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Indian Independence and The Periyaar-Anna break-up

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It was in 1939 that Eevera Periyar organized the Dravida Nadu Conference for the advocacy of a separate, sovereign and federal republic of Dravida Nadu.In a rousing speech on December 17, 1939,Periyar proclaimed “Dravida Nadu for Dravidians”. This replaced the earlier slogan “Tamil Nadu for Tamils”.

July 1940 saw a secession committee being formed at the Dravida Nadu Secession Conference organized by Periyar’s disciple CN Annadurai known as Anna (elder brother) at Kanchipuram his hometown. In this conference Periyaar displayed a map of the envisaged Dravida Naadu.It basically corresponded to the existing Madras Presidency.

But there were some who spoke of a Greater Dravida Naadu incorporating regions in Burma, Singapore, Malaya and Ceylon where Tamils were concentrated. This was not a serious demand and was made by insignificant personalities.

CN Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran

But in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) the assertion was treated with suspicion and sowed the seeds for future fear about annexation into a greater Dravidian homeland.

This conference was followed by the Madras Province conference of the South Indian Liberal Federation known popularly as the Justice party at Thiruvaaroor.On August 24, 1940, the Thiruvaaroor provincial Conference resolved that Dravida Nadu should be a “Thani Naadu” or Independent state.

OBJECTIVES

Some of the objectives of Dravida Naadu were defined as-attaining “poorana Swaraj” or total self-rule from the British and complete control in social, economic and industrial, and commercial fields; liberating Dravidians from domination and exploitation by non-Dravidian foreigners: acquiring equal rights and opportunities for Dravida Naadu citizens and eradication of discrimination and inequalities arising on grounds of caste and class: abolition of superstitious beliefs caused by religion etc.

Furthermore Periyaar outlined the characteristics of Dravida Naadu as-the area then comprising Madras Presidency; a passport system to enter the state; duty on goods from other provinces and entry apporoved only with permits ; re-demarcation of boundaries if necessary and continuing the existing system of defence till grant of full Independence.

Religious freedom was assured to Muslims, Christians,Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists of Dravida Naadu.The right to be atheist, agnostic or non-religious was ensured. Separation of Politics and Religion was guaranteed.

Periyar also stated that “Self Respect should come before self-rule” thereby implying that social justice and reform should precede political independence from Britain.

SUSPENDED

Even as the Dravida Naadu demand gathered momentum Periyaar suspended all political agitation for the cause one year later in August 1941. He explained that Dravidians should extend full co-operation to the British in world war two.

This caused a political lull in Dravidian secessionist advocacy . But when the Cripps Mission came to India a delegation led by Periyaar met Cripps on March 30th 1942 and raised the Dravida Naadu demand.

As stated earlier Periyaar after proclaiming Dravida Naadu toured Northern India to garner support for his demand.CN Annadurai went along to help interprete. Two prominent persons Periyaar met with were Mohammed Ali Jinna and BR Ambedkar.

Ambedkar supported Periyaar’s move to eliminate Brahmin domination but pointed out that Dravida Naadu would not remove caste discrimination in North India. But Ambedkar said motivating principles behind Dravidastan could apply to entire India as Brahmin domination was widespread.

Jinna was also supportive after being assured that the 7% Muslims in “dravida Naadu” would be granted full rights and privileges.Thereafter Jinna began referring to a Dravidastan for South India when espousing the Pakistan cause. This in turn led to Periyaar’s followers using both Dravida Naadu and Dravidastan in their political discourse.

CONVENTION

In 1944 August the South India Liberal Federation or Justice party held its convention in Salem. It was a swansong for the old justice party as Periyaar and Annadurai engineered an inner-party coup of sorts. The conservative “old guard” was eliminated.

At the behest of Periyaar , Annadurai proposed a four-point resolution that demanded party members to resign all posts held under the British, to return all honours including knighthoods bestowed by the British, to refrain from accepting such honours and posts in the future, to boycott all elections under the British.

This embarrassed the old guard greatly and after some heated discussion Annadurai’s resolution was carried with overwhelming support. The old guard stepped down and left the premises en masse.

Now Annadurai proposed that the party be renamed Dravidar Kazhagham or Dravidian Association. It was accepted unanimously. Another resolution passed was the appointment of Periyaar as lifetime president of the party. Annadurai became secretary for a term.

Thereafter Annadurai became editor of a Tamil weekly “Dravida Naadu” and an English fortnightly “Homeland”. These journals propagated the Dravida Naadu demand. In actuality the demand found resonance only among sections of Tamils. The vast majority of Tamils as well as the non-Tamil Dravidian people were untouched by this demand.

BLACKSHIRTS

World war two ended in 1945 and in September that year the newly re-named Dravidar Kazhagham (DK) staged its party convention in September at Trichy.Periyaar introduced a martial atmosphere by proposing that a militant outfit named “Maahaana Dravida Viduthalaip Padai” (Provincial Dravidian Liberation Force) be formed under party auspices.

Periyaar’s brother Krishnaswamy’s son EVK Sampath was also a DK activist. Periyaar appointed his nephew Sampath as the organizer of this new liberation force. Periyaar also stipulated that DK members should join this force and wear black shirts as an indicator.

This led to the first crack between Periyaar and his chief lieutnenant Annadurai, The latter was not in favour of this move. So the DK broke into two broad factions supportive of Periyaar and Annadurai. While Periyaar loyalists wore black the Annadurai faction did not.

