The Voice of Global Tamils



long march of tamils


[Dravida Pervai happily reproduces the debate that took place in Rajya Sabha in  May 1963. DMK Founder Aringnar Anna ultimately changed the name of Madras State as Tamil Nadu and fulfilled the centuries old desire of the Tamil Nation on his becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1967. In 1963 he spoke in Parliament on the question of renaming Tamil Nadu. You can find out the arguments advanced for and against and also note who opposed the renaming in order to understand the forces that played for and against Tamil nationalism]


Mr. Vice Chairman, I am rarely in full agreement with my friend Mr.Bhupesh Gupta, but today I rise to support him whole-heartedly, fully and sincerely. The only weakness of the Bill is that it is a non-official one. I would have liked an official Bill to be brought forward for this very necessary and very simple thing that would have satisfied millions of Tamilians in Tamil Nadu. Many arguments that were advanced against the Bill brought forward are perhaps more due to the colour of the mover rather than the arguments advanced for its support. One Honorable Member was saying that he was not moving a Bill, which the Madras State has asked him to move. I regret very much that sometimes it becomes necessary to explain some rudimentary principles. The Madras Government will never ask a non-official Bill to be brought forward on its behalf. If the state government wants the Bill to be brought forward, there are the state representatives in this Assembly and they would have brought it forward, and therefore, to say that the Bill cannot be supported just because the Madras Government has not asked Mr.Gupta to bring the Bill shows that their only argument to fight against the Bill is that their party or their State Government has not instructed them to act in this way. I can well understand the political tremor in their hearts, but that is no argument against this Bill. The arguments advanced by the sponsors of the Bill for renaming Madras as Tamil Nadu have not been answered by any one of the speakers who spoke about it.

Sheel Badra Yajee: I have answered it.

Anna: I cannot understand- I very rarely understand- your language and, therefore, I do not know whether there is logic or not but I would say that some of the arguments advanced were not proper. One Honorable Member was saying that there are Telugu knowing people in Tamil Nadu, Malayalam and Kanarese speaking people and, therefore, to name Madras as Tamil Nadu will create a sort of tremor in their hearts. May I inform this House, through you, Sir, that all these arguments were advanced and shattered in my part of the country. All these arguments did not stand the onslaught of reason and logic. For the sake of informing this House I may inform you Sir, that on 24 th February 1961 the Leader of the House in the state assembly stood up to say that he was accepting part of the non official resolution brought forward not by the DMK or any other political party which is considered to be inimical to Congress, but by a PSP [Praja Socialist Party]Member. That PSP member brought forward a non official resolution for renaming Madras as Tamil Nadu and it was discussed many days and finally the then Finance Minister and the Leader of the House Mr.C.Subramaniam, stood up to say that he was accepting a part or the spirit of the resolution and added that thereafter all publications of the Madras government would appear in the name of Tamil Nadu Government. It is in such a way that all publications in Tamil in the Tamil Nadu government are being printed and published. As a matter of fact, after making the historic declaration on the floor of the Madras assembly on 24 th February, the very next day the Finance Minister had to present his budget and in presenting the budget, the opening words of the Finance Minister were: “ In consonance with the declaration made yesterday, I am now presenting to budget for Tamil Nadu.” Therefore all the arguments that Telugu speaking, the Malayalam speaking, and the Kanarese speaking people will be up against this change in name fall to ground because part of this has been accepted by the Government. The part relating to the amendment of Constitution, the word Madras to be deleted and the word Tamil Nadu to be inserted was not accepted.

Therefore, even the Government much less by the Madras Congress leaders cannot accommodate the sentimental arguments advanced. Sir, I am really surprised to see how ill informed my Hon. friends are, those who advanced arguments against the Bill. One Hon. Member stated here that Kollegal is in Tamil Nadu. That Hon. Member unfortunately not present in the House at present. I may tell them and his friends may tell him, that Kollegal today is part of Mysore. It has been taken away from the composite State of Madras and after the formation of linguistic states, has gone to Mysore. If my Hon. friend is so ill informed about Kollegal, I am not surprised at his arguments that nowhere in Tamil literature does the word Tamil Nadu occur. A politician who cannot understand that Kollegal does not form part of Tamil Nadu cannot be expected to be conversant with Tamil literature. For the edification of the House and for his own edification, I will point out the names of certain books wherein the word Tamil Nadu is to be found. These are books written 1800 or 2000 years ago. I am reading the name in Tamil but the Hon. Member who made this allegation is a Tamilian Congressman and he can understand and the Hon. Deputy Minister who will be making the reply. She being also a Tamilian may tell him. The names of Paripaadal, Pathitrupathu and more popular names of Silapathigaram and Manimegalai. These are all Tamil classics written more than 1000 years ago and in Paripaadal it is stated “ Thandamizh veli Thamizh Naatu agamellam” which means Tamil Nadu that is surrounded by sweet Tamil on all three sides. In Pathitrupathu, a classic written about 1800 years it is stated “ Imizh kadal veli Thamizhagam” meaning Tamil Nadu which has got sea as boundary. In Silapathigaram it is stated “ Then Thamizh nannadu” meaning good Tamil Nadu and in Manimegalai it is stated“Sambutheevinul Tamizhaga marungil “ Tamil Nadu which is called Sambutheevu. If my Hon. Members would like to have more popular illustrations I would like to refer them to the poems of Poet Kamban and Sekkilar both of whom have definitely used the word Tamil Nadu. It was only afterwards that there were three kingdoms, the Cheranadu, The Cholanadu and the Pandyanadu. Tamil Nadu is to be found in the classics of Tamil. It is not that there is poverty of ideas in the classics. It only shows that my Hon. friend does not spend much thought or time over the Tamil classics. I may point out for the edification of this House that when the Congress government in Tamil Nadu purchased the Jaipur Palace at Ooty known as Aranmore Palace they immediately renamed the Palace as Thamizhagam. I am pointing this out to say that the Congress there is trying to assuage our feelings, is trying to carry Tamil Nadu people along with them by saying they have renamed the Aranmore Palace as Thamizhagam, that they are publishing all the Tamil manifestos as Tamil Nadu Government publications, that only for international correspondence they want the name “Madras”. They are not prepared to amend the Constitution. If the arguments advanced by some of the Tamil Nadu Congress people were to be read by the Chief Minister of Madras, he would turn around and say “ You too Brutus”. All the arguments advanced for not renaming it falls flat on the ground because even the Congress Government there does not approve of these arguments.

Another particular issue was raised here that the Bill is being brought forward only as a publicity stunt of the Communist party. Why don’t we appreciate the Communist Party for its sense of political expediency? Are not all political parties interested in getting political publicity? Is publicity a heinous crime? Why do you publish reports and books on Five-year plans? Is that not publicity done at public cost? Yet you accuse other political parties saying that this is publicity. But let me tell this House through you, that even though you defeat the Bill, he has gained that publicity. You are not going to rob him anymore of that publicity. When he comes to Tamil Nadu he can conveniently face Tamilians and say, “ I pleaded for you but it is the ruling party that let you down.” Therefore you have unawares walked into Mr.Gupta’s snare. I would have appreciated if the ruling party had approached Mr.Bhupesh Gupta and stated, “ Do not bring in this non-official Bill, we ourselves are interested in it, we will bring it forward.”

Then Mr.Santhanam pointed out that we have an uphill task in retaining Madras, we had to fight with so many people and we retained Madras. I can claim some amount of credit in that fight and when I was in the thick of that fight, I did not find Mr.Santhanam by my side.

Akbar Ali Khan: At the cost of Andhra

Anna: With the consent of the Andhras, I can say that. That is because the present government there is providing even today, in the border areas, measures for safeguarding Telugu culture and for imparting Telugu language. Therefore though Madras has been taken by Tamilians, we have no enmity with the Andhras. But my friend Santhanam was saying that it was such an uphill task, retaining Madras that we would like to keep Madras. This is not a question of keeping Madras or giving it up. This is the question of keeping Madras in Tamilnadu and renaming the state as Tamil Nadu. Madras, after all is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, as Ahamadabad happens to be the capital city of Gujarat, as Chandigrah happens to be the capital city of Punjab. If this logic of naming the state after the name of capital city is to be followed, Kerala should be renamed Trivandrum, Andhra is to renamed Hyderabad, Punjab is to be renamed Chandigarh and Gujarat to be renamed Ahamadabad.

Bhubesh Gupta: And Bengal should be renamed Calcutta.

Anna: My government, my Congress government in Madras is interested in bilingualism. That is because its head Government is interested to have two names for everything, India that is Bharat, Jana gana mana and Vandhe Madaram. They always want to keep two blocks. Take something from here, take something from there. So the Madras government is having Tamil Nadu for the consumption of Tamilians and Madras for all India consumption. It is a very awkward word “ duplicity”. And that is why my friend Mr.Bhupesh Gupta was saying that some of the congress people talk in one way there and talk in another way here. No Congress can face a Tamilian audience and say that the name Madras should be retained. I challenge it.

T.S.Pattabhiraman {Madras}: We have faced it during the agitation of Tamil arasu Kazhagam and my friend knows it. What he is saying is complete travesty of facts.

Anna: I know how Pattabhiraman faces agitation. I wont say it. Let us not face each other as Congress and DMK. Let us face the Tamilian public on this single sanctified issue of renaming the state and if you carry along with you 51 percent of the people I am prepared to bow my head before you. This is not a party issue at all. The renaming of Madras as Tamil Nadu has been accepted by the Communist Party, by the DMK, by the PSP and you will be surprised, by the Madras branch of Swatantra Party too. Therefore all parties are one in this issue of renaming Madras as Tamil Nadu.

T.S.Pattabhiraman: None of them put it in their election manifesto.

Anna: I would present a copy of the DMK election manifesto to him tomorrow. I am sure Pattabhiraman knows Tamil. This issue has been an issue for more than 10 to 15 years. He was saying that only Tamil Arasu Kazhagam was fighting for it. It is true partially because it was only the Tamil arasu Kazhagam that started an agitation for it, but all other political parties were immensely intimately interested in this issue. They have printed it in their manifestos, in their political speeches and no District Conference of DMK took place without passing this resolution of renaming Madras as Tamil Nadu. Therefore it is not simply on the spur of the moment that I am pleading for it. My sorrow is that my friend Mr.Bhupesh Gupta had stolen the thunder from me by sponsoring this Bill. But for that, I would like to present before this House that this has been an issue all along in Tamil Nadu. And they have not answered Mr.Bhupesh Gupta; What do you loose by renaming Madras as Tamil Nadu? Nobody has answered that.

N.M.Lingam [Madras] Anyway what do you gain by renaming it as Tamil Nadu?

Anna: What do I gain? What have you gained by renaming Parliament as Lok Sabha? What have you gained by renaming Council of States as Rajya Sabha? What have you gained by renaming President as Rastrapathi? Therefore I say what do you loose? This is important because if you were to loose something precious, we would not press for it. If you do not loose something fundamental, we will press for it. The other point was raised, what do you gain? We gain satisfaction sentimentally; we gain satisfaction that an ancient name is inculcated in the hearts of millions and scores of millions of people. Is that not enough compensation for the small trouble of changing the name? Therefore all the arguments that have been advanced have been shattered.

They have advanced an apologetic argument saying that if the State government had come forward with this, we would have accepted this. And they are perfectly aware of the composition of the State legislature where the Congress party is in a majority. Would you ask the Congress member in Madras State legislature to vote for such a bill if it were to come there, without party whip? No

T.S.Pattabhiraman: Your party members could have brought forward a resolution in the House and changed the name. Why have you not done it for past seven or eight years?

Anna: I am coming to that. When we present such a bill to the Madras legislature, they say that if you want to rename, an amendment to the constitution is necessary and an amendment of the Constitution is possible only when you go to Parliament.

T.S.Pattabhiraman: I am saying a resolution, not a Bill. A resolution can be made.

Anna: I may say for the information of the Hon. Member that we pressed this point during the discussion on the non-official Bill of PSP. In fact we even staged a walk out. The DMK and Communist party joined together in the walk out. That is our numerical position there. When the non-official resolution was discussed in the Madras assembly we pressed for the constitutional amendment and the only explanation offered to us was that it was only possible at the level of Parliament. And when we come to Parliament we are asked to go back to the state legislature. We are asked to go to Parliament because you are entrenched in both places not because your logic is sound but simply because you are entrenched in both places.

G.Rajagopalan [Madras] We are entrenched because the people vote for us. It has been discussed even during elections. There had been fasts by certain members and one person even lost his life after fasting. Even after that we won elections. That shows the people still want as it is- not for the satisfaction of some politicians who want a slogan.

Anna: Madam Deputy Chairman, I am very glad that the discussion is becoming very interesting. But I may say for the information of the House that DMK has nothing to do with fasting. The fasting was undertaken by a non-party man, in fact a relative of the Chief minister of Madras Mr.Sankaralinga [Nadar}. And to say that in spite of fasting you have not changed shows how human you are. Therefore the question was discussed there. We were asked to go to Parliament. When we come to Parliament we are again sent back to legislature. In both places the answer is as my Hon. friend had stated, “ The people had voted for us”. Well that is a fact, a tragic fact, and a black fact that ought to be seen.

G.Rajagopalan: In spite of you tragedy is still there

T.S.Pattabhiraman: He says tragedy will be permanent. The tragedy of Congress getting a majority at every election will be a permanent feature and we are prepared to accommodate you.

Anna: Madam Deputy Chairman my friend was saying that this tragedy is going to be permanent. Woe to the country and to the people. That is all what I can say. But I would like to press this point that a Constitution amendment can be thought of and made only through Parliament. That is why we have approached The Parliament. If any amendment is brought forward on this or any suggestion is given that it should be circulated to gather public opinion, we take up that challenge. I do not ask you to take this as an election issue. Do not be afraid of that.


We are not making it an election issue. This is an issue to be taken to the people for getting their consent or otherwise. That is not going to affect your offices. Nobody thinks about that. You may remain there. This is not a question of analysis of our different parties. This is a question wherein a particular issue has to be referred to the public. Are you prepared for that? That is what we ask. You are not prepared for that and that is why I say

N.M.Anwar [Madras] Madam on a point of information I have got the highest respect and regard for my good friend Mr.annadurai. But will he kindly explain what there is in retaining the name Madras that has got such worldwide publicity? How is he going to meet that point of view? Where is the difficulty in retaining this worldwide name of Madras?


Anna: The only point in answer to the Hon. member Mr.anwar is this. What we gain is our sentimental satisfaction and status of our ancient land. If in Madras we change the name of China Bazaar into Nethaji Subhas Chandra Road nothing is changed in the street but something is changed in our thinking, in our soul, in our fibre. That is why we are pressing for it. not because we think that keeping Madras will be wrong.

N.M.Anwar: My question is not that. We agree that there is something good in calling it Tamil Nadu. But what is your allergy to Madras, which has got a worldwide publicity.

Anna: My allergy is if Madras is used as name of the state, you confuse the capital with the state. Madras is the name of the capital city. Tamil Nadu is the name that ought to be given to the state. There ought to be a distinction between the name of the state and its capital, and therefore, I whole-heartedly support the Bill brought forward and I would commend it to the House.



On 6 March 1967, fifty-eight-year-old Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai became chief minister of Madras state, when his party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), swept to power for the first time. Marking the pinnacle of his public life, it reflected his popularity among ordinary people who revered him as Anna, or elder brother. This rich biography illuminates his many lives—as a charismatic leader of modern India, as a stalwart of the Dravidian movement, as the founder of the DMK, as spokesman for the South—besides documenting his abilities as an acclaimed orator and littérateur in Tamil and English, and as a stage actor. Kannan draws on Anna’s considerable body of writing, the memoirs of other leaders and authors in Tamilto offer a warm and rounded portrait of a man who showed the way for the democratic expression of regional aspirations within a united India.


 R. Kannan practised law in Madras, and briefly also taught law at Madras Law College and international organizations at the University of Madras, where he was a guest faculty member. He has served in various capacities with the United Nations, including as head of Civil Affairs in Cyprus. Currently, he is a political officer with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo.

Buy the book online. The book Anna by R Kannan ISBN 9780670083282 is available at Rs 440, 20% discount and may qualify for free shipping anywhere in India. When you order the book Anna by R Kannan at Bsbazaar.com, you are sure to receive a brand new copy and not an old copy or a used book.

நேதாஜி மரணம் சுமார் 800 ரகசிய ஃபைல்கள் — March 10, 2010

நேதாஜி மரணம் சுமார் 800 ரகசிய ஃபைல்கள்

இன்று பிரபாகரன், அன்று நேதாஜி



”பிரபாகரன் உயிரோடு இருக்கிறார். போரில் கொல்லப்படவில்லை” என ஒரு பகுதியினர் அழுத்தந்திருத்தமாகச் சொல்லி வருகிறார்கள். பிரபாகரனின் வீரத்தை அறிந்தவர்கள், அதை நம்பத் தயாராக இருக்கிறார்கள். அதுபோலவே, ”நேதாஜி சுபாஷ் சந்திரபோஸும் விமான விபத்தில் இறக்கவில்லை. உயிருடன் இருக்கிறார்” என்ற சர்ச்சை பல ஆண்டுகள் நடந்தது, மத்திய அரசுக்கு மண்டைக் குடைச்சல் தந்தது.

நேதாஜியின் மரணம் குறித்த விஷயங்களை சேகரித்து வைத்திருப்பவரும், அகில இந்தியப் பார்வார்டு பிளாக் கட்சியின் பொதுச் செயலாளருமான தேவப்பிரதா பிஸ்வாஸ் சமீபத்தில் புதுச்சேரி வந்திருந்தார். அவருடன், மாநிலங்களவை உறுப்பினரான பரூண் முகர்ஜியும் இருந்தார். ”பிரபாகரன் அறையில் நேதாஜியின் படமும் புலியின் படமும் இருக்கும்” என்றபடி ஈழம் பற்றிய நினைவுகளில் அமிழும் பிஸ்வாஸும் முகர்ஜியும் நேதாஜி பற்றிய மர்மங்களை நம்மிடம் பகிர்ந்து கொண்டார்கள்.

