Death of Tamil Nationalism
Posted on August 8th, 2018

Dilrook Kannangara

The last surviving link to Tamil nationalism is now dead and along with him dies Tamil nationalism. Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister died at a very old age. He follows the recent death of another former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the killing of the Tamil Tiger leader a couple of years ago by Sri Lankan troops. Three them held sway in Tamil Nadu and Tamil politics in Sri Lanka in taking forward Tamil nationalist politics. They cannot be replaced as India succeeded in shutting out Tamil nationalist leaders since 1962, tightening its grip since 2014. The past 10-year period has been a very bad time for Tamil Nationalism which suffered enormously. Tamil nationalism has been successfully killed by India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

Sri Lanka Must Not Allow an Oasis for Dead Tamil Nationalism

Over 90% of world Tamils live in Tamil Nadu, India. Sri Lanka accounts for about 4% of Tamils. All Tamil artwork is manufactured in Tamil Nadu, India. Since Tamil nationalism is now dead for real in Tamil Nadu, there is no need for Sri Lanka to provide it an oasis in the island. Weakened Tamil nationalism worldwide must be recognized and ridiculed by Sri Lanka. It must not be given any respect or a place to germinate.

Therefore, there is no need to give any political solutions to Tamils as their global clout is now substantially lower than it used to be. Reconciliation process must also change accordingly. Tamil nationalists cannot be equal partners in a national reconciliation process. They can only be weak, junior partners who must unconditionally accept Sri Lankan national interests as sacrosanct within the reconciliation process.

Good Subservient Citizens, Bad Masters

Tamils are good subservient citizens but very bad masters. This has been recognized by European colonialists to modern nations in Asia. Tamils must not be allowed to govern nations or have a nation of their own for this reason. It is better for Tamils to be governed by Hindi, Sinhala and Malay speaking rulers. Modi speaking in Hindi without English translation in Jaffna should be considered in this context.

This is in wide contrast to the days when Tamil nationalism was very strong and all nations with a sizable Tamil Nadu language speakers had to pander into their demands. The west faced a Tamil refugee crisis until 2009 due to the war situation in northern Sri Lanka. That too increased the clout of Tamils. Not anymore.

Threat of Rejuvenated Tamil Nationalism

Although Tamil nationalism is dead, it may rise up again. Tamil Nadu is India’s second largest state economy. 2019 Indian elections may lead to a hung parliament in which Tamil Nadu may play the role of kingmaker. Attempts to revive Tamil terrorism may work. These are the avenues Tamil nationalism may come back and governments must be aware of them.

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