Krishna and Skanda – symbols of Indian expansionism
Posted on February 7th, 2012

By Mario Perera, Kadawata

All Sri Lankan rulers embroiled with the secessionist movement of the LTTE, went to great pains not to ruffle India and to be in her good books. India’s foreign policy regarding Sri Lanka was deeply embedded in domestic compulsions. The South Indian, especially Tamil Nadu electorate was the key factor. An often repeated phrase is that Tamil Nadu is the home to sixty million Tamils who feel linked with the Tamils of the North by religion, culture and language. This is, we are made to understand the justification for the involvement of the Indian Central Government and the State Government of Tamil Nadu in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.

We are often reminded by both our statesmen and those in India, how much we owe India for our cultural and religious heritage. This is undeniable. But when one considers the torments the Island nation has suffered due to the proximity of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Central Governments efforts to appease its leaders for obvious electoral purposes, memories of the good vanish into thin air. It is sadly the fact the India is the country that brought the greatest devastation on Sri Lanka as well.

Sri Lanka thus always was, is and will be, the pawn and victim in the power game between the Central Government and the State Government of Tamil Nadu: the victim of Indian expansionist ambitions. Sri Lanka will always be hypocritically caressed, most often, by the velvet gloved hand of the Indian Central Government, while receiving unmitigated blows from the armed fist of Tamil Nadu. It is in this context that the Tamil secessionist movement in Sri Lanka must necessarily be correctly assessed. What those three parties, the Indian Central government, the Tamil Nadu State Govrnment and the Tamil political leaders of the north are striving for, is finally the annexation of that part of this country’s territory publicised internally and externally, with all available propaganda methods, as being the “ƒ”¹…”Traditional homeland’ of the Tamils.

 The trend of thought that the Indian Central Government will never permit the link up of Tamil Nadu with annexed parts of Sri Lanka is a chimera. If that situation does become a reality the island will not survive as an independent Sinhalese country, the standard bearer of Buddhism, and of a unique Sinhalese-Buddhist cultural heritage. This can only mean that eventually Sri Lanka by whatever name it will then be called be transformed into an Indian State as the prolongation of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lakan politics or servility to India

A typical illustration of this theme is the ongoing debate on the 13th Amendment. The circumstances that surrounded amendment amount to a national humiliation. It was foisted by India on a country thrown on its knees and its eyes tied shut while Indian fighter-bomber MIGS hovered over its head. The agreement became law under such abject conditions. It was made into law by a man in his individual capacity, with the make-believe consent of the nation, and the resignation letters of the so-called “ƒ”¹…”voices of the people’ in his pocket. The fickle nature of this Act was shown when the amalgamation of the north and east, a vital clause of the Amendment was declared ultra vires the constitution and demerged. The nation owes this patriotic act to a much maligned Chief Justice who, it is obvious, drew on his Sinhalese-Buddhist inspiration in pronouncing that judgment.

All that tragi-comedy is of no concern either to India or to its fifth column and proxies the TNA and its allies. Their role is akin to that of Shylock of “ƒ”¹…”Merchant of Venice’ fame. The 13th Amendment is the “ƒ”¹…”pound of flesh’ of Shylock India. The southern actors of this tragi-comic theatre are the Sinhalese wielders of political power. To the government spokesman on foreign affairs, India and Sri Lanka are “ƒ”¹…”more than friends, they are relations’. With such a friend and relation, why need an enemy, one might justly ask. What the Sinhalese-Buddhist people are now witnessing is a disgraceful continuation of that initial humiliation. The 13th amendment is a knife being turned in an open wound.

The flabbergasting contradictory nature of Sri Lanka politics (limiting it to that) was seen during the visit of Indian foreign Minister Krishna. He publicly stated that the president was committed to the implementation of the 13th amendment and even go beyond that! Since then granting of land, police and financial powers to an eventually re-merged north and east are openly flouted in spite of mounting anger of the Sinhalese population. The latest statement, the cherry on the cake, was the declaration of a government minister that the 13th amendment being law, it was illegal to oppose it. To use a pithy Sinhalese saying, one wonders from what end of their bodies these wielders of the “ƒ”¹…”power of the people’ are speaking.

The response to argument is that parliament itself, even with a two-third majority, derives its validity in so far it represents the “ƒ”¹…”will of the people’. From that will derive its existence and the validity of its enactments. That will is the pill that renders parliament potent. In that sense the “ƒ”¹…”law’ that is the 13h amendment is sterile. In enacting it, parliament, that seemingly mighty mountain constituted by “ƒ”¹…”jumper-seat’ holders with their thumbs on the “ƒ”¹…”eject button’ laboured to bring forth a still-born mouse.

Kishna and Skanda-the symbol of India

India’s religion is one of “ƒ”¹…”avatars’. Its power wielders have velvet-gloved hands and iron-clad fists. This was illustrated during the Indian air invasion of Sri Lanka. Some planes had “ƒ”¹…”dhal’ while others, the MIGs had bombs. This is what makes the god Krishna so relevant to understanding India. Krishna is one of the numerous avatars of Vishnu. He is the most beloved of the Indian popular pantheon. On the Sri Lankan side, the Hindus have Skanda. Krishna is shown in the guise of two personalites.