”நேதாஜியின் மரணம் சட்டப்படி உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டுவிட்டதா?”

”ஆகஸ்ட் 18, 1945-ல் தைவான் தலைநகர் தாய்பேய் விமான நிலையத்திலோ, அதற்கு அருகாமையிலோ நடந்த விமான விபத்தில் நேதாஜி இறக்கவில்லை. எப்படியென்றால், நேதாஜி மரணம் குறித்து இந்திய அரசால் அமைக்கப்பட்ட முகர்ஜி கமிஷனிடம், அமெரிக்க உளவுத்துறையால் தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட்ட பிரமாண பத்திரத்தில் இதனை உறுதிபட அமெரிக்கா தெரிவித்துவிட்டது. தைவான் நாட்டு அரசும், ”தன் நாட்டு எல்லைக்குள் அன்று அப்படி எந்த விபத்தும் நடக்கவில்லை” என்று கூறிவிட்டது.

 ஜப்பான் அரசும், ”சுபாஷ் சந்திரபோஸ் என்ற பெயரிலோ இச்சிரோ உக்குடா (நேதாஜிக்கு சூட்டிய புனைபெயர்) என்ற பெயரிலோ எவரும் இறந்து சுடுகாட்டில் எரிக்கப்படவில்லை” என்று தெரிவித்துவிட்டது. ‘நேதாஜியினுடையது’ என்று ஜப்பானிய கோயில் ஒன்றில் வைக்கப்பட்ட அந்தச் சாம்பல் மற்றும் எலும்புகளை டி.என்.ஏ பரிசோதனை நடத்தவிடாமல் இந்திய அரசு தடுத்துக் குழப்பியது உலகுக்கே தெரியும். இறுதியாக, முகர்ஜி கமிஷனும் ஆகஸ்ட் 18, 1945-ல் நடந்த விமான விபத்தில் நேதாஜி இறக்கவில்லை என்று அரசுக்கு அறிக்கை அளித்துவிட்டது. இதில் வேடிக்கை என்னவென்றால், எந்தவித காரணமும் கூறாமல், தானே நியமித்த முகர்ஜி கமிஷன் அறிக்கையை ஏற்க முடியாது என்று இந்திய அரசு நிராகரித்ததுதான்” என்கிற தேவபிரதா பிஸ்வாஸ்,

“நேதாஜி தொடர்பான ஏராளமான ஆவணங்களை பிரதமர் அலுவலகம், உள்துறை அமைச்சகம் மற்றும் வெளியுறவு அமைச்சகம் ஆகிய மூன்றும் சேர்ந்து அழித்து ஒழித்துவிட்டன. இதை நீதிபதி முகர்ஜி கமிஷனே சுட்டிக்காட்டி உள்ளது என்றார்.

“எல்லா ஆதாரமும் அழிந்து விட்டதா? என்று கேட்டோம். இல்லை, சுமார் 800 ஃபைல்கள் ‘ரகசிய ஃபைல்கள்’ என்று முத்திரை குத்தப்பட்டு மத்திய அரசிடம் உள்ளன. எல்லா நாடுகளிலும் குறிப்பிட்ட சில ஆண்டுகள் மட்டுமே ரகசிய ஃபைல்களாக வைத்திருந்து, பின்னர் ஆய்வாளர்களுக்காக ‘பொது ஆவணமாக’ அறிவிப்பார்கள். இந்தியாவிலும் அப்படித்தான். ஆனால், இந்த 800 ஃபைல்களையும் நிரந்தரமாக ரகசிய ஃபைல்களாக இந்திய அரசு வைத்துள்ளது. இது பகிரங்கப் படுத்தப்பட்டால் நேதாஜிக்கு நேர்ந்தது என்ன என்பதை உலகம் அறிந்து கொள்ளும்” என்கிறார்.

”இதை யாரும் பார்க்க முடியாதா என்ன?”

“எனக்குக் காட்டி னார்கள். ஆனால், அதைப்பற்றிப்பேசவோ, மேற்கோள் காட் டவோ கூடாது” என்று உறுதிமொழி வாங்கிக்கொண்டார்கள்” என்கிறார் பரூண் முகர்ஜி.

”நேதாஜி உயிருடன் இருந்தார் என நீங்கள் சொல்லி வந்தீர்கள்? அரசு இறந்து விட்டதாகத்தானே கூறி வந்தது?” என்ற கேள்விக்கு பதிலளிக்கும் பிஸ்வாஸ்,

”மறைந்த பிறகு, நாட்டின் உயர் தலைவர்களை கௌரவிக்கும் பாரத ரத்னா விருதை மத்திய அரசு நேதாஜிக்கு அளித்தது. அது பற்றி உச்ச நீதிமன்றத்தில் சர்ச்சை எழுந்தபோது, அங்கே நேதாஜி இறந்ததை நிருபிக்கமுடியவில்லை. எனவே, மத்திய அரசு பின்வாங்கிக்கொண்டது. அதுமட்டுமல்ல. கொடுத்த பாரத ரத்னாவையே திரும்பப் பெற்று ஜகா வாங்கியது. இன்னும் தெளிவாகச் சொல்லவேண்டுமானால், ஆகஸ்ட் 18,- 1945-ம் ஆண்டு, விமான விபத்தில் நேதாஜி கொல்லப்பட்டதாக ஜப்பானியர் உதவியுடன் கட்டுக்கதை சொல்லப்பட்டது. நேதாஜியைப் பின் தொடரும் நேச நாட்டுப் படைகளிடம் இருந்து அவரைக் காப்பாற்றவே இக்கதை புனையப்பட்டிருக்கலாம். அதேசமயம், சோவியத் யூனியனுக்குள் நேதாஜி நழுவிச் சென்றிருக்கக்கூடும்’ என்றும் சொல்லப்பட்டது.

ஆனால், ‘பைசியாபாத் நகரில் வாழ்ந்து வந்த ஒரு துறவிதான் நேதாஜி’ என்கிற கிசுகிசு கிளம்பியபோது நிலைமையே தலைகீழாக மாறியது. ‘கும்நாமி பாபா’ என்பதுதான் அந்தத் துறவியின் பெயர். அவர், மிகமிக மர்ம யோகியாக வாழ்ந்து வந்தார். திரைக்குப் பின்னிருந்தே மக்களைச் சந்தித்தார். வெளியே எங்கும் தலைகாட்ட மாட்டார். அவர் மறைந்தபோது, நேதாஜி மறைந்துவிட்டார் என்ற செய்திகள் பரபரப்பாக பேசப்பட்டது. இதன் காரணமாக, ‘அவருடைய உடைமைகளை சீல் வைத்து, பைசியாபாத் கருவூலத்தில் பாதுகாப்பாக வைக்குமாறு’ உத்திரப்பிரதேச நீதிமன்றம் ஆணையிட்டது. பிறகு, டிசம்பர் 22, 2001-ல்தான் முகர்ஜி கமிஷனுக்காக அந்த சீல் உடைக்கப்பட்டது.

பகவான்ஜி ஒரு வங்காளி. ஆனால், ஆங்கிலம், இந்துஸ்தானி, சமஸ்கிருதம், ஜெர்மன் ஆகிய மொழிகளில் அவர் புலமை பெற்றிருந்தார். நேதாஜி அணிவது போலவே வட்ட வடிவ மூக்குக் கண்ணாடி அணிந்திருந்தார். தங்க வாட்சும் அணிந்திருந்தார். 1945-ல் நேதாஜி மறைந்ததாக சொல்லப்பட்ட இடத்தில் அவரது மூக்குக் கண்ணாடியோ, தங்க வாட்சோ அகப்படவில்லை என்பதை நாம் நினைவில் கொள்ளவேண்டும்.

பகவான்ஜி, பார்ப்பதற்கு நேதாஜி போலவே இருப்பார். நேதாஜி போலவே பேசுவார். அந்த வயதில், அவரது உயரமும் தோற்றமும் நேதாஜியை வெகுவாக ஒத்திருந்தது. பல் இடுக்கும், வயிற்றின் கீழே இருந்த தழும்பும்கூட ஒத்திருந்தது. நேதாஜியின் குடும்பப் புகைப்படங்கள் அந்தத் துறவி வீட்டில் கண்டெடுக்கப்பட்டன. நேதாஜியின் பெற்றோரின் அரிய புகைப்படங்கள் மட்டுமல்ல, அவருடைய தந்தையார் பயன்படுத்திய குடையும் அங்கிருந்தது. இந்தத் துறவியின் சீடர்களாக இந்திய தேசிய ராணுவத்தின் உளவுப்பிரிவு தலைவராக செயல்பட்ட டாக்டர் பவித்ரா மோகன் ராய், லீலா ராய், சுனில் தாஸ், திரிலோக்நாத் சக்ரவர்த்தி ஆகிய நேதாஜியின் நெருங்கிய கூட்டாளிகள் இருந்தனர். நேதாஜி மரணம் குறித்து இந்துஸ்தான் டைம்ஸ் நாளேடு கடந்த 2002-ம் ஆண்டு ஒரு ஆய்வை மேற்கொண்டது. அதில், இருவருடைய எழுத்தும் நடையும் ஒரே மாதிரி இருந்ததாக குறிப்பிட்டிருந்தது.

ஓவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் நேதாஜியின் பிறந்த தினமான ஜனவரி 23-ல்தான் பகவான்ஜியின் பிறந்த நாளையும் கொண்டாடுகிறார்கள். குறிப்பாகச் சொல்லவேண்டு மானால், பவித்ரா மோகன்ராய் உள்ளிட்ட நெருங்கிய கூட்டாளிகளே கொண்டாடினார்கள். 1971-ம் ஆண்டு, நேதாஜியின் மூத்த சகோதரர் சுரேஷ் போஸுக்கு நேதாஜி மரணம் குறித்து இரண்டாவதாக அமைக்கப்பட்ட கோஸ்லா கமிஷன் விடுத்த சம்மனின் ஒரிஜினல்கூட பகவான்ஜியின் உடைமைகளுடன் இருந்தது. 1985-ல் துறவியார் மறைந்தபோது, கல்கத்தாவில் இருந்த டாக்டர் பவித்ரா மோகன் ராய், ‘நான் மட்டும் வாய் திறந்தால் நாடே பற்றி எரியும்’ என்று சொல்லியிருக்கிறார். இன்றைக்கு நேதாஜி உயிருடன் இல்லை. ஆனால், நான்தான் நேதாஜி என்று பலபேர் சொல்லிக்கொண்டு இருந்தார்கள். எனவே, அதைப் பற்றி நான் கருத்துச் சொல்ல விரும்பவில்லை. 1945, ஆகஸ்ட் 18-ல் நேதாஜி இறக்கவில்லை என்பது மட்டும் உறுதி” என்கிறார்.

”நேதாஜி ரஷ்யா சென்றதாக சொல்கிறார்களே! அந்த மர்மமும் விலகவில்லையே?”

”இதுதான் மிக முக்கியமான விஷயம். அந்த நேரத்தில் வியட்நாம் விடுதலை பெற்றிருந்தது. வியட்நாம் அதிபர் ஹோசிமின்னுக்கும், நேதாஜிக்கும் நெருங்கிய நட்பு இருந்ததால் அவர்தான் நேதாஜியை பாதுகாத்திருக்க வேண்டும். அதுதான் உண்மையும்கூட.” என்கிறவர்,

”நேதாஜி வரலாறு மட்டுமல்ல. இந்திய விடுதலைக்காக போராடிய இந்திய தேசிய இராணுவத்தின் வீரம் செறிந்த வரலாற்றைக்கூட இந்திய அரசு வெளியிடவில்லை. சுதந்திரப்போரின் உண்மை வரலாற்றை வெளியிட, இந்திய அரசு ஏன் மறுத்து வருகிறது என்பது புரியவில்லை. நேரு பிரதமராக இருந்தபோது, இந்திய சுதந்திர வரலாற்றை எழுத ‘இராதா வினோத்பால்’ என்ற அறிஞரை கேட்டுக்கொண்டது. அவரும் வரலாற்றின் கையெழுத்துப்படியை நேரு அரசிடம் ஒப்படைத்தார். அதுவும் புத்தகமாகி வெளியே வரவில்லை. அப்படி வந்தால், பல உண்மைகள் வெளிப்படும்” அழுத்தமாகச் சொல்கிறார் தேவப்பிரதா பிஸ்வாஸ்.






 It is needless to state that ashrams in India are always in the habit of landing themselves in controversies, especially when the founders are no more, those who step into their footsteps cannot win battles within their minds to earthly temptations for power, money and women. In some places more than woman children are at receiving end. This general trend in India is mostly unreported in media, which finds only politicians as villains in real life and exonerate heads of ashrams from their sins on earth as if they have divine license to indulge in such crimes.

 Introduction : CNN-IBN, known for its bold coverage too had to bow before the influences exerted on them to kill a story titled Divine Trap which its own reporters meticulously caught in camera after 6 months of hard work within Aurobindo Ashram. After advertising the promotion for two days in eleventh hour it was stalled. I complained to Press Council of India that after feeling it is news worthy the CNN-IBN had informed Indian public about the telecast, then without assigning reason had killed the story, and I sought public had a right to know what made them stop the telecast. The reply of Press Council of India which is in visual states that they have jurisdiction over print media only and not electronic media. Technically CNN-IBN got reprieve from Press Council of India, but not morally or ethically. So many Court cases against Aurobindo Ashram go unreported, in spite of alerting crime reporters of High Courts and Supreme Courts. May be they are busy chasing politicians or may be they did the story which was killed , or may be before publication some old Maharaja must have passed a feudal order to kill that story.


 Mr.Peter Heehs is an American historian living in Pondicherry for more than 35 years and is in charge of Aurobindo Ashram Archives. One bold lady Ms.Sureka Jain had filed a Writ Petition [W.P.24599 of 09] in the High Court of Madras seeking cancellation of his Visa and Deportation to USA. The petitioner’s petition had the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer Chennai and Foreigner Regional Registration Officer Puddicherry as first and second respondent. The third Respondent is the Managing Trustee of Aurobindo Ashram Mr.Manoj Das Gupta and the fourth respondent is Superintendent of Police North Puducherry. Now let us go in the Court and look what happened on 21 st December when the case was heard by the Chief Justice of High Court of Madras. As all reporters of High Court are aware , when the case was taken up lawyers of all parties were present. Mr.Peter Heehs in true style of politicians came with 25 or so supporters of him, all being foreigners who had come to express solidarity with him. He alone was allowed to enter the Court room while others were asked by the watch and ward to wait outside. The Secretary of Aurobindo Ashram, Mr.Mathriprasad, a Machiavellian manipulator of inside affairs came along with Mr.Peter Heeh’s counsel and Ashram Counsel.

 The counsel of the petitioner, highlighted in the High Court that Mr.Peter Heehs has breached all visa conditions in connivance with the third respondent, namely Managing Trustee of Aurobindo Ashram. The petitioner through her counsel demanded that the first and second respondents should cancel the visa and initiate immediate steps to deport him. The notable plea before the High Court was that the fourth respondent, namely Superintendent of Police North of Puducherry has failed to execute the live arrest warrant pending against Mr.Peter Heehs in Puducherry.

 The counsel representing Mr.Peter Heehs expressed before the Court that Peter Heehs is a world renowned scholar and historian. He further added that for 35 years he had been in Ashram spreading the teachings of Aurobindo Ghosh.

 [ The readers of this blog can visit www.peterheehs.com to know about this scholar and his works ]

 The counsel of Peter Heehs pointed out that the Managing Trustee of Ashram had  praised the invaluable contribution of Mr.Peter Heehs and that he enjoys the total support of the Managing Trustee of Aurobindo Ashram.

 The legal counsel representing Manoj Das Gupta and Aurobindo Ashram Trust said that he was in full agreement with what had been said by the counsel of Mr.Peter Heehs, and the petitioner was motivated by personal animosity towards Peter Heehs as such the petitioner and her complaint had nothing to do with Aurobindo Ashram.

 Legal Counsel representing Mr.Peter Heehs declared that the book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” is most authentic and academic portrayal of the life of Aurobindo Ghosh that has emerged out of the Ashram and its Archives headed by Mr.Peter Heehs. At this point the Chief Justice was keen to have a copy of the book. To which the legal counsel for Peter Heehs submitted that neither he nor his client were allowed to carry  the copy of the book as the book has been proscribed within the territory of India. On hearing this the Chief Justice sarcastically remarked in that case the book could not be as wonderful as portrayed by the counsel.

 After arguments by both sides the legal counsel for petitioner conveyed strongly that this case was not about the book in any way but was about the breach of visa conditions by Peter Heehs and Manoj Das gupta.

 The Chief Justice asked the legal counsel of the FRRO authorities their views regarding visa extension and deportation of Peter Heehs. The counsel for FRRO declared that based on documents available to them they were of the view that no further extension of visa of Peter Heehs was possible. But they could not take a decision  his immediate deportation as there were several criminal cases pending against Peter Heehs in Orissa, and as such they would have to take into account before taking action for deportation or cancellation. They prayed for time to study and revert to the court on the matter.

 Then the case was adjourned to January 18 th of 2010, on which date respondents were asked to submit written replies.


 Case instead of 18 th was taken up on 19th. The legal counsel for petitioner pointed out in strongest terms, that the four respondents have failed so far to give written depositions/submissions to the court regarding specific plaints made by the petitioner. He conveyed to the Court that the four respondents are delaying/avoiding written submissions as their failures are indefensible in the matter. He pleaded to the Court that no further arguments should take place till written are made by the respondents.

 The Chief Justice of Madras High Court ordered that the respondents to give written submissions on next date and posted to 2 nd February 2010.


 This is a case about an American historian before High Court of Madras . Do you think that only cases involving politicians or film stars are news worthy, and this case should not be reported ?

