Enemies of reconciliation
Posted on April 24th, 2012

The Island Editorial Courtesy The Island

April 23, 2012, 7:38 pm
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Leader M. Karunanidhi may not have realised the gravity of his call for carving out Eelam in Sri Lanka through a UN-sponsored referendum. His attempt to upstage his bete noire, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has manifestly boomeranged if the negative response to his demand in India is any indication.

However, Karunanidhi has come under criticism not because his detractors have any concern for this country or its territorial integrity but because his demand is fraught with the danger of inspiring the various secessionist forces active in some parts of India and has placed the Indian government in an embarrassing position vis-ƒÆ’†’ -vis the Kashmir plebiscite the UN Security Council and the UN Commission in India and Pakistan have recommended with the concurrence of the leaders of both countries to determine the future allegiance of the disputed territory.

Jayalalithaa, too, has vowed to establish Eelam in Sri Lanka. She would even go to the extent of enlisting the support of a future Indian government to induct the troops for that purpose if her party were to be in a position to hold the balance of power at the centre, she has said.

Thus, Eelam is about the only thing Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa seem to see eye to eye on in spite of their political differences and animosity. They are said to have between them more than two thirds of votes in their state. Therefore, as a government bigwig in Colombo has rightly said, an attempt to achieve Eelam through a referendum””…”””…”UN recommended or otherwise””…”””…”has a far greater chance of succeeding in Tamil Nadu than anywhere else in the world! If it is a separate state that Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa really seek, they ought to join forces and work towards it at home without trying to make a cat’s paw of others in a foreign land to pull their political chestnuts out of the fire.

Meanwhile, an Indian parliamentary delegation which toured Sri Lanka recently has called for more devolution to the North and the East, among other things. Those lawmakers seem to think that if more power is devolved, hey presto, Sri Lanka’s problems will go away never to return! The government cannot take back what has already been granted to the periphery constitutionally and is duty bound to address the issues that have given rise to ethnic grievances and tensions. However, the fact remains that no amount of devolution per se will help bring about reconciliation or constitute an antidote to secessionism as evident from India’s experience with ethno-national movements on its soil in spite of its much flaunted quasi-federalism, which is being touted as a devolution model in this country. Disastrous consequences of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the anti-Muslim riots in Mumbai in 1992-93 and Gujarat in 2002 serve as an eloquent argument against the much-propagated claim that devolution is a panacea for all ethno-religious ills of a country. Senior Indian journalist Meena Menon in her book, Riots and After in Mumbai-Chronicles of Truth and Reconciliation (2012), informs us that ‘since July 2007, there has been an effort by various human rights organisations and other groups to revive the cases of Mumbai riots and implement the Srikrishna Commission Report’. (Interestingly, India wants Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report implemented””…”””…”quite rightly so!)

Defeating the efforts of sinister elements to make the most of the current situation in this country by lacerating healing wounds to further their political interests on the pretext of making altruistic interventions is a sine qua non of achieving reconciliation and evolving viable solutions to vexed issues. Their anti-Sri Lankan frenzy and vitriolic pro-terror rhetoric only fuel mistrust among communities here. They are the biggest enemies of reconciliation.

One Response to “Enemies of reconciliation”

  1. aravinda Says:

    Now it is time for old foes, Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi to pool their resources and demand that Tamil Eelam is established in India. Tamil Nadu is the only place. With 70 million of worlds 80million Tamils living there, why worry about Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Canada.

    Say what you really want. No need to run around the bush. Why so coy like newly weds. UN is waiting. USA is waiting. All you got to do is ask. Wish you all the best.

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