Punjab, Sikhs and Tamil Nadu

A Sikh Perspective on Freedom for Tamil Nadu

A. Goraya

TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 1998 (ID. 1998-09-01)
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[EDITOR'S NOTE: We received the following feedback from a Sikh reader, Mr. Goraya, about the article "Can Tamil Nadu be freed from Indian Rule?" [Reference 1]]

I read the exchange between Mr. R. Damodaran and Mr. Thanjai Nalankilli with mixed feelings. I said "mixed feelings" because I was heartened to hear voices of dissent against the Indian Central Government coming from the South but disheartened to also learn that you may be going to, or should I say you at, a point Punjab was during the early 1980's. I also see the Government machinery moving in the same direction to crush the voices of dissent in Tamil Nadu as it did in Punjab in 1984 and onwards.

I had the misfortune of being a Sikh educated in Uttar Pradesh (Uttar Pradesh being the misfortune) and I moved to the United States in my early 20's. I had to unlearn and re-discover and still in the process of re-discovering myself but I remember one thing I was taught in school by a teacher: "The difference between a wise person and a fool is that a wise person will learn from the mistakes of others, a fool will not". My point is that you have started or want to start down a slippery road to freedom on which Punjab, Kashmir and the northeast region have walked and fallen. The question is: "Are you going to take a detour or be fools and laugh at us for not knowing how to walk?"

Please do not believe that just because majority of the Tamil people supports freedom for Tamil Nadu you have the strength to fight the Indian Government. Please do not underestimate the power and resources of the Indians (or Hindians as Mr. Nalankilli puts it). They are in the process of implementing a version of the Terrorist and Disruptive Acts Prevention Law (TADA) in Tamil Nadu. Please read the laws under it and the power the law enforcement agencies have under it. They have the Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF), Border Security Forces (BSF), the Army and GOD knows what, but the worst is the depths of inhumanity and treachery to which the Government sinks to get to its goals. Remember it is a gutless, spineless, immoral, unethical, unreasonable, cold and inhuman Indian Central Government, and when they unleash their power upon you they will not stop at anything, no laws will work against them and they will break you down.

There is enough material documented about the Punjab problem. Please read it and right now all Tamil people living abroad should vehemently oppose the implementation of the new version of TADA in Tamil Nadu. You do not want TADA in Tamil Nadu or anywhere else for that matter. TADA will give the government the right to kill, torture, rape, humiliate and annihilate the Tamil People. You will not get any support from the rest of India. They will all be silent spectators, a great attribute to the Unity of India. Kashmir or Punjab will not speak against the atrocities committed by the Indian Government in Tamil Nadu but will vote for the government that stomped the Tamil People. I remember the Congress Party propaganda posters in South India which showed a Sikh with a bloody sword standing over the body of Indira Gandhi, and the whole South voted for Congress to stomp the Sikhs. Would you be surprised to see such propaganda against the Tamil people in the North?

You have to take a detour for your struggle, talk with the Sikhs and Kashmiris living abroad, if nothing else they have some form of lobby established and you can only strengthen this lobby, it will be beneficial for all of us. India should be comprised of Uttar Pradesh and some nearby states only, every other state should be a separate country. Start a dialogue with us and jointly we can fight, otherwise all we can do is give you a shoulder to cry on. This is not an advice but a strategy. We need you just as you need us.

Thank you and God Bless.

REFERENCE

1. AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS: Can Tamil Nadu be freed from Indian Rule? (NO: R. Damodaran, YES: Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 1998.

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Book-20: The Sikh Diaspora : The Search for Statehood

Book-18: What's Happening to India? : Punjab, Ethnic Conflict and the Test for Federalism

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