 The scholar wrote a book which is sold throughout the world, yet in India through Court orders it is banned. DMK, the parent party of Dravida Peravai launched the Right To Free Expression Agitation soon after it was founded by Aringnar Anna. We wanted ban lifted on all of our banned books. In emergency under dynamic leadership of Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanithi, me and few writers fought in official organs of DMK defending free speech. So we are keen to debate what Peter Heehs wrote, and why it is banned in India.

 At the same time what is happening within Aurobindo Ashram must be reported in media. Ashram has no Guru, hence it is not an Ashram as defined by Philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh. It is a Trust without a President, chair vacant for decades, and with no rules. My petition in local courts to frame proper rules for ashram trust was unnumbered but came up for nearly a decade before local court to die a natural death, hence one cannot pursue an unnumbered case for decade with 4 lawyers getting changed in mid way. The rule of law as it applies to Indian Prime Minister must apply to Trustees of Aurobindo Ashram. If Dr.Karan Singh thinks his clout can cover up , we say that democracy is strong, and everything should be debated in public domain, be it what happens in Courts or closed door meetings.

 Journalists of India, assert your rights  as you are custodians of free society.

 N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai 53 B Calve Subburayar Street  Puducherry 605001

மொழிகளும் மதங்களும் மனிதகுலமும் ஒன்றிலிருந்து ஒன்று பிரிந்தவையே — January 5, 2009

மொழிகளும் மதங்களும் மனிதகுலமும் ஒன்றிலிருந்து ஒன்று பிரிந்தவையே

– நா.நந்திவர்மன் பொதுச்செயலர், திராவிடப்பேரவை

பிரித்தானிய ஒலிபரப்புச் சேவை (பிபிசி) அறிவியல் | இயற்கை பகுதியில் 14.8.2002 ல் ஒரு செய்திவெளியாயிற்று “முதன்மொழி மரபணு கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது” என்று அந்தச் செய்தி அறிவித்தது. மாந்தன் பேசும் திறன் பெறக் கரணியான பல மரபு அணுக்களில் முதன்மயான மரபணுவை கண்டுபிடிதது் விட்டதாக அறிவியல் அறிஞர்கள் நம்புகின்றனர்.

இந்த மரபணு இல்லாவிட்டால் மொழியும் மாந்தகுலப் பண்பாடும் மலர்ந்திருக்க முடியாது. ஈறிலக்கம் ஆண்டுகள் கடந்து மனிதன் கண்டு வரும் ( பரிணாம) கூர்தலற வளர்ச்சியின் உந்தாற்றலாக இம்மரபணுவில் தோன்றும் தலையாய மாறுதல்கள் கரணியமாகின்றன. மாந்தன் பேசும் மொழியோடு உறுதியாகத் தொடர்புடைய அந்த மரபணுவுக்கு ‘Fox P 2’ என்று குறியீட்டுப் பெயர் சூட்டியுள்ளனர்.

“பலமொழி மரபணுக்கள் கண்டுபிடிப்பதற்கு முன்னோட்டமாகக் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்ட முதன்மயான மரபணு” என வால்ப் காங்கு ஈனார்டு கூறுகிறார். செருமனியில் உள்ள இலீப்ழிக் நகரில் உள்ள Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anrthropology’ எனும் நிறுவனப் பேராசிரியர் அவர். 10 முதல் 1000 வரை இது போன்ற மரபணுக்கள் இருக்கலாம் என்கிறார் அவர்.

உலகெங்கும் மரபணு பற்றி பல்வேறு ஆய்வுகள் நடக்கின்றன. அதில் சுவையான செய்திகள் வெளிவந்த வண்ணமுள்ளன. மனிதனும் எலியும் ஒன்றுவிட்ட சகோதரர்களாம். டனோசரசு என்ற விலங்கினம் உலகினினின்று அழிந்த இறுதிக் கட்டத்தில் ஒரு சிறிய உயிரியிலிருந்து மனிதனும் எலியும் வேறு வேறாகப் பிரிந்தனவாம். இரண்டும் பிரிந்து தனித்தனி உயிர்களாகி 75 மில்லியன் ஆண்டுகளாகி விட்டன. எலிக்குள்ள 30000 மரபணுக்களில் சுமார் 1% விழுக்காடு அதாவது சுமார் 300 மரபணுக்கள் மனிதனிடம் இல்லை.

அரிசியின் மரபணுக்களை படமாக்குதல் என்று ஒரு அனைதது்லகத்திட்டம் உண்டு. ஒவ்வொரு Molecule அரிசியினுள்ளும் 12 இணை Chromosome உள்ளன. இவைகள் கட்டமைக்கப்படுவதற்கு காரணமான குறியீட்டு மொழிகள கண்டறிய 400 மில்லியன் கட்டளை எழுத்க்களை படமாக்குதல் இத்திட்டத்தின் நோக்கமாகும். International Rice Genome Project II முடித்து II வது கட்ட ஆய்வுக்கு இந்தியா முற்பட்டுள்ளது.

ஒரு மனிதனின் உடலில் 30,000 முதல் 40,000 மரபணுக்கள் இருந்தால் இந்திகா அரிசியில் 45,000 முதல் 56,000 வரை மரபணுக்கள் உள்ளன. சப்பானியர் அரிசியில் 63,000 மரபணுக்கள் மனிதனைக் காட்டிலும் அரிசியில் கூடுதலாக உள்ளன. அரிசியில் உள்ள மரபணுக்கள் வேறு சில செடி கொடிகளிலும் பொதுவாகக் காணப்படுகின்றன. அறிவியல் பல புதிர்களுக்கு இவ்வாறு விடைதேடிய வண்ணமுள்ளது. முடிவு உடனே கட்டத் தேவையில்லை, இத் தேடல்களுக்கு முழு உண்மை புலப்படும் வரை! ஆனால் கடவுளை கற்பித்து அந்தக் கற்பனையை வைத்துப் பிழைக்க மதங்களை உருவாக்கிக் கொண்டவர்கள் உண்மைகள் வெளிப்பட்டு விடக்கூடாது என்று அஞ்சுகின்றனர். உண்மைகள் வெளி வந்தால் தங்கள் பிழைப்பு பறி போய்விடும் என்று அஞ்சுகின்றனர். உலக முதன் மாந்தன் – உலக முதன்மொழி உலக முதல் வழிபாடு உலகின் முதல் பண்பாடு என்று உலகில் உண்மையான வரலாறு கட்டமைக்க ஓயாமல் உழத்தாக வேண்டும் உண்மைகள் ஊர்வலம் வரும் வரை!

நம் ஊர் அறிஞர்களையே முழுமையாக அறிந்து கொள்ளாதவர்கள் நாம். நம்நாட்டு பல மாநிலங்களையே நன்கறியாதவர்கள் நாம். நம நாட்டை ஒட்டியுள்ள அண்டை நாடுகளைப் பற்றி ஒன்றுமே தெரியாதவர்கள் நாம். நம்மைச் சுற்றி என்ன நடக்கிறது என்று கூடத் தெரியாதவர்களுக்கு உலகில் பல்துறை அறிஞர்கள் ஈடுபட்டுள்ள தேடல் தெரியவா போகிறது.

ஜேம்சு ஏ. மதிசாப் மொழியியல் அறிஞர். திபேத்திய பர்மிய மொழி பற்றிய ஆய்வில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ளவர். 1968ல் சீன-திபேத்திய மொழிகளுக்கான அனைத்துலக மாநாட்டை முன்னின்று நடத்தியவருள் ஒருவர். சீன-திபேத்திய மொழிகளின் சொற்பிறப்பியல் அகர முதலி மற்றும் நிகண்டு தொடர்பான பணிகளில் 1987 முதல் உழைப்பவர். அவர மின்னஞ்சல் முகவரி matisoff@socrates.berkeley.edu. தமிழ் உலக முதன்மொழி என நிறுவ தமிழுக்கும் சீன-திபேத்திய மொழிகளுக்குமுள்ள உறவை ஆய்வு செய்ய சீன-திபேத்திய சொற்பிறப்பியல் அகராதி உதவக்கூடும். அந்த அறிஞருடன் தமிழ்ச் சொற்பிறப்பியல் ஆய்வில் தோய்ந்த அறிஞர்கள் இணைந்தால் இருதரப்பு ஆய்வும் மேம்பாடடையும். உலக மக்கட் தொகயில் கால்பங்கினர் சீன-திபேத்திய மொழிக்குடும்ப மொழிகறைப் பேசுகின்றனர். சுமார் 250 முதல் 300 மொழிகள் இம்மொழிக்குடும்பத்தச் சார்ந்தவையாக உள்ளன. சீனம், திபேத்தியம், பர்மியம் தவிர்த்த ஏனைய மொழிகள் இந்நூற்றாண்டு வரை எழுதப்படாத மொழிகள்.

மொழியியல் அறிஞர் சோசப் கிரீன்பர்கு ஆப்ரிக்காவின் பன்னூறு மொழிகளை ஆய்வு செய்தார். ஆப்ரோ-ஏசியாடிக், நகர்-காங்கோ, கோசான் என்ற மூன்று பகுப்புகளாக ஆப்ரிக்க மொழிகளைப் பிரிப்பார்கள். சோசப் கிரீன்பர்கு நரோ-சகாரன் என்பதைக் கண்டுபிடித்தார். அதன்பிறகு ஆப்ரிக்க மொழிகளை ஒவ்வொன்றுக்குமுள்ள உறவு, மக்கள் பரவல் பற்றிய புதிய உண்மைகள் கண்டறியப்பட்டன. ஆப்ரிக்காவுக்கும் குமரிக்கண்டத்துக்கும் நிலவியல் தொடர்புகள் இருந்தன எனக்கூறி வருகிறோம். உலகின் முதல் மனிதன் கறுப்பிரினத்தவன் (நீக்கிராய்டு) என்றும் ஆய்வுகள் கூறிவருகின்றன. நாமும் நீக்கிராய்டுகளே! நம் மொழிகளுக்கும் ஆப்ரிக்க மொழிகளுக்கு முள்ள உறவு பற்றி ஆய சோசப் கிரின்பர்கின் ஆய்வுகள் பெரிதும் துணைபுரியக்கூடும்.

அண்னையில் மறைந்த இவ்வறிஞரே அமெரிக்காவின் பழங்குடிகள் பேசும் பன்னூறு மொழிகளையும் முப்பதாண்டுகள் ஆய்ந்து மூன்றே குடும்பங்களாகப் பிரித்தார். ஏசுகிமோ (Eskimo-Aleut) நா-தெனே (Na-dane) அமரிந்து (Amerind) என்று பிரித்தார். இந்த ஆய்வுகள் தமிழாய்வுகளுடன் இணைத்து பார்க்கப்பட வேண்டும். ஒப்பீட்டு ஆய்வுக்கு உட்படுத்தப்பட வேண்டும்.

பிரான்சில் ஒரு கிராமப்புறம், சரக் என்ற கிராமம். அங்கே ஒரு புதிர் உள்ளது. அக்கிராம மக்கள் பேசும் பாசக்கு (Basque) மொழியே அப்புதிராகும். பிரான்சுக்கும் இசுபெயின் நாட்டு எல்லைக்கருகில் உள்ள பாசக்கு மக்கள் பேசும் யுசுகரா மொழி (Euskara) அதன் தனித் தன்மையை காத்துவந்துள்ளது. அயலவர் படையெடுப்பை உறுதியுடன் அம்மக்கள் எதிர்த்து வந்துள்ளனர். அண்மையில் இருக்கும் பிரெஞ்சு மொழியோ ஸ்பானிசு மொழியோ யுசுகரா மொழியில் ஊடுருவாமல் தங்கள் மொழியைக் காத்து நிற்கும் அம்மக்களுக்கு தமிழர்கள் பாராட்டு கூறுதல் வேண்டும். அவர்களால் இயன்ற சாதனை நாம் நிகழ்த்தத் தவறியது ஏன் என்றும் சிந்தித்துப் பார்க்க வேண்டும். அவர்களின் பாறை ஓவியங்கள் ஈராயிரமாண்டு பழமை வாய்ந்தவை என்கின்றனர் அறிஞர்கள். அவர்களின் பாறை ஓவியங்களைப் படித்தறிந்து நம் தமிழ்நாட்டு பாறை ஓவியங்களுடன் ஒப்பாய்வு செய்ய முன்னாள் பிரெஞ்சுப் பகுதியான புச்சேரியின் மொழியியல் பண்பாட்டு ஆய்வு நிறுவனம் முயலலாம்.

ஒரு பழம்பெரும் மொழிக்குடும்பத்திலிருந்தே இன்றைய உலக மொழிகள் இணைந்தன என்பது நாசுதிராதிக் கோட்பாடு. அதில் நம்பிக்கை வைத்தவர் வித்தாலி செடிவோரோசுசின் Vitalg shvoroshkm’ ஆறாயிரமாண்டு பழமை வாய்ந்த மொழிகளை கட்டமைத்து முந்து-நாசுதிராவிக்கு மொழியை கண்டுபிடிக்கலாம் என விளாதிசுலாங் இலியிச் சுவிச்சு நம்புகிறார்.

உலகின் பழமையான அகர முதலிகளையும் இலக்கணங்களையும் துணைக்கு வைத்துக் கொண்டு முந்து-நாசுதிராதிக்கு மொழியைக் கண்டறிய அகரோன் தொல்கோபோலுசுகி (Ahrarom Dolgoplsky) ஈடுபட்டுள்ளார்.

மொழிக் கட்டமைப்பு வரலாறு பத்தாயிரமாண்டு பழமையானது என பெரும்பான்மை மொழியியலறிஞர்கள் நம்புகிறார்கள். ஆயின் பத்திலக்கம் ஆண்டுகள் தாண்டுமளவு பழமை வாய்ந்தது. மாந்த இனம் என்று மொழி தோன்றியது என்று இதனிடையே கண்டுபிடிக்க எவ்வளவு இடர்பட நேரும் என்று நீங்கள் உணர முடியும். நாற்பதாயிரமாண்டு முன்பே மாந்தன் மொழி பேசும் திறன் பெற்றிருந்தான் என கிரிசு இசுடிரிங்கர் கருகிறார். பூம்புகார் 9500 ஆண்டு பழமையானது எனக் கடலடி ஆய்வு கூறுவதால் தமிழரின் சங்க நூல் உள்ளிட்ட நூற்களுக்கு இதுகாறும் கூறிவந்த காலவரையறை மீள் ஆய்வுக்கு உட்படுத்தப்பட்டாக வேண்டும். ஆய்வுக்கு ஓய்வில்ல. அறிஞர்கள் அறிவாராக!

மொழிகள மட்டுமல்ல நதிகளையும் அறிஞர்கள் ஆய்வு செய்கிறார்கள். நதிக்கரையில் மலர்ந்த நாகரிகங்களையும் ஆய்வு செய்கிறார்கள். காவிரியாற்றை ஆய்ந்த அறிஞர்கள் தற்போது தருமபுரி மாவட்டத்தில் உள்ள காவிரிபட்டினம் என்ற இடத்தில் முன்னொரு காலத்தில் காவிரி நதி இல்லை என்கிறார்கள். ‘காவிரி நதி முன் காலத்தில் சிவசமுத்திரம் நீர்வீழ்ச்சியை அடுத்து நேர் கிழக்காக காவிரிப்பட்டினம் வாணியம்பாடி வேலூர் வழியாக சென்னைக்கு வடக்காக வங்கக் கடலில் சங்கமம் ஆனதற்கான அதிகாரப்பூர்வ எடுத்க்காட்டுகள் கிடைக்கின்றன. கால ஓட்டத்தில் ஆற்று ஒட்டத்திலும் பல மாற்றங்கள் ஏற்பட்டன என்பதற்குத் தமிழிலக்கியங்களும் சான்றாக உள்ளன. அப்பர் காலத்தில் காவிரி நடுவிலிருந்த திருத்துருத்தி சுந்தரர் காலத்தில் காவிரிக்கரையிலிருக்கும் கோவில் ஆயிற்று. பாடல் பெற்ற பழைய திருக்கழிப்பாலைக் கோயிலை கொள்ளிட வெள்ளம் கொண்டு போய்விட்டது. வடமுல்லை வாயிலுக்கு அருகில் பெரிய மணல்வெளி காணப்படுகிறது. பழங்காலத்தில் பாலாற்றின் கிளை ஒன்று இவ்வழியே சென்று வறண்டது. சுந்தரர் காலத்தில் துறையூர் பெண்ணையாற்றின் வடக்கிலிருந்தது. இப்போது பெண்ணை ஆறு துறையூர்க்கு வடக்காக ஓடுகின்றது. எனவே தற்போதைய பாலாறு பண்டைக் காலத்தில் காவிரி ஆறாக ஓடியது என்ற உண்மையை தளிவாக உணர முடிகின்றது. காவிரி சென்னைக்கு வடக்கில்தான் கடலில் சங்கமம் ஆயிற்று” என அய்தராபத்தில் உள்ள தேசிய தொலை உணர்வு நிறுவன விஞ்ஞானி செயற்கைக்கோள் மூலம் எடுக்கப்பட்ட படங்கள் கொண்டு ஆய்ந்து சொல்லியுள்ளனர்.

கடவுள்களும் கடவுட் கதைகளும் நம்பிக்கைகளும் ஒவ்வொரு நாட்டிலும் எப்படி வந்தன என ஒப்புநோக்குவோர் எல்லாமதமும் ஒன்றே! எல்லா தொன்மங்களும் ஒன்றே! நாடுவிட்டு நாடு நம்பிக்கைகள் ஒரே அடிப்படையில் உருவாகியுள்ளன எனவும் அறிவார்கள்.

