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 by Sachi Sri Kantha

Tamil Eelam in the year 2000


Poet Kannadasan was a master in summarising the essence of universal folk wisdom into four lines. In one memorable movie lyric, he wrote,

"Aduththavan vaazhvinai keduthavan oru naal
paduththa pin ezha maaddaan
Avanathu kannakkai einthohaipooddu
Aandavan vida maaddaan"

In not-so elegant translation, these lines state,

"He who spoils the life of others
would one day fail to awake from sleep
His misdeeds measured and life
clipped by the Almighty's sweep"

The fate of the ten top Sri Lankan army brass who could not survive the landmine blast in August 1992 vindicates the truth in this folk wisdom. In the very next lines of the same lyric, Kannadasan paraphrased Abraham Lincoln's much quoted maxim, "You can fool all the people some of the time; and some people for all the time; but you cannot fool all the people all of the time".

The Tamil poet-laureate wrote,

"Palarukku sila kaalam; ethuvum
silarukku pala kaalam;
evarukkum oru kaalam; unmai
velivarum ethirkaalam"

Despite the validity of these universal maxims, quite a number of journalists (both Sinhalese and Tamils) still keep on dispensing half-truths and untruths. For instance, one of the well-versed journalists in Sri Lanka, Mervyn de Silva commented recently on the eulogy to the ten prominent Sinhalese casualties of August,

"This (the current war between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE) was not a Sinhala-Tamil war. It was a war against a group of guerrillas, one of the most ferocious in the world, who had launched a war to establish a separate state because that was the only way to remedy many, long-standing grievances against the Sri Lankan state in their view" (Lanka Guardian, 15 August 1992).

In this view, whose original proponent was none other than J. R. Jayewardene, the Tamil struggle for equality has been completely twisted into a "war with ferocious guerrillas". Even the editorialist of the Tamil Times questioned,

"Can the Tigers legitimately claim that they have achieved by engaging in this war more power or territory than they possessed before June 1990 when they were negotiating with the government?" (Tamil Times, August 1992)

Well, as poet Kannadasan has aptly written. "evarukkum oru kaalam; unmai velivarum ethir kaalam", the answer to these doubters has been provided by a panel consisting of six of the North America's most noted political geographers.

According to the Los Angeles Times World Report I (29 August 1992), these geographers predict that the maps of the world in the year 2000 and beyond will have a separate Tamil homeland Eelam. Will anyone doubt that this pragmatic prediction is mainly the result of LTTE's ardent campaign for the past 9 years for a separate state for Tamils? And those who have issued this prediction are not partisans or sympathizers of the LTTE. They are,

1. William B. Wood, chief geographer, U.S. State Department
2. Lee Schwartz, geographer, U.S. State Department
3. David B. Knight, chairman of International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on the World Political Map
4. H. J. de Blij, professor, Foreign Service Institute, Georgetown University
5. George Demko, director of Rockefeller Center, Darthmouth College
6. Stanley D. Brunn, member of IGU Commission on the World Political Map and professor, University of Kentucky.

Apart from their prediction on the origin of Eelam, they also have predicted other new baby states in Asia. These include,

1. Mindanao breaks off from Philippines.
2. Myanmar (formerly Burma) divides into three separate entities; East Burma, Rangoon and West Burma.
3. Cambodia divides along Mekong river into East Cambodia and West Cambodia.
4. India's Punjab state gains greater autonomy and moves toward unification with the Pakistani state of the same name in a `Greater Punjab'.
5. Muslims in northern Kashmir region gain self-rule and join their clansmen in Pakistan.
6. The Chinese region of Inner Mongolia joins independent Mongolia.
7. Pushtuns of southeastern Afghanistan join their ethnic brethren in Pakistan to form a new country called Pushtunistan.
8. Northeastern part of Afghanistan joins Tajikistan.
9. Northwestern tip of Tajikistan and part of northern Afghanistan become part of Uzbekistan.

This prediction on the origin of Eelam in the global map of year 2000 cannot be sweet to the palate of Sinhalese power-brokers... (However) we need to concentrate our efforts to complete the mission. And no one other than Kannadasan had told it to us better. In a song composed for one of the MGR's movies, Panathottam, the poet-laureate advised:

"Ennathaan nadakkum nadakkaddume
Iruttinil neethi maraiyaddume
Thannaale velivarum thayangaathe - oru
Thalaivan irukkiraan mayangaathe''

Whatever may happen and even when justice seems hidden in darkness, somehow it will come to light and gain recognition. The recognition given to Eelam by the geographers of international repute seems to prove the poet's lines. Kannadasan continued,

"Pinnale therivathu adichchuvadu
Munnale iruppathu avan veedu
naduvinile nee villaiaadu
Nallathai ninaiththe pooraadu''

"Ulagaththil thirudarkal sari paathi
Oomaikal kurudarkal athil paathi
Kalagaththil pirappathu thaan neethi - manam
kalangaathe mathi mayangaathe".

Though this movie lyric was written by Kannadasan more than 30 years ago, one can still marvel at the meaning of these verses and its relevance to the current scene in Eelam. The poet-laureate observes that the past is imprinted with memorable footsteps and one needs to target the future and fight for the good cause. He also cautions that the world is filled with "thieves" and among them, "dumb and blind folks" comprise half the population.

The figurative reference to the "dumb and blind folks" is   poetic, when one thinks of the callousness of the majority of international news media to the atrocities in Sri Lanka and Somalia, though similar happenings in Sarajevo have been highlighted frequently.

Kannadasan also projects hope by saying, "Kalagaththil pirappathu thaan neethi - manam kalangaathe mathi mayangaathe". In this line, the poet paraphrases a popular proverb in Tamil language, "Kalagam piranthaal niyaayam pirakkum" (Uprising will give birth to justice). The last phrase "manam kalangaathe - mathi mayangaathe" (Do not despair and don't be deceived)   needs to be taken note of seriously by all the well wishers of Tamil Eelam.


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