all towns are one, all men our kin.
|Trans State Nation
Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha
Poet Kannadasan was a master in summarising the essence of universal folk wisdom into four lines. In one memorable movie lyric, he wrote,
In not-so elegant translation, these lines state,
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,
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,
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,
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,
Apart from their prediction on the origin of Eelam, they also have predicted other new baby states in Asia. These include,
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:
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,
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.