ஆப்ரிக்கத் தொன்மங்களில் நிலமும் வானமும் நெடுங்கால முன்பிருந்தே நிலவி வந்ள்ளன என நம்புகிறார்கள். நிலம் மிருதுவாகவும் நீரற்று வறண்டு கிடந்ததாம். யாரோ ஒரு கிழவி நீரைத் திருடிப் பதுக்கி வைத்து விட்டதாக ஒரு கதை உள்ளது. வேறொரு கதை விலங்கு ஒன்று நீரைத் திருடி மறைத்து வைத்தாக உள்ளது இரண்டு கதைகளிலும் மக்கள் தலைவன் (அ) தொன்மத்தலைவன் நீரைத் திருடியவரிடமிருந்து மீட்டு மக்கள் பயன்பாட்டுக்கு அளித்தாகச் சொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளது. அகத்தியர் கமண்டலத்தில் அடைபட்ட காவிரியை காகம் ஒன்று விடுவித்த நம் கதையுடன் இணைத்துப்பாருங்கள்.

வட ஆசியாவின் சபீரியாவ எடுத்துக் கொள்ளுங்கள் கிறித்துவமும் இசுலாமியம் புத்த மதமும் அங்கு நுழையுமுன் பதினாறுக்கும் பதினெட்டாம் நூற்றாண்டுக்குமிடையே சபீரிய மக்களின் மதம் Shamanism ஆகும். Shaman என்ற சொல் துங்குசிக் மொழியில் தீவிர உணர்ச்சி பெருக்கெடுத்து ஆடும் ஒருவனைக் குறிப்பதாகும். உருசியி மொழியிலிருந்து சபீரியா முழுக்க பரவியது. மேற்கு ஐரோப்பிய மொழிகளில் பரவி இன்று வெறியாட்டுக்கு உலகளாவிய அறிவியல் சொல்லாக மாறிவிட்டது. ஆவிகள் பிடித்துக் கொண்ட மனிதன் வெறியாட்டாடி மக்களை மருளச் செய்தான். ஆம் நம் நாட்டு சாமி வந்து ஆடுதலுக்குச் சற்றொப்ப இணையான சபீரிய மதம். சாமி ஆடுபவன் சபீரியாவில் மட்டுமா? இங்கும் போதயில் ஆடுபவனும் சாமியாக வழிபடப்படுவதில் இருந்து உலகெங்கும் மக்கள் நம்பிக்கைகள் ஒரே தன்மையாக உள்ளதை உணரலாம்.

தீ வழிபாடும் சபீரிய மக்களிடம் நிலவியது. அடுப்பை கடவுளாக வழிபட்டனர். சபீரியர்கள். தீயை முதியபெண் வடிவிலும் வழிபட்டார்கள். தீ கிலக்கி என்ற வழிபடு தெய்வமாயிற்று. நெருப்பின் தாய் நானானியன்ச என அழைக்கப்பட்டாள். தீயின் பாட்டி எவென்கி எனப்பட்டாள். எரியும் தீயில் உணவுப்பொருட்களை தூக்கி எறிந்து இதை தீயே நீ உண்டு எமக்கு நல்ல விலங்குகள் வேட்டையில் சிக்கி உணவாக வாழ்த்துவாயாக என சபீரியர்கள் கோருவாராம். தீ வழிபாடு தமிழரிடயே உண்டு என்பதற்கு தமிழில் உள்ள தெய்வம் என்ற சொல்லே சாட்சியாகும். தீயை மூட்டக்கூடிய மரத்தாலான ஞெலிபுகோல் தமிழரிடமிருந்த தொன்முது கருவிகளில் ஒன்று. அதன் திரிபே கல்லால் வடிக்கப்பட்ட சிவலிங்கமாகும். தீயின் நிறம் பற்றியே சிவந்த வடிவினன் எனச் சிவன் உருவகிக்கப்பட்டான். சிவன் படைக்கப்பட்டபோதே தமிழனுக்கு சிகப்புத் தோல் மீது இருந்த மயக்கம் வெளிப்பட்டது. சிவன் முதல் சினிமா நடிகைகள் வரை கருநிறத் தமிழன் சிகப்பு நிறத்திடம் மயங்கி நிற்பது மாறவில்லை. சபீரிய இனக்குழுக்களான சூக்சி, கொரயாக் ஆகியவர்களும் நம ஞெலிபுகோல் போல் மரத்தாலான தீ கட கோலை வைத்து வழிபட்டனர்.

கௌகாசசு பகுதிகளிலும் வீட்டில் உள்ள அடுப்பு கடவுளாக வழிபடப்பட்டது. மலை வாழ் மக்களான இங்குசசு, ஓசசட்டுசு, சியார்சியன்கள் நெருப்பையும் சாம்பலையும் வழிபட்டனர். தீய ஆராதனை காட்டுவதும் சாம்பலை திருநீறெனப் பூசுவதும் நம்மவர் கையாளும் பழக்க வழக்கம். கௌகாசசு பகுதியிலும் அதேபழக்கவழக்கம்! இவை மனித மனம் ஒரே தன்மையில் சிந்தித் வந்துள்ளதை உங்களுக்கு உணர்த்த வில்லயா?

வேளாண்மை தொடர்புடைய வழிபாடுகள், முன்னோர் தொடர்புடைய வழிபாடுகள் என்றுதான் உலகின் பல சமுதாய மக்கள் கடைபிடித்தொழுகியுள்ளனர். வோல்கா பகுதியிலும் மேற்கு ஊரல் பகுதிகளிலும்வசந்த கால விடுமுறைகள் நிலத்தில் உழுவதற்கு தொடங்குவதையும் விதை தூவுவதை ஒட்டியுமே அமைந்தன. சிறப்பான உணவு தயாரிக்கப்பட்டு மண்ணுக்கு படையலிட்டு அம்மக்கள் உண்டுள்ளார். தமிழர் கொண்டாடும் பொங்கலும் உழவர் திருநாளே! வோல்கா பகுதி மக்கள் ரஷ்யாவில் கொண்டாடியதும் உழவர் திருநாளே! உலக சமுதாயங்கள் பலவற்றில் உழவர் திருநாள் கொண்டாடப்பட்டு வந்துள்ளது.

ஸ்லாவ் மக்களும் வேளாண் பணி துவங்கும்போதும் முடிவுறும் போதும் விழாக் கொண்டாடி வந்துள்ளனர். கதிரவனை வழிபட்டுள்ளனர். உதயசூரியன் வழிபாடு உலகெங்கும் காணக்கிடப்பதாகும். பல்வேறு சமுதாயங்களும் உதயசூரியன் எங்கள் இதய சூரியனே என்று வழிபட்டு வந்துள்ளனர். Svarog, Dazhdbog, Khors ஆகிய மூவரும் சூரியக்கடவுளரே! பெருண் என்ற இடிக்கடவுளும் ஆடுமாடுகளைப் பாதுகாக்கும் கடவுளாக Veles (volos) இருந்தார். வேலசு வேலவனாகியதா? வேலவன் வேலசு ஆகியதா? முருகனை வழிபடுவோர் மூளையை பிய்த்துக் கொள்ளட்டும். 

ஸ்காண்டிநேவியப் பகுதிகளில் மக்கள் வழிபாட்டுமுறை பற்றி அறிய யயயய என்ற பாடல் தொகுப்பு நமக்குப் பயன்படுகிறது. 11(அ) 12ம் நூற்றாண்டில் Saemund Sigfussion என்பவரால் தொகுக்கப்பெற்ற பாத்தொகுப்பு நூல்மூலம் பல செய்திகளை நாமறியலாம். கடவுள்கள் உலகை ஆளம் முன்பு இயற்கைக்கு மாறான சக்திகள் மண்ணுலக ஆண்டதாக நம்பினர். Jotnars எனப்படும் அத்தகு மனித ஆற்றலிலும்மேம்பட்ட சக்திகளை கடவுள்கள் கொன்றனராம். YMIR என்ற பூதத்தைக் கொன்று வானத்தையும் பூமியையும் கடவுள் படைத்தாராம். மரங்களில் இருந்து மனிதர்களை கடவுள் படைத்தாராம்.

இயற்கையின் ஆற்றல் ஒவ்வொன்றையும் பேரழிவு ஒவ்வொன்றையும் கடவுள்களாக உருவகித்து மெக்சிகோவில் வழிபட்டனர். முக்கியமாக மூன்று கடவுள்களில் ஒன்று Quetzalcoatl. பச்சைத்தோலுடைய பாம்பே மெக்சிகோவில் வழிபட்ட கடவுள். பாம்பு வணக்கம் பாரெங்கும் பரவி இருந்தது. திராவிடர்கள தஸ்யூக்கள் என்றார்கள் ஆரியர்கள். நாகர்கள் எனவும் திராவிடர்கள் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டனர். நாகவழிபாடு இங்கு நிலவி வந்துள்ளதற்ககு நாக்பூர், நாகப்பட்டினம் முதலிய ஊர்ப்பெயர்களோடு ஒவ்வொரு பாம்புப்புற்றுக்கும் துணிசுற்றி மஞ்சள்நீர் தெளித்து வழிபட்டு வருவதே உணர்த்தும். கடவுள்கள் பலவாக இருந்து கடவுள்களை ஒருங்கிணைக்க முற்பட்ட போது சிவன் கழுத்தில் பாம்பும் தலைமுடியில் பிறையும் ஏறிக்கொண்டன. காளை மீது சிவன் ஏறிக்கொண்டார். நாகமும் திங்களும் தீயும், தீ வடிவினனான சிவனும், காளமாடும் தனித்தனிக் கடவுளாக இருந்து ஒருங்கிணக்கப்பட்டவர்கள். கதிரவன் வழிபாடு போன்றே திங்கள் வழிபாடும் இருந்ள்ளது. இதில் வியப்புக்குரிய ஒற்றுமை சிவன் தலைமீதுள்ள பிறைக்கும் பிறை தொழும் இசுலாமிய மரபுக்கும் இடை நிலவும் ஒற்றுமைக் கூறுகளே ஆகும்.

சீனாவில் Sheng-Nong எனும் பெரிய தெய்வீக உழவனை வழிபட்டனர். முதல் உழவுப் பணி தொடங்கும் போது அக்கடவுள் வழிபடப் பட்டது நமது பொங்கல் திருநாளுடன் ஒப்புக் நோக்கத்தக்க.

ரஷ்ய அறிஞர் Sergei Tokarov மதங்களின் வரலாறு பற்றி எழுதுகையில் வந்தேறு குடிகளாம் ஆரியர்கள குறிப்பிட்டு ஈரானிய மேட்டு நிலப்பகுதிகளிலிருந் இந்தியாவுக்கு வந்தவர்கள் என்கிறார். மொகஞ்சரரோ நாகரிகத்தை உருவாக்கிய இந்தியாவின் பூர்வீகக் குடிகளுடன் பண்பாட்டு தொடர்பு அற்றவர்கள் என்கிறார். அவர் ஆரியர்கள் முதலில் சிந்துச் சமவெளியையும் வடமேற்கு இந்தியாவையும் கைப்பற்றியபின் கங்கைப் பாசனப்பகுதிகளையும் கைப்பற்றினார்கள் என்கிறார். 33 கடவுள்களை ஆரியர்கள் வழிபட்டதாகச் சொல்லும் அந்த ரஷ்ய அறிஞர் இருக்கு வேதத்தில் 3399 கடவுள்கள் ஓரிடத்தில் சொல்லப்படுவதயும் சுட்டிக் காட்டியுள்ளார். எழுத்தில் வடிக்காத வாய்மொழியாக மட்டுமே பேசப்பட்ட மொழியை கொண்டிருந்த ஆரியர்களிடம் தோற்ற திராவிடர்களில் அறிஞர்கள் தம்மொழியின் மாண்ப என்றென்றும் நிலைநாட்ட எண்ணங் கொண்டு தமிழ் எழுத்க்கள் 33 ஐ ஆரியக் கடவுளாக்கி அமைதியான முறையில் பழி தீர்த்க் கொண்டதாக எம். சுந்தரராசு எனும் அறிஞர் அழகுற ஆய்ந்து எழுதியுள்ளார். 12 உயிர், 18 மெய், 1 குற்றியலுகரம், 1 குற்றியலிகரம் என்னும் 33 தமிழ் எழுத்க்களை ஆரிய வந்தேறிகள் தலைமீது கடவுளாக ஏற்றிச் சுமக்கச் செய்த பெயர் தெரியாத அந்தத் திராவிடவியல் அறிஞர்கள தமிழுலகம் நினைத்து நினைத்து போற்ற வேண்டும்.

நந்திவர்மன், பொதுச்செயலர், திராவிடப்பேரவை, புதுச்சேரி, இந்தியா

Dravidian Origins of Sanskrit — November 6, 2007

Dravidian Origins of Sanskrit

Dravidian Origin of Sanskrit

The Sanskrit language is highly respected in India. It carries the religion and culture of all the people of India. A.B. Keith, in A History of Sanskrit Literature (1928), makes it clear that Sanskrit was probably invented as early as the 6th Century BC. Although Sanskrit is recognized as a major language controversy surrounds its origin. Some researchers see it as language given to mankind by the Gods, while others see Sanskrit as an artificial language created to unify the diverse Indian nationalities. Keith in A History of Sanskrit Literature commenting on this state of affairs noted that: ” We must not. exaggerate the activity of the grammarians to the extent of suggesting. that Classical Sanskrit is an artificial creation, a product of the Brahmins when they sought to counteract the Buddhist creation of an artistic literature in Pali.. Nor.does Classical Sanskrit present the appearance of an artificial product; but rather admits exceptions in bewildering profusion, showing that the grammarians were not creators, but were engaged in a serious struggle to bring into handier shape a rather intractable material” (p.7).

Although, this is the opinion of Keith it appears that Sanskrit is lingua franca, an artificial language that was used by the people of India to unify the multi-lingual people of the India nation. This led Michael Coulson, in Teach Yourself Sanskrit 1992) to write “The advantage to using Sanskrit, in addition to the dignity which it imparted to the verse, lay in its role as a lingua franca uniting the various regions of Aryan India” (p.xviii).

As a result of its use as a lingua franca it has absorbed over the years many terms from various Indian languages. But at the base of Sanskrit we probably have a Dravidian language since Dravidian was spoken not only in the South, it was also the language of many Tribal groups in the North. The view that the Dravidian languages are the foundation of Sanskrit is supported by both Konow and Keith who noted that the auxiliary verbs, periphrastic future, and the participial forms in Sanskrit were probably of Dravidian origin. Stephan H. Levitt in a recent article in the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics has suggested that Sanskrit may have adopted many North Dravidian forms. In addition, Levitt is sure that certain Sanskrit etyma for animals and plants that end in -l, are of Old Tamilian origin. Due to early Dravidian settlement in Northern India there is a Dravidian substratum in Indo-Aryan. There are Dravidian loans in the Rig Veda, even though Aryan recorders of this work were situated in the Punjab, which occupied around this time by the BRW Dravidians.

There are islands of Dravidian speakers in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. There are over 300,000 Brahui speakers in Qualat, Hairpur and Hyderabad districts of Pakistan. There are an additional 40,000 Brahui in Emeneau and Burrow (1962) found 500 Dravidian loan words in Sanskrit. In addition, Indo-Aryan illustrates a widespread structural borrowing from Dravidian in addition to 700 lexical loans (Kuiper 1967; Southward 1977; Winters 1989). Iran and several thousand along the southern border of Russia and Yugoslavia (ISDL 1983:227). Emeneau and Burrow (1962) have found 500 Dravidian loan words in Sanskrit. The number of Dravidian loans in Indo-Aryan is expected to reach 750.

There are numerous examples of Indo-Aryan structural borrowings from Dravidian. For example, the Bengali and Oriya plural suffix ra is analogous to the Tamil plural suffix ar. Both of these suffixes are restricted to names of intelligent beings. (Chatterji 1970:173) Oriya borrowed the ra plural suffix from the Dravidians. (Mahapatra 1983:67) The syntax of theIndo-Aryan languages is ambivalent because of the Dravidian influence on these languages. As a result, they represent both SOV and SVO traits. According to Arthur A. MacDonnell in A Sanskrit Grammar for Students (1997), says that the Sanskrit language is known by many names. It was called Nagari ‘urban writing’, Deva-nagari ‘city writing of the gods’. V. Kanakasabhai in the Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago says that Sanskrit is called Deva-nagari, because the Nagas introduced it to the Aryas. The characters associated with Deva-nagari are the characters used to write Sanskrit today. The Naga were Semitic speaking people from Ethiopia. According to MacDonnell the Semitic writing was introduced to India around 700BC (pg.2).
Clyde Winters







A debate in Tamil known as Patti Manram was organized by Ilakiya Pozhil Ilakiya Manram on Friday. It was the  tenth literary function organized by that association. The President of the Association P.Parangusam welcomed the gathering and his wife Kalaimamani Poongodi Parangusam compered the programme.

Pavalar N.Nandhivarman who presided over the Patti Manram in his introductory speech told Tamils had scaled greater heights in ancient times, and their mathematical skills wherein one out of eight lakh fraction was the least small quantity up to which they could calculate without a calculator or computer.

The theorem of Pythagoras could be spelt out in poetic form in Tamil much before his times.Erambam, Kanakathigaram by Kakkai Padiniyar, Kilaralabham, Athisaram, Kalambaham,Tiribuvana Thilagam, Kanitha rathinam,Sirukanakku were the books which I refered say s Kaari Nayanar who wrote Kanakathigaram, But all these books Tamils have lost.

Yet from whatever literary source available the side that is going to argue for “those ancient days” will place there arguments, Nandhivarman told.

Quoting extensively from the book “ Underworld : The Mysterious origins of Civilizations” Nandhivarman urged Tamil scholars to read English books on civilizations to know more and substantiate about the facts relating to the Kumari Kandam, lost in Indian Ocean. Mr.Graham Hancock, the author of this book relying heavily on the inundation maps by Dr.Gelen Milne of Durham University had said 5 percent of the Earth’s surface or 25 million square kilometers were submerged. Three super floods in between 15000 to 14000 thousand years, 12000 to 11000 thousand years,and 8000 to 7000 thousand years have swallowed earth’s surface , more particularly the Kumari Kandam . Researches into the lost civilizations so far had been on earth surface and land-centric and  in the vast oceans marine archaeology had barely begun to investigate.

