For a long time the question of Tamil Nationalism has been hammering my thought. It resulted in change of my behavior too, such as being proud “Tamilian”. But, never again.
Revisiting the history of Tamil nationalism I have revised my stand.
The first explosion of the movement surfaced as the Anti-Hindi movement. Was this movement against Hindi (as we think), or was it against the Brahmin population? It was against the Brahmin population, who dominated the power in Center and the State. Therefore the Anti-Hindi movement can also be reassessed as anti-Brahmin movement. People who opposed Hindi were fighting for Dravidian land, which includes present Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. In these different states the dominant Caste didn’t want to come under unified Dravidian tag, because they wanted their own power in their own language speaking states. As a result they did not support Dravidian slogan, and withdrew from it. Therefore the Dravidian slogan became a flop. But the upper Caste based in Tamil Nadu wanted to control the power, feeding on the popular sentiments. Many option were there to choose, Religion, Caste, Class, and language. Expect Language each other options can be divided in it. Language was the only option to bring masses under a tag to acquire their dominance. Therefore they shifted their slogan from Dravidian to Tamil nation, a nation for those who speaks Tamil, not for those who are basically “Tamilian”.
As a result, Tamil Nadu could have many Non-natives as Chief Ministers, without marring its Tamil nation ideology.
Tamil Nadu is the only South Indian state to have had Chief Ministers of different nativitiy. MGR, Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi, Annadurai, and Ms. Janaki Ramachandran.
There are even many non-“Tamilians” in Tamil Nadu who are respected and encouraged. Such as A.R. Rahman, Rajini Kanth, Vijaya Kanth, Ajith, Periyar, etc.
People who can speak in English can survive in cities of Tamil Nadu. But in the case of Delhi without knowing Hindi you would be literally having a night mare.
During the Sri Lankan war, the Tamilian who protested did not come on to the roads just for supporting Tamil Eelam. They all had different stories. Most of the people who protested knew what the Indian Government and the Sri Lankan government would do to the marginalized population.
But still Tamil Nationalism is seen as a patriotic movement in Tamil Nadu. Mostly the movement is spearheaded by SC/ST population. It is a result of the Dravidian movement who say they are fighting for Caste annihilation. Therefore they abandon speaking Caste in the movement. Even across India the mainstream does not encourage to speak an issue on Caste lines. Hence, the only tag which could unite a larger population in region is the common language they speak. Most of the leaders of the movement do understand this. The leaders never gave a chance for the masses to understand these facts.
I would like to ask a simple question for the masses, who are spear heading the movement. For which Tamil speaking population are they spearheading the movement, Upper Caste or lower Caste or Dalits? If the target is their lower Caste and Dalits, then let it be a lower caste or Dalit movement rather than the linguistics nationalism.
If we have to have good governance then we should get rid of Congress and the BJP in the Centre and Karunanidhi’s and Jayalalitha’s clutches in Tamil Nadu. Even if the People of Tamil Nadu can come out of the Sun and the Kalaignar TV’s clutches, that would be great