Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam > Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam: Some Reflections - Sara Ananthan

Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam

Some Reflections
Sara Ananthan, 23 January 2005

As our Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan said so beautifully in those memorable lines  “Natporulai Thedi Civanthana Ganiar Nencham” (நட்பொருளைத் தேடி சிவந்தன ஞானியார் நெஞ்சம்), this “Thedal"or “Search for Multifaceted Knowledge” is very important in one’s life. For this Thedal one only needs to visit the tamilnation.org web site which provides all the material and the relevant links.

In this era of mind altering media onslaught, which is unashamedly proclaimed as 'public opinion shaping', truth is the first casualty. tamilnation.org is the eternal sun in the galaxy of web sites that shine in the cyber space to share our side of the story and to bring about a growing togetherness in the Tamil Diaspora. We, the Tamil community are indebted to you for providing this invaluable service at this critical time of our history.

The coverage of the Tsunami disaster by tamilnation.org is exemplary. The Tsunami poems as you have rightly described reflect the healing power of poetry. The Tsunami Poem by Puthuvai is outstanding and portrays the current situation aptly. Other poems also depict the soul wrenching pangs felt by this disaster. 

But one is disappointed with the poem by Mu. Karunanidhi. The poem may show his literary talent but provides solace to none - one would expect much more from him regarding this Tsunami which seems to torment us Tamils from ancient times. Kalaignar could have come out with a poem to place the recent Tsunami in the context of the other three or so ancient Tsunamis that are supposed to have wreaked havoc in ancient Tamil land. It is still not late. As a renowned authority on Tamil Sangam literature, we expect Kalignar is well endowed for this task. In addition, we expect our beloved Kalaignar to rekindle the interest in scholarly research into ancient Tamil cities that were reportedly engulfed by the sea. Regarding this subject, there is an interesting article in the www.intamm.com  under the heading History. After the Tsunami, the web sites www.tamilnet.com  and www.sangam.org  also published some relevant articles on this subject.

History is often written by the conqueror and for the conqueror and never written for the vanquished. There is so much scholarly research about Pompeii and we know exactly what happened there but there is only very little research if any about Poompuhar. Who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs? Is it because, that the powers that be, do not wish to bring out the true history of a vanquished people. Or are they afraid that contemporary history will have to be rewritten once the true history is exposed?

In a recent Television program regarding the Biblical Exodus, scholars discussed the subject in depth and concluded that the parting of the sea, the safe crossing of Moses and his disciples and the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers who followed them when the waters flowed back into place can be attributed to a Tsunami event that occurred during that ancient time.

There is an intriguing story in Hindu mythology, in which Aryan sage Agastya was sent down to South India, by Lord Shiva to balance the weight that became heavier at the Himalayas (North India) due to the multitudes who had descended on the Himalayas to witness Lord Shiva’s wedding. It was said that this dangerous tilt was abated by the arrival of the sage Agastya to South India. This may be a story to disguise the export of Hinduism into South India by the Aryan sage Agastya. The event may have happened during the last major Tsunami which struck South India and engulfed large parts of the ancient Tamil homeland. As during any major calamity, especially in those ancient times, people would have been more susceptible to religious conversion and may have become easy prey to a religion based on Karma theory which can easily explain away any misfortune to one’s past Karma. This may also explain the submerging of ancient Kumari Kandam by sea. It may be relevant to recall that the scientific studies in plate tectonics support the theory that the Indian – Australian plate is pushing beneath the Eurasian plate which in turn pushes the Himalayan mountain systems up.

It is important to ensure in the present Tsunami disaster, that all resources that are available should be spent on building well planned safe and solid houses with all amenities for the people. Not flimsy huts for these hapless people and strong granite abodes for their gods. In Tamil Nadu, there are strong cyclone shelters built with all facilities to accommodate people during cyclones. As we now know that we live in a Tsunami prone area, we could emulate such shelters in our areas which can double up as indoor stadiums during normal times.

It appears that lots of people were trapped as they went to watch the receding seas, it is also important for our Tamil pundits to come out with two easily understandable Tamil words to describe and differentiate the two Tsunami waves so that people are forewarned about the impending danger of the receding Tsunami waves. If the stories are true, it wrenches one’s heart to believe that people could fall such an easy prey to a natural disaster while all the wild animals in the Yala National Park escaped to safety. If man can triumph by sending explorers to outer space we can easily prevent this type of natural disaster by foresight in installing early warning systems and well organized evacuation plans.

It is important for us to realize that service to people is service to god. There is no other service greater than tending to the needy. This meritorious service alone will give us the moral strength to overcome and triumph any kind of Tsunamis that we may encounter in the future.


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