So until scientific researches in marine archeology is undertaken it would be difficult to supplement literary evidences about hoary past, Nandhivarman said. He further said all earth’s continents and land mass had been once upon a time one, and called Pangaea, which in Latin means All Earth.Similarly all languages emanated from one language and a school for  Nostratic languages subscribes to this theory.There is book on all writing systems.All thesel lead to the conclusion that mankind is one, and we had our origins in Africa and spread every where.But our link is lost in the seas.It will take long time to reconstruct Tamil’s past but with available evidences, the debate will have to start with available literary evidences, he said.

Professor Siva Madhavan who headed the team that argued for ancient times was assisted by Dr.Sethupathy, Miss Sasirekha in argueing their side.Dr.Sethupathy stunned the audience when he quoted Manikavasagar’s poem to illustrate Tamils had knowledge about many galaxies in the milky way. Dr.P.Pattammal of Madagadipat Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Arts College headed the team that argued for current times. Dr.Revathy and Lecturer Visalakshi argued for this side.

Nandhivarman asked the audience to lift hands in support of each group, thereby involved the audience as jury.Ancient Tamils were highly knowledgeable and had high living standards in ancient  times but at same Tamils proved that from mathematics to medicine everything could be condensed within Tamil poetry and grammatical rules. But today though Tamils earn more they remain arivu koolies to the multi nationals and they had forgotten Tamil. Hence ancient times were golden times he concluded. 

Tamils had slept in midway thereby lost chances to win the race and prove they are the top in human civilization. This loss aggravates further when Tamil rulers with all there power in Center could not secure Tamil its due place.

UNESCO from 1999 onwards is celebrating World Mother Tongues Day every year on February 21. It is in remembrance of the Basha Andolan Dibosh, which means Language Struggle of 1950-52 in East Pakistan currently known as Bangladesh. Then Pakistan Government imposed Urdu as sole official language of Pakistan. East Pakistan had Bengali speakers. So in protest against this order Dhaka University Students and Medical College students staged a protest demonstration. In Police firing 5 people lost their lives on 21 st Feb 1952.. The struggle won Bengali equal status with Urdu. To honour the memory of those martyrs UNESCO had chosen Feb 21 as World Mother Languages Day.

We all know the Anti-Hindi Agitation and the numerous lives we lost including self immolation.All that history was not placed before UNESCO with documentary evidences to prove that Tamil struggle is of greater magnitude. This failure of those who ruled Tamilnadu and Tamil Ministers in Union Cabinet had deprived a chance where world history could have spoken about our struggle by celebrating as World Mother Languages Day. Amidst such failures, selfishness of present Tamils not to think about Tamil language we have to bank upon our past to regain the lost spirit of being pioneers in world civilizations, Dravida Peravai General Secretary Nandhivarman spoke.

Thiru.Perumal proposed vote of thanks

TAMIL HISTORY.COM — June 28, 2007




N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai

Dravida Peravai, a political party which wants to set an example what a political party of Tamils ought to do had decided to launch a website for publishing all information about Tamil history in one resource bank which will encompass the history of Tamil spread across continents inclusive of Tamil Eelam. Though we will be coordinating this effort we appeal to scholars all over the world to come forward with research based articles to establish our past to evaluate our present and to set the agenda for future.

The necessity to launch a history website arose when I read the book “ Kadaikazhaga Noolhalin Kaalamum Karuthum {Period and Message of Sangam Literature 500 B.C to 500 A.D] written by Dr.R.Mathivanan Former Director of Tamil Etymological Dictionary Project of Government of Tamilnadu. In the preface to the book the learned scholar says, “Japanese have preserved their past history spanning to 2440 years, whereas Egyptians and Sumerians recall with pride their 4000 years of history. The 3000-year-old history of Chinese gives them a unique place. But Tamils with 10000 year of history have not brought it to the world arena.

In Chicago Museum a portrait depicting a Tamil climbing a Palmyra tree mentioning him as Tamil came to the notice of Aringnar Anna that was taken up with the authorities. Instead of many cultural achievements of Tamils this portrait showed Tamil in derogative manner, and on protest the portrait was not removed but the word Tamil in the portrait was deleted. Lamenting about lack of a Museum to depict Tamil Culture, the scholar says that he had relied upon the travelogues of foreigners, literary evidences thrown to light in other languages, recent archaeological findings and the findings of historians who have so far dealt with the History of Tamils. His book would be a compilation of all these evidences in a nutshell, he claims. In Rasatarangini the author Kallanar had brought to light the History of Kashmir from 1800 B.C to 1200 A.D. Like this literary evidence which helped to construct the History of Kashmir, in Tamil the book Nankudi Velir Varalaru comprising 1035 poems and written by Arumuga Nayinar Pillai, which was published in 1920 throws light on the Tamil history, the learned author claims. This book speaks about the family hierarchy of Irungovel, a branch of the Pandyan rulers for 201 generations. This book follows the Kali calendar and narrates the history from 3100 B.C to 1944, hence helps in fixing the date of various rulers and their rule, the author says.

Pandyan dynasty.

  1. Pandyan Palsalai Muthukudumi Peruvazhuthi[ 66th  generation]500-450 B.C
  2. Karungai Ollvat Perum Peyar vazhuthi[67th generation]450 B.C to 400 B.C
  3. Porval Vazhuthi[68th  generation]400 B.C to 380.B.C
  4. Korkai Vazhuthi-Nartrer Vazhuthi[69th  generation]380B.C-340 B.C
  5. Deva Pandian[70th generation] 340 B.C-302 B.C
  6. Seya Punjan aliasKadalul maintha Ilamperuvazhuthi[71st]302B.C-270.B.C
  7. Pasum Poon Pandyan[72nd generation]270.B.C –245.B.C
  8. Ollaiyur thantha Boothapandian[73rd generation]245 B.C-220 B.C
  9. Pandyan Nanmaran[74th generation]220 B.C-200 B.C
  10. Nedunchezhian alias Kadalan vazhithi[75th generation]200B.C-180 B.C
  11. Marungai Vazhuthi[76th generation] 180 B.C-160 B.C
  12. Pandyan Uthaman alias Puliman vazhuthi[77th ]160B.C-150 B.C
  13. Pandyan Keeran Sathan[78th generation]150 B.C-140 B.C
  14. Kaliman Vazhuthi alias Andar magan Kuruvazhuthi[79th ]140-120 B.C
  15. Pandyan Yenathi @Nedunkannan [80th ]120 B.C-100 B.C
  16. Korkai Vazhuthi@ Irandam Pasum Poon Pandyan[81st ]100-87 B.C
  17. Deva Pootanan@ Ilavanthikai palli tunjiya Nanmaran[82nd ]87-62 B.C
  18. Thalayanankanathu Cheru Vendra Nedunchezhian[83rd ]62-42 B.C
  19. Kanapereyil kadantha Ukkira Peruvazhuthi[84th ]42 B.C-1 A.D
  20. Pandyan Arivudainambi {Purananooru 184][85th ]A.D 1- 30 A.D
  21. Velliyambalathu tunjiya PeruVazhuthi[86th ]30 A.D-60 A.D
  22. Ariyapadai Kadantha Nedunchezhian [87th ]60 A.D-117 A.D
  23. Vetriver Chezhian [88th generation] 117 A.D-160 A.D.
  24. Nedunchezhian II [89th generation]160 A.D –198 A.D
  25. Ukkira Maran@ Chitramadathu tunjiya Nanmaran[90th ]198 A.D-220 A.D
  26. Pannadu thantha Maran Vazhuthi[91st ] 220A.D-250 A.D
  27. Koddakarathu tunjiya Maranvazhuthi[92nd ]250 A.D-270 A.D
  28. Thennavan Ko [93rd generation] 270 A.D-297 A.D
  29. Parakirama Bahu @ Nalvazhuthi[ 94th generation 298A.D -310 A.D
  30. Kaliyan Koothan [ 95th generation]……………………………….
  31. Kadalan Vazhuthi [ of Kazhugumalai inscriptions] [96th generation
  32. Porkai Pandyan [98th generation]…………………………………..
  33. Pandyan Kadunkhon [103rd generation] 475 A.D-490 A.D
  34. Ukkira Pandyan [103rd generation]  —–498 A.D
  35. Somasundara Pandyan [105th generation] 498 A.D-540 A.D.

  113 year Pact between Three Tamil Emperors 

The Nandhas who ruled North India had fraternal relationship with Three Tamil Emperors but the Mauryas who followed them invaded South India. Imayavaramban Neduncheralathan marched up to Himalayas and inscribed his country symbol, which could not assimilated by the Mauryas who came to Chera country as act of revenge. But the Mauryan armies did not sneak into Chozha territory. This invasion brought home the need to remain united, the call given even now by Kalaignar M.Karunanithi but with no useful purpose to alter ground reality on Tamil disunity. The unity urge united the Three Tamil Emperors who met to sign a Pact of Cooperation in the year 313 B.C, the author Dr.Mathivanan says. Imayavaramban Neduncheralathan, Karungai Olvat Perumvazhuthi and Deva Pandian [ 70th] jointly signed the declaration of unity that lasted for 113 years. This Treaty of Tamil Unity stood as a rock protecting Tamil lands from Northern invaders.

In the final years of the unity era during 200 B.C, in the Chozha Emperor Karikalan II’s court Poetess Mudathamakanniyar who wrote Porunaratrupadai witnessed the rare scene of Three Tamil Emperors sharing same dais which she records in her Porunaratrupadai [53-55]. Poet Kumattor Kannanar who wrote the second ten in Pathitru Pathu also records the historical meeting of Three Tamil Emperors for which he stands as eyewitness. Later in 42 B.C, Poetess Avvaiyar also had the luck to see Three Tamil Emperors together in a rare scene of Unity among Tamils. That unity did not last nor the lessons of unity learnt till date by Tamils.


1.Vanavan @ Vanavaramban  [430-350 B.C]

2.Kuttuvan Uthiyan Cheralathan [350-328 B.C] ruled for 22 years

3. Imayavaramban Neduncheralathan [328-270 B.C] ruled for 58 years

4. Palyaanai Chelkezhu Kuttuvan [270-245 B.C] ruled for 25 years

5. Kalangaikanni narmudicheral [245-220 B.C] ruled for 25 years

6.Perumcheralathan [220-200 B.C] ruled for 20 years

7. Kudakko Neduncheralathan [200-180 B.C] ruled for 20 years

8. Kadal Pirakottiya Velkezhu kuttuvan [180-125 B.C] ruled 55 years

9. Adukotpattuch Cheralathan [125-87 B.C] ruled 38 years

10.Selvak kadungo Vazhiyathan [87-62 B.C] ruled 25 years

11.Yanaikatchei Mantharanj Cheral Irumborai [62-42 B.C] ruled 20 years

12. Thagadoor Erintha Perum Cheral Irumborai [42-25 B.C] ruled 17 years

13. Ilancheral Irumborai [25-19 B.C] ruled 16 years

14. Karuvur Eriya Koperumcheral Irumborai [9-1 B.C]

15. Vanji Mutrathu tunjiya Anthuvancheral [B.C 20 – 10 A.D]

16. Kanaikal Irumborai [20-30 A.D]

17. Palai Padiya Perum kadungko [1-30 A.D]

18. Kokothai Marban [[30 –60 A.D]

19.Cheran Chenguttuvan [60-140 A.D]

20.Kottambalathu tunjiya Maakothai [140-150 A.D]

21.Cheraman mudangi kidantha Nedumcheralathan [150-160 A.D]

22.Cheraman Kanaikkal Irumborai [160-180 A.D]

23. Cheraman Ilamkuttuvan [180-200 A.D]

24.Thambi Kuttuvan [200-220 A.D]

25.Poorikko [220-250 A.D]

26. Cheraman Kuttuvan Kothai [250-270 A.D]

27.Cheraman Vanjan [270-300 A.D]

28. Mantharanj Cheral [330-380 A.D] found in Allahabad inscriptions of Samudragupta. 


1.Karikalan I [450-380 B.C]

2. Cheraman Paamaloor erintha Neythalanganal Ilamchetchenni [380-320 B.C]

3.Cherupaazhi erintha Ilamchetchenni [320-270 B.C]

4. Perumpoon chenni [270-245 B.C]

5.Uruva Paikhrer Ilamchetchenni [245-232 B.C]

6. Karikalan II [232-200 B.C]

7. Manakkilli [200-180 B.C]

8. Vel pahradakkai Peruviral Killi [180-160 B.C]

9.Pooravaikopp Perunarkkilli [160-125 B.C]

10. Mudithalai Koperunarkkilli [125-87 B.C]

11.Koperum Chozhan [87-62 B.C]

12. Otrumai Vetta Perunarkkilli [62-40 B.C]

13. Chetchenni Nalankilli @ Maavalathan [40-22 B.C]

14.Kulamutrathu tunjiya Killivalavan [B.C22 – 1 A.D]

15.Kurapalli tunjiya Perum Thirumavalavan [1-40 A.D]

16.Neythalankanal Ilamchetchenni [40-60 A.D]

17. Karikalan III [60-110 A.D]

18. Maavan Killi [110-130 A.D]

19. Nedumudikkilli [130-150 A.D]

20.Chenganan [150-180 A.D]

21. Isai Ve ngilli 180-210 A.D]

22.Kaivankilli [210-240 A.D]

23. Polampoonkilli [240-260 A.D]

24. Kadumankilli [260-285 A.D]

25. Nalladi [285-330 A.D] known by Agananooru 356th  poem

26.Chozha Rule in Andhra [300-400 A.D] 

Dr.Mathivanan had undertaken a thankless job. We would urge Tamils all over the world to buy the book “ Kadaikkazha Noolhalin Kaalamum Karuthum published by Thilagam Pathipagam 17 E, B-1, 12. K.K.Ponnurangam Salai, Omsakthinagar, Valasaravakkam, Chennai 600087 Tel:044-24861007 or contact the author at: rmvanan@gmail.com Cell: 9283217788.

Basing the Tamil epic Perumkathai, a historical note is hidden in the poem414 of Narkudi Vellalar Varalaru. It says in B.C 701 a Tamil King Udayanan defeated the Aryans and ruled North India. If he had continued to rule or if he had not succumbed to the submissive Aryan pretenders, The Gupta rule could not have come up, the appendix of the book states. Well our scholars will fight like street dogs for centuries instead of fixing the period of Tamil epics or Tamil Kings. It is within the genes of Tamils not to accept another Tamil as scholar. If a white skinned scholar tells all will fall in line. This mentality must go. Nothing wrong in debating but not debating beyond centuries. In 1921 Maraimalai Adigal established that Tamils must follow Thiruvalluvar Calendar alone. But we still follow the Sanskritized Tamil Calendar. This is a curse on Tamils. We are for changing this mentality to usher in Tamil unity. But suddenly an NGO of Chennai called us traitors of Eelam cause. Let dogs bark but the sun will rise. Let us hail the new dawn of Tamil unity. Let us join hands to reconstruct Tamil history.




  Brief History of Ethnic Conflict 
  It is virtually impossible to set a date for the genesis of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka. Tamils began weaving dreams of an independent homeland much before militancy erupted, albeit in an embryonic form, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. After 1956 riots, a group of Tamils organized and opened fire at the Sri Lankan army in Batticaloa. Two Sinhalese were killed when 11 Tamils, having between them seven rifles, fired at a convoy of Sinhalese civilians and government officials one night at a village near Kalmunai. There was another attack on army soldiers in Jaffna after Colombo stifled the Federal Party “satyagraha” in 1961, but no one was killed.The failure of the 1961 “satyagraha” set several of its leading lights thinking. Mahatma Gandhi, they argued, succeeded in India with his concept of non-violence and non-cooperation because he was leading a majority agains a minority, however powerful; whereas in Sri Lanka, the Tamils were a minority seeking rights from a majority. And the majority was not willing to give concessions.

Some of 20 men associated with the Federal Party thought Gandhisam had no place in such a separate state. Most of them were civil servants and had been influenced by Leion Uris Exodus. At a meeting in Colombo, they christened their group Pulip Padai (Army of Tigers). On August 12, 1961, the Pulip Padai members converged at the historic Koneswaran Temple in the eastern port of town of Trincomalee and, standing in its holy precincts facing the sea took a solemn oath to fight for a Tamil homeland.

Pulip Padai immediately got into the act, putting out leaflets and pamphlets printed clandestinely, advocating militancy. A student wing called the Manavar Manram (student’s council) was set up in 1963. Two Federal Party leaders the Pulip Padai strongly backed were Amirthalingam and V.N. Navaratnam (chavakachcheri MP).

The 1965 decision of the Federal Party to support the UNP government broke up the Pulip Padai and it eventually withered away. But many of its activists remained strongly committed to the concept of an independent nation. Two of them were A. Rajaratnam and Sivagnanasundaram. Rajaratnam died in 1975 in Madras of asthma. Sivagnanasundaram became the staunch supporter of the LTTE. He was killed in Jaffna in 1988 by the EPRLF.

In 1969, Thangathurai and Kuttimani and a few friends gathered in Jaffna to form an informal group that the former wanted to name the Tamil Liberation Organization (TLO). A college professor’s house at Point Pedro, in Jaffna, was a regular meeting point for the group. It included among others Periya (big) Sothi, Chinna (small) Sothi, Chetti, Kannadi (a radio mechanic), Sri Sabaratnam (TELO leader) and V.Prabhakaran (LTTE supremo). One man who drifted by but broke away to chart an independent course was Ponnudorai Sivakumaran, who was to become one of the first martyrs to the Tamil cause.

In April, 1971, Thangathurai, known as mama (uncle) and some 15 others were making explosives at the Thondamanaru high school when a bomb went off, seriously injuring Chinna Sothi. The next year, a similar blast occurred, causing burn injuries to Thangathurai, Chinna Sothi, Prabhakaran and V. Nadesuthasan. Earlier, in 1970, Ponnudorai Satyaseelan founded the Tamil Manavar Peravai (Tamil Students League), which was joined by Sivakumaran.

