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Tamil Nadu's Voice for Independence Echoes at the United States Congress

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, Ocober 2002 (ID. 2002-10-01)
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OUTLINE

Abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. Excerpts from the Congressman's Speech

3. This is the First Time

4. What can we do?

ABBREVIATIONS

U.K. - United Kingdom

U.S.A. - United States of America

1. Introduction

Tamil Nadu's voice for freedom and struggle for independence from India is not much known internationally. Due to the hard and patient work of some Tamil patriots in Tamil Nadu and abroad, slowly but surely Tamil people's aspirations and dreams for independence for TamilNadu from the artificially created "India" are now heard at influential quarters in some countries. In November 2000, the influential Guardian newspaper from London, England, UK published an article about Tamil Nadu independence movement [Reference 1].

A Tamil Nationalist residing in the United States of America (USA), Mr. K. L. P., e-mailed me a speech by U.S. Congressman Honorable Edolphus Towns  at the United States Congress on October 2, 1998. Before presenting the relevant excerpt from that well thought-out speech, let me give a brief overview about United States Congress (for the benefit of those who are not familiar with American system of government).

In India the legislature consists of the Upper House of Parliament ("Rajya Sabha")  and the Lower House of Parliament ("Lok Sabha"). In the United States of America, the legislature consists of the Senate and the Congress. (Congress is the name of a political party in India. In the USA, Congress is the name of one branch of legislature.) Congressman or Congresswoman is a member of Congress (somewhat comparable to Member of Parliament in India). 

2. Excerpts from the Congressman's Speech

Here are relevant excerpts from U.S. Congressman Honorable Edolphus Towns' speech  at the United States Congress on October 2, 1998 [Reference: Congressional Record, Page: E1878].

"India is a country made of many nations. It has 18 official languages. While it maintains a democratic form of government, the principles of democracy do not seem to apply where the minority nations are concerned. Tens of thousands of Sikhs, Christian Nagas, Kashmiri Muslims, Dalits, Tamils, Assamese, Manipuris, and others have been murdered by the government, with no apparent difference no matter which party is in power. Currently, there are 17 freedom movements within India's borders.

India's breakup is inevitable. I think I speak for most of us here when I say that I hope it happens in the peaceful way that the Soviet breakup did. Otherwise, there is the risk of another Yugoslavia in South Asia.

It has been American policy to preserve the current artificial stability in South Asia, but let us remember that we pursued a similar policy with regard to the Soviet empire and it collapsed anyway. The best way to preserve stability, democracy, prosperity, freedom, and peace in South Asia is to get on the side of the peaceful, democratic, nonviolent freedom movements in Khalistan, Kashmir, Nagaland, and the other nations living under Indian rule."

What a great, rational speech it is!

3. This is the First Time

There have been speeches similar to the above about Khalistan (Sikhs) and Kashmir in the U.S. Congress before, by others. As far as I know, this is the very first time Tamil Nadu's independence aspirations are mentioned in the U.S. Congress which has substantial voice over American foreign policies. As one committed to the liberation of Tamil Nadu from Indian rule almost all my adult life, I thank Congressman Edolphus Towns from the bottom of my heart. Let us all wish him the very best in politics and personal life.

Let us also thank those who brought it to the attention of the Congressman. Whether that individual(s) is a Tamil or of some other nationality, I say, "Thank You."

4. What can we do?

Congressman Edolphus Towns' speech is only the beginning. Let us hope that more political leaders in the USA and other countries speak up for the independence aspirations of the oppressed minority nationalities in this artificial country called "India". There are number powerful political leaders in America and other countries who are supportive of the various independence movements within India, especially those in Kashmir and Khalistan (Punjab). It is up to the Tamil people abroad to communicate to these and other political leaders about the independence movement in Tamil Nadu and how the peaceful voices for freedom are shut down by draconian non-democratic measures (banning meetings, shooting and killing peaceful protesters, jailing people just for voicing their opinion, etc.). 

Work with other minority nationalities (Sikhs, Kashmiris, et al.) who are explaining injustices done to minority nationalities in this artificial country called "India" and are lobbying support from political leaders abroad. There is strength in united action. They will welcome support from the Tamil people. Work with them but make sure that their communications to the politicians mention the independence struggle of Tamil Nadu also. 

If a politician is supportive of our independence aspirations, send him/her a letter or e-mail and say how thankful you are. If a politician makes a speech supporting of Khalistan or Kashmir, write a thank you note for the support to the minority nations in India. Add a line or two (no more) about TamilNadu's aspirations also. Next time they may remember about Tamil Nadu.

Let me close this article by again thanking Congressman Edolphus Towns for speaking up for the oppressed minorities of this artificial country called "India". May God bless him, his friends and family.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: "Tamil Nadu" is also sometimes spelled as Tamil Nad, Tamilnadu and Tamilnad. They are the same.)

REFERENCE

1. A London News Paper writes about Tamil Nadu Independence Movement (by "staff"), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2002

2. Archived articles on Tamil Nadu Independence (OR Search the internet with the following key words: Tamil Nadu independence India Thanjai Nalankilli )

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