One is the fun-loving, flute playng Krishna intent on seducing the gopis, the innocent, coy and giggling shepherdesses. The other is a key figure of the writing known as the soul of India, being the Baghvat-Gita or the hymn of the Blessed One. That Krishna is the charioteer of the warrior prince Arjuna. He is the one who gives that astounding advice to Arjuna: kill, if killing means doing your duty. Kill because no one is killed, for no one dies. It was this advice that was Christianised by the infamous Tamil Catholic priest, Rev.Fr. Prof.Dr.S.J.Emmanuel. Krishna the flutist, and Skanda with his Veddah consort, symbolise the “ƒ”¹…”opportunistic side’ of India.

Krishna of the Baghvat gita and Skanda with his Indian wife (who follows him to the ends of the world and sticks to him like glue) show the perennial commitment to India to bulldoze over all obstacles on its way to its ends. Sumanthiran was quoted recently as saying: we will wait as long as it takes to get our demands. Indeed time would seem to be on their side, considering that the tide of Srilankan politics is so wavering.  The 13th Amendment presents these two sides of the Indian nature. Yes, India is a make-believe relative, with “ƒ”¹…”parippu’ (dhal) in one hand and bombs in the other. While Indian politicians are opportunistic and determined to the core, ours are determinedly opportunistic to the core.

The struggle here is between Tamil determinism and the Sinhala Politicians opportunism. The will of the people who perished to put them in their seats of power now do not enter into the equation. Their blood was ultimately only a tool in opportunistic hands. Yet, as history has shown, the blood of the fallen can cry to the heavens for vengeance.

Mario Perera,



6 Responses to “Krishna and Skanda – symbols of Indian expansionism”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Both north Indian and south Indian cultural-religious imposition is obvious. A timely article.

    God Kataragama is not God Skanda or God Murugan. Skanda and Murugan imposition happened in the 15th century and later influenced by South Indian kings who ruled Kandy.

    Similarly Prolemy refers to the same god as Dionese (hope I got spellings right).

    Muslims have their own beliefs.

    Mahavamsa referes to Kataragama as Kajjaragama. Like God Minneriya (king Mahasen), God Sumana Saman and many others God Kataragama was a noble ruler loved by the people for his exceptional military capabilities by the name king Mahasena.

    According to Sinhala beliefs gods Kataragama and Vishnu protects the nation against internal and external enemies. According to Mahavamsa King Dutugemunu was helped by God Kataragama to eliminate the Elara threat.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Dilrook !! Are you referring to the legendary Greek Ptolemy whose daughter Cleopatra, born 69 BC, who at the age of 17 became Queen of Egypt jointly with her younger brother Ptolemy Dionysus ?

  3. Dilrook Says:


    My apologies for the spelling mistake.

    I was referring to Ptolemy’s map where the sea close to the area is named after the Greek war god.

  4. Christie Says:

    The people of the island nation was always at war with the different people of the Indian subcontinent.

    But things have changed after the arrival of British in India. They found a replacement for the slaves from Africa and other places. The Indian colonial parsites ( i do not like to use this wording but it is the most suitable words to explain}who joined the British as equal partners.

    One has to remeber from 1792-96 or so the Dutch possessions acqured by British-Indian troops were administrated from Madras.

  5. lingamAndy Says:

    Mario Perera, Kadawata
    Ref: On the Sri Lankan side, the Hindus have Skanda. Krishna is shown in the guise of two personalites & Kishna
    Please do not confussed with two different persons ( Gods)!
    These Krisha follower have nothing to do with Srilankas Skanda (Kathiskama SKanda) followers !

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Bhagavad Gita is an allegorical tale. To the best of my understanding, this is what the tale represents. I
    It represents Krishna as the charioteer for Arjuna the warrior. Arjuna the warrior is each of us. Krishna is the godhead (Truth, life force) within each of us, as the charioteer. Krishna is also the Teacher/Guru leading Arjuna to his divine destination Within. Krishna exhorts Arjuna the fighter to kill the Concepts (‘relatives’) that stand in the way of Self or God Realisation. Arjuna is aghast that he has to do away with his ‘familiar’ and ‘dear relatives’, his Concepts. The Concepts or various beliefs stand in the way of our going Within to experience the divine godhead. The battle field (at Kurukshethra, India) represents our daily living. This allegorical tale is highly misunderstood because the word ‘kill’ is used.

    Christ himself said “be still and thou shalt know Me” and “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you”. The Buddha said “Truth is Within you” (Truth (with a capital ‘T’, as opposed to truth of a matter with a simple ‘t’). The Indian word ‘Satchitanand’ means Truth (Sat) Chit (Mind) Anand (Bliss/divine Peace) – when the Mind is yoked to Truth, Bliss happens. The Indian motto states “Truth wins” and the Indian flag shows the Dharma chakra.

    We think India herself is caught in various post Cold War games, and Tamil Nadu separatist ideas, caste/poverty issues. Lanka had best extricate herself out of the 13-A through People Power.

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