Bandaranaike had in the meanwhile begun to take a hard line towards Tamils, cutting off foreign exchange for Tamil students going to India for higher studies, banning the import of Tamils films, books and Magazines from Tamil Nadu, and proscribing the small Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in Jaffna. Sivakumaran attempted to assassinate Sri Lankan deputy minister for Cultural Affairs Somaweera Chandrasiri in September 1970 and Alfred Duraiyappah, the Jaffna Mayor, in February 1971.

The formation of TUF in 1972 led to the Tamil Elaingyar Peravai (TYL-Tamil Youth League) in January 1973. It was founded by some 40 youths, many of whom subsequently were in the forefront militant movement. The TYL drew support from Thangathurai, the TLO leader. Satyaseelan’s arrest in February 1973 set off the second round of mass arrests in Jaffna and virtually crippled the TYL as well as the older Tamil Students League. Several young men languished in prison until 1977, although some gained amnesty on the eve of the Kankesanthurai by-election in 1975.

By then two developments had occurred in the Indian subcontinent which had a bearing on the Tamils. One was the JVP insurrection which was stamped out. The second was the India Pakistan war which led to the birth of Bangladesh. Both events took place in 1971. The JVP was never popular among Tamils, although it did have marginal support in Jaffna.

In 1973, the Sri Lankan navy seized a boat belonging to Kuttimani filled with dynamite. Kuttimani fled to India, but was arrested and deported from Tamil Nadu to face a Sri Lankan prison sentence. Tamil Nadu was then governed by M. Karunanithi’s DMK party.

Jaffna witnessed its first case of death by cyanide poisoning the next year. Sivakumaran had been lying low for a while, but took an active interest in the 1974 International Tamil Conference in Jaffna. He had been influenced by his parent’s pro-Federal Party views. He studied at Urumpirai Hindu College which was to several recruits to the Eelam campaign-up to the advanced level, majoring in Chemistry. He is the only one among the Tamils of that era who is remembered fondly by everyone.

He was a very sensitive person. He believed that despite the need for militancy, the Federal Party was important and often compared Chelvanayagam with Mahatma Gandhi and the boys with Subash Chandra Bose. He was a restless character. He would discuss all night, emphasizing the need for an armed struggle.

Since breaking off from Thangathurai, Sivakumaran had set up his group, which came to be known as the Sivakumaran’s group. The 1972 & 1973 mass arrests had slowed down his pace. His contemporaries say he was a shattered man after the Tamil Conference fiasco. He had worked for its success, and it pained him that nine people died for no fault of theirs. Since then he had passionately advocated vengeance-against Duraiyappah, the Mayor, and a Sinhalese police officer he held responsible for the deaths.

On June 5, 1974, Sivakumaran was trapped by the police while attempting a bank robbery in Jaffna’s Kopai town. He was 17 years of age and knowing about police torture if he were caught, he used to carry a cyanide pill. On that day he swallowed it without so much as an afterthought and died almost instantly. Thus was born Sri Lanka’s cyanide culture.

Hundreds thronged Sivakumaran’s funeral. All shops in Jaffna downed their shutters in mourning and hundreds of pamphlets were distributed in the town and its outskirts, eulogizing the martyr as Eelam’s Bhagat Singh. At the funeral, several TYL members slashed their fingers and with the blood that dripped placed dots on their foreheads, pledging collectively to continue the fight for an independent state. Tamils later put up a bronze statue outside Jaffna in the memory of the young man-it showed a defiant youth, his clinched fist outstretched and dangling a broken chain.

Formation of Tamil New Tigers 1970s

In 1974, Jaffna engulfed in protests when Bandaranike visited the town to open a university campus. The Mayor, Duraiyappah did his best to bring crowds to her meeting. The visit was preceded be several acts of violence which the police blamed on the newly-formed Tamil New Tigers (TNT) of Prabhakaran. Bombs were thrown at a police jeep in Kankesanthurai, a port town. Another bomb went off at the residence of a communist leader who was to be the premier’s interpreter and some more incidents.

The first successful robbery blamed on Tamil militants took place in 1974 when 91,000 rupees was taken away from the Multipurpose Cooperative Society to Tellipallai. Tamil source said Chetti and one of his cousins were among the responsible for the robbery, while one published account attributed the raid to Prabhakaran. Around the same time Chetti slipped to Tamil Nadu and teamed up with a crowd from Valvettithurai that was camping in Salem.

By the start of 1975, general strikes and other forms of protests were the order of the day in Jaffna. Time and again police cracked down on suspected militants whose number was slowly on the upswing.

In January 1975, several TYL members released from Colombo prisons on the eve of the Kankesanthurai by-election returned to Jaffna to heroes’ welcome. Dozens of youths campaigned for the aging Chelvanayagam, who was contesting the polls, not because they argued with his politics of moderation but wanted him to win to prove that Tamils no longer desired a federation with Sri Lanka.

Two underground groups were active in 1975. The Thangathurai group, benefit of Kuttimani, and the TNT, which in informed circles came to be known as the Prabhakaran’s group. Both enjoyed the tacit blessings of Amirthalingam.

In January 1975, a group of Sri Lankan Tamils residing in London formed the Eelam Revolutionary Organizers, which took the acronym EROS. Although it failed to take roots in Sri Lankan Tamils areas for a long time, it played a key role in shaping the growth of militancy.

The Duraiyappah assassination was the first political murder in Sri Lankan’s northeast. Chelvanayagam’s election victory had queered the pitch for the Eelam campaign. Although the sickly Tamil leader was a Gandhian by faith, neither afford to criticize the murder. The number of militants in Jaffna then could not have been more than 50.

The popular perception among the ordinary Tamils was that the “boys”, as the young guerrillas were called with adoration, were acting under the orders, if not the control, of the TUF and that they could and would be caged if need be.

On March 5, 1976 Prabhakaran led a raid on the state run People’s Bank at Puttur and escaped with a half a million rupees in cash and jewellery worth of 200,000 rupees after holding the employees at gun point. It was the first successful bank robbery in Jaffna.

Prabhakaran founded the LTTE on May 5, 1976. Barely 10 days later, the TUF held its first convention at Pannakam, Amirthalingam’s birth place. On May 14, 1976, exactly four years after the TUF’s formation, the main star of the TUF convention was Amirthalingams, although Chelvanayagam was presiding over the meeting. Since Chlevanayagam’s victory, leaders of the erstwhile Federal Party and its traditional rival, The Tamil Congress, had come closer. On that day, they jointly announced the formation of the Tamil Liberation Front (TULF), which described the Sri Lankan Tamils as “a nation distinct and apart from the Sinhalese”.

This convention resolved that the restoration and reconstitution of the Free, Sovereign, Secular, Socialist State of Tamil Eelam based on the right of self-determination inherent in every nation has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil nation in this country. And it was with this resolution that the TULF went to the electorate in the July 1977 elections, now overdue by two years.

From the Tamil standpoint, the 1977 polls were momentous in 3 ways.

1. For the 1st time, one of Sri Lanka’s main parties admitted publicly that there existed a Tamil problem.
2. For the 1st time, a Tamil party was propelled as the mail opposition in the Sri Lankan parliament.
3. The sweeping outcome in the northeast polls catapulted Tamil militancy.

The UNP, now galvanized by Jayawardene, came into power accepting the position that there are numerous problems confronting the Tamil-speaking people.

The TULF, led by Amirhtlaingam (Chelvanayagam had died in April 1977) asked the Tamils “to proclaim with the stamp of finality and fortitude that we alone shale rule over our land our forefathers ruled. Sinhalese imperialism shall quit our Homeland”.

The TULF was recognized as the opposition party in parliament and Amirthalingam became the opposition leader in the house, a post which carried the status of a cabinet minister. The TULF secretary general was a much sought after man, and although his sympathies to the militants were an open secret, he made occasional noises about Gandhian concepts.

“We are attached to a program of non-violent agitation, but I envisage a stage sooner or later when we are going to have to fight it out,” he said after the elections.

Emergence of Uma Maheswaran and LTTE

Early on the morning of August 15, 1977, three unarmed constables stopped 3 boys riding bicycles at Puttur, Jaffna. Without warning, one of the boys took out a revolver and fired, injuring one of the policemen in the thigh. The cyclists escaped. The next day, police shot and killed four persons and wounded 21 others in a bloody shoot-out in Jaffna after the policemen were obstructed from seizing arms carried by some youths.

JR, angry at what he thought was the audacity of the “boys”, ordered the army into Jaffna, where the old market was almost totally gutted in a fire the Tamils blamed on the security forces. The 1977 anti-Tamil riots had begun.

Sinhalese mobs began attacking Tamils outside the northeast. For the first time, a large number of Hindu temples came under attack during the two weeks of arson and rioting, which left more than 300 people dead and many more wounded. Thousands of Tamils left their homes and fled to the northeast for safety. They included an estimated 40,000 Indian Tamils, many of whom became destitute overnight even though they were opposed to the Eelam campaign. Many of them went to Vavuniya in the North, where several voluntary groups helped them to begin a new life. Many were sent to Jaffna by 3 ships, as in 1958.

In parliament, JR accused Amir of promoting secessionism and thundered amidst applause from his MP’s: “If you want to fight, let there be a fight. If it is peace, let there be a peace. It is not what I am saying. The people of Sri Lanka say that”.

Amir told parliament 5 days later: “We tried our best to live in a united Sri Lanka like brothers but failed……We are still prepared. We are trying to explore a peaceful solution”.

The riots provoked indignation in Tamil Nadu, which until then had remained largely indifferent to the plight of the island Tamils. The Tamil Nadu assembly expressed “rude shock” over the violence, in which some Indians had also been hit.

The DMK, which only 4 years ago had handed over Kuttimani to the Sri Lankan authorities, organized a general strike and a mammoth procession that wound its way through the city to the office of the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka.

But in 1977, no Sinhalese living in Jaffna came under attack from Tamils. Until Tamil militancy took deep roots in Jaffna, almost 10% of its population was Sinhalese, who were bakers, traders, civil servants and businessmen.

The 1977 anti-Tamil riots were different from earlier Sinhalese onslaughts. Previously Tamils had rarely hit back in an organized way. But now the Tamil society had its “boys” who were more than willing to take revenge.

On August 31, 4 young men came in blue Morris car robbed the People’s Bank in Manipay and walked away with 26,000 rupees. Around that time unidentified decamped with 8 rifles and revolvers from a customers office in Jaffna. Also several cases of theft of chemicals from schools were reported in the peninsula.

In September, Thangathurai presided over a meeting at a temple in Thondamanaru and decided to formally set up a militant group called the Tamil Eelam Liberation Army (TELA) and a political affiliate known as the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO). According to a participant they would function on the lines of the Irish Republican Army and its political wing, the Sinn Fein.

By now, The most active militant groups in Jaffna were the one led by Thangathurai and the LTTE.

In 1977, a soft spoken land surveyor, Kadirgamapillai Nallainathan, better known as Uma Maheswaran, joined the LTTE. He was made the chairman of the central committee. Prabhakaran, younger to Uma by some 10 years, continued to be the group’s military commander but remained largely in the background. The English speaking and suave Uma was referred to in the LTTE as Mukundan.

In January 1978, Uma and Prabha made their way to Colombo, where the former had headed the TULF’s city unit. In fact, few knew that he had quietly joined the LTTE.

On the eve of the 27th, the two shot M. Canagaratnam, a Tamil MP who had won on a TULF ticket but switched allegiance to the UNP. He was shot and wounded in the chest, neck and ribs. But died a few months later. Canagaratnam’s botched murder blew up Uma’s cover and he gave up the open life.

The police, embarrassed that Tamil militants could strike in Colombo, launched a vicious crackdown under the supervision of Inspector T.I. Bastiampillai of the CID.

After rounding up several suspects in Jaffna, police issued “wanted” posters for 4 men. Uma, Chellappah Nagarajah, Thanam (who had been once driver to Chelvanayagam) and Kannadi. Little did the police know that one of the four was already dead? Chetti murdered Kannadi in cold blood at Poonagari after breaking the prison in the city of Anuradhapura 1973.

Increased violence and proscription of LTTE

In March, Thangathurai, who the previous year had escaped a police trap after an attempted bank robbery, decided to kill a suspected police informer called Thadi (beard) Thangarajah. He and Jegan went to Thadi’s house at Kokuvil and shot the man.
On April 7, Bastiampillai, the Tamil CID officer, two of his colleagues and their Sinhalese driver reached a desolate spot at Murunkan, in the northwest district of Mannar, only to stumble upon a group of Tamil youths. It was a secret training camp of the Tigers, but it was never found out if Bastiampillai staggered there by accident or was tipped off. Among those present at the camp were Uma and Nagarajah, both were well known to the police. Fortunately for them, they were on a makeshift platform on a tree and remained there, frozen by Bastiampillai’s unexpected arrival. The others on the ground, in shorts and lunges were not known to the CID officer.

Bastiampillai wanted to know the identity of the men, who replied nonchalantly that they were farm employees. One of the Tigers, in a bid to distract attention, said loudly in Tamil: Give some water to these gentlemen.

The ruse succeeded. It was just the way a labourer would treat visitors, particularly men in uniform. Bastiampillai fell for the trick. He kept his Sub-Machine Gun (SMG) by a well and bent down for the water that was offered.

Chellakili (who led the attack in 83 in Jaffna that killed 13 soldiers which triggered the 83 riots), a Prabhakaran’s confidant who was present there, moved like a lightning. In one swoop, he pounded on the SMG and hit Bastiampillai on his head and simultaneously opened fire, killing him and a sergeant before they could realize what was happening. A Tamil inspector Perampalam, however put up a fight, but crashed down the well where he was shot. The driver started running, but was chased and moved down.

When it was all over, Uma and Nagarajah came down from the tree. The tigers quickly shifted to another hideout. Bastiampillai’s Peugeot 404 was taken away.
The killings sent shock waves in Sri Lanka. Bastiampillai was considered an authority on the Tamil rebel groups and was in-charge of the CID’s TULF desk. In fact, the murder came to be known only after a wood cutter informed the police about some decaying bodies. These were identified after Perampalam’s was hauled up from the well and his ID card was recovered. The Tamils had committed their first murder with a SMG.

On April 25, the LTTE came out in open for the first time. accepting responsibility for the murders of Mayor Duraiyappah, an alleged police agent N. Nadarajah and nine policemen including Bastiampillai. The claim was made in a LTTE letterhead marked ” To whom it may concern”, inscribed with the now famous insignia of the roaring Tiger.

The claim, posted in Colombo newspapers and published 3 days later by the Tamil language Veerakesari made a special mention of Bastiampillai killing a carried a crudely worded warning: “No other groups, Organisations, or Individuals claim this death ( these deaths). Serious action will be taken against those who claim the above other than Tigers in Ceylon or Abroad.”

The last sentence read: ” We are not responsible for past robberies of any kind”

At this time the Sri Lankan government could not ignore the threat of the Tamil militant groups anymore. As if to prove that, the Thangathurai group now struck. On May 6, a group of 4 or 5 men went to the residence of Inspector K. Pathmanathan, officer in charge of the District Crime Detective Bureau of Jaffna police. He was not at home but his children telephoned the parents at a friend’s place which they were visiting. When he returned, the waiting men fired without warning from revolvers from point blank range.

Alarmed by the killings, the government enacted a legislation, called the Proscription of LTTE and other organisations, to give sweeping powers to the security forces.
Amirthalingam claimed that the Tiger statement was a fake. But he was wrong. The letter was genuine and had been typed by a young divorcee called Urmila Devi on the TULF leader’s official typewriter in the parliament house without his knowledge.

In May, Kuttimani (who had been released in 1977) and Jegan gunned down a retired police inspector at the Valvettithurai junction. In June Kuttimani shot and killed another police officer who had allegedly tortured a woman suspect following in a bank robbery. By April, the militants have accumulated about 5 million rupees by robbing banks and cooperative stores.

IGP Stanley Senanayake said: ” Members of this (Tigers) movement are not common criminals. They are educated, sophisticated youth, a factor which makes them all the more dangerous.

On September 7, when parliament introduced a new constitution, an AVRO 748 of Air Ceylon was blasted by a time bomb after it landed at Ratmalana airport, on the outskirts of Colombo, with 35 passengers from Jaffna. The device was apparently timed to go off when the AVRO would be in the air for Male, but a catering delay had put off the takeoff.

The culprits were 2 passengers, and one of them was S. Subramaniam alias Baby, who would emerge as one of the most loyal confidants of Prabhakaran. After the AVRO blast Subramaniam came to be called “Avro Baby”.

Uma, who was in hiding, immediately rang up London and asked LTTE supporters there to claim responsibility. The LTTE capped off 1978 with another bank robbery. On December 5, six gunmen stormed to the Thirunelveli People’s bank branch gunned down two policemen and robbed the bank of 1.18 million rupees.

The Split of LTTE

In 1979, after the Thangathurai group shot dead 3 more policemen in Jaffna, JR replaced the Proscription of LTTE act with a more draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), clamped a state of emergency through-out Jaffna peninsula and sent more troops to the region.
He also hand-picked Brigadier T.I. Weeratunge, chief of the army, to stamp out “the menace of terrorism in all its forms from the island” by Dec.31.

The crackdown, for the first time, seriously disrupted the militant network. The mutilated bodies of 6 youths picked up from their homes on July 14 were found under a bridge. Because of this disruption, Thangathurai, Kuttimani and Prabhakaran fled to Tamil Nadu.

Tamil militancy died down almost totally in 1980, but picked up again from early next year. Police repression was not the only cause for the fall in militant sponsored violence. There were growing differences within the militant ranks, particularly the LTTE which resulted in its split and the subsequent formation of PLOTE by Uma.

On March 25, the TELO pulled off a sensational robbery. A People’s bank van was returned to Jaffna with the day’s collection when it was ambushed on a lonely stretch of road at Neervely, 12 miles from Point Pedro. Kuttimani who led the operation gave rapid fire orders in Sinhala when the van came to a halt. The loot was put by a bank official at a staggering 7.8 million rupees.

