Gajalakshmi Paramasivam- 01 March 2016
We are Lankan Tamils and Not Indian Tamils
[COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Tamils, whether living in the island or overseas, have a dim view of Tamil Nadu poet and lyricist Vairamuthu’s intention to write a kavyam (epic) on the Lankan Tamils’ liberation struggle.
While acknowledging Vairamuthu’s capabilities as a lyricist, poet and writer, Lankan Tamils wonder if he is driven by the right impulses. They doubt if he has the requisite empathy and sincerity to truly reflect the depths of the struggle.] The New Indian Express
[Sri Lanka northern province CM asks for Indian help for a federal solution] The Hindu
[Rajiv Ruled Out Asking Lanka to go Federal, Says Varatharajaperumal] The New Indian Express
As a reader which of the above do I identify with? Most of us read the news to give form to our own thoughts. I believe I write to facilitate others to complete their experiences by recognizing the Truth as the missing link. In this regard I believe that - Manifestations are through the influence of the following:
1. Hearsay / Copying
2. Discriminative thinking based on common policy/principle
Truth when it is stronger than the other two is usually recognized through ‘Acts of God’.
I am currently in Singapore and am thinking about the riots that erupted a couple of years back in Singapore – despite the orderly process that promotes harmony in everyday living. At the center of riots were Indian workers who became emotional when one of theirs got killed. These were important influences I needed to focus on, in light of Australian Government’s invitation to contribute to formulating Australia’s Humanitarian Program 2016-2017. It is also important due to Singapore’s express participation in Sri Lankan policy formation. Indians are Common to Singapore and Sri Lanka. I did not get a parallel invitation from the Sri Lankan Government and hence in Sri Lanka’s case my thoughts were more strongly about how Truth would manifest Itself through strongly emotional actions that the People of Tamil Nadu tend to demonstrate.
The Common Sri Lankan Tamil is writing her/his own feelings about the Sri Lankan experience. No Indian can match that at the level of Truth. Indians would tend to be stronger in terms of cleverness component in Tamil epics but not so in terms of actual experience. If they were – then Jaffna is already part of Tamil Nadu - thanks including to LTTE Leader who took money from Indian MG Ramachandran – actor turned politician, and also now to Mr. Wigneswaran – judicial leader turned politician - who is asking for India’s intelligence – as if we Lankan Tamils are lacking in such intellectual cleverness.
Emotionally driven Sri Lankan Tamils would tend to be strongly influenced by Indians interested in Sri Lanka. Like 13A – and the buildings out of hasty foreign charity – such quick answers would remain idle until the next emotional outburst. It is therefore very disappointing that Mr. Wigneswaran would expressly invite India’s input at policy level. Even if it comes it would belong in Hearsay/Copying category.
Singapore’s assistance is largely in the category of gerrymandering. This could however be hijacked by minorities in Sri Lanka if the parallel of Lee Kuan Yew were a Tamil.
Truth is the basis of any lasting solution. Lee Kuan Yew to Singapore is the parallel of Gandhi to India. The form of their contributions suited majority of their respective nations. By character Sri Lanka’s solution would look different to either of these two nations. We need to seek and find our own – however long it may take. When the Truth of that person is greater than the external knowledge – and that Truth looks ‘right’ to that generation – we would be out of the prison of our past attachments and the imaginary world of the future.
Often Truth is ignored when one thinks s/he is victorious. Rajiv Gandhi’s contribution to the Lankan issue was immortalized as part of the Lankan issue due to Lankans becoming the cause of his death. Likewise, the contributions of Tamils who died because they were Sri Lankan Tamils without Government protection – are now immortalized. Relatively speaking those who died in the course of employment – be they part of the rebel groups or the official army – would immortalize their contribution to employment. Where this category is greater than the ‘rights’ category – we are more likely to evolve like Singapore than like India’s Tamil Nadu.
As per the Hindu article ‘Drawing a distinction between Bharathiyar and Vairamuthu, Thavarajah Shanmugam of Switzerland pointed out that while Bharathiyar underwent deprivation and persecution for being a poet of Indian nationalism, Vairamuthu was busy minting money when the Eelam Tamils were being massacred. “Vairamuthu should indulge in some self criticism before taking up the project,” Shanmugam advised.’
Even Bharathiyar a Tamil – did not identify with the need of Lankan Tamils for their own identity. Bharathiyar revealed this by calling Ceylon a ‘Sinhala Island’ in his song ‘Sinthu Nathiyin Misai’. As per Bharathiyar – a bridge should be built between India and Sinhala Island over Sethu Samuthiram / Ocean.
As for time based connection - during most of the Sri Lankan war - I underwent deprivation and persecution for being an independent minded worker in Australian workforce, upholding my Sri Lankan qualifications as the highest – as per my own experience in both nations. Not many Sri Lankans consider me to be a national level leader. But this I now realize converts into ownership power when we accept that as the maximum possible without violence. This acceptance is also renunciation and takes me naturally to deeper ownership level – to work the system of Truth – to deliver outcomes that would uphold my Truth for me and others who believe in me to consciously complete our experience and give birth to common value. That then becomes the Policy for all who believe in me and/or are part of my structures – be they in family, workplace or wider society.
I believe that Gandhi’s contribution became Universal due to the gap between the true status he had earned and the status allocated by those with the official responsibility. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was part of that official team and hence the credit is largely local. Gandhi style works best when the true leader is not part of the official team. Singapore style requires the leader to be strongly intellectually driven and with the ability to expressly teach and tell. May suit Jaffna, provided there is an educated Tamil ready to use the intellectual pathway above the emotional pathway. Rural Sri Lankan did not suffer loss of dignity under foreign rule, as rural Indian did during Gandhi’s time. Hence Lanka does not need a Gandhi for lasting solution. Those who renounce earned benefits would naturally contribute to the birth of Gandhi through many bodies. Such bodies would be the custodians of the power of self-dignity of the sovereign person / nation. This needs to be a Lankan body for Sri Lankans and not Indian nor Singaporean. The dignity of a Sri Lankan can be upheld only by a Sri Lankan.