While traveling in the bus, sipping a cup of coffee at the office cafeteria or while walking alone, it reverberates in my mind. Is everything over?
This thought is unbearable and overwhelming. At times, I have to control my tears and emotions looking at the ignominity of my fellow Tamils at the hands of Sinhalese. Tamils are slaughtered by the Sri Lankan army with the total support of India. The pictures and videos are disturbing. I avoided the websites such as puthinam which had horrendous images of the people caught in the cross fire. Videos of people suffering in the shell attacks are all over the Tamil websites. Tamils from Tamil Nadu, Malaysia, Canada, Britain, France, Swiss, Germany and USA have done whatever they can. They explained to every representative of the congress. Sent emails and faxes with lots of information about the crisis. It made some difference in the places like USA which to some extent respects the views of the people. Britain appointed special envoy and tried to bring the issue to the UN Security Council. But unfortunately China and Russia have blocked the issue from being debated in the council. It is now a known fact that China and Russia are acting on behalf of Sri Lanka in vetoing the discussions at the UN Security Council.
The feeling of “Is everything over?” is not about the rebels getting crushed at the hands of the Sri Lankan forces which is backed by India, but is about a legitimate insurgency for the right to self determination being brutally silenced. Victory at any cost for Sri Lanka, Elimination of LTTE at any cost by India – is the driving force behind the war. Meanwhile a country such as China which has ambitions to become the global power is trying to compete and grow its sphere of influence in the changing global dimensions.
Amidst the power play of the global powers, people like me and million other Tamils all over the world are watching the events helplessly. The pain of being powerless when we are brutally crushed by the global powers can’t be explained in simple words. There were sleepless nights. There were days when I could not concentrate on work, just staring at the computer monitor with the mind pondering over the events in Vanni and Mullaitheevu. There were moments when I just avoided visiting Tamil/Sri Lankan websites. I resigned to the fate of the Tamils. I tried to divert my depressing mind by watching movies and songs. But it has not been easy. Also, it does not last long. My hand will automatically go to the websites again in the hope of seeing any better news.
This utter sense of desperation and depression has driven many to severe extremes such as self-immolation, starting with Muthukumar and nearly 20 others from across Tamil Nadu, London and Malaysia. Now I understand that the sense of being powerless is what drives one to the extreme. No one should be suppressed and brutalized by force. People should not be ruled by the power of guns, fighter jets, artillery and multi barrel rocket launchers. There is inherent anger in the Tamil minds which can take any shape in the coming days.
Tamils cutting across the different nationalities shared the grief and anger. Tamils could not avoid the feeling that they are orphans without a single government they can call as theirs. For a community which is six times bigger than Sinhalese in its population, there is no country that will support their existence. Makes me think, If only they had a nation of their own, may be things might have been different. However the reality is that the entire Tamil community is powerless as Periyar – the leader of the self respect movement once rightly said – Tamils are slaves.
Tamils had to beg the western powers for their intervention. Their legitimate demands have to be propagated through propaganda for which they did not even have the media power, not even in Tamil Nadu – their home state, where media is ruled by a different class.
While Eelam Tamils have a complete different sense of feeling which I can’t explain as I am not an Eelam Tamil, Tamils from Tamil Nadu have to watch various dramas enacted by the Indian and Tamil Nadu governments. I have never witnessed such dramas anywhere in the world to fool the people. The officials and politicians would condemn the war in the media and would supply arms and intelligence to the Sri Lankan Army through the back-door. The duplicity shown by the Indian government and different Tamil Nadu political parties were a real nightmare for the people of the state. In fact many believe that India is the main cause for the setback to the Tamil Struggle. India is seen as the culprit for the sufferings of the innocent Tamil civilians. Indian National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan is seen as the man behind the Tamil’s miseries.
Though the Tamil Nadu political parties duplicity and lip service to the Tamil cause was disappointing initially, I see that it has created a sense of anti-Indian mood in the hearts and minds of the people of the state. The silent wave of change in the people’s mood was sensed by the “Voice of Rajapakse” in Tamil Nadu Mr.P.Chidamabaram. He did a Volte-face and started letting out his crocodile tears for Eelam Tamils. But it’s too late Mr.Chidamabaram !!!
I hold an Indian passport, so I carry the identity of an “Indian”. But I am starting to feel that this identity is just a ceremonial or legal one that exist in the paper. I am starting to loose the sense of being an Indian in my mind. I feel strongly to shed my Indian identity and proclaim my Tamil identity. I don’t feel that this is something I am forcing onto myself, but rather a natural outcome of the recent developments. This Tamil identity will keep reminding me the sense of betrayal, the sense of brutalization by the global powers of South Asia. The ordeal suffered by my people will keep me focused in opposing the forces of India, China and Sri Lanka. I guess, this is the only natural outcome of this whole episode. Whether this was planned and meant to be this way – I am not sure.
There is a sense of helplessness, disappointment, grief, anger and much more words beyond the realms of the English language dictionary. This disappointment and anger will not die in our minds and hearts. It’s going to reverberate for the rest of our life. It will have its impact even in the next generation. I am going to tell my kids and grand-kids about the brutality of Sri Lanka and the betrayal of India. It is going to drive me and millions of Tamils for the rest of our life.