Periyaar tried to force the pace of events in 1946 and staged a black shirts conference in Madurai in May 1946. He ordered everyone to wear black shirts and decreed that Annadurai should be the keynote speaker.

But the crafty Annadurai avoided a showdown at that stage by attending the conference in an ill-fitting black shirt belonging to the taller Nedunchezhiyan. But further intra-party division was on the cards.

INDEPENDENCE

India was on the verge of Independence from the British but Dravida Naadu was not on the agenda. As political stakes were raised and partition became inevitable the question of Dravida Naadu was eclipsed.

Periyaar himself had contributed to this by suspending all agitation for Dravida Naadu so as to not hinder British war efforts. It was off the political radar.

In retrospect this was a blunder as no effective campaign had been mounted for Dravida Naadu. If Periyaar expected the British to hand over Dravida Naadu on a platter as reward for his cooperation the rationalist patriarch was sadly mistaken.

Periyaar had also relied on Jinna and thought that the Muslim leader would extend support for Dravidstan as promised at the decisive stage. But Jinna found it politically practical to espouse the case for a theocratic state of Pakistan on the basis of a Hindu-Islam divide rather than cloud his case with the caste and ethnicity based demand for Dravidastan.

The greatest weakness of the Dravida Naadu demand lay in the inability of its propnents to gather support among the non-Tamil Dravidian people inhabiting the envisaged state.

Though Tamils were the single-largest ethnicity in the old Madras presidency the non-Tamils together were the majority. Support for Dravida Naadu was virtually nil among those. Besides the majority ofTamils too were against a Dravida state and treated it then as a joke then.

Thus Dravida Naadu was a non-starter at the dawn of Independence. Periyaar found himself let down by the British and betrayed by Jinna, discarded by non Tamil Dravidians and rejected by the bulk of Tamils.

HARDLINE

In his anger at this turn of events, Periyaar took up an extremely hardline against Independence and urged Tamils to declare Freedom day on August 15th 1947 as a day of mourning.He said that independence was only a change of masters for Dravidians.

But his deputy Annadurai sharply differed in this. Anndurai took up the position that the Dravidians had been oppressed by both the British and Aryan/ Brahmins. Now one set of oppressors were departing.

This by itself was most welcome. So Dravidians should rejoice at independence from the British and launch a struggle for secession from India thereafter was Annadurai’s position.

These contrary perspectives led to further tension between both factions. The divergent views were articulated by both factions in the media controlled by both groups. Post-Independence saw both groups engaged in an undeclared power struggle within the DK.

There were however more deep-seated reasons for the differences between Periyaar and Annadurai.

AUTOCRAT

Firstly Periyaar was a virtual autocrat. He ran the party like a dictator having been appointed life time president. Most of the property and finances belonging to the party were under his personal control. Periyaar being a rich man in his own right had also spent a lot of his own funds for the party. So there was a very thin line demarcating personal and party-owned property.

Within the party there was very little true democracy. Those whom Periyaar selected were automatically elected to posts without contest. It was a virtual appointment. There was practically no inner party discussion or debate on important decisions. What Periyaar decided and announced was party policy.

Annadurai on the other hand was of a liberal democratic disposition. His vision was of a full-fledged democratic party with well established procedures for inner-party polls. He was also for a consultative, consensual approach within party folds in policy formulation and implementation.Annadurai had outgrown Periyaar and had to break free of autocratic shackles.

Secondly Periyaar and Annadurai had diametrically opposite views on the future of the DK. Periyaar was firmly against any kind of participation in democratic elections. He derided participatory democracy in an Aryan-Brahmin-North Indian dominated India as a sham.

DEMOCRACY

He wanted the DK to remain aloof of electoral politics and concentrate instead on social reform and eradication of caste oppression.Periyaar also feared that entering hurly-burly politics would corrupt the idealist purity of the party. He felt that the party’s ideology would be diluted in the long run to garner more votes and that the DK may compromise its policies for electoral success.

Annadurai however had opposite views. He opined that the party could realise its ideals and objectives through participatory democracy also rather than rely aloneon agitational tactics and confrontational demonstrations as propounded by Periyaar.

Annadurai felt that it was better to capture the structures of power and engineer social reform from inside rather than try to bring about reform by influencing or pressurising from outside.

The politically astute Annadurai realised that with the passage of time, political power through democratic elections would pass into the hands of the non-Brahmins as they vastly outnumbered the Brahmins who were a microscopic minority in numbers.

Annadurai’s thoughts on this issue were well expressed by his disciple Muttuvel Karunanidhi the present DMK chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi a famous script writer for films once wrote the following dialogue for a Tamil movie. “arohara endra makkal kural aandavanai ettinaal pothaathu. Arasaangathai etta vendum” (It is not enough for the voice of the people chanting “arohara” to reach God. It must reach the Government)

M.R Radha

Thirdly Periyaar was to some extent old-fashioned and conservative in his attitude towards the arts, literature and cinema. He despised films and had the uttermost contempt for those in cinema and drama except perhaps MR Radha the famous actor who was politically on the same wavelength as Periyaar and articulated his policies through film and stage.

CINEMA

But Annadurai recognized the vast potential for mass-communication and the “electoral revolution” it could bring about if adroitly exploited or handled. Long before Marshall Mcluhan , Annadurai subscribed to the dictum that the “medium” was the “message”.

MG Ramachandran (MGR)

Annadurai had once referred to famous cine idol MG Ramachandran (MGR) in this way. “Avar Vaakkukku pathulatcham. Avar mugathukku muppathu latcham” ( ten lakhs (one million) for what he says; thirty lakhs (three million) for his face”. What Annadurai was driving at was the vote-getting capacity of MGR. His attractive countenance would gain more votes than his speech.

