Caste and Corruption in Tamilnadu

Caste, Corruption and Tamilnadu Independence

Tamil Nadu Freedom Movement

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2008 (ID. 2008-04-02)
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1. Objections to Independence

2. Corruption

3. Caste System

1. Objections to Independence

An objection that some who oppose Tamil Nadu independence throw at Tamil nationalists is, "There is so much corruption in Tamil Nadu. If Tamil Nadu were to become an independent country, Tamil politicians would loot the country and leave it dry."

Another objection raised by some who oppose freedom for Tamilnadu is, "Caste system must go first. Otherwise we would kill each other in independent Tamil Nadu."

Let me respond to these objections.

2. Corruption

I agree that there are corrupt politicians in Tamil Nadu. Show me a country where there is no corruption. If "no corruption" were a pre-condition for independence, there would not be a single independent country in this world. Of course, there is more corruption in some countries than others.

Let me ask a question: "Is Indian Government corruption free?" Answer: "No". Every Indian government since 1947 is tainted with corruption. Many times more money was allegedly siphoned off to politicians, their families and friends during Bofors weapons purchase than in any alleged corruption case in Tamil Nadu. There have been reported corruptions in weapons purchases, food purchases, land purchases, industrial plant approvals, etc. So, somehow, being part of India reduces or eliminates corruption in Tamilnadu has no basis. Actually, now, being part of India, Tamil tax monies are swindled both at the state government and central government levels. Double dipping into our tax monies.

There is less corruption in England than in India. So, shall we invite back England to rule India? Does that sound ridiculous? So is the argument that Tamil Nadu should be under Indian rule because there is corruption in Tamil Nadu.

Having said all this, Tamil people have to fight corruption now and after independence but saying that Tamilnadu has to remain under Indian rule because of corruption is an empty objection without merit.

3. Caste System

True, caste system is a curse on society. Those who point to caste system as an objection to Tamilnadu independence conveniently ignore the fact that caste system is prevalent in most Indian states. In fact "lower castes" are oppressed more severely in some of the Hindi belt states in northern India than in Tamil Nadu. Although there is much more to be done and we are a long way to eliminate the evils of caste system, Tamil Nadu is more "progressive" in this respect than many northern states. So there is absolutely no merit to the objection that Tamil Nadu should remain part of India because of the caste system.

If caste is a reason for denying independence or seeking independence, then Mahatma Gandhi was wrong in seeking independence for India from British rule. How many who point to caste system as an objection to independence for Tamil Nadu are saying, "Let us bring back British rule until caste system is eradicated in India?" None.

In summary, caste system is a curse on society. We should eradicate it but eradication of caste system is not a pre-condition to Tamilnadu freedom. Let us work for Tamilnadu freedom and against caste-based injustices at the same time. Was this not what Mahatma Gandhi did? He worked against caste injustices and at the same time fought British rule.

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