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
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.sangam.org also published
some relevant articles on this subject.
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
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
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.