Tamilnadu self-rule

A Debate:

Tamils are Unfit for self-rule (independence) in Tamil Nadu

G. Thirunavukkarasu: "Tamils are unfit for self-rule in Tamil Nadu"

Thanjai Nalankilli: "Independence for Tamil Nadu is our birthright"

TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 1999 (ID. 1999-06-02)
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 (EDITORS NOTE: The following comments on the article "Why Independence (Freedom) for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule?" by Thanjai Nalankilli (TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999) were received from G. Thirunavukkarasu. His comments and Thanjai Nalankilli's response are published below.)


DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (a political party in Tamil Nadu)

G. Thirunavukkarasu's Comments:

I read Thanjai Nalankilli's article "Why Independence (Freedom) for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule? (TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999). His arguments for freedom (independence) for Tamil Nadu are artificial and shallow. First of all, be clear about one thing; Tamil Nadu is still a concept only. When Tamils are cutting each other's throat on caste rivalries, where are you going to identify the Tamil blood? Today the concept of Tamil Nationalism is corrupt and an undeveloped war cry from opportunist politicians.

Groups identified by various castes are at loggerheads in pushing their way into political power. Things are limited to caste and unfortunately no governing string, even the Tamil or Dravidian string, is a dominating factor. The collapse of politics in Tamil Nadu is in no way a divide and rule policy of the Indian government. It is the pathetic story of nationalities with decaying social and political conditions made worse by the vice like local rule in villages by middle castes. Can you deny the rule of middle castes like Thevars, Mukkulaththors, Gounders and Padayachis (leave out the lowest castes and the Brahmins and fill all other castes here) in Tamil Nadu? You go to Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa... just change the caste names and all the above observations hold good.

I have been observing Tamil Nadu politics very closely from 1965. DMK won the State Assembly elections and came to power in 1967, and then bla blaa. Today in 1999, visit the local government schools in Chennai (capital of Tamil Nadu state) and make your own assessment of the standard of education in general and the importance given to Tamil medium education in particular. Students there are cursed to study in Tamil medium.

Off late you may be observing the way our elected representatives are behaving in the State Assembly. Why are our leaders so low? Where from they developed these dirty syndromes? Hope it is not from New Delhi!

Thanjai Nalankilli's Response:

Mr. Thirunavukkarasu makes some valid observations about caste rivalries and political decadence in Tamil Nadu. These are important matters and we should rectify them. But these issues in no way counter the arguments I had in my article for why Tamil Nadu should be free from Indian rule dominated and controlled by Hindi politicians.

Mr. Thirunavukkarasu has used a tactic used by some lawyers when the law, logic and facts are not on their side. They will simply ignore the opponent's valid arguments and raise issues that are irrelevant to the case. Thirunavukkarasu has done the same. I listed and elaborated on four points as reasons for independence (freedom) for Tamil Nadu from Indian rule. Thirunavukkarasu simply made a statement that those reasons are "artificial and shallow". He should explain why they are artificial and shallow. (I request readers who did not read my article to read it and make their own judgment.) How is Hindi imposition an artificial and shallow issue? How is the fact that "hundreds of millions of Rupees are transferred from Tamil Nadu to Hindi states by the Indian government" artificial and shallow? These are issues of great importance to the people of Tamil Nadu and the future welfare of Tamil Nadu. [Reference 1]

Mr. Thirunavukkarau argues that Tamils are unfit to rule Tamil Nadu without the supervision and overlordship of Hindi politicians because Tamils are fighting among themselves on the basis of caste and politics in Tamil Nadu is decadent. The fact that Tamil Nadu has problems within itself does not give Hindi politicians the right to discriminate us economically. Thirunavukkarasu's arguments are even more ridiculous because there is more corruption in Indian government than in Tamil Nadu government. Thirunavukkarasu's arguments are even more ludicrous because people killed in Hindi-belt states because of caste and religious rivalries are more than in Tamil Nadu. Thirunavukkarasu's argument that Tamil politicians are corrupt and Tamils are fighting among themselves on the basis of caste and religion and so we need Hindi politicians to rule us is like bringing in the fox to manage the chicken farm!

If infighting and political decadence/corruption are justification for the rule of one race over another, then the British could still justifiably rule the Indian subcontinent! They were not justifications and British rule ended. In the same way, in spite of our problems in Tamil Nadu, Hindian rule over Tamil Nadu should end.

I also want to emphasize that Tamil Nationalism is a unifying force across castes and religions. If we think of ourselves as Tamils and fight our common enemy - the Indian government dominated and controlled by Hindi politicians - we are more likely to forget our caste and religious differences. The contrary is also true. If we fight among ourselves on caste and religious basis, we will continue to be dominated by Hindi politicians. Hindi politicians know that and they do create problems in Tamil Nadu. Some politicians who have allegiance to Indian National Parties are said to have incited the recent caste clashes in Tamil Nadu. Where did some of the weapons used in recent caste clashes come from? From the north! Even when blood was literally soaking the soil in northern regions of the Indian subcontinent during the Hindu-Muslim clashes of 1947, there was no bloodshed in Tamil Nadu. Violence erupted in Tamil Nadu only after Hindu and Muslim extremist groups from the north established surrogate organizations in Tamil Nadu. So much for Mr. Thirunavukkarasu's argument that we need to be part of India to prevent violence in Tamil Nadu.

I will end this response with a little story.

Long time ago, in a village lived a man with his wife and four young children. Another villager (a thief) started stealing from this man's coconut grove. The man complained to the village elders. The elders called the thief and asked him, "Why are you stealing from this man?" The thief, instead of answering the question put to him, said, "Respected Sirs, this man has four children and they often quarrel among themselves". The elders said, "Oh, that is bad, but what has it to do with your stealing from his coconut grove. What right have you to steal from him?" The thief said to the elders, "Learned Sirs, this man is a selfish fellow. He enjoys life well but gives his wife and children only the bare necessities of life." The elders said, "That is bad. We will have a talk with him. But, what right do you have to steal from him? Your stealing from him makes things worse. Now he has even less to spend on his wife and children. Steal no more, and repay for everything you stole from this family."

Mr. Thirunavukkarasu's arguments in favor of the Indian government, dominated and controlled by politicians from Hindi states, transferring hundreds of millions of Rupees from Tamil Nadu to Hindi states is as ludicrous as that thief's arguments before the elders!

Independence (freedom) for Tamil Nadu is our birthright!

We will ask for it, we will fight for it, we will achieve it!


1. Archived articles on Economic Discrimination of Tamil Nadu by Indian Government (OR Search the internet with the following key words: economic discrimination Tamil Nadu India )

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----    1999-a1d 

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