FIVE POINTS OF VIEW
Hindi Imposition and Freedom for Tamil Nadu
TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999 (ID. 1999-04-04)
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following feedbacks were received about articles we published about Tamil Nadu independence and Hindi imposition in December 1998 and January 1999.)
1. Mani M. Manivannan: Anti-India Attitude
1. Memory of the Anti-Hindi Agitation Martyrs
While I disagree with your editorial bent and the anti-India attitude, I think that you are doing a great service keeping the memory of the martyrs of the 1965 anti-Hindi imposition agitation alive. It serves as a reminder to people of India that their government can be as abusive as any foreign invader. It is not just the Tamils that have grievance against the Indian Government. It is by their divide and rule policy that the Indian Government has repressed legitimate aspirations of the people. My solution is not to break away from the Indian Union but to unite with others to establish a true Union of Indian peoples. Still, your anti-India attitude does not take anything away from the martyrs who gave their young lives in defense of the freedoms their fathers fought for. Thank you for keeping the flame alive.
(EDITOR'S RESPONSE: Our editorial policy is neither anti-India nor pro-India. As we stated in the very first Internet issue of TAMIL TRIBUNE in September 1997, our editorial policy is to publish all points of view. Views expressed in articles are those of the respective authors.
Mr. Manivannan has expressed his views on "Tamil Nadu breaking away from the Indian Union". Mr. Thanjai Nalankilli is the one who has written a few articles in TAMIL TRIBUNE about independence for Tamil Nadu from Indian rule, and so that comment is rather directed towards him and others who wrote in that vein. We asked Mr. Nalankilli for his response.)
THANJAI NALANKILLI'S RESPONSE:
Mr. Manivannan writes, "My solution is not to break away from the Indian Union but to unite with others to establish a true Union of Indian peoples". More than fifty years have passed since the British rule ended and Hindian rule started in India. During these years more and more power has gone to the central government and not less, in spite of the demand for state autonomy from Tamil Nadu and some other states. State-level parties ("regional parties") that have state-autonomy demand in their election platforms have come to power in many states, including Tamil Nadu. Not only that, these parties have also been partners in the coalition governments at the Indian Central Government in New Delhi. Still political power is more and more centralized instead of devolving power to the states. Today the central government has more power than at anytime during the past five decades. I repeat what I wrote in the article "Independence for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule" (TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 1998): "The people and the state government of Tamil Nadu have done everything democratically possible within the constitution of India against the imposition of Hindi and for more powers to the state governments for several decades now. Nothing has happened. Hindi imposition continues. There is no devolution of power to states either. There is a limit to the patience of the Tamil people. We have reached that limit. Because we could not get our legitimate rights by democratic means within the Indian constitution, we have reached the conclusion that an independent Tamil Nadu is the only solution to end Hindian domination over Tamil Nadu. Independent Tamil Nadu is our birthright!" I suggested in another article ("Sikh-Tamil Nadu Collaboration for Freedom from Indian Rule", TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 1998) that Tamils should join hands with other nationalities seeking freedom from Indian rule, such as the Sikhs and the Assamese, and form a united movement for freedom from India.
We hope that people like Mr. Manivannan who have realized the injustices done to Tamils under Indian rule will join us in our slow, but steady, march to freedom.
2. Start the Revolution
I am very glad to read your articles about Tamil Nadu independence. Unless independence comes for Tamil Nadu, there is no way we are going to get justice from Hindians. This is crystal clear. How long is it going to be before the masses realize this? It is time that the Tamils on this world to have a nation of their own and proclaim their independence and cultural identity to the world to progress and co-live peacefully, supporting the Tamil and Tamilar cause wherever they appear to be suppressed.
Please keep us informed of the status of what justice is bestowed on the people of Tamil Nadu under the present Indian central government and the Tamil Nadu State government. I include the Tamil Nadu State government also in this group, because you could see the political corruption even by the so called Tamil politicians, who fill their coffers and not dedicate their life for the welfare of the Tamils in Tamil Nadu or wherever they might live. Please start the revolution, so we could do what could be done in our generation.
3. Get out of their Hold
Your answers to Mr. Suresh Nageswaran are very impressive. I suppose he is not a Tamilan. His opinion simply reflects that of Hindi politicians. He does not understand the feeling of Tamils. We Tamils are ready to learn Hindi, if it is of use to us. But, we will never accept it if it is imposed on us. Nowadays the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians are saying that Hindi is a national integrator. I do not understand the logic of this statement at all.
I would like to point out that Hindi politicians have successfully subjugated languages like Marathi, Gujarathi and Rajasthani. They failed only in the case of Tamil. I hope that they will not be able to achieve this target.
Regarding the economic imbalance in India, it is a well known that Hindi speaking Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are couple of the poorest states in India and they mainly survive on monies taken out of other states. It is not possible to change them. But, I assure you that we can get out of their hold and lead a peaceful and economically secure life.
4. Look at Singapore
Can we have more articles on the anti-Hindi imposition agitation of 1965? I was only seventeen years of age at that time.
I live in Singapore now. About 85% of the population here speak Chinese (Mandrin) and we the Tamils are not forced to learn the language of the majority. We all talk to each other in English. We the Tamil people here are less than 8% of the population and Tamil is one of our official languages.
5. I do not Know Hindi
TAMIL TRIBUNE makes a very interesting reading.
I am an Indian from Tamil Nadu with no knowledge of Hindi. I am sometimes made fun of by non-Tamil Indians because of this, but I have never felt humiliated nor have I been aroused to learn Hindi. As Annadurai said through his story "Two Dogs and Hindi" [Reference 1] of the two trap doors for the two dogs of different sizes, I do not feel a necessity to learn Hindi. I hope you can come out with a few more such stories.
1. Two Dogs and Hindi: A Story from C. N. Annadurai's Speeches (by K. Chezhian), TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 1999.
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