Feature Article
2ND LEAD (Corrections)

Tamil Nadu activists warn New Delhi for proxy meddling with Tamils’ affairs

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:56 GMT]
The Police in Tamil Nadu, under the pressure of New Delhi, has forcefully clamped down on the peaceful Mu’l’livaaykkaal Remembrance Day on 21st of May. The brutal conduct by the Police has its origins from Jallikkaddu struggle, which was won by the masses of Tamil Nadu earlier this year. Following the victory of the mass struggle, the Police force in Tamil Nadu, initially supportive of the Jallikkaddu struggle, was suddenly let loose against the activists and particularly targeting the grassroots with violence as never witnessed before at the instigation by New Delhi. Ideology oriented Tamil activists of movements such as May 17 Movement have been targeted on both the occasions. The BJP and the Central Government of India will be sharply opposed for meddling in Tamil affairs through its proxies in Tamil Nadu and for instigating police violence, the activists in Tamil Nadu have warned.

Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance

The new genre of activists in Tamil Nadu have students, artists and lawyers as the intellectual bedrock of Tamil activism in addition to the grassroots. The activists intentionally keep them away from the electoral politics. Their orientation has been shaped by the thoughts of activists such as K. Muthukumar, who sacrificed their lives by self-immolation urging new awakening in Tamil Nadu during the genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2009.

Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance
Muthukumar who was a journalist and a cinema artist (assistant director) wrote an inspiring letter before his self-immolation. He addressed the students to get rid of Congress proxy rule in Tamil Nadu and the events that followed throughout the years just made it happen, including the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa calling for international investigation on Tamil genocide and demanding UN plebiscite on independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam.

The events taking place in Tamil Nadu, especially New Delhi’s proxy meddling in Tamil affairs after Jayalaithaa's demise, are only going to bring Tamil Nadu to the next phase in the struggle, say political observers in Chennai. This time, the BJP and other Tamil Nadu parties that have forsaken the Tamil cause long ago, will see their demise in the State, the observers in Chennai, who have been studying the post-Mu'l'livaaykkaal discourses in Tamil Nadu, said. The Tamil activists, despite their lack of articulation to the outside world, seem to grasp the geo-political dimensions of their struggle, the observers further say.

During the popular uprising in January against the centre imposed Jallikkaddu ban, the Indian Establishment passed a court order, which prohibited public assembly in Marina beach in attempts to disintegrate the Tamil popular people protests. It is this same order, which is being utilized to criminalize the Tamil activists and public from conducting the Mulli’vaikal Remembrance Day.

The Tamil activists have been conducting Mu'l'liavaakkaal Remembrance Day at Marina Beach for 6 years. In the invitation to attend the event, May 17 Movement, was referring to the location as ‘Thamizhar Kadal’ (The sea of Tamils).

Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance in Tamil Nadu

As the candle vigil was to begin on Sunday evening, the Tamil Nadu police started to disperse the people who had gathered. The Police forcefully detained the activists and participants.

17 Tamil activists with background in the May 17 movement, Thamizhar Vidiyal Katchi, Kanchipuram Makka'l Man'ram have been arrested by the police and remanded at Puzhal Jail.

Thirumurgan Gandhi, the coordinator of the May 17 movement, is among the arrested and remanded.

Over 300 people, both activists from the various organisations including the leader of Tamil Nadu Vaazhvurimaik Kadchi, Mr Velmurugan, were participating in the memorial event wearing black shirts and carrying candle lights. They were arrested and temporarily detained by the police. The police indulged in violence when dispersing the public and arresting the activists.

Activist on ground allege, the authorities, acting on behalf of the central government targeted the members of the organizing Tamil social movements and deployed physical attacks against them. It is also notable that the arrested activists are members of social movements who are the most persistent organizations in Tamil Nadu who have been principally opposing the BJP and the Central government for the past few years.

Thirumurgan Gandhi, while taken to police bus to be driven away to custody, told media that both the dominant parties in Tamil Nadu and the incumbent State government have succumbed to the central government and the BJP.

“The social movements, will prove that we will fight for the justice of Eezham Tamils massacred in the genocide by achieving Tamil Eelam. This State (New Delhi) did not take actions to prevent the war which occurred in Eezham, but they have decided to prohibit even the remembrance of the genocide, indicating their extent of anti-Tamil interests. The government in place now is aiding the Sri Lankan state and it’s against Tamil interests,” he said passing a message to the people of Tamil Nadu.

