Tamil Tribune

Politics: Tamil Nadu Independence Movements in India
(Separatists, Secessionists or Freedom Fighters?)
(Separatism and Secession or Liberation and Freedom?)

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"India's growth would have progressed better if it comprised its southern and western parts only...The rest of the country held the South and West back", P. Chidamparam, Minister of Finance, India (2004-2008) to the American Ambassador in a conversation in August 2009.

Not only in economic progress but also in the delivery of public services, such as food, health care and school education, Tamil Nadu would be better off as an independent country. "A number of Indian states--Kerala and Tamil Nadu, for example--would be at the top of the South Asian comparisons if they were treated as separate countries, and others--Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, for example--would do enormously worse." - Professors Jean Drčze and Amartya Sen in their 2013 book “An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions” (both authors are economists and Amartya Sen received the Nobel prize in economics in 1998).

In summary, Tamil Nadu would be better off in economic development and also in overall standard of living (food, health, education) if it were a separate, independent country.

Click on the sub-category of interest or simply crawl down

Anchor Articles

Debates

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers


Role of Dravidian Parties (DK, DMK,...)

Religious Aspects

People who worked for Independence


Historical Perspectives

Anti-Independence Views from North

Pro-Independence Views from Outside of Tamil Nadu

Miscellaneous


Anchor Articles

19990402 Why Independence (Freedom) for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule? (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999 (20 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

19991202 Hindi Imposition and Independence for Tamil Nadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 1999 (17 KB) (f, h)

Title is self-explanatory.

20080801 Hold a Plebiscite (Referendum) in Tamilnadu on Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2008 (27 KB) (f)

Arguments against holding a plebiscite on Tamil Nadu independence, effective responses to those arguments and examples of plebiscites in other countries.

19980701 AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS: Can Tamil Nadu be freed from Indian Rule? (NO: R. Damodaran, YES: Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 1998 (20 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

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Debates

19981002 A Debate: Independence for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule (MPR: "It is senile fanaticism", Thanjai Nalankilli: "It is our birthright"), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 1998 (18 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

19990602 A Debate: Tamils are Unfit for self-rule (independence) in Tamil Nadu ( G. Thirunavukkarasu: "Tamils are Unfit for self-rule in Tamil Nadu", Thanjai Nalankilli: "Independence for Tamil Nadu is our birthright"), TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 1999 (15 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers

Why do you want a plebiscite in Tamil Nadu?

20080801 Hold a Plebiscite (Referendum) in Tamilnadu on Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2008 (27 KB) (f)

Arguments against holding a plebiscite on Tamil Nadu independence, effective responses to those arguments and examples of plebiscites in other countries.

What about the caste and corruption in independent Tamilnadu?

20080402 Caste, Corruption and Tamilnadu Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2008 (8 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

Will we get Cauvery water after independence?

20041201 Cauvery Water Dispute and Tamilnadu Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2004 (12 KB) (f)

Will Tamilnadu farmers get Cauvery water from Karnataka if Tamil Nadu becomes independent? "Yes" says the author, with supporting arguments.

Are Tamil nationalists selfish?

20051202 Are Tamil Nationalists Selfish? (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2005 (17 KB) (f)

This article demolishes the false propaganda that Tamil nationalists call for Tamil Nadu freedom because of selfish reasons.

Will independent Tamil Nadu perform well in the age of globalization?

20060402 Tamil Nadu and Globalization (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2006 (9 KB) (e, f)

At a time when the whole world is moving towards globalization, why do you want Tamil Nadu to separate from India? Author argues that an independent Tamil Nadu would prosper under economic globalization.

What will happen to Tamils living in other parts of India?

20060802 Status of Tamils Living in India after Tamilnadu Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2006 (15 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

20150901 A Telugu Perspective on Independence from India (Questions and Answers) (by V.S.), TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2015 (24 KB) (f)

Discussion between V.S. and Thanjai Nalankilli on, "Is Tamil Nadu independence possible? What can we do? Role of DMK, AIADMK and other political parties?"

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Role of Dravidian Parties (DK, DMK,...)

20130601 Tamil Nadu Sought American Help for Independence from India in 1975 (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 2013 (18 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

20050501 Annadurai's Speech on Independence for Dravida Nadu (or Tamil Nadu) (Translated from Tamil to English), TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2005 (7 KB) (f, tn)

Annadurai's speech on independence for Dravida Nadu or Tamil Nadu before he became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu State.

20031101 DMK and Tamil Nadu Independence: A Recent Political History of TamilNadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2003 (28 KB) (f)

A major Tamil Nadu political party Dravida Munnetra Kazagam's (DMK) past independence demand and separatist activities.

20030701 DMK, Dravida Nadu and D.B.S. Jeyaraj (by K.J. Trivedi and Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2003 (10 KB) (f, p)

Thanjai Nalankilli clashes heads on with the controversial Sri Lankan Tamil writer DBS Jeyaraj about DMK and Dravida Nadu. 

