S.P. Udayakumar

"A race of people is like an individual man: until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its history, expresses its own culture and affirm its own selfhood, it cannot fulfill itself." – Malcolm X
TASA – Tamilar Samadana Aayvagam (Tamils’ Peace Research Institute)

Varalaaru–Sahavazhvu–Yethirgalam (History–Coexistence–Futures)
‘Pathetic’ is the word that comes to my mind when I think of the proud and courageous Tamil people. We have lost track of our history, heritage, culture and accomplishments. We are a beaten people in today’s globalizing world and we are completely lost in political wilderness.
There was a time when Fiji was considered to be a Tamil outpost in the South Pacific but today only a few thousand people would consider themselves as Tamils. The Tamils in Malaysia have been discriminated against by the Malaysian government and their position continues to be quite precarious despite the recent protests and political organizing. In Sri Lanka there is a genocide going on right now by the Rajapakse brothers, the Sinhala chauvinists and their army.
The irony of the situation is that the 65-million Tamils in India can hardly do anything about anything. We have to turn to distant New Delhi and beg and plead and pray to defend our people’s welfare and interests. The Hindi imperialists take their sweet time even to consider our requests seriously. We are derided and discriminated against as "madrasis" which can mean many things ranging from "an idiot" to "a traitor." We are deemed to be suspicious, untrustworthy, disloyal, separatist and many such things.
If we look at the Tamil Nadu politics, we see nothing but corruption, selfishness, opportunism and unprincipled quest for power. The cinema-influenced Tamil politicians speak insincere archaic language, behave like adolescents, enact deceptive dramas to trick the people and would stoop to any level for power, fame and money. Tamil Nadu politics is marked by hero worship, sycophancy, mindless servitude, thuggery, criminalization, immorality, cut-out culture, gang operations, and the list gets worse and worse. Tamil Nadu does not look like the land of Thiruvalluvar, or Periyar or Kamarajar.
The once proud and prominent Tamil people who ruled over the seas, carried out business with Rome and Arabia, and established business outposts all over Southeast Asia have been reduced to the level of beggars. Free meals, free Pongal packets, free dhotis and saris, free bicycles, free TV sets, free bus passes, free this and free that. Private profiteers run schools and colleges and the government runs liquor shops. Tamil men are fast becoming unproductive drunkards and Tamil women and children helpless wards of the government. The ruling elites throw some peanuts to the people and plunder the exchequer so systematically.
The chaste and modest Tamil people are constantly fed with lustful images and violent messages through movies and even more harmful TV serials. Obscenity and brutality are there in the Tamil people’s daily language, cultural manifestations, and all other socioeconomic-political-cultural transactions. The Indian courts seek to teach us civility by banning jallikattu, the traditional game of Tamil valor. It is one thing we decide not to continue with such sports out of our concern for animal rights, human safety etc. But it is totally another matter when our morality is sought to be legislated by Delhi judges.
The Tamils cannot get their legitimate share of water from Kerala or Karnataka or Andhra but we are made to supply electricity from the harmful nuclear power plants and thermal power plants to all the above and other states. Our shores are being plundered for rare minerals and grand schemes are getting ready to mine thorium from our coast and render us all vulnerable to sea erosion, radiation and dangerous diseases.
With rotten politics, stinking culture, decaying economy, and rancid development, our future looks bleak. Do we live in peace in Tamil Nadu? In Tamil Eelam? In Malaysia? Aren’t we still treated as ‘coolies’ or ‘pandis’ or ‘plantation workers’ around the world?
Do we see oursleves as the people of Thirukural? Does the world see us as a proud people of great love (anbu) and valor (veeram)? Aren’t we lost? Does anyone care?
Tamil politicians, policymakers, bureaucrats, businessmen, and film actors haven’t helped us. They cannot. So thinkers, dreamers, writers and doers among us should join hands and start rewriting our histories, redesign our peaceful coexistence with other peoples, and envision our futures.
Tasa is a research and activist initiative. We study, research, reflect, educate, inform, disseminate, and act!
Tamil Varalaaru–Sahavazhvu–Yethirgalam (History–Coexistence–Futures) will be our three focus points.
We probe to find! We find to educate! We educate to act!

Dr. Su. Pa. Udayakumaran
Tamil Nadu, India


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 8 Mar 2009.

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One Response to “THE TAMILS”

  1. Subo says:

    See yourself as a victim and you will always be a victim