“With such a government led by the BJP, it is the responsibility of the people’s movement in Tamil Nadu to ensure its downfall. There is no oppositional power in Tamil Nadu, as they have succumbed to New Delhi and BJP, the only oppositional forces are the social movements.”

The social movements and activists in Tamil Nadu are accusing the transitional State government, which was installed following former chief minister Jayalalitha’s untimely demise, to being orchestrated by the BJP government in New Delhi.

These incidents, follow an series of policies and actions from the central government for the past year, which have meant incrimination upon the sovereignty of the Tamil Nadu state government and the democratic interests of the Tamil Nadu people. The police have filed cases under several criminal law sections against the remanded activists. Sources in Tamilnadu told Tamilnet, that the activists have been detained under laws pertaining to use of dangerous weapon, public ordnance violation, assembly of subservient elements and unlawful activities under section 147, section 148, section 341, section 506/1 and section 188.

Six activists of May 17 Movement including Thirumurgan Gandhi, Manoj, Sivakumar, Manithurai, Nagendran and Suresh are being detained by the police along with Thamizhar Vidiyal Kadchi leader Tyson, district coordinator Ilamaran, George, Arun, Thananjeyan, Gokul, Harish and Kalaivaanan. An activist by the name Thanjai Thamizhan from Kanchipuram Makka'l Man'ram is also among the arrested.

New Delhi is trying to circumscribe both the main oppositional party and the incumbent part and silent the dissent emanating from basis of Tamil nationalism, the activists say.

The social movements and political organizations participating in the Candle Vigil dedicated to the Eezham Tamils who perished in the genocide were May 17 movement, Thamizhar Vaazhvurimaik Kadchi, Thamizhar Vidiyal Kadchi, VCK, Social Democratic Party of India, Kanchipuram Makka'l Man'ram, Thanthai Periyaar Dravidia Kazhakam, Thamizh Pulika'l Kadchi, MDMK, Tamil Liberation Kazhakam, Dravidar Viduthalaik Kazhakam, Tamil Education Iyakkam, December 3 Iyakkam, Thatsaarpu Vivaasaayika'l Sangam and Poo-ulakin Na'nparka'l (Friends of Nature).

Film Director Gowtaman, who has been an active supporter of Eezham Tamil cause and who played a key role in Jallikkaddu protest, and veteran artist Veera Santhanam, a long time supporter of Tamil Eelam struggle, were also participants at the candle vigil.

Initially, over 200 activists were detained from the various movements present at the remembrance event and many of them were later released while the 17 activists are detained for a prolonged time.

* * *

The following are extracts from what Muthukumar wrote to Eezham Tamils and to the Tamil Nadu Police in his last letter on 29 January 2009.

Youth belonging to the Tamil Nadu Police Force:

“I believe that you would have joined the police force with noble intentions of serving the people and weeding out anti-social elements. But, does the ruling class allow you to do that? By allowing you to commit minor mistakes, the ruling class hides its major crimes. It converts you into its trained henchmen, and makes you fight against the same people whom you wanted to serve. It is the Tamil Nadu police who guard Delhi's Tihar Jail. One of the oldest police forces in India, the Tamil Nadu police is one of the very best. But, are you given that respect by the Indian government?

“[...] At this historical juncture, only if you stand on the side of the people, you can regain the respect that you have lost among the people. Just once try to dedicate yourself to the fellow Tamils. They will carry you in golden plates. The feeling of gratitude among Tamil people is immeasurable. Because somebody spent his own money and built a dam, the Tamils on the Mullai river in Madurai built a temple and name their children after that man. All that you have to do is, when Tamil Nadu is boiling, you should refuse to cooperate with the Central Government officials, and you should reveal to the Tamil people who are the ones working for R.A.W and CBI. Do at least this. The people will take care of the rest.”

To People of Tamil Eelam, and Liberation Tigers...:

All eyes are now in the direction of Mullaiththeevu. Tamil Nadu is also emotionally only on your side. It also wants to do something else. But what can we do? We don't have a true leader like you have... Please don't leave hope. Such a leader will emerge from Tamil Nadu only in such desperate times. Until then, strengthen the hands of the Tigers. Because the 1965 anti-Hindi agitation was placed in the hands of a few selfish people, the history of Tamil Nadu has been dragged to the stone ages. Please don't do that mistake.

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