Annadurai himself was involved in cinema and had written story, screenplay and dialogue for many films. He was also a playwright and stage actor. So too was Karunanidhi. There were other “Dravidian” stalwarts who wrote story and dialogue for films like AVP Aasaithamby, CB Sittarasu, Naanchil Manoharan, Rama, Arangannal, Kannadasan and Murasoli Maaran.

There were also actors like NS Krishnan, KR Ramaswamy, TV Narayanaswamy, SS Rajendran, Sivaji Ganesan and MGR. Kannadasan and Sivaji were to cross over at different times and join the Congress. MGR who was a “kadhar” (handloomspun) wearing Congressman at one time joined the DMK later.

Under these circumstances Annadurai felt that Periyaar’s harsh attitude towards cinema and drama would hamper his plans of utilising them for politicisation and political mobilisation. Periyaar was a constraint in this respect.

Annadurai differed with Periyaar over substance and style. Periyaar believed in substance alone and that it should be told simply and straightforward. Annadurai however relied on form more than content. While Periyaar wrote and spoke in a dry , terse manner, Annadurai had evolved an attractive , alliterative style (Adukku mozhi).

TENSION

Against this backdrop it was apparent that Annadurai was biding his time to break away from the DMK and form his own party. Tension was increasing between both factions.

On March 1st 1948 the Congress-led administration of Madras province banned the DK’s Provincial Dravidian Liberation Force. The practice of DK members wearing black shirts was forbidden.

On October 23rd 1948 Periyaar held a special DK conference in his hometown Erode. In a bid to mend fences with Annadurai and preserve the party’s unity Periyaar held out his hand of friendship.

Annadurai was ordained as chairman of the conference and brought in a chariot drawn by four horses in a grand procession.

Periyaar who was 69 years old , declared publicly that he was getting old and that a younger person should take hold of party reins. Annadurai being educated, articulate and dedicated to the party was the ideal choice to be his successor, Periyaar stated amidst thunderous applause. But the wily Annadurai did not bite.

He knew that to accept leadership of the DK was to be permanently shackled. Though Periyaar talked of relinquishing his hold he would not let go of power that easily. The Periyyarists in the party would not allow that. So Annadurai would only be leader in nominal terms while real power would be with Periyaar.

Instead of rapprochement the tensions only increased. Annadurai himself waited patiently for the right reason and opportune moment to break away. That moment soon arrived.The reason for the split was covertly political and overtly personal.

MANIYAMMAI

Periyaar lost his wife Naahammai in 1933. Being sick and old he required someone to nurse him. There was an ardent DK supporter in Vellore called Kanagasabhai.

He had a daughter called Kaanthimathy. She was an ardent follower of Periyaar’s ideals and highly politicised.

Kaanthimathy changed her name to “arasiyalmani” (political gem) and refused to marry spurning the institution of marriage. When her father Kanagasabhai passed away suddenly Kaanthimathy/Arasiyalmani was bereft of support. Periyaar then brought her to his residence.

Maniyammai

The young woman became a nurse and maid to the veteran leader. Periyaar himself called her Mani or Maniyamma (mother mani) Gradually she began running the lonely, childless widower’s household and even attended to the tight-fisted Periyaar’s personal and party financial accounts.

She had studied up to grade ten. Slowly party faithfuls got used to her as a permanent fixture and began addressing her as “Maniyammai” (Mani Madam).

With tensions between Periyaar and Annadurai continuing the DK leader revised his earlier intention of making Annadurai his political heir. Furthermore he decided to adopt a young boy as his personal heir. However at the last minute the boy’s family backed out due to pressure by the other faction.

Periyaar was furious.He simmered with anger at Annadurai and his followers.

RAJAJI

His chief political rival and close personal friend C. Rajagopalachari known as Rajaji was now the Governor-General of India. Rajaji visited Thiruvannaamalai on May 14th 1949. Periyaar accompanied by Maniyammai paid a sudden visit and had a discussion for 75 minutes with the Brahmin Governor-General.

Periyaar with Rajaji

When news broke about the private discussion, DK partymembers were aghast. The DK membership had been brainwashed into hating Brahmins. Rajaji was more or less a brahmin symbol. Now their leader had had a clandestine discussion with him. The rank and file were in a state of revolt.

Annadurai gauged the rising tide of discontent against Periyaar. He decided to give voice to this resentment openly. Shortly thereafter a conference on “Muthamizh” (Triple Thamizh) was held in Coimbatore. Annadurai and Periyaar were both speakers.

It was then that Annadurai challenged Periyaar openly by asking him bluntly on stage “Why did you meet Rajaji? What did you discuss with him? The people demand disclosure”. Periyaar exploded on stage “That’s my personal matter. It is not to be aired in public”.

This duel percolated downwards to the rank and file. Periyaar himself wrote in his newspaper “Viduthalai” (liberation) that he had met with Rajaji to discuss about a trustworthy heir to his wealth and political legacy. This revelation added more fuel to the raging controversy.

MARRIAGE

Then came another shock. Periyaar announced that he was going to marry Maniyammai. He felt that she was a trustworthy heir and would manage party affairs after he was gone. The law did not permit him to adopt a woman as heir. So he would register his marriage with her thus enabling her to be his legal heir.