On April 5, he, Thangathurai and Thevan were arrested at Mannalkadal, near Point Pedro, while tried to escape in a boat to India. Sri Sabaratnam had dropped them in a car, but left before they prepared to sail away. Kuttimani had some gold on him, tried to shoot himself but was overpowered. It was the end of journey both for Kuttimani and Thangathurai, two of the original pillars of Tamil militancy. They were brutally beaten to death in Colombo’s Welikade jail during the July 1983 anti-Tamil riots.

Jaffna was clearly confused. It was only 5 yrs since the TULF had taken a mandate to achieve Eelam, which was no where in sight. Tamils were pondering on this and a lot more when unexpected news came from Tamil Nadu. Two men well known to Amir as well as to the Lankan authorities were involved in a gunfight. News papers identified them as Uma and Prabhakaran.

Conflict and civil war

In the post-Cold War period, international relations theorists and strategic studies analysts have begun to pay attention to the impact of ethnic and communal crises on international security. In the past, the ethnic crisis was generally considered as an internal affair of a country. Therefore, the international community of foreign countries was not supposed to interfere in the conflict. However, many ethnic crises entangled a neighbouring country either because of the involvement of a common ethnic group inhabiting both the countries or the inflow of refugees into the other country. Consequently, international organisations or regional organisations made efforts to resolve such crises. At times international mediation measures or outside intervention in ethnic conflicts was also exercised. But the most serious threat to international security was considered the likelihood of a nuclear war as a result of the East-West confrontation during the Cold War period. With the end of the Cold War and the demise of Communism in Europe, ethnic crises erupted in the former Communist countries in Europe and it was found that the European security structure was incapable of resolving such crises. For almost four years, the bloody Bosnian ethnic crisis remained intractable. The fragile peace could be established with the deployment of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led forces in Bosnia.

In South Asia, there have been many ethnic crises involving more than one country. The Sri Lankan ethnic crisis has involved Sinhalese and Tamils. The latter ethnic group also inhabits Tamil Nadu of India. The Sri Lankan ethnic strife began because the majority Sinhalese felt that their interests were being scarified in an independent country by not adopting “Sinhala only” as an official national language in place of English. Though the national (Sinhala) leadership was aware of the impending inherent dangers in adopting Sinhala only as an official language, yet they succumbed to the demand of the majority because it was considered a political exigency in the face of the language movement with religious overtones. The immediate reaction of the main minority–Tamil–was non-violent, perhaps helplessness in the existing democratic polity. As the situation became more grim, the frustrated youth came to believe that they could not achieve any tangible solution to the problem without adopting violent means to achieve their cherished goal of independence. Presently the conflict is not only of language but also religio-ethno-nationalism.

This article does not dwell on the various details of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, the reactions of many countries and at international forums. Nor does it chronicle the day-to-day twists and turns of the Sri Lanka ethnic crisis, before and since the outbreak of civil war. It seeks, instead, to highlight and explain the main features of the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis, the real problem and likely prospects of the complex, bloody ethnic problem that finally erupted violently in the late 1970s and remains intractable.
Nevertheless, to understand the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka, the composition of different ethnic groups in the country and the major events that led to the ethnic crisis will be deliberated upon here. According to the 1981 census, the Sinhalese comprised 74 per cent, Tamils 18.2 per cent (Ceylon Tamils 12.6 per cent and Indian Tamils 5.2 per cent), Muslims 7.4 per cent and others 0.4 per cent of the Sri Lankan population. The total population of Tamils in Sri Lanka is 2.7 million of the total 14.85 million population of the country. The Sri Lankan Tamils can be divided into two groups: the indigenous “Ceylon” Tamils who number 1.9 million and the “Indian” Tamils who number 825,000. The “Indian” Tamils are plantation workers descended from labourers indentured by the British colonial government during the 19th and 20th centuries. They are mainly Hindus but a minority is Christian. The Sinhalese are mainly Buddhists (92 per cent), the rest being Christians. Apart from Tamils and Sinhalese, there are small minorities of the Moors (both Ceylon and Indian) and Malays who are all Muslims. Then there are also Burghers and Eurasians who are Christians.1

At this juncture it will not be out of place to write a brief history of the people of Sri Lanka. Notwithstanding the controversy about who were the first migrants from India to Ceylon–Sinhalese or Tamils–or whether Tamils were the original inhabitants of the island, it is a generally accepted fact that both migrated from India mostly in the 5th or 6th century B.C. The Sinhalese are traditionally believed to be the descendants of migratory Aryans from northern India. It is, however, controversial whether the founder of the Sinhala race came from Bengal or from Gujrat. Be that as it may, the Sinhalese traditionally trace their ethnic origin to Vijaya Singha who was an Indian by birth. The Sinhalese settled in the North-Central, North-Western, and Southern Provinces of Ceylon.
The Tamils also migrated from India to Ceylon. They belong to the Dravidian stock of India. They are divided into the two categories “Ceylon Tamils” (also called indigenous Tamils) and “Indian” Tamils. While the Ceylon Tamils arrived in Ceylon in the pre-Christian period, the Indian Tamils migrated into Ceylon in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the wake of the introduction of plantation economy into the island by the British Empire. The Ceylon Tamils settled in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Mullaitivu in the northern and eastern coast of the country. The Indian Tamils settled in the traditional tea garden areas of Colombo, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla Ratnapura and Kegella.
Not again entering into the controversy of who came first in Sri Lanka, there are numerous accounts of wars between the Armies of Sinhalese and Tamils. The Chola rulers of south India, launched many invasions into the island. At one time the Chola invasions of Ceylon reached their peak as they conquered the whole or most of the island. Different Kingdoms were established in the country. When in 1505, Portuguese sailors landed on the coast of Sri Lanka, they found three Kingdoms in Sri Lanka–a Tamil one in Jaffna and two Sinhala, one in the Kotte (near present day Colombo) and the other in Senkadagalle (present day Kandy). The Tamilian and Sinhalese Kingdoms remained separated under both the Portuguese administration and that of the Dutch who succeeded them. It was only under British colonial rule that, after the administrative reforms of the 1930s, the island was brought under a single administrator. Thus, the current demand of the Ceylon Tamils to establish an independent state for Tamil—Eelam–has a historical basis.

In many quarters there is a misperception about the legitimacy of the Ceylon Tamil’s agitation for an independent state for themselves in the island. According to this misperception, the Sinhalese are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka and the Tamils migrated to Sri Lanka from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After the independence of both countries from the British Empire, the Tamils of the two countries were separated but wanted to get together to establish a “greater” country for Tamils of both countries, it is felt. Incidentally in the 1960s, there was a massive agitation in Tamil Nadu for regional autonomy. The Ceylon Tamils’ agitation for independence also evoked the emotional sympathy of Tamils of Tamil Nadu. There were also reports about material assistance given by Tamils of India to the Ceylon Tamils. But there is hardly any substance in the establishment of a “greater” country for Tamils of both countries on the lines of the alleged design of Slobdan Milosevic for the establishment of a “Greater Serbia”. In reality, the “Ceylon” Tamils, who have been fighting for independence, would never want to join Tamil Nadu which has a greater area and larger population than their own in Sri Lanka.

The present ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka can be traced back to the policy of local administration adopted by the British Raj. The Christian missionaries mainly opened schools in the Tamil homeland and not in the Sinhalese dominated areas. Perhaps the British rulers found that the Tamils were more willing to learn English and join government jobs than the Sinhalese because the Ceylon Tamils were living in a dry zone which was not as fertile as the low country Sinhalese area which was a fertile wet zone. In other words, unemployed Tamils were in search of state employment unlike the Sinhalese who were engaged in trade and plantation. Subsequently, the Tamils gained entry into government jobs and also found opportunities to acquire higher education in the professional fields. Initially the Sinhalese were not attracted towards state employment but by the early 20th century, they also leaned towards state employment; thus, began the unhealthy competition between the two main ethnic groups in the country but it never converted into clashes between the two groups.

The first sign of discontent amongst the Sinhalese was noticed when the Sinhala Buddhists bourgeoisie challenged the Christian hegemony in the late 19th century. A strong Sinhala nationalism emerged against Westernism and Christians. This was the beginning of the chauvinistic tendency in the majority community. The first ethnic crisis erupted in 1915 when trading and merchant elements of the petty bourgeoisie resorted to violence against the Muslims. Later in the 1930s, the Sinhala working class demonstrated its hostility towards the Malayalis.2 Until the 1930s, the language issue had not become controversial in spite of the majority Sinhalese feeling discriminated against in their own country because of their lack of knowledge of English. In fact, under the British rule, English had not only been the official language or the language of administration but also the language of professions, commerce, higher education and politics. In fact, the English language was the language of Sinhalese elites and a large number of Tamils.

In 1935, the Lanka Samasamaja Party was formed whose fundamental objective was to introduce use of Sinhalese and Tamil in the lower courts, police stations and government departments. Thus, began the movement for adopting of Swabhasa (or own language) prior to independence, leading to the decision that English would gradually be replaced as the official language by both Sinhala and Tamil. However, in 1944, J.R. Jayewardene proposed that Sinhala be made the official language in a reasonable time. But his proposal was amended and it was recommended that both Sinhala and Tamil be made the official languages for medium of instruction in schools, public service examinations and legislative proceedings. At the same time, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, who later introduced Sinhala as the only official language of Sri Lanka, reportedly remarked “I have no personal objection to both these languages, nor do I see any particular harm or danger or real difficulty from this.”3

In the course of discussions for the independence of Ceylon the issue of various communities in the future set-up of the country was considered but in the interest of the political unity of the country it was avoided. It does not mean that the colonial government was not aware of the existence of a multi-ethnic society in the country and the danger of the emergence of an ethnic crisis in the future. As a matter of fact, as early as in 1931, when the Donoughmore Commission advised for suffrage in the country, it recognised the various communities in the country and guaranteed their interest in the legislative body. In 1944, the Soulbury Commission came to Ceylon to discuss its future political set-up. It was considered that in the democratic polity, it was unnecessary to recognise the interest of the various communities because the democratic system itself protects the interests of various ethnic groups. The Westminster model of the Parliamentary system was adopted for the country. Since the Tamils were concentrated in certain parts of the country, they could always vote a number of members into the Parliament. However, it was very soon realised that Tamil members of Parliament would constitute a minority in the Parliament and, therefore, their interests might be overlooked or sacrificed by the majority Sinhalese.

The British legacy also determined the establishment of a unitary system instead of a federal system. Perhaps it was considered that a small country of the size of Sri Lanka did not require a federal system like that of India. Great Britain also has a unitary form of government. Till then, the current Northern Ireland crisis had not erupted. However, since then not only has the violent Northern Ireland crisis been eluding a solution for about three decades but the demand for autonomy of Scotland and Wales also surfaced. Lack of understanding of the existing ethnic differences could be considered as the major reason for not recognising the independent identity of the minority Tamils in the overwhelming majority of Sinhalese. In fact, the leaders of newly independent countries generally do not want devolution of state power. The recognition of the identity of a minority is considered as a step toward weakening of state sovereignty and encouraging the tendency of secession amongst the ethnic minorities. Until then, by and large, the Tamils also did not feel that their interests would not be preserved in the Sinhala dominated democratic polity in the country. No doubt, the Sinhalese Kings and the Tamils of the Chola Kingdom fought each other in many wars but the people of both communities lived as peacefully possible. In fact, before independence in 1948, the Tamil minority had been reportedly assured by the Sinhala leadership that it would not be discriminated against with regard to representation and legislation.4

Immediately after gaining independence, the Sinhalese nationalism began to grow. The first victims of that development were the Indian Tamils who were disenfranchised under the Ceylon Citizenship Act No 18 of November 15, 1948. The Indian Tamils were virtually declared stateless because they were required to establish citizenship of the country by proving that they were citizens of Ceylon either by descent or by registration. They could claim citizenship of the country by proving that they had family connections with the country for at least two generations. Since in those days there was hardly any practice of registering births, the Indian Tamils failed to produce the birth certificates of their fathers stating that their place of birth was in Ceylon. Consequently, a majority of Indian Tamils became stateless in a country where they had been living for generations. Incidentally, the majority of Ceylon Tamil politicians reportedly did not oppose the Act, thus, declaring people of their own ethnic groups as stateless.

In many constituencies “Indian” Tamils formed the majority and elected members of the leftist Trostskyist Lanka Sama Samaya Party to the Parliament. Their sympathy for the leftist party was not favourably viewed by the Sinhalese as well as the Ceylon Tamils and, therefore, they lost their right to vote. In other words, the “Indian” Tamils became stateless in a country where till then they enjoyed the status of citizenship and the right to vote at the time of elections. It was a clear case of discrimination against a minority ethnic group in a multi-ethnic country. No doubt the “Indian” Tamils became the first victims of independent Sri Lanka and they were also persecuted at times but there was no ethnic “cleansing” like in the erstwhile Yugoslavia where Muslims suffered the maximum in the course of carrying out of ethnic “cleansing” in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As noted, the official national language issue was the major bone of contention between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. At the time of independence of the country in 1948, the “Ceylon” Tamils who constituted 10 per cent of the population but held 31 per cent of the posts in universities and acquired a higher percentage in professional fields like medical and engineering. Therefore, many Sinhalese resented the fact that the Tamils enjoyed disproportionate educational and employment advantages because of their proficiency in the English language in the majority Sinhala country. After independence, the Ceylon government adopted a policy of denying Tamils admission into higher and professional education. Their percentage in the government services also began to decline. In the meantime, an official language commission was appointed to decide on procedures for making both Sinhala and Tamil the official languages. Reading the mind of the majority Sinhala community on the issue of language, in 1951, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike parted company with the United National Party (UNP) and formed a new political party called the Sri Lanka Federal Party (SLFP). He alleged that the UNP had failed to take action on the language question. His party’s first manifesto called for immediate adoption of Sinhala and Tamil as official languages of the country so that people would cease to feel alien in their own land.

No doubt, language was not the main issue in the 1952 elections but during the period of Premiership of Sir John Kotelawala, the language question became the dominant political issue in the country. In fact, emotions were raised amongst the Sinhalese that their emancipation could be achieved by the adoption of “Sinhala only” as the official language and the revival of the Buddhist religion. Preparations had already begun for celebrating the 2,500th death anniversary of Buddha in 1956. The trends of Buddhist resurgence began in the early 1950s. They were articulated in a provocative book entitled The Revolt of the Temple written by D.C. Vijayvardhane in 1953.5 He highlighted legend and superstition as historical facts as well as romanticised the unhistorical view of the past based on mythology, fantasy and social destiny. Surprisingly, the Sinhala intelligentsia did not question the authenticity of Vijayvarardhane’s version of the Sinhala history and destiny.6 However, such passiveness of the intellectuals in the face of strong chauvinistic ethno-religio-nationalism is not surprising. In fact, at times they have also been influenced by such emotionalism and articulate their own views, thus, legitimising jingoism and feel secure in avoiding the wrath of the fanatics. Such anomaly in the behaviour of the intellectuals was recently noticed in the Balkans where ethno-religious-nationalism has violently emerged.

In the 1950s, the social and political atmosphere was surcharged with the emotional issues of language, religion and Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist religious upsurge gained momentum because of the preparations for the celebration of the 2,500th death anniversary of Buddha in 1956. The Buddhist monks, who are supposed to renounce all worldly affairs and devote themselves to spiritualism, became the most articulate spokesmen for the adoption of “Sinhala only” as the official language.

Interestingly, Buddhism advocates non-violent means to achieve objectives in all walks of life and a middle path of moderation in the society. The Buddhist monks not only relinquished the middle path of moderation but also did not hesitate in resorting to violent means for achieving worldly objectives. They were in the forefront in advocating Sinhala nationalism in a multi-ethnic state. In fact, following the middle path of moderation, in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state like Sri Lanka, they should have worked for state or territorial nationalism and not Sinhala ethno-nationalism alone.7
The Buddhist monks’ agitation for the acceptance of “Sinhala only” as the official language of the country received support from teachers, students, youth and Ayurvedic physicians of the Sinhala community because they felt that they were being denied their due in the country on account of lack of their knowledge of English and the Western medical system. The Swabhashi (own language) movement in the 1940s, resulted in an increasing number of schools imparting education through the medium of instruction of Sinhala and Tamil. With the expansion of education, the demand for employment in state administration and other services increased but employment opportunities did not step up proportionately. In the 1950s, the problem of unemployment of the youth became a political issue which was suitably exploited by Sinhala parochialism though the Tamil youths also faced the unemployment problem. It was felt that English educated students were in a better position to gain employment than Sinhala educated students.

As the language movement intensified in the country, the political parties caved in and gave up their earlier stand of two official languages and adopted the policy of “Sinhala only.” Bandaranaike, who earlier left the ruling political party–the UNP–on its failure to take action on the language question and formed a new political party–the SLFP–persuaded his party to change its two-language policy to the “Sinhala only” line in 1955. The ruling UNP also adopted the resolution on “Sinhala only” in January 1956, a few months before the elections. The Sinhala chauvinism determined the language policy of the major political parties, except the leftist and Tamil parties. However, the leftist party of Philip Gunewardem, the Viplavakari Samasamaja Party (VLSSP) abandoned its policy of parity of both the major languages in the country and opted for the “Sinhala only” line. Thus, the divide between two ethnic groups–the Sinhala and the Tamil–began to widen.

The stage was set to contest elections on the issue of official language policy. Since the ruling UNP failed to adopt the act on “Sinhala only,” even after it adopted the policy in favour of one official language, the party lost the elections in 1956. The coalition led by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the Majahana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) won the absolute majority in the elections. The Tamil minority was not in a position to influence the proceedings of the newly constituted Parliament. In a democratic polity, if the majority community becomes autocratic and the promoter of its own interest at the cost of the minority, it is not only an infringement of democratic norms but may also create fertile ground for ethnic violence, which may convert into a civil war.

