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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of Struggle for Tamil Eelam > India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > MDMK Rally in Erode, Tamil Nadu
India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
Marumazharchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(MDMK) Rally - Erode, Tamil Nadu
1 July 2000
[See also We aren't responsible, if Lanka gets split: Vaiko]
|Slogans at the Erode rally included:
"Eela Tamizhan pazhiyanal, Vaiko thondan puliyaavan"
...And V. Gangadhar writing in the Hindustan Times on 17 July 2000, says North is north and South is south and adds: "...Over the decades, the Dravidian Tamilian, who was less educated and less enterprising, had been fed an endless stream of propaganda focused on the former greatness of his land and the eternal glory of his language. The Dravidian politicians fed him on dreams and eloquence and urged that it was possible to regain the lost glory of his State..."
"The impressive rally of Marumazharchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) organised to mark its first district conference titled "Tamizhaga Ezhutchi Conclave' and attended by thousands of enthusiastic party cadre on Saturday (1 July 2000) wound its way through the busy streets of this 'Turmeric Town' to the conference venue at Sholar.... The cadre who were braving a scorching sun and a sultry afternoon remained mute and they became enthused when slogans relating to Eelam were raised. The response was in a high pitch. A slogan was raised by youth wing cadre stating that `"Eela Tamizhan pazhiyanal, Vaiko thondan puliyaavan (If Eelam Tamils continue to perish, Vaiko's cadre will turn into Liberation Tigers") Slogans like "Eela Tamizhan sindhum ratham em ratham'' ("The blood shed by Eelam Tamils is our blood''). Kappom kappom Tamizhanai kappom, Kuduppom kuduppom kural koduppom - Eelam malara kural koduppom'' (We will raise our voice for the birth of the Eelam nation) were also heard." .... The rally witnessed some youngsters with a ferocious and rebellious bent of mind walking with a picture of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in post-card size on their chest.... At the end of the day one got the impression that if Vaiko's idea was to strengthen the party down the line and infuse confidence in the minds of the cadre when the elections are round the corner, he can rest assured that his mission has been accomplished. The rally was definitely a morale booster to the thousands of those who have come here."
Newindpress.com, advertised as South India's leading newsite, reported on 3 July 2000:And for V. Gangadhar writing in the Hindustan Times on 17 July 2000, North is north and South is south, the 'double speak' at the MDMK rally at Erode 'is now forgotten' but 'the people of Tamil Nadu have more in common with the citizens of Jaffna and other Tamil strongholds in Sri Lanka, than the UP and Bihari bhaiyas or the Shiv Sainiks of Mumbai':
However, for the Statesman it was a case of Vaiko walking on edge as supporters hail Tigers. It reported on 2 July 2000:
" A pro-LTTE procession by the MDMK ahead of its two-day conference made a hero out of Velupillai Pirabhakaran here today, throwing to the winds Mr Gopalasamy Vaiko�s promise to the Prime Minister that his party would not embarrass the NDA over Eelam. Youths with Pirabhakaran badges pinned on their shirts and cloth imprints tied on sleeves wound around the town in a large procession to the meeting venue at Solar some four km off, carrying banners that read �let Tamil Eelam blossom and let commander Pirabhakaran rule it.� The marchers warned President Chandrika Kumaratunga the Tigers would win the Sri Lankan war, and called for �the voice lending support to Eelam Tamils to reverberate in all directions�. The �blood spilt by Eelam Tamils is our own,� they said, and declared: �We will voice, we will voice, our demand for Tamil Eelam to blossom.�
|"The doublespeak in the recent
Erode meet organised by Mr Vaiko�s MDMK has now been forgotten.
Home Minister L.K. Advani, who told the gathering that the
Centre was not in favour of a separate state of Eelam in Sri
Lanka, conveniently left Erode after his speech.
It was not known if he was aware of the presence of the �Tamil warriors� who goose stepped in the style of former Nazi troops and sported photographs of the LTTE chief, Prabhakaran, on their chests. Even before Mr Advani�s shadow had disappeared, the rabble-rousing PMK leader, Dr Ramadoss, castigated the media for �misrepresenting� the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils and said that nothing but a separate �Eelam� would satisfy them.
The double-talk came later when the two leaders met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and assured him that they would abide by the wishes of the Centre on the Sri Lankan issue. Mr Vaiko and Mr Ramadoss must have found it difficult to suppress their giggles. Hadn�t they taken the Centre for a ride?
Today, the idea of a great Tamil state is only a dream. But the average �Dravidian Tamilian�, immersed in historical novels, passionate Tamil films and unceasing propaganda on the glory of his state and language, is positive that one day, his dream would be realised. Hadn�t the flags of the ancient Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava kings flown all over India and even Lanka in the past? Hadn�t the great Tamil historical novelist, �Kalki�, mentioned in his epic novel, Ponniyin Selvan, how the Chola kings had fought to gain a foothold in Lanka?
This obsession has not affected the Tamil Brahmins who were denied opportunities in their own State, and hence were quick to seek their fortunes elsewhere in India and abroad. Over the decades, the Dravidian Tamilian, who was less educated and less enterprising, had been fed an endless stream of propaganda focused on the former greatness of his land and the eternal glory of his language. The Dravidian politicians fed him on dreams and eloquence and urged that it was possible to regain the lost glory of his State.
Yes, ancient Tamil Nadu had a glorious history. Since it was not torn asunder by foreign invaders, the region produced a glittering procession of kings who were excellent administrators and cared for the people. The Dravidian movement which began during the Twenties was never tired of saying how their kings had conquered the North and brought back holy stones which were used in building temples for goddesses like Kannagi. Tamil ships had traded extensively in the South Asia region.
The Dravidian leaders, beginning with �Periyar� (E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker) and his Dravida Kazhagam followers, held the North and its �Brahmin� leadership responsible for much of the ills of their own region. They felt that the Congress party which was dominated by North Indian leaders had monopolised the freedom struggle. The achievements of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Azad were no doubt laudable, but the South too had contributed to the struggle by way of Rajaji, poet Bharati and patriot V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, who broke the monopoly of British commercial shipping....
But even a Dravidian state had limited influence in the overall Indian frame. A definite move for secession was thwarted by the Chinese invasion in 1962. Dravidian leaders like Annadurai realised it would be fatal to open the issue when national security was threatened. Yet, the average Tamilian was made to feel that in independent India, his intellectual and cultural superiority was never appreciated. The North was all-domineering.
The cow belt was no doubt associated with corrupt, brutal politicians, but it held the key to India�s political future. Every political leader talked only of UP and Bihar. Added to this was the cultural isolation. Most North Indians believed that anything or anyone south of Maharashtra was just madrasi, who ate idlis, slurped sambhar and screamed aiyeyo all the time. How many North Indians tried to pick up languages from the South or learnt to appreciate Carnatic music? When the average Tamilian went to the North, he often felt he was in a foreign country.
And having been brainwashed by his mentors on his own superiority, the Dravidian Tamilian naturally sympathised with the persecution of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It was easy to visualise Prabhakaran and his gang of killers as the real �saviours� of the Tamils and their culture. If the North Indians could not appreciate this, what was wrong in supporting the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka and dreaming that one day, �Eelam� and Tamil Nadu could form a greater Tamil State?
Of course, the DMK, MDMK and the PMK had to ally themselves temporarily with the North-dominated National Democratic Alliance but Vaiko and company know that the weak Central structure would crumble one day. It has to. And then they would come out more strongly and passionately for a permanent alliance with Prabhakaran�s Eelam."