Notice of intended marriage was given on June 18th 1949. Periyaar was nearing seventy . Maniyammai was thirty-one. The Dravidian movement was ripped asunder. How could their leader marry a woman less than half his age? Moreover a rumour spread that she was a brahmin. It was also speculated that Rajaji had advised Periyaar to follow this course.

While the DK became the laughing stock of Tamils the party itself split vertically. Only a formal break had to be accomplished. Annadurai realised his time had come and struck. He met with his supporters and drafted an open letter to his leader.

ULTIMATUM

In that missive , Annadurai issued an ultimatum. Periyaar marrying Maniammai was an insult to the party. He should refrain from going through with his plan. Otherwise party members would be compelled to criticise his action and oppose it.

Periyaar remained adamant. On July 9th 1949 EV Ramaswamy married Maniyammai at a marriage registrar’s office in Thiyagarayanagar, Madras (Now Chennai).The next day “Viduthalai” newspaper announced that Maniyammai would henceforth be known as EVR Maniyammai.

There followed a war of words but Periyaar remained unfazed. He felt that things would normalise after some party members let off steam. Some Loyalists remained faithful to Periyaar defending and justifying his conduct.

Annadurai was waiting for September. The 15th was his fortieth birthday. The 17th was Periyaar’s 70th birthday. While Periyaar loyalists conducted Birthday celebrations for the newly-wed septugenarian, Annadurai in his capacity as DK general-secretary summoned an executive committee meeting on the same day.

Twenty-three of the forty-six ex-co members attended. Annadurai stated unambiguously that he had no intention of gaining control of the party. Instead he and his followers will go out with sorrow and form a new party he said.

Annadurai had been waiting long for this chance. Now he was going out claiming moral high grouns.An organizing committee for the party in formation was appointed

Events moved at a hectic pace.The new organizing committee met at a house in Pavalakkaaran street, Chennai and drafted the party constitution. The party was to be the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) or Dravidian Progressive Association. Annadurai was elected organizing secretary.

TEARDROPS

On the next day (sep 19th) the newly formed DMK held its first public meeting at Robinson’s park in Chennai. Annadurai said that there will not be a Party president post as the only “Thalaiver” (leader) he had ever known and will ever acknowledge was Periyaar himself.

Until Periyaar himself came and occupied the president’s chair the party wont have a President. He also revealed that the policies and ideals of the DMK would be the same as that of the DK. “Thikavum ThimukavumIrattai Kuzhal Thuppakki” ( The DK and DMK are double-barrels of a gun) he announced.

Annadurai said that the party was formed with “kanneer thuligal” meaning teardrops.Thereafter Periyaar used to refer derisively to the DMK as teardrops.

When all these political convulsions were on within the Dravidian movement their key demand of a separate “Dravida Naadu” state had been put on the backburner.

STRATEGY

The Dravidian movement had been unable to cope with the reality of Indian independence and plan out political strategy due to intra-party conflict and dissension.

Now the crisis was over and a new configuration had emerged, There were two political parties espousing secessionism within newly independent India. The stage was being set for a long , intense struggle for a break-away separate state from the Indian Union.

The “Dravida Naadu dor Dravidians” slogan changed to “Thamizh Naadu for Thamizhians”.The coming years was to see Tamil secessionism rise to considerable heights and then rapidly fall into decline in Independent India.

(The first part of this article was posted on this Blog under the heading “Roots of Tamil Nadu secessionism in India“.The third part of this article will be continued next week)

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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87 Comments

  1. I am so happy to see you writing on this topic again dear Mr.Jeyaraj. Having missed the continuation last week I thought you had dropped the idea. just thought of checking out your blog this Friday noon as I thought you’ll update it. Boy! was I thrilled to see you continuing with it again

    Thank You so much for the wealth of detail and sharp analysis

    Looking forward to the next piece

  2. Glad to see you back on track again Mr.Jeyaraj. I was waiting for you to continue with the article

    I really enjoyed your description of the Periyar – Maniammai episode. You know I watched the film “Periyar” with Satyaraj as Periyar and Kushboo as Maniyammai. On screen Kushboo played an attractive Maniyammai but the film didn’t reveal anything tangible about the affair.

    Actually I learnt more about Maniyammai & Periar from your article.

    Waiting for the next chapter

  3. Wonderful writing DBS. I am learning a lot about what happened to Dravdastan.

    I know you’re focusing on Tamil Nadu but do you think you can write about Kerala too maybe later on?

    I can’t promise Usha but if possible I will later on…………DBSJ

  4. Very interesting article.

    The real reason Annadurai broke away from Periyar is often understated and hidden by their followers, as it is quite shameful and shocking.

    Annadurai was disgusted that the nearly 70-year old Periyar married a young Maniammai to satisfy his sexual lust.

    The conscientious Annadurai could not forgive his mentor for marrying a girl young enough to be his daughter.

    That is one main reason why Annadurai broke away from Periyar’s DK and started his own group, DMK.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    In fairness to Periyaar and Maniammai I dont think your charge is correct. Although the disparity in their ages caused disgust I dont think the relationship had a sexual dimension. It was platonic I think and more of a companionship. She was his nurse, maid, secretary and trusted confidante .

    Also I’ve never heard of any sexual impropriety allegation against Periyaar concerning other women too. But many accusations are there about Dravidian leaders including Annadurai and Karunanidhi

  5. Freedom fighting and separatism and successful politics never work in hand in hand. Governing the people needs excellent skills, common sense and utmost care (of people). What we have seen in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, so called our leaders were just concentrated on power politics and personal gains just like other politicians throughout the world.