Immediately after the new Parliament was constituted, the ruling coalition introduced the Official Language Bill of 1956 which made Sinhala the sole official language. While the Bill was being debated in the Parliament, ethnic violence erupted in Colombo and Eastern Sri Lanka. The Bill was contested by both the Tamil Congress and the left members of Parliament but their views were not taken into account by the chauvinist Sinhala members of Parliament.

Apart from the members of the Tamil Congress, the left members of Parliament forewarned the Sinhala chauvinists about the imminent danger of growth of secessionist tendency in the country. The majority Sinhala members of Parliament did not realise that they were laying a strong foundation of racial, ethnic and religious gulf between the two major communities in the country. For the first time, no Tamil was included in the Cabinet. Even a silent Satyagraha demonstration of protest by Tamils outside the Parliament building was stoned by Sinhalese mobs during the course of debate on the language Bill.
The language issue led to not only ethnic divide but also social and religious discord. No doubt, the majority of Sinhalese and Tamils were inhabitants of different parts of country but in modern times they came to live in the same places. There were also inter-marriages amongst them. The religious divide was not the cause of violence though the majority of Tamils are Hindus and the Sinhalese are Buddhists. In fact, according to Hindu mythology, Lord Buddha is one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the other important incarnations of his being Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. However, the Buddhists generally do not subscribe to the Hindu belief because Lord Buddha himself reportedly considered the theory of incarnation as an anachronism.

In certain quarters it is rightly believed that Ceylonese or Sri Lankan nationalism had never developed in the country in the past because before the colonial rulers brought the country into a unitary administrative body, it was governed independently by Sinhala and Tamil Kingdoms in their respective jurisdiction. There was hardly a national movement for independence from the colonial rule. Such a movement would have given an opportunity to the growth of nationalism. In the absence of such a development, the country remained divided on ethnic lines which was aggravated with the adoption of “Sinhala only” as the official language. Unfortunately, the language issue gave birth to religio-ethno-nationalism and the beginning of communal riots.

While the bloody ethnic clashes ceased for some time, the political opposition to the language Act continued. In December 1956, the Federal Party leader, S.I.V. Chelvanayakan, threatened to launch Satyagraha on August 20, 1957, in support of four demands, amongst them being the repeal of the Official Language Act and the grant of equal status to the Tamil language with the Sinhala. It may be recalled that the Federal Party was founded by him in 1949. He was critical of the Sri Lanka government’s Citizenship Act of 1948 which made it difficult for “Indian” Tamils to establish their credentials of Ceylonese citizenship. About two months before the beginning of the proposed peaceful movement, Prime Minister Bandaranaike offered four concessions regarding the language issue but they were rejected by the Federal Party. On July 25, 1957, the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakan compromise agreement on the language issue was signed. According to the settlement, Tamil was to be recognised as the language of “a national minority” in the country and it would be an official language for administrative purposes in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Though the Federal Party approved the compromise settlement and cancelled the proposed peaceful agitation, it reaffirmed its decision to work for the establishment of an autonomous Tamil linguistic state or states within the federal structure of the country, equal status for Tamil and Sinhalese languages and recognition of the right to full citizenship of all Tamil speaking persons who had made Sri Lanka their permanent residence. Immediately after the compromise settlement, extremists of the ruling party registered their protest against the agreement. At the same time, an agitation by the extremists Buddhist nationalists led to rioting in which several hundred people were killed. Consequently, Prime Minister Bandaranaike was compelled to abrogate the agreement in April 1958. All later efforts to assuage the feelings of the Tamils failed to achieve desirable results because the Tamil language was reduced to the language of the Northern and Eastern Provinces only. Tamils, who were residing elsewhere, were discriminated against because Sinhala was made the sole official language. All public servants were required to acquire requisite proficiency in the Sinhala language within three years, failing which they would be penalised or lose their jobs. The Tamils were discriminated against in all walks of life, including government jobs, university and professional education where they used to have a higher percentage because of their proficiency in the English language which was as alien to them as to the Sinhalese.

The seasoned and matured Sinhalese politicians could not counter the Sinhala chauvinism which became too strong in the 1950s. It could have been neutralised by adopting the middle path which was first renounced by none other than S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who himself became victim of Sinhalese extremism as he was assassinated by a monk of the extremist Buddhist group called the Eksath Bikku Peramuna. Since then, any effort to work out some agreement to ameliorate the suffering of Tamils has been rejected by the extremist Sinhalese Buddhists. The Tamils were reduced to second-class citizens in their own country where they had not only been residing for centuries but also claimed to have their roots there only.

The birth of the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka was discussed in detail above in order to understand the ethnic problem in the country. Since 1956, the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka has never waned. Instead, it continued to intensify because no government took a measure which could have redressed the grievances of the Tamil and redeemed their position in the country. Like the late 1950s, the 1960s was not a period of ethnic harmony. The ethnic clashes continued to vitiate the political, economic, social and communal atmosphere in the country. The “Sinhala only” policy was implemented during the period. The leftists also abandoned their support for the parity of the Tamils language. The Federal Party decided to sever its relations with the ruling party. Demonstrations and bandhs became a regular feature in the country. The Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, popularly known as the Srimavo-Shastri Pact of 1964 provided for the repatriation to India over a period of 15 years of some 975,000 stateless Tamils of Indian origin. Their problem has still not been resolved. In the meantime, they also joined the movement for granting Tamil the status of official language.

The new United Front government headed by Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, which came to power in 1970, wrote a new Constitution, enforcing the “Sinhala only” rule and made Buddhism the state religion. A new phase of communal antagonism began. The immediate Tamil reaction was to observe a day of mourning in protest against the new Constitution. The Federal Party, the Tamil Congress and three other parties jointly formed the Tamil United Front (TUF) which was renamed as the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) in 1976.

The demand for self-rule in the Northern and Eastern Provinces gained momentum. The Tamil Tigers movement began around 1972 as an extremist wing of the TUF. They reportedly formed a strong and cohesive guerilla organisation. Vellupillai Prabhakaran emerged as an unchallenged charismatic leader of the Tamil National Tigers (TNT). He renamed it as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1976. There were some other extremist organisations but they were eliminated by the LTTE. Gradually, the moderate Tamil political organisations lost their relevance in the unending bloody ethnic war.
In the Parliamentary elections of July 1977, the UNP came to power with an overwhelming majority and Junius Jayewardene became the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The communal violence erupted again the next month. Since then, violence against the Tamils has become a regular feature of communal politics in the country. The Presidential form of government was adopted in the new Constitution of 1978. The Tamils were agitating for autonomy in their region and a federal form of government. Instead, the unitary form of government was reaffirmed and the Parliamentary form of government was abolished. In other words, the majority community leader would not only be all powerful but also not a member of Parliament where he would have to personally listen to the grievances of the minority community. Though the new Constitution recognised both Sinhala and Tamil as the national languages, Sinhala remained the sole official language in the country. Moreover, Buddhism was given the foremost place in the country, though the rights of all other religions were assured.

The Tamil youths began to feel that their political leaders had miserably failed to protect their rights, and give them an appropriate place in the country. In the existing desperate conditions, frustrated youths can easily be motivated by a charismatic leader who may mobilise them towards a cherished goal like their own independent, sovereign country (Eelam for Tamils) for a persecuted ethnic minority community. Consequently, the Tamil Tigers launched a terrorist movement to achieve their objective. The extremist activities assumed intensity in the 1970s. But in the eleven days of violence in July-August 1983, the Tamil community suffered enormous destruction and loss of life. Horrible atrocities were committed on the Tamils and efforts were made for completely destroying the economic base of the Tamils.

The Jayewardene government adopted a plan to eliminate Tamil extremists through ruthless military action. Some 40,000 Sri Lankan refugees were reportedly moved into Tamil Nadu by August 1984. The ethnic crisis took a new turn as the Hindu Tamils and Muslims also clashed in the Eastern Province in 1985. The Indian government expressed its concern about the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. The crisis assumed more seriousness as a result of the massacre at Anuradhapura. Consequently, the Indian Prime, Minister Rajiv Gandhi, met President Jayewardene in Sri Lanka. It was agreed that India would stop supply of arms and men to Sri Lanka and the latter would impose strict control over military operations against the Tamils. Subsequently, representatives of the Sri Lanka government and the leading Tamil groups met in Thimpu (capital of Bhutan) to work out a solution to the bloody ethnic crisis. But no progress could be made towards resolving the ethnic imbroglio.

The ethnic crisis became more serious as President Jayewardene imposed an economic blockade on the Jaffna peninsula in January 1987 in view of the LTTE’s threat to take control of the civil administration of Jaffna. As the situation in Jaffna became serious, the Indian government decided to send relief supplies to the suffering Tamils in the area. However, an Indian flotilla carrying the supplies could not reach its destination because the Sri Lanka naval authorities did not permit it to proceed to Jaffna. Consequently, India paradropped the packages of some essential commodities in the Jaffna peninsula. Though the Sri Lanka government criticised the Indian action, it agreed on the modalities for the supply of relief materials.

Finally, the Indian direct action in resolving the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka was enshrined in an agreement signed by Rajiv Gandhi and Jayewardene on July 29, 1987. The agreement evoked criticism and sparked off riots in Colombo. An attempt was made on Rajiv Gandhi’s life on the eve of his departure from Colombo. In the terms of the agreement, India sent its Army, better known as the Indian Peace – Keeping Force (IPKF), to Sri Lanka for the cessation of the civil war and the surrender of arms by extremists in the Jaffna peninsula and the Eastern Province. Initially the IPKF did not receive a hostile reception but later it clashed with the Tamil Tigers and the estranged local civilian population. Incidentally, the Tamil Tigers were reportedly assisted by the Sri Lankan forces to launch attacks on the IPKF. The Indian armed forces suffered heavy casualties and pulled out from Sri Lanka under an agreement reached in 1989. The IPKF’s stay in Sri Lanka became a contentious issue that spoiled bilateral relations between the two countries. Perhaps Indian leaders believed that Indian armed forces could successfully resolve the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka as they did in the former East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh). But all outside interventions in ethnic conflicts cannot be the same, thus, outside intervention is not always crowned with success,8 as many Indians had believed before the IPKF debacle in Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, elections were held for constituting Provincial Councils in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in 1988, though the elections were boycotted by the SLFP and threats were issued by the LTTE and the militant Sinhalese outfit—the Janatha Vimukti Peramuna (JPV) or People’ Liberation Front—against casting of votes by electors. The IPKF could conduct elections peacefully but the civilian administration could not be established against the wishes of the LTTE. The ethnic crisis continued unabated. During the rule of the UNP, the divide between the Sinhalese and Tamils was further widened. In the meantime the UNP also lost its popularity and its opponents blamed it for widespread corruption and political power abuse. The UNP was also weakened because of a series of assassinations of its leaders—President Ranasinghe Premadasa in May 1993 and the party’s Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake during the November 1994 election campaign. In the meantime, the People’s Alliance led by Chan- drika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga won the Parliamentary elections in August 1994. She defeated Dissanayake’s wife, Srima, in the Presidential election three months later. She had made three main campaign pledges: to end the ethnic conflict; to replace the existing Presidential system by a Parliamentary system of government; and to eliminate the abuse of political power by the government.

The Kumaratunga government began the peace process with a bang as she could work out an agreement on cessation of hostilities with the LTTE supremo Prabhakaran on January 5, 1995, but it lasted little more than a hundred days as the LTTE resumed its attacks on April 29, 1995. In fact, the LTTE insisted on plans for economic reconstruction in the areas of their control, but the government wanted to do so only after some progress was made towards resolving of the political issues.9
The armed clashes between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Tamil Tigers intensified. First the Tamil Tigers inflicted heavy losses on Sri Lankan military hardware and personnel. In retaliation, the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a massive operation against the Tamil Tigers. The military operation was disastrous because it resulted in the capture of only a small area of territory but killed more than 200 Tamil civilians. In December 1995, the Sri Lankan armed forces launched the largest military operation and could re-establish government control over the northern city of Jaffna. It was a great achievement for the armed forces and a setback for the Tamil Tigers. However, the Tamil Tigers retaliated by setting off a massive explosion in Colombo, killing more than 80 people and destroying a commercial establishment. Since then, the armed forces’ operations and the Tamil Tigers’ hit-and-run attacks have been continuing unabated.

After many years of bloody ethnic war in Sri Lanka, the election of Kumaratunga as the President of the country appeared as the new window of opportunity. But her initiatives to resolve the ethnic crisis could not produce positive results because she delayed the release of her detailed peace proposals until August 1995, though they were ready as early as December 1994. Had these been released at the beginning of cessation of hostilities, the war-weary Tamil civilians would have been able to bring some pressure on the LTTE to negotiate seriously on those proposals.

Be that as it may, the Kumaratunga government announced the legal text of the proposals on devolution of power in January 1996. According to them, Sri Lanka would become an “indissoluble” union of regions. It was a modified version of the earlier proposals. It authorised the central government to remove any regional government that would try to secede from the republic and assumed direct rule over the region. In the original proposals, the central government was not empowered to remove any regional government regardless of the circumstances. While the Sinhalese appreciated the change, the Tamils expressed apprehension on the misuse of power by the centre. The government apparently modified the text of the proposals to accommodate the views of the nationalist Sinhalese. In the process, the government alienated the moderate Tamils. Thus, the other devolution proposals–like the council’s considerable jurisdiction over economic development, education, and the use of land as well as its right to negotiate directly with foreign governments for aid and investment; and some control over maintenance of law and order–could not make much impact on the moderate Tamils.

The devolution proposals were referred to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform. After many months of deliberations on the issue, despite protests from UNP members and a few others, the Sri Lankan Constitutional Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Perris, on October 24, 1997, presented proposals to the Parliament containing the government’s draft of a new Constitution and “riders” on it by various parties. The main feature of the government draft is the proposed conversion of the unitary state into “an indissoluble union of regions.”10 It was also proposed that a new Muslim majority South-Eastern Region would be constituted without a referendum in that pocket of territory, in the event of a new and permanent North-Eastern Region being formed as a result of a mini-plebiscite in Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts of the eastern part. In view of this reorganisation of the administrative set-up, the mainly Sinhala Ampara electoral district would be given an option to either convert itself into a full-fledged region or join the adjoining Sinhala-dominant Uva region.11 It was also reported that a major proposal was to confer citizenship on all those permanently resident in Sri Lanka as on October 30, 1964, and their descendants, on the condition that they and their descendants should not be citizens of any other country. The details of the draft new Constitution were not available at the time of writing this piece.

Though the Tamils of the North and East are war-weary, they would not easily be convinced about the feasibility of a separate region for Muslims and Sinhalese in their “homeland.” They sincerely believe that the region belongs to them and they have become a minority, especially in the Sinhala-dominated area, because of the government policy of colonisation of the Eastern region. The proposed division of the Eastern part is likely to create problems. In fact, there has been a lack of compromise and accommodation amongst both Sinhalese and Tamils. Moderates in both ethnic groups are generally called traitors and thus condemned by extremists who do not hesitate to use violent means to derail any practical solution to the ethnic crisis. In this respect, the Buddhist monks and the main Opposition political parties, whether the UNP or PA, have also played a negative role. As far as the Tamils are concerned, they have been denied a political party during the ethnic war because the LTTE has made its leaders irrelevant in the current bloody ethnic war.

The Tamils Tigers have enormous confidence in achieving their goal of total independence–Tamil Eelam (Tamil Homeland)–in the North and East combined. They reportedly use Ethiopia and Israel as their models.12 After years of fighting, Eritrians could achieve their goal of an independent sovereign country, carved out of Ethiopia. For years, the Palestine Liberation Organisation had been considered as a terrorist organisation but in the recent past it could secure its recognition as the true representative of Palestinians and negotiated with the leaders of the United States of America and Israel on the future status of their place of residence.

In the post-Cold War era, various ethnic groups have achieved independence, sovereign status or recognition of the regional autonomy. In this respect, there was a setback for secessionists of Quebec because they lost the Quebec sovereignty referendum by a narrow margin in 1995. But there have been more successes than losses for advocates of ethnic identity and regional autonomy for an ethnic group living in a region. In September 1997, the Labour government headed by Tony Blair successfully conducted referendums in Scotland and Wales to constitute new legislatures for them with the objective of bringing “government closer to the people.” In fact, Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain himself canvassed for establishing home rule in the two regions. Incidentally, earlier in 1979, the Labour government had held the referendum on the same issue in Scotland and Wales but then both rejected it.

The ethnic crises cannot be resolved by military means only. The Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland of Britain and Hamas in Israel cannot be controlled by efficient Armies and police forces. The LTTE may have received a setback because it was declared a terrorist organisation by the United States as well as the latter’s assistance in special training for controlling terrorist activities in Sri Lanka. The LTTE has also suffered a defeat in Jaffna as it was lost to the Sri Lankan Army. But such developments have not weakened the spirit of extremist Tamils. In certain quarters it is believed that no solution can be found to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka until Prabhakaran is physically eliminated. Such crises cannot be resolved by removing of a person. They may be weakened for some time but are likely to revitalise soon.

There is no universal solution to ethnic crises. Each crisis may be resolved differently. At times it may be resolved by outside intervention like the Indian intervention in the Bangladesh war. A peaceful solution to the ethnic crisis may be worked out if the conflicting parties make efforts to accommodate each other’s grievances. It is very difficult to find a solution to a protracted bloody ethnic crisis. Tamil and Sinhala extremists are likely to frustrate any sincere effort in resolving the ethnic crisis. The recent efforts of Kumaratunga may produce some positive results if the Sinhala Opposition political parties and Buddhist monks do not violently oppose her proposals and she can win the confidence of the Tamil masses. She has to contain her opponents by civilians means and not resorting to military means for achieving her objectives because that would be counter-productive. Apparently, she has been making slow but sincere efforts in resolving the bloody ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. She has moved in the right direction. But the crisis is a complex one and the path to its solution is tortuous. It may be defused with patiently handling and delicately involving of the Tamil extremists.