistic in the present day complicated world, I would say that it is the human beings who are Ignorant of the Real Nature of every human being who have complicated matters, and made life a miserable thing for most people on this earth.

  6. Abhishek Says:

    Leela,

    You are out of your mind my lady. Nationalism is something beyond religion, language and ethnicity. Because you speak Spanish you won’t go around supporting all the spanish speaking nations, would you?

    All Tamils the same. Could be. But do you know that Tamils living in srilanka are genetically close to singalese living there than they are to the people of Tamil Nadu? The accents, words, speech everything differs with Srilankans whether they are Tamil or Singalee. They are more close to each other than they are to Tamil Nadu.

    Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu are fiercely patriotic Indians. They are proud to say that they are Indians. Here in India we all have a country called India, the enchanting!

  7. Andare Says:

    Fran Diaz has raised an important point. I would like to add the cost to the environment through efforts to grow the GDP without consideration of the human cost in addition to what she has pointed out.

    There are spiritual laws in operation in the Universe in addition to the physical laws. There is a very good book written by Dr. Deepak Chopra called the “Seven spiritual laws of success”.

    These spiritual laws are the reason that the Tamil efforts to gain a separate state will never succeed. When the cause is based on a lie then it can never win. It may appear to win the short run as with Prabahakaran. However in the long run it always collapses due to the falseness of the claims they are making.

    The fact of the matter is that the Universe is sustained by a force or an energy which no one knows much about. Even though the Buddhists are very fond of saying there is no God in Buddhism the Buddha himself stated the existence of this force when referring to Nirvana. The Buddha referring to Nirvana said: “O bhikkus, there is the Unborn, the Ungrown, and Unconditioned. Were there not the Unborn the, Ungrown and the Unconditioned, there would be no escape for the born, grown and conditioned.——————–   etc”.  He goes on to say “Here the four elements of solidity, fluidity, heat and motion have no place; the notions of length and breadth, the subtle and the gross, the good and evil, name and form are altogether destroyed; neither this world or the other, nor coming or going or standing, neither death nor birth nor sense objects are to be found.” See page 37 (hard copy edition) of “What the Buddha Taught” by Walpola Rahula. In our humble opinion, Nirvana is the experience of this Universal Power (what ever you call it) by the human Consciousness. In Meditation, the Human Consciousness is connected to the Universal Power or Life Energy within us.  

    For further clarity on this subject check out http://www.wopg.org. You can listen to the talks in the form of web casts on this web site. It is only a change in the inner consciousness which can bring about a change in the outer life.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    India deals with non-Patriotism in a tough way. The Indian Patriotism movement was established when they booted the Brits out of their country. Sri Lanka was given Independence later and did not have to sacrifice too much to achieve it. That is the reason why the Lankan ruling elites, both Sinhala & Tamil, kept the pro-west stance, right or wrong. This is a costly business but on the wane now as the masses of people here are asserting their Democratic Rights. It could be said that Lanka is achieving her true Independence only now.

    Earlier Tamil Nadu wanted to secede from India till Prime Minister Nehru brought in laws to put a stop to that. The Hindi language and the Hindu religion binds that nation together. Tamil Nadu still has festering differences with the mostly North Indian rule. We hope these differences are sorted out amicably.

    India, though she has produced great spiritual Teachers, remains stuck in the past traditions of Caste Issues, Idol worship (as opposed to Raj Yoga, the inner journey through Meditation), over population and dire poverty. A visitor to India recently told us that he saw a dead body of a woman floating in the river behind the Taj Mahal, and no one was bothered ! This was recently. Yes, life is cheap in India.

    When India catches a cold, Lanka catches pneumonia.

  9. Leela Says:

    Abhishek:
    I think it’s you and not me who hadn’t got the facts right, Abhishek. Let me put it all in a simple prospective question like this: India had two Dravidian prime ministers but none of them were Tamil. Why?

    You are telling us that Tamils are fiercely patriotic Indians. But I have explained earlier how ‘ your fiercely patriotic’ Tamils had demanded separation and how Prime Minister Nehru blocked that separation demand by his 16th amendment to the Indian constitution. I believe you and I have no have dispute about that separation demand by Tamils and that is why you had not mentioned about it in your retort. Now, let me add that, that mistrust fanned out by Tamils has a rolling effect in the minds of Hindis to date.

    Though Hindis are only 43%, there is no argument that they decide who the Prime Minister of India would be. True, Hindis had uplifted two Dravidians as Prime Ministers. But they have made sure both of them are not just Hindi speakers but absolutely trustworthy persons as well. I say in the minds of Hindis Tamils do not come close to that category.

    ‘tamilnation.org’ said a more suitable Prime Minister aspirant had been a Tamil named Panikkar. ‘tamilnation.org’ said, he was sidelined because he refused to give his speeches in Hindi. It also said he was a fierce Tamil nationalist so Hindis had not trusted him to be the prime Minister of India. For some reason tamilnation.org is now defunct.