    Please everyone scan your brain for viruses, if you happened to listen or read any political speech from anyone

    Learn to love people ,we are all here to live and love

  6. Thanks for the comprehensive narration DBSJ. There is an interesting aspect to this whole drama. It’s a fact that in both the Pavazhakkaran street house meeting and the Robinson park public meeting MK was not present. But after anna’s death and till date MK has always been claiming that he had taken part in those formative meetings of DMK. Whenever any senior member differing with MK points out this he gets an earful from MK through the Murasoli newspaper. It is sad that anna died early on in power. Had he lived longer at least the level of corruption in TN wouldn’t be what it is today. Anna had many weaknesses but greed for money was certainly not one of them. It’s another blow to TN politics that Rajaji supported MK in the 1971 election that saw the downfall of Kamaraj. DBSJ, I have a question. Do you know what exactly was the source of rivalry between Rajaji and Kamaraj? I don’t think caste had any role in that (the likes of Rajan are happy to cling to caste) as both the gentlemen are above such petty things. I have read several articles on this but I couldn’t find anywhere the explicit revelation of the reason. Even some one like Era. Chezhiyan never talked about it.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thanks Kumar

    Yes. MK was not in the picture at all when the DMK was formed but Kalainjar is revising history nowadays. I heard MK was in Salem working on a film script at Modern Theatres studio then

    As for Anna not being corrupt I agree. The rot set in after MK took over and I remember the picture of a bungalow being published in the media of the house given to Rajathy Ammal. Karuthiruman raised it in the assembly in 1970 and MK replied without batting an eyelid that it was the house of Tharma the mother of his daughter Kanimozhi.

    But perhaps its good that Anna died early without being tainted by the coruption. Who knows he may have been ousted too by the corrup ones if he stood in their way

    By the way Rajaji was with Kamaraj in 1971. It was in 1967 that Swatantra party was part of the DMK led coalition that defeated Congress. But in 1971 the COngress (O) led by Kamraj, Swatanthra and Samyuktha Socialist party formed one front. The DMK led by MK had another front that included Indira Congress. The Indira congress contested only ten Lok Sabha seats and did not contest MLA seats. Thus DMK won 184 seats

    As for Rajaji – Kamaraj rivalry I also dont know of any single exact reason. I agree that “caste” was not the issue but I think there was temperamental incompatibility. Rajaji was somewhat snobbish and had an exaggerated respect for highly educated people.

    Kamaraj was relatively uneducated and was a common man

    CR was elitist but KK was a man of the people. CR was right of centre ut KK was left of it

    The genesis lay in the Rajaji – Satyamurthy competition I think. KK was a Satyamurthy loyalist and helped win support for him throufh his grassroots organizational ability. Rajaji resented this and correctly identified KK as the power behind Satyamurthy

    Once CR had reportedly remarked “Antha Karuppu Kaakkaiyai Adichaa ella Kakkaiyum Odidum” -f the black crow (meaning KK) is hit all other crows will run away

    While CR was unhappy about the commoner KK gaining much influence in the party KK was annoyed with CR gaining power through his contacts with the hierarchy whereas in Tamil Nadu his stock was low

    Once KK resigned his chairman post when Mahatma issued a statement criticising “cliques” at the behest of Rajaji

    But looking back I feel Rajaji had more dislike towards Kamaraj and openly displayed it on many occasions. KK was more restrained and moved the pawns cleverly against CR

  7. Aiyo Jeyaraj!

    Why cant you write everything in one shot and finish?

    The suspense is agony no, waiting week after week

    It’s brilliant and so , so informative

    Thank you very , very much

  8. Truly a remarkable account of the rise and fall of Dravidianism. Crisp and detailed. Precise and readable

    Academia and Journalese both blended beautifully

    A gifted writer you are Mr. Jeyaraj.

    Congratz and God bless

  9. Enjoyed reading this and got to know more about Periar and Maniamma than by seeing the movie

    Good show DBS saar

  10. #5 Manivannn,

    In the late 1970’s, I heard something similar to what you say from my grandfather in Jaffna about the Annadurai -Periyar split. That is, CNA got disgusted about Periyar getting married to a woman several decades junior to him.
    It later reminded me of the well-known Sinhalese intellectual Ediriweera Saratchandra,who in the 1980’s, when he was in his 70’s, advertised for a partner in newspapers and got married to a woman young enough to be his daughter.

    But this article sheds more light on that matter and provides another dimension. Maybe what people heard about Periyar wasn’t the whole truth; while what he did was unconventional, it no longer seems as repulsive to me as it seemed when I was young..

    Stil another possibility not explored here– while Periyar was a strident and principled rationalist and atheist, I think Annadurai, and later Karunanidhi and MGR, were ambivalent about rationality because the voting public, especially women, would have found it hard to let go of religion. Their own beliefs were not very clear as well.

    I am an agnostic, leaning toward atheism myself ( I call myself agnostic-atheist) but I take my wife and mother-in-law to the temple when they pester me. Rationality is a good personal philosophy, but in the marketplace of voters wedded to religions, no matter how assiduously one shows how self-contradictory people’s beliefs are, it won’t sell. So, maybe there was also an issue with idealism (of Periyar) vs pragmatism (of CNA)..