20050502 Why DK and DMK initially asked for Independent Dravida Nadu and later moved towards Independent Tamil Nadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2005 (14 KB) (f)

Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Justice Party, Periyar EVR, C. N. Annadurai and Tamil Nadu / Dravida Nadu independence.

20150402 Karunanidhi and Tamil Nadu Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2015 (8 KB) (f)

The former Chief Minister's statement about Tamil Nadu independence in January 2015.

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Religious Aspects

20070801 Hinduism and Tamil Nationalism (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2007 (8 KB) (f)

A discussion that Hinduism and Tamil nationalism are not opposing philosophies.

200711f1 FEEDBACK: I am a Devote Hindu and a Tamil Nationalist (by N. Karuppannan ), TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2007 (5 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

20091001 Hinduism, Indian Unity and Tamil Nadu Independence (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2009 (30 KB) (f)

India is for the Benefit of Hindis, not Hindus. Citing Hinduism as the reason for Indian unity and against Tamil Nadu independence is invalid. Examples and discussion.

20120601 Indian Government to Demolish Ancient Hindu Saivaite Sivan Temple in Tamil Nadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 2012 (17 KB) (f, i, tn)

Why Hindi politicians show a blind eye to the demolition of a 1300-years old, historical temple in Tamil Nadu? Reasons discussed.

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People who worked for Independence

19991001 Biography of Tamil Poet Pavalareru Perunjchiththiranar (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 1999 (45 KB) (f, t)

Biography of Tamil nationalist poet Perunjchiththiranar (1933 - 1995) who untiringly worked for Tamil Nadu independence almost all his adult life. He edited the monthly magazine Thenmozhi (Thenmoli) that inspired two generations of nationalist Tamil youths.

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Historical Perspectives

20090401 Tamil Nadu: Glorious Past and Pathetic Present (History and Current Events) (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2009 (27 KB) (f, tn)

Title is self-explanatory.

20011201 Nine Hundred Year Historical Perspective of how Tamil Nadu Lost its Sovereignty and How Selfish Politicians are Selling out Tamil National Rights Today: Part I (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2001 (30 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory. Mostly history, with some current politics.

20020202 Nine Hundred Year Historical Perspective of how Tamil Nadu lost its Sovereignty and How Selfish Politicians are selling out Tamil National Rights Today: Part II (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2002 (28 KB) (f)

History.

20031101 DMK and Tamil Nadu Independence: A Recent Political History of TamilNadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2003 (28 KB) (f, p)

A major Tamil Nadu political party Dravida Munnetra Kazagam's (DMK) past independence demand and separatist activities.

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Anti-Independence Views from North

20050602 A Hindi Speaker Asks about Tamilnadu Freedom Movement (by Gopa Dasari), TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 2005 (12 KB) (f)

A Hindi speaker asks about reasons for Tamilnadu freedom movement, separatist aspirations and economic discrimination. A Tamil nationalist responds point by point.

200503f1 Rebuttal to Tamil Nationalism in Tamilnadu (by N. Trivedi), TAMIL TRIBUNE, March 2005 (5 KB) (f)

Writer from Madhya Pradesh (northern India) ridicules Tamil nationalism and says that Tamil Nadu can never separate from India and become an independent country.

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Pro-Independence Views from Outside of Tamil Nadu

20020701 A London News Paper writes about Tamil Nadu Independence Movement (by "staff"), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2002 (4 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

20021001 Tamil Nadu's Voice for Independence Echoes at the United States Congress (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2002 (11 KB) (f)

Excerpts from U.S. Congressman Honorable Edolphus Towns' speech at the United States Congress about the break up of India and the freedom aspirations of Sikhs, Tamils and others. Discussion of the speech and what Tamils can do to let foreign leaders know of their independence aspirations.

200707f1 A Telugu Perspective on Indian Union (by Sujai), TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2007 (5 KB) (f)

A Telugu view that India is a 'made-up' country. (A very short piece.)

20071001 If Europe were made a Single Country like India or Sri Lanka? (by Nakkeeran), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2007 (6 KB) (f)

If Europe were made a single country like India or Sri Lanka and one European language were made the official language and it was compulsory to learn it for government jobs? Will other language speakers accept it silently or revolt against it? A civil war will breakout and the whole world will look at the fighters as saviors of their ethnic race and call them freedom fighters.

200808f1 FEEDBACK: A Bengali Perspective on Tamil Nadu Independence (by AG), TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2008 (5 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

201310f2 Independence for all Non-Hindi States of India (by Dravidian), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2013 (5 KB) (f)

Title is self-explanatory.