    Now you are asking me whether I know ‘Tamils living in Sri Lanka are genetically close to Singhalese living there than they are to the people of Tamil Nadu’. As a matter of fact, I say; what you are telling me is new news to me. I say, not even a sane Tamil would believe it.

    Professor Nalin de Silva says, most Tamils of the North are the descendants of the recent immigrant laborers from Coromandel Coast that had come to Jaffna to grow tobacco for Dutch colonials.

    In addition, perhaps you have been fed with a drummed up history of Tamils and nothing about Sinhalese or Sri Lanka. Let me tell you for a starter that Wijaya and a company of 500 men that settled in Sri Lanka two thousand five hundred years ago had not bring about the Sinhalese of today. Indeed they could be considered the originators of the Sinhalese. The truth is they mixed with local tribes Yaksa, Naga, Raksa and Deva and gradually evolved to be Sinhalese.

    I do not deny that we have Tamil blood. But that content should be no more or no less than our blood contents of other recent immigrants to this country. So, to say “they are more close to each other (Sinhalese and Tamil) than they are to Tamil Nadu” is a blatant lie than an untruth.
    Leela

  10. Abhishek Says:

    Leela,

    Let me make these clear to you:

    i) The current PM of India does not speak in hindi (whether it is in parliament or a public meeting) and he is not a native hindi speaker.

    ii) It was Periyar who wanted a Dravidian state when India got independence. Even at that time no one ever wanted a separate state out of Tamil Nadu but a Dravidian state which combines all the four states of modern South India.

    iii) Constitution of India doesn’t deny anyone becoming PM based on language, religion or ethnicity(the current PM is an example).

    iv) The current Home Minister(only next to PM) of India is a Tamilian, not to forget he is senior leader in Congress and has chances of becoming the PM. Its all about the situation and not ethnicity or language.

    v) The native speakers of hindi are 39% of the total population of India and not 43 or 41.

    Adios!

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Abhishek,

    A load of bull.

    1. Oh he does. And he signs in Hindi too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manmohan_Singh

    2. Not only Periyar. Anyway he was not made the PM.

    3. But in practice Hindi fluent persons are appointed to the post. Current PM is fluent in Hindi.

    4. He too is fluent in Hindi. Home minister is nothing compared to foreign minister, prime minister, defence minister, etc.

    5. It does not matter if it is 39% or 41%. The difference is immaterial. No other language comes close. In fact other language speakers percentage is reducing! There is a cesus due this year (2011). Hindi speakers will be over 40%.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Here is an enlightened write up from Indian journalist Ranjona Banerji (DNA website). She addresses the Indian North South divide & the Caste Issues that trouble both the North & the South of India. So CASTE ISSUES is what really troubles the WHOLE of India.

    “So Indians are descended either from Ancestral South Indians (ASIs) — who arrived about 60,000 years ago and Ancestral North Indians (ANIs), who came later. Most Indians today are a mix of these two groups. Interestingly, the genetic mix apparently predates all our historic social separations — caste and endogamy. The “purity” maintained by the caste system is only about 3,000 years old. We were all mixed up into Indians long before that.

    While science will tackle issues of race according to the evidence, society takes a longer time to interpret and accept scientific findings. The Christian world still has problems with Charles Darwin. In America, many southern states had ruled that miscegenation — relations between the races — was illegal. It took a long civil rights struggle to change that.

    In India we are lucky that our Constitution ensured equality in 1950 itself. However, as we all know, caste discrimination remains to this day. That is, while everyone knows that caste-based oppression and bigotry, are illegal, we still maintain our sense of “purity” from the other in social contexts. This is particularly true when it comes to marriage. Even today, an inter-caste marriage can lead to death. To small communities, breaking this law is tantamount to breaking faith in the most heinous way.

    Underlying all this is a feeling of superiority. Obviously, the higher the caste the more the superiority but each caste and sub-caste mimics that in its own way and lays down strict rules to discourage “pollution”. We understand how caste dynamics work in our social interactions and maybe even subconsciously, we give voice to those prejudices.

    Now there is a chance to turn all those fondly-held beliefs on their heads. If we are one people who are a mixture of two ancestral groups, then all our ideas of ourselves are made up: artificial systems to control society and distribute privileges. The acceptance of this idea will not have a smooth path. The “white” part of the world is still uneasy with the idea that they are substantially not a different race from the “black” part of the world, and they’ve been staring at the evidence for a while now. Or that race itself is a misnomer for an animal species called Homo sapiens.

    We all came out of Africa, that much is now accepted. The question is of when and later, how. This is the story of all of us and the story of our journey out of Africa is fascinating. Many streams of academic discipline will work together — archaeology, anthropology, evolutionary sciences, linguistics, history, historiography, philosophy, sociology and more. All will try and protect their own territories, their own belief patterns, whether based on shibboleths or evidence and their own internal prejudices. But that is how the world works.

    Yet, as we have seen, with every new scientific discovery, our lives change, in both obvious and subtle ways. Whatever the outcome, the unravelling of the human genome tells us a story that is very close to home”.