  11. I read DBS’s arrticle with interest, Great Interest. In gave me an insight into South Indian Tamil Political Leadership in the 1930’s to 1940’s. I could find the missing links and I still have some missing links from 1940’s to current. The Leadesrhip’s on their own had + & -, but significantly high by todays standards. Periyar I noticed was very high in Principals, by not riding popular ciematic wave. I am grateful that DBS cleared the doubts about marriage to Maniamma…its not sexual desire but platinic as he says. He would have wanted to do justice to Maniamma for nursing him by inferiting his wealth or fame. Its unkind to scar his reputation. Now a days people will think widely and leave it as his & her personal matter. SL’s Dhanayake married his twin brothers wife, who was widowed with the hope she will get his pension until her death. Periyars meeting of Raaji shows his openness to speak, neogotiate, friendship, willingness for interaction with an other community, specially hated by his own people. This I see as a Great sign of a true leader. I get the feeling he is not narrow minded. He had vision, he may have had a degree (but small) of error factor in his thoughts, but his openness could have reduced such small error factors too. Thanks DBS, and wish you would keep writing.

    Reasearching into the cause of LTTE, Tamil dissent, how could this races live together, with respect to each other, was the disharmony caused by power hungry political leaders of sinhala & tamil who were on personal agendas..?

  12. is our quest for an independent state completely over? Will DMK or even Vijayakanth’s party be able to wrest control from the white north and give the black south an independent state? Will the White Sinhalese (like cricketers Jayasuriya and Mendis) be able to tolerate the black state north of their borders?

    Come on Eelam (as long as you don’t ask my kids to fight, I am all in favor).

  13. Very informative article. If I hadn’t seen “Periar” movie I wouldn’t been able to appreciate this. Waiting for next one

  14. I am transported to past by this article. The history of Thiravida Iyakkam is coming alive again to me.

    Nandrigal nanbare

  15. Re #5 and DBSJ’s answer, one should read the book VANAVAASAM by Kannadasan to get a glimse as to what went on in the name of sexual impropriety by the then leaders of DMK.But things haven’t changed at all even now. I could not stop laughing when the other day one tamil magazine from chennai euphemistically said of a present state( Tamil Nadu) govt minister having a manaivi(wife) and a thunaivi ( as the English would say bit on the side).It would be interesting indeed to find how many have manaivis and thunaivis.On a more serious matter I agree with DBSJ’s comment even if Anna were to have lived longer, he would have been pushed away by the corrupt brigade.

  16. Also I’ve never heard of any sexual impropriety allegation against Periyaar concerning other women

    Periyar was a “playboy” or what they used to call in tamilnadu “minor” even after his marriage. He had affairs with so many women. He himself had written about it.

    His first wife was so innocent that she used to cook food and send it to his “jalsa” place which was usually the banks of cauvery river in and around erode .

    I am not aware of any misconduct when he was old.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I was not referring to his “Minor” life. There is this old Tamil fim song that begins “Minor life romba Jaali”.I guess that’s a fact of live for many people of that strata

    I have not heard of any allegations after he entered public life particularly after he became DK leader. By the way most political leaders in India have had their sexual escapades in youth. (as many human beings)Those who regard themselves “young at heart” continue to do so using position and power

  17. Hi DBSJ,
    You are just amazing. You amaze me (and every one else) with your knowledge, analytical skill, articulate & clear writting. More importantly what is the secret of having all these time? Do you live in a diferent universe where a day is made of 240 Hrs!!!!! To be honeset, you rank above many reporters who work for CNN, BBC, etc. In a way, I think, it is very unfortunate that the wide media could not tap your valuable skills and knowledge. Take Care
    Fellow Human Being

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you. These are matters that I am passionately interested in though my interest is rapidly declining nowadays. Devoting time to this is more vocational than professional. By spending time on these instead of making money by doing other work I lose financially. By breaking rest and working on these things my health deteriorates.

    But a comment like yours makes it seem worthwhile at times.Thanks.

    As for the mainstream media I have had offers but never accepted them as a “career” was not my interest. I thought I had to contribute something to the upliftment of my people and that I could make a difference. Nowadays I think it was a waste of time

  18. Dear DBS,

    Very informative series you are writing.

    1) There is a great misperception among many Sinhalese that the Tamil Eelam movement had been inspired by the Indian Dravidian movement. My understanding is that the two had a few similarities but for the most part were separate phenomena having their own homegrown origins.

    For the third article in the series, you might want to note the connection or lack of connection between the two separatist movements.

    2) You had mentioned the Rajaji-Kamraj rivalry. Could you please explain more about Rajaji’s relationship with Periyar- how could they have been friends given their utter differences????

    Also what was Kamraj’s relationship with the DK and DMK. I understand Kamraj (not Rajaji) was the greatest threat to DK/DMK because he was highly popular and had a grassroots following. I think MGR had been very much inspired by Kamraj given MGR’s focus on the noontime meal scheme first started by Kamraj.

    Today DK is led by Veeramani and what’s left of Kamraj’s following is led by Nedumaran- two pro-LTTE fringe groups having little connection with the people.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    dear Wijayapala

    I am not planning to compare and contrast the Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian Tamil secessionist movements in detail in this extended article. Maybe later on in a separate piece if people are interested or if I feel if its useful or important. Discerning readers can draw or not draw an analogy if they so desire. But yes there were fundamental differences in the evolution and growth of both.There were some superficial similarities.