19980901 A Sikh Perspective on Freedom for Tamil Nadu (by A. Goraya), TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 1998 (9 KB) (c, f)

Title is self-explanatory.

19980902 Sikh-Tamil Nadu Collaboration for Freedom from Indian Rule (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 1998 (14 KB) (c, f)

Title is self-explanatory.

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Miscellaneous

19980201 Cauvery River Water Dispute and Karnataka Massacres: Part 1 (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 1998 (22 KB) (f, tn)

Title is self-explanatory.

19980301 Cauvery River Water Dispute and Karnataka Massacres: Part 2 (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, March 1998 (19 KB) (f, tn)

Title is self-explanatory.

20021002 Tamil Nadu National Flag and National Anthem (by Sibi and Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2002 (11 KB) (f)

A discussion of Tamil Nadu national flag and national anthem.

19990404 POINTS OF VIEW on Hindi Imposition and Freedom for Tamil Nadu (by (1) K. Srinivasan: Hooligans during the Agitation, (2) Mani M. Manivannan: Anti-India Attitude, (3) HHT: Start the Revolution, (4) Sadhu Miranda: Get out of their Hold, (5) Thanapal: Look at Singapore, (6) Viswanathan Pillai: I do not Know Hindi), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999 (12 KB) (f, h)

Title is self-explanatory.

20120202 I am Standing Up in My Heart! (A Mini-Story about Tamil Nationalists) (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2012 (6 KB) (f)

Story of defiance of a little boy.

20060202 Annadurai on Central Government Ministers from Tamil Nadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2006 (9 KB) (e, f)

From C. N. Annadurai's maiden speech at the Upper House of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) in 1962

20131201 Is it Time to Divide India? Are Basic Rights Denied to Some Minorities? (by B. K.), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2013 (7 KB) (f, i)

Title is self-explanatory.

 

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Tamil Nadu had one of the earliest independence movements (separatist or secessionist or liberation movements) in India even before the British left. Unlike the independent Pakistan movement the latter is based on nationalism, ethnicity and language and not on religion, and dates back to 1939. The first "Tamil Nadu for Tamils" Conference was held in December 10, 1939. Mr. C.N. Annadurai, the chief lieutenant of Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy (EVR) was the principal speaker and he explained the reasons and justification for the demand in his own spell binding oratory.

The Dravida Kazhagam (DK) of Periyar E. V. Ramaswamy and its offshoot Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had as their primary goal an independent Dravida Nadu (southern India that included Tamil Nadu) separate from India. In 1963 the Congress Party Government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru passed a constitutional amendment that prohibited parties and individuals demanding independence from contesting elections. Immediately DMK abandoned the Dravida Nadu independence demand.

Though Periyar continued with is "Tamil Nadu for Tamils" slogan, one of the few who openly and actively campaigned for an independent Tamil Nation (Tamil Nadu) was the Tamil National Poet Mr. Durai Manickam (popularly known as Pavalareru Perunchiththiranar). Some groups and individuals demanded something just short of total independence from India. One reason for not crossing the line is possible ban on the group. So they demand a Tamil Nation" within India with maximum devolution of powers. Such parties included some breakaway groups from Dravida Kazhagam (DK), the relatively new political party Patali Makkal Katchi (PMK) headed by Dr. Ramadoss and Tamil National Movement (Tamil Desiya Iyakkam) headed by Pazha Nedumaran. Underground organizations which are waging an armed struggle for independence for Tamil Nadu include Tamil Nadu Viduthalai Pafdai (TNLA) headed by Maran, Tamil Nadu Viduthalai Padai (TNLA) headed by Ilavarasan and Tamil Nadu Retrieval Troops (TNRT). Number of cadres in these groups is not known but they are believed to be small.

The principal political parties in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), founded by C. N. Annadurai and now headed by M. Karunanidhi and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), founded by M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) and now headed by Jayalalithaa Jayaram also have devolution of power to states and less power to the Union (Central) Government of India in their election manifestos. However they do very little about it. Marumalarchi DMK founded by Vaiko and Dravida Kazhagam (DK), founded by Periyar EVR and now headed by Veeramani, also have similar goals but again have done very little.

The Indian national parties such as the Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are for a more unitary government with power more centralized at the Union Government and the state governments more dependent on the former. Offshoots of the Congress Party like the Tamil Manila Congress (TMC), founded by Moopanar and now headed by his son Vasan and the Rajive Tamil Nau Congress (named after the late Rajiv Gandhi) headed by Ramamurthy are also have similar views. These parties do not, however, have the popular support and vote bank as DMK and AIADMK.

This is an overview of the general politics of the state and how the Tamil Nadu liberation (independence) movements fit into it. For detailed discussions on the various aspects of the independence (or secessionist) movements, readers are referred to the following articles.


Page description: This page contains a collection of articles on Tamil Nadu independence movements (separatism, secession, liberation, freedom).


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