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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Selected Writings
Ana Pararajasingham, Australia

A Tribute to Anton Balasingham
at Anjali Meeting in Sydney, Australia on 17 December  2006
[see also One Hundred Tamils of 20th/21st Centuries - Anton Balasingham]

"His earthy sense of humour and his penchant for racy language often shocked the more staid members of the Tamil community, but these attributes were very much part of his personality which was grounded in the language and ethos of the ordinary masses. I think it is best that we remember him - through his own work, the words his beloved wife Adele and  the tribute paid by our national leader. A sense of Mr Balasingham's quest for the ultimate truth is to be found in the Tamil book 'Vidutalai' a collection of some of his thoughts. The essay entitled 'Man's search for Man '(மனிதனைத் தேடும் மனிதன்) encapsulates it well in this paragraph that begins as follows: "Who am I? This is the cry that emanated from a remote corner of this vast universe inhabited by Man. Ever since then Man has been on a quest. Civilizations have risen and fallen; many mysteries have been unravelled but Man's quest continues.""


 
இந்தக் கூட்டத்திற்க்கு தலைமை தாஙகும் சஞ்சயன் அவர்களுககும், தமிழர் தேசியக் கூட்டணியினை இலங்ககை பாராளுமனறத்தில் பிரதிநிகதித்தபடுதத்தும் மாண்புமிக்க ஈழவேந்தன அவர்களுக்கும்,  இங்கு குழுமியிருக்கம் மற்ற யாவுருக்கும் எனது கவலை கலந்த அன்பு வணக்கங்கள்.

'தேசத்தின் குரல்' எனறு நமது தேசியத்தலைவரால் போற்றப்பட்ட, எமது அன்பிற்கும் மதிப்பிற்கும் பாத்திரமான பாலா அண்ணை என்று எம்மால்க அழைக்கப்பட்ட திரு Anton Balasingham என்ற ஒரு இலட்சிய வாதியை நினைவு கூரக் கூடியுள்ளோம்.

இந்த்க்கூட்டத்தில் தமிழில் நன்றாகப பேசக்கூடிய பலர் இருப்பதாலும் இங்கு வருகை தந்திருக்கும் இளம் சந்நதியனர் இக்கூட்டத்தில் பங்குபெற வேண்டும் என்ற நோக்கத்துடனும் எனது உரையை உங்கள் அனுமதியுடன் ஆங்கிலத்தில் தொடர்கிறேன்.

Ladies & gentleman, we are gathered here today to pay tribute to a man fondly remembered by many of us as Bala Annai whose contribution to the struggle for independence of his people will be etched forever in their hearts and minds .

I am privileged in that I have met Bala Annai in person. I remember quite vividly my very first meeting in the home of my friend Thanapalasingam in late 1989. The last occasion was in October 2004 in Geneva. In between there were a few in London and in the Vanni.

I will be lying if I say that I came to know him through these encounters. But thanks to these meetings he ceased to be a remote figure. Instead, I was able to see him as a flesh and blood human being with a deep allegiance, love and passion for the Tamil cause.

There is no denying that Anton Balasingham was a complex and highly intelligent man whose commitment to the emancipation of his people was driven by his quest for the truth. It was indeed this relentless search for the truth, pursued through the disciplines of sociology, philosophy and politics that led him to dedicate his life to the Tamil cause.

The Tamil cause to him was not merely the liberation of his people from the clutches of Sinhala hegemony. It also involved freeing them from an oppressive, feudal, cast conscious and class driven social order. As a son of the soil (or to use the Tamil term மண்ணின் மைந்தன்), he was part and parcel of the people who faced this oppression and realised that liberation meant much more than a change of political masters.

His earthy sense of humour and his penchant for racy language often shocked the more staid members of the Tamil community, but these attributes were very much part of his personality which was grounded in the language and ethos of the ordinary masses. I think it is best that we remember him - through his own work, the words his beloved wife Adele and  the tribute paid by our national leader. A sense of Mr Balasingham's quest for the ultimate truth is to be found in the Tamil book 'Vidutalai' a collection of some of his thoughts. The essay entitled 'Man's search for Man '(மனிதனைத்; தேடும் மனிதன்) encapsulates it well in this paragraph that begins as follows: "Who am I? This is the cry that emanated from a remote corner of this vast universe inhabited by Man. Ever since then Man has been on a quest. Civilizations have risen and fallen; many mysteries have been unravelled but Man's quest continues."

Adele in her autobiography 'The Will to Freedom" had this to say:

"Bala was that exceptional human being who is humble but not weak; who is simple but yet deep; who is assertive but not egoistic who is confident but not arrogant ,who is generous, who is proud but not vain"

Then there is the moving tribute paid by our national leader :

"ஒரு குடும்பமாக ஒன்றுசேர்ந்து ஒத்திசைவாக ஒன்றித்திருந்த நாட்களில் அவர் ஒரு சாதாரண மனிதப்பிறவி அல்ல என்பதைக் கண்டுகொண்டேன். மோசமாகச் சுகவீனமுற்று தினம்தினம் சாவோடு போராடியபோதும், தாங்கமுடியாத உடல்உபாதைகளால் வருந்தியபோதும், தளர்ந்துபோகாத உறுதிப்பாடு அவரிடம் இருந்தது. அவரின் இந்த இலட்சிய உறுதி எனது நெஞ்சத்தைத் தொட்டுநின்றது. அவர் துன்பத்தால் துவண்டபோதெல்லாம் எனது ஆன்மாவும் கலங்கியழுதது.!

The extent of Anton Balasingham's contribution to the Tamil cause is an enduring and historic one. He was a மாமனிதர்,  மாவீரன் and more. Residing within him was an indomitable spirit that yearned for freedom and a mind in search of the truth.

He was an idealist who embraced life with all its joys and tribulations by partaking in its simple pleasures; by rejoicing with those who rejoiced and weeping with those who wept. Above all by living out an authentic life that bound him to a cause that gave meaning to his own existence.

We share Adele Acca's grief and will remember her in the days to come as she copes with the immense loss of her husband. We know that she will draw courage from the memory of Bala Annai - an exceptional human being.

 

 

 

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