    Yes Kamaraj “nadar” a man of the people was the greater threat politically to the Dravidian movement than Rajaji. In fact Kamaraj replaced Rajaji as Congress chief minister in 1954. If Kamarajar had remained as CM of T’nadu instead of resigning according to his own “K-PLan” and moving on to the All -India realm as Congress president I think he could have been a greater deterrent to the rise of DMK. Kamraj did more for the ordinary people of T,nadu during his nine years of rule than the 42 years of DMK and ADMK rule that followed. AS Congress president hamraj played kingmaker in selecting Shastri after Nehru and Indira after Shastri but appointing Bhalthavatsalam as T.nadu CM was a disaster.

    Yes MGR was inspired by KK. Once he said “Anna en thalaiver. Kamarajar en vazhikatti” (anna is my leader but Kamaraj is my guide) and got lambasted by the dravidian hordes.

    The Periyar – Rajaji relationship was unique. It was politically “hate” and personally “love”. They attacked each other in politics but maintained respect and regard for each other. When Periyaar found himself confused it was to Rajaji he turned for advice in 1949 .

    Their friendship went back a long way to the time when Rajaji was chairman of Salem Town council and Periyar of neighbouring Erode town council. R called P “Naicker” and P called R “Aachariyaar” Rajaji drew Periyar into the Congress and both courted imprisonment during the freedom struggle. Later Periyaar split on account of casteism in Congress and despite Rajaji’s efforts to waen him back went on his own course

    Whe Rajaji was on his deathbed Periyaar went to see him and people were amazed to see tears in the unemotional Periyaar’s eyes. Despite being a nonagenarian at the time Periyaar walked in the funeral procession behind the coffin.

    R was born in 1878 and P in 1879. R died in 1972 and P in 1973.

    As for Nedumaran he is NOT Kamaraj’s successor though he named his party after him. Nedumaran himself has his roots in the DMK. He was a student leader of the DMK who broke away with Sampath,Kannadasan and MP Subramaniyam and formed the Thamizh Thesiyak Katchi. This later merged with Congress

    The Congress broke in two after the crisis of 1969. The Congress (O) in Tamil Ndu was under Kamaraj and very much stronger than the other Indira Congress. After Kamarajar’s death in 1975 one faction led by Moopanar joined the Indira congress. Another faction led by Pa. Ramachandran became part of the then Janatha Party . Two smaller Congress sections became separate parties under Nedumaran and Kumari Anandan respectively

  19. dear dbs,
    as you said i dont think there is any sexual dimension to periyar marrying maniammai rather he wanted a trustworthy heir who could take forwards his ideals after his death given the fact that annadurai had differences.annadurai was quite pragmatic since he realised that in a democracy coming to power was the only way one could implement all the ideals for what one stood for.secondly annadurai and his lieutinents were young so naturally they were thirsting for power given the fact that they were popular and congress was comparitively led by older leaders.periyars ideology despite being anathema to me personally periyar was a great person he was basically rich and in fact when he was in congress to follow his partys prohibition policy he cut all the palm tress which he owned.he was very stingy he will charge money for the meetings he addressed and the money went to his trust which is present now also.as far as rajaji-kamaraj tussle probably it had to do with the fact that kamarajs guru sathyamurthy as you have mentioned.kamaraj always had a grouse that congress and rajaji did not treat his guru well and sathyamurthy also died before independence and he did not enjoy any power.kamaraj was a really another great person now also he is credited with mid day noon meal scheme which mgr expanded when he came to power.it is said in tamil nadu that kalviku kan thirantha kamaraj.another aspect of kamraj has been his caste nadar were empowered with he becoming chief minister of tamil nadu.i remember six years back when i was going home one van was going in front of me one man stopped the van in front of shop and he was distributing the calender with kamaraj photo to the shop owners and i guess he was going around the area to shops owned by nadars and distributing the calender.such is the hold of kamaraj on nadars.it is legitimate also becoz nadars social position was even worse than dalits.alas kamaraj also suffered the same fate as his guru sathyamurthy he was ousted from congress and congress under indira had an alliance with dmk and defeated his congress party in tamil nadu paving way for dravidian parties rule which has not ended till now

  20. I am ardent follower of TamilNadu politics.

    Rajaji,Kamaraj and Anna are the greatest leaders of Tamilnadu. Periyaar should have been named as Seriyaar .That should be the most appropriate name to him based on his actions. Ambethkar launched effective and successful campaign against the caste system. Unlike Periyaar, He made it happened.

    Your article and the comments appearing below are very interesting.

    Thanks

    R Maran

  21. Thank you Mr.Jeyaraj for this and earlier article on Tamil Nadu secessionism. Very interesting to know the past about my home state. Waiting for the next one

  22. Excellent article. Analytical and absorbing.

    What fascinates me is that a Sri Lankan Tamil journalist living in far off Canada has such in depth knowledge of my own country and state.

    Fantastic

  23. I was proud to read about my distant relative Kumarasamy Kamaraj Nadar. I am living in Virudhunagar now. KK was defeated here in 1967 by a student DMK leader. That was the beginning of this Dravidian curse. KK went later to Nagercoil and won elections

    I hope you’ll write about Kamraj in your next article Mr. Jeyaraj

  24. I agree with Soundarapandian. Our state began decling after the DMK and then the ADMK started ruling. We wait for the day of liberation from the Dravidian elements

  25. Nice article.

    Lovely photos. It was good to see the old,unforgettable faces again.

    Keenly awaiting the continuation DBS

  26. Good information Jayaraj.

    If I remember there was a DMK party in Sri Lanka that was banned by Madam Bandaranaike. The leader was somebody called Elanjeliyan I thik. Where is he now?Do you know?