  13. cassandra Says:

    The author has said very early in her article that “What we are often made to forget is that it is India that is denying freedom for Tamils”.

    She written at length and provided a lot of information – given a mini history of anti Hindi agitation, stated how Hindi has been “imposed” as the national language, and mentioned the protests “against Hindian supremacy, domination & hegemony over Tamils” (Incidentally, these words have a disturbing ring to them – substitute “Sinhala” for “Hindian” and what you get would be little different to what some Tamils in Sri Lanka are saying) I cannot see, however, that the author has told us exactly how “India is denying freedom for Tamils”. As far as I can see, the only “freedom” that has been denied the Tamils in India is the “freedom” to secede from the Union.

    I note that the author has also not lost the opportunity, in the course of a long and rambling piece, to repeat the familiar accusation of the Christian churches supporting the LTTE. But she has gone even further, with the quite extraordinary statement that “it was the Church that divided Sri Lankans along linguistic lines (Sinhala – Tamil)”. I have not heard that one before. The logic behind this extravagant claim quite eludes me.

    I agree that India should not try to dictate to Sri Lanka about what it should and should not do and that people like Rahul Gandhi should worry about problems in India before being concerned about what happens in Sri Lanka. I can also see the validity of the concluding statement, about those who find separatist conflicts of enormous commercial advantage to them.

    Abhishek,

    Your entry into this discussion has added some new interest to it.

    It may well be as you said (your comments of 18th Jan) that the accents, words and speech of Sri Lankan Tamils are closer to those of the Sinhalese than to those of the people in Tamil Nadu. But that does not prove your assertion that “Tamils living in Sri Lanka are genetically closer to the Sinhalese than to the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. That is a spurious claim.

    It is good to hear that “Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu are fiercely patriotic Indians”. So they should be. It would be good also if, consistent with their love of their country, they would encourage their cousins across the Palk Straits to be equally patriotic Sri Lankans. Sadly, what we have seen is Tamilians in Tamil Nadu – certainly, the more vocal and the more visible of the lot – actively supporting and encouraging separatist activity in the island.

    With regard to the demand for a Dravidian state, (your comments of 19th Jan) I recall reading that the campaign died because non Tamil Dravidians lost enthusiasm for it, fearing that such a state would be dominated by the Tamils, and this left the Tamils to pursue on their own, their quest for a separate Tamil state.

  14. jimmy Says:

    I agree one thing from Abishek that Present Tamils in India are patriotic ,

    Leela might be correct that The tamil leaders from Abisheks land might have influenced the tamils in Lanka for a separate state

    Cassandra
    I think Things in Jaffna are improving a lot . I give the credit to Douglas ( he has 3 parliament seats) . I undestand there are so many many functions all over Jaffna every day where Governor , Ministers, Army Police officials participate . Jaffna people are welcoming sinhala ministers
    Lankan flag is hoisted all over Jaffna in schools , Public functions
    That is a good news

    Like Charles said People of all races should think like Lankans and work hard for a better country

    Peace

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Every Democratic country uses some means to unify the country. Generally speaking, most of the western countries use Christianity & the English Language. Why should not India & Sri Lanka follow a similar pattern using their own culture ? Italy uses Italian language & the Catholic religion, and they have their own predominant culture. The Vatican, which is a separate State within Italy, is the same.
    For the same reason, it is true that the Hindi Language the Hindu religion & Culture dominates most of India, and Shenali is correct in pointing out that Tamil Nadu leaders find this abhorrent. There was/is some North South divide in India, with the Southern leadership led by Tamil Nadu. But later the other Dravidian Southern states of India have veered off this course of separatism, leaving Tamil Nadu alone in its quest. That is the reason why Tamil Nadu looks to separatism in Lanka, but they would want a Hindu state, not a Catholic one. Tamils of the North & West of Lanka may turn to Catholicism to escape Caste Issues and for favors. Indo/Lanka relationships had no blemishes until Tamil separatism started in Lanka.

    There are some checks and balances in place to contain separatism in Lanka, but it is still not good enough for ordinary citizens to feel secure.

  16. cassandra Says:

    Jimmy,

    I cannot quite understand your comments about the improving situation in Jaffna is your response to me. I said nothing about that in my comments. My point with regard to the Tamils in Tamil Nadu being fiercely patriotic was that if that was the case they should be trying to persuade people in Jaffna to be similarly patriotic about Sri Lanka, not encourage and foster separatism in the island.

  17. jimmy Says:

    sorry cassandra
    it must be a misuunderstanding
    You are correct 100%
    The point I was making is People are coming in numbers when The President or Ministers attend functions . I also see the Lankan Flag is hoisted . People respect national anthem
    I wish this happened 30 years ago when I was a child . I am happy it is happening now
    I see this in EPDPNEWS.com site ( you can see the pictures eventhough you may not understand the language I visit this site mainly to see the pictures , very impressed)

    I pray there will be peace all over the country soon no violence, no killings no robeeries

    Peace

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