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 Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

Politics of the Cuckoos Nest

April 1992

Mr.Madan Mohan Rao is concerned about the views expressed by the Tamil Nation. We do not know about Mr. Madan Mohan Rao, except ofcourse that he is the author of an article entitled ''Tigers in Tamil Nadu: Politics of cuckoos nest'' which appeared in the Sri Lanka government controlled Sunday Times on March 15.

The reference to the ''cuckoos nest'' was to the conference organised by the ''Viduthalai Kuyilgal'' in Madras on March 8 which was banned by the Police. Mr. Mohan Rao is worried that 'Tamil separatists have become bolder by the day in Tamil Nadu'. He says and we quote him:

"The LTTE's mouthpiece, Tamil Nation now published from London, highlights news from Indian states such as Punjab, Kashmir and Assam, where separatist struggles are on. It repeated an anti-Indian editorial warning of India's disintegra-tion.The editorial in question says:

'Though reports of disintegration of the Indian Union are often great exaggerated, events in the Soviet Union show that empires do crumble, if they do not recognise well in time, the political force of emergent nationalisms, and take steps to restructure in a genuine and meaningful way. And for the Indian Union, the time is now. Unity will emerge only when New Delhi acquires the vision and the strength to constitute a confederal commonwealth of free and equal nations.

It will be futile for New Delhi to order the rising tide of emergent national-isms to recede.The rising tide of Sikh nationalism, will not recede in the years to come. Neither will Kashmiri nationalism recede. Nor will Assamese nationalism. Nor for that matter, will Tamil nationalism recede in the years to come. On the contrary, these nationalisms will grow from year to year. There are momentous changes beginning to take shape all over the world and India can-not insulate herself from the new dispensation.""

We are grateful to Mr.Rao for the extensive coverage given to our views... However, instead of screaming in fear about 'separatists' becoming bolder day by day, Mr.Mohan Rao and his ilk will better serve the cause of Indian unity, which they endeavour to espouse, if they wake up to the reality that Pramatha Chauduri, the famous Bengali patriot and writer, saw in the 1920s when he wrote in Bengali:

'You have accused me of Bengali patriotism. I feel bound to reply. If it is a crime for a Bengali to harbour and encourage Bengali patriotism in his mind, then I am guilty. But I ask you: what other patriotism do you expect from a Bengali writer?... If self determination is not suited to us, then it is not suited at all to Europe. No people in Europe are as different, one from another, as our people. There is not that much difference between England and Holland as there is between Madras and Bengal. Even France and Germany are not that far apart. If some of our politicians shudder at the mention of provincial patriotism, it is because their beliefs smack of narrow national selfishness... To be united due to outside pressure and to unite through mutual regard are not the same...''

Let us reassure Mr.Rao that the Tamil Nation is not anti Indian. We believe that the 1990s will demonstrate that the unity of India will not achieved by suppressing the national aspirations of the different peoples of India. We repeat our belief that ''unity will emerge only when New Delhi acquires the vision and the strength to constitute a confederal commonwealth of free and equal nations'' and we are confident that the coming years will prove us right. If confederation is denied, separation and division are inevitable and to say that and to believe that is not to be anti Indian.

Self-determination is not a dirty word. On the contrary, it is a word which encapsulates the single most powerful political force of this decade. To deny that is to talk about not the politics of the cuckoos nest but about the politics of cloud cuckooland.

As for the Tamil Nation being an LTTE mouthpiece, the fact that Mr.Rao writes to the Sri Lankan Government controlled Sunday Times from Madras, should not prevent him from recognising the force of the words of our Founding Editor who today languishes in an Indian jail, for standing up for that which he believes:

''Tamil Nation is nobody's mouthpiece and is proud of its individuality and independence. If an Indian newspaper supports the Palestinian cause, it does not become a PLO mouthpiece, does it?''

We repeat, Tamil Nation is nobody's mouthpiece. It was and is fiercely independent. It also fearlessly supports the Tamil struggle for national self determination. If all that makes the Tamil Nation a tiger, then so be it.

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