Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 01 June 2015
Education vs Politics in Jaffna Schools
According to news reports from Jaffna – Tamil students are asking for the Death Penalty for the rapists of Miss Vithya Sivaloganathan. Many Tamils within the Diaspora have pointed the finger at politicians. Former President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa himself has drawn attention to this matter while warning his supporters about LTTE resurrection. That was a political position taken in this issue. As I stated to a fellow community member – we need to take our ‘due positions’ as per our true investment in the community, for us to be able to have our share of the experience of the ‘whole’.
My substantive position in this is through my investment in Education – through my own investment as an outstanding student of Jaffna and my ongoing investment in education through many projects including our Training Center in Vaddukoddai and our School of Human Values in Thunaivi - a village similar in culture to Neduntheevu where the recent tragedy happened. I doubt that these students who are protesting so strongly would have asked for the severest of punishments for students who also are guilty of rape. Tamil political activists have distracted these students from finding ‘internal’ solutions first and leave politics to politicians. The placard carried by the students says ‘Would this have happened if those who should be here were here?’ I read it as ‘If LTTE were here it would not have happened’. Why is this not political influence through student minds?
One does not need higher education to ask such questions. Students who ask such questions must vacate their places for those who seek to realize self-governance through educational pursuits first instead of politics. Yesterday, some sections of the Tamil community were mourning the damage to the Jaffna Public Library 34 years ago. There were no signs of these students participating in those memorial services. This confirms that the students are more interested in Politics than in Education.
Those to whom Education comes before Politics – would research and find the Truth and then publish their work. Tamils as a community invest in Divine Powers. As per Hindu Legend – Mother Khali is the Goddess of those who are emotionally driven. Then comes Mother Lakshmi – the Goddess of Money Wealth. At the tertiary level, we pray to Mother Saraswathee – the Goddess of Education. That Divine Energy is One. We see the form as per our own investment in a particular pathway. Those who seek through the education pathway would need to view the issue intellectually – for it to be of global/scientific value. Once students come to the public level through the political pathway – they confirm that their investment in education is for political purposes. The Jaffna Tamil community as a whole loses status as a high investor in education, when students turn to politics even before they are eligible to vote. They confirm why we as a Community produced child-soldiers.
Sri Lankan Tamil community is guilty of exploiting children for adult work. During the war – the LTTE claimed that it was for the purpose of freedom. If that were true – then during post-war – should not the children be encouraged to study and seek independence through educational pursuits? When each one of us is able to certify ourselves as independent persons – not because someone else says so or because we ‘physically possess/occupy’ but because we carry wisdom / Truth – we are truly a self-governing community. The wisdom in each mind is the real ‘Library’ of the community. The building and books were burnt and those of us who apply the ashes confirming wisdom, become the Vedas carrying the Truth of Jaffna. Let’s not pollute it with cheap politics.
One supporter of the LTTE who also carries the Professional title allocated by others - stated that I ought to be writing only once every month or so – and not every day. As per my observations – majority women in the Tamil Diaspora as well as in Sri Lanka, watch Indian Tamil Tele Dramas every day. Those are Indian and yet there is no protest against such addiction! Our Destiny is written by ‘us’ including through our life – choices. We invest in war – we get war. Whether we recognize it or not Truth does its duty. Those who truly believe in Truth will identify with this part of the picture – the only part that really matters. Students who care must express themselves through their parents and schools. Once they go direct – they lose the protection of those higher positions. They thus contribute to weakening the security of higher institutional structures. Why blame others when our backyard needs cleaning up? If Truth is what we truly seek – we need to ask for LTTE to be punished with death penalty for killing our politicians – including Alfred Thuraiappah who as Mayor of Jaffna opened the refurbished Library in 1959. Here the LTTE is the LTTE in our minds. The higher way is to include the wrong-doers through our higher values and transform them as internals and not as externals.
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