Feature Article

Rain highlights depth of emotions in Tamil Nadu

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 October 2008, 23:19 GMT]
The heavy downpour that started simultaneously with the Human Chain agitation in Tamil Nadu on Friday has in fact helped to understand the level of emotional involvement of the leaders and people of Tamil Nadu in the cause of the Eezham Tamils in Sri Lanka. It was a singular sight to see prominent politicians, celebrities of the cine-world, trade unionists, pontiffs of mutts, members of Churches and civil society activists amidst hundreds of thousands of people, largely students of both gender, completely drenched and standing in ankle deep water, voicing solidarity with their brethren across the Palk Straits, reported media sources in Chennai.

Popular poet Vairamuththu, third from the left, with fellow artistes and public amidst pouring rain, forming the 60 km long Human Chain in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.

Inaugurated by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu near the District Collector's Office, Chennai, the line of Human Chain extended for more than 60 km, up to the neighbouring district Chenkalpattu.

"It is not a usual protest in Tamil Nadu," remarked a pioneer Eezham Tamil militant and now a man of letters, to TamilNet. "It is regrettable that Eezham Tamils didn't reciprocate intimacy for quite some time."

"M S S Pandian must have seen something in the grass-roots of Tamil Nadu for coming out with the caution in a recent article in The Times of India that India may have to regret for not changing its course on Sri Lanka," he commented further.

The DMK leaders Anbazhagan, Arcot Veerasamy, M K Stalin, Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maran; PMK leaders Dr. Ramados, K S Mani; DK leader Veeramani; VCK leader Thirumavalavan; CPI state secretary D. Pandian, MGR Kazhakam leader R M. Veerappan, Puthiya Thamizhakam Krishnasamy, members of AISMK, the party of actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar and the veteran TNM leader and steadfast Eezham supporter Pazha Nedumaran were seen actively participating the event. There was a personal touch in the participation of both the wives of Kalaignar Karunanidhi and his family members.

Mr. Karunanidhi viewed the human chain from a slowly moving vehicle expressing sympathy with the participants and conversing with activists.

The MDMK, whose leader Vaiko was arrested a day before the event, had extended support to the students agitation on Friday.

The AIDMK led by Ms Jeyalalitha and the Congress didn't participate.

The far-reaching impact of the issue beyond politics could be seen in the participation of religious pontiffs like Kunrakkudi Ponnampala Adikal and a large representation from the Churches.

The cine-celebrities included directors Balu Mahendra, Bharathiraja, Seeman and Amir; Poet Vairamuttu; artists Satyaraj, Radhika, Nepolean, Nizhalkal Ravi and a host of several others.

Seeman and Amir were later arrested for their speeches at Rameswaram earlier on Sunday that if the Indian government can be silent even after the killing of 400 Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy, that marks the end of Indian nationalism and the birth of Tamil nationalism.

The few violent incidents reported included trespass into the Madurai office of Subramaniyaswamy, known for his anti-Eezham stand and attack on a statue of Rajiv Gandhi in North Chennai on Thursday night, which has ruffled the Congress Party.

A striking profile of the event was the mass participation of students, especially a large number of female students, belonging to universities, colleges, professional institutions and schools.

Earlier on Monday, various student organizations of Tamil Nadu forged an umbrella outfit called Confederation of All Students, just for the purpose of voicing the cause of Eezham Tamils. They decided to work jointly to bring in an uprising to stop war, to stop genocide, to stop all forms of Indian aid to Sri Lanka and to boycott and peacefully protest against media that sabotage the struggle of Eezham Tamils.

Significantly the student confederation passed a resolution endorsing the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976, which called for the Tamil homeland and the right to self-determination of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The resolution of the confederation demanded the Indian government to recognize the will of the people of Eelam and accept their wish whole-heartedly.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi viewed the human chain between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.
Veteran Tamil leader Pazha Nedumaran (in white, 4th from the right] photographed amid pouring rain while participating at the human chain protest announced by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. [Photo courtesy: Thinakkural]
[Photo courtesy: Thinakkural]



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