Rise of Tamil Nadu
Posted on February 21st, 2022


The founding fathers of the Indian Constitution took an unequivocal stand that the Union is not a Federation and ensured the predominance of the Centre over the States of the Union. In introducing the Draft Constitution to the Constituent Assembly, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Dr. Ambedkar explained that Though India was to be a federation, the federation was not a result of an agreement, no State has the right to secede from it. Though the country and the people are divided into different States for the convenience of administration, the country is one integral whole, its people a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source”

But at a recent debate in the Indian Parliament Rahul Gandhi asserted India is an Union of States” The Congress leader added: It is a partnership, not a kingdom. You will never in your entire life, rule over the people of Tamil Nadu.”

This statement was hailed by Tamil Nadu and the Chief Minister MK Stalin praised Rahul Gandhi for his rousing speech,”. The Congress leader replied, I have no doubt that our shared belief in the pluralistic, federal and cooperative idea of India will triumph.”

 It is noted that the Federal idea is fast gaining ground in India. The wide discrepancies in socio economici development amongst the States has enhanced this process. States like Tamil Nadu which has a history of extreme demand for independence is likely to lead in such a move. Tamil Nadu has a population of 85 million and the GDP of US$ 78 billion in 2010 has increased to US$ 298 billion in 2020. It is the most industrialised state in the country and is the second wealthiest state in the Indian Union.More than 60% of the state is urbanized, accounting around 10.6% of the urban population in the country, while only comprising 6% of India’s total population. Services contributes to 55% of the economic activity in the state, followed by manufacturing at 34% and agriculture at 11%. In 2018 software exports of Tamil Nadu was US$18 billion.

The defence industry in Tamil Nadu is one of the fastest growing sectors with defence manufacturing undertakings such as Heavy Vehicles, Combat Vehicles, Ordnance and also where the first Indian made Fifth-generation jet fighter plane is to be manufactured.

Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu is known as “Manchester of South India” due to its extensive textile industry and is the home of more than 30,000 small, medium and large industries.

What our leaders must recognize is the rise of a hostile giant with a population of 85 million and an economy of US$ 300 billion in our immediate neighborhood. The size of the population may be compared with those of Germany at 83.9 million, the United Kingdom at 68 million, and France at 65.47 million although there is no comparison with the economies of these countries.

The dream of a Greater Eelam seems to be still lurking in the minds of extreme Tamil nationalists. The sleeping beast may arouse with encouraging calls from the likes of Gandhi. The wide variations of GDP in Tamil Nadu and the States in the North is an incentive to go it along.

A strong Tamil Nadu will make the Central Government accommodate even unfair demands from them. On the other hand, the Central Government will do its utmost to protect the Union. Central Government will not want a new confrontation in the South while resisting heavy hostile pressure in the North and the West. In a situation where the Central Govt gives in to demands antagonistic to Sri Lanka do we have a defense? A Tamil Nadu growing in strength is bound to encourage the separatist movement in Sri Lanka.

Make no mistake, as far as a ‘relation’ we are only a poor relation of India. What are our options to save this nation? The Non-Aligned Movement is dead, SARC is killed, an opportunity to join the ASEAN was missed by a cowardly UNP. Do we have any buffer to defend us from this turmoil which is bound to take place in this miserable decade? Just after the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987 Minister Lalith Athulathmudali led an ESCAP sponsored trade delegation to Pakistan when General Zia invited him to his palace. Zia welcomed Lalith very warmly and said that Pakistan is very sorry that Sri Lanka did not consult them before entering into that Agreement with India. He said, we could not have prevented you from signing that Agreement, but we could have advised you to avoid any trap.”  Wise words indeed. The trap was the Exchange of Letters.

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