    DBSJ REPONDS:
    Yes, Illanchezhiyan later became a leftist and joined Bala Tampoe and then broke up with him. I used to meet him in 1976/77 occasionally with a mutual friend. It was he who first “de- constructed” the Dravidian myth for me. He passed away a few years ago

  27. Very well written with lots of info DBS

    Looking at the DMK – ADMK jokers nowadays I get the idea that the Dravida Nadu – Tamil Nadu demand never got off the ground because the oldies were jokers too

  28. Dear DBSJ,

    Kudos for a well researched piece of work. Could you please enlighten us whether there was any demand for a pan tamil state encompaasing the Old madras Presidency and the Northern province of Sri lanka. Why then are events in Northern sri Lanka linked to Tamil Nadu Politics ??

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thanks. I think we’ll come to that In due course> But just one thing about a Pan – Tamil state. Would the Sri Lankan Tamils subscribe to an arrangement that would make them a “minority”?

  29. Your assertion that Annadurai used the Maniammai marriage as a convenient excuse to break away goes against the grain of a DMK built myth. But you are right and reasons adduced by you are indisputable

  30. Brilliant post-mortem on an exciting phase in the history of Tamil Nadu. Even more remarkable is the fact that DBS Jeyaraj is a Sri Lankan Tamil. Sabash!

  31. DBSJ,

    The TULF’s flag and election symbol was “the rising Sun.”
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think th DMK had/has the same flag. If that is correct, do you think it was pure coincidence, or did it have something to do with SJV being influenced by the draviadin movement in TN?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The rising sun symbol of the DMK led to a lot of propaganda through cinema about the Uthayasooriyan. Many references in dialogue or song.For instance MGR sings “Uthayasoorian Paarvailyile, Ulagam vizhithukkonda velaiyile” in the song “Puthiya Vaanam…..” in the film “Anbe Vaa.

    This certainloy had its impact among Tamils in Sri Lanka too

    When the FP with house symbol and Tamil Congress with cycle symbol came together as TULF they needed a new symbol for 1977 elections. So Amir & Siva asked and got it. SJV had passed away by then. So had GG.

    But the elections dept had only the SUN as approved a symbol in their list of 40 symbols then. So what the TULF got was Officially was the SUN and not the rising sun. In the 1965 elections the same Sun symbol was given to the Sri Lanka Freedom Socialist Party (SLFSP) led by CP de Silva
    Though it was the same sun the TULF propagated it as the rising sun and used DMK songs in support of Uthayasooriyan

  32. This is good historical research by you DBS. I hope you will do some research like this on Sri Lanka Tamil political history and write

  33. You write this like a historical novel. Its so readable. Good show. Awaiting the next feature

  34. It’s amazing that a journalist from Sri Lanka can provide such insight about Tamil Nadu political history. Your distance gives you a detached perspective that’s wholesome and welcome Shri Jeyaraj

  35. This information makes me wonder whether VP had a larger vision than a just a Tamil Eelam confined to Srilanka.To refuse the deal offered to him on a platter by Chandrika and Ranil to rule the NORTH and the EAST may be due to his bigger plans to have a totally independent state with Air,Sea and Land based Forces.This would have enabled him to support the separatist movements in Tamil Nadu with real power, instead of the passive agitations they have been engaged since the formation of the UNION.

    Indira Gandhi would not have been up to speed with these underlying separatist tends other than playing petty politics to win seats.Otherwise she would not have delivered and nurtured the VP and the clan which not only caused the death of her son but left a real problem for the UNION.

    This is why the current regime in INDIA is totally committed to eliminate any potential, external material support to the separatists.

  36. Nedumaran also joined Indira Gandhi after kamaraj’s death along with Moopanar and Kumari ananthan. In fact he along with NSV Chitthan, a present Congress MP saved the life of Indira Gandhi when DMK men in the guise of showing Black flags ( allegedly protesting against the dismissal of corrupt DMK governement in 1976) attacked her. Nedumaarn later left Congress as he could not see eye to eye with Moopanar.

    By the way I used to read your articles with good interest in Hindu in the eighties and early nineties.

    Glad that I can read you again.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you. The incident you refer to happened in 1977 or 78 after Indira Gandhi had lost power. The DMK would not have had the guts to attack her physically in 1976 during emergency when many of their men were in jail. I think they threw “sammatty” sledgehammers and Nedumaran was called “Irumbu manithan” for his brave act. During that time when Indira was thinking of contesting Thanjaavoor by-election the DMK took up a tough stance against it and Karunanidhi threatened to contest against her personally. So she backed out and contested Chikmagaloor in Karnataka

  37. Hi DBSJ

    You are good at adding “thodarum”….at the apt time. Eagerly waiting for the next instalment – but please dont make a fouth part.

    I bet that the “visitation meter” for this site will be running hot until you deliver the next chapter with the events of DMK & ADMK etc etc.

    You have added a photo of the trio- Anna, MGR & MK. Was it taken in early fifties ?- noteable absence of sunglasses and chalwai(shawl )on both MK & MGR and minus the thoppi on “Vaaththiyar”.

    regards
    Saba

  38. DBSJ,

    Thanks for the details on the rising Sun. By the way, I didn’t write the comment #45 above. .

  39. Dear DBS:

    Periyar – Muttum thurantha Munivarum alla and Maniyammai – Paththum thurantha pathi virathayum alla

    My belief is Periyar legally married ManiAmmai to make a point that they were having good sexual relations. If he didn’t marry her and lived in common law partners, historians would have written about their relations ship as their own wish and created a black hole.

    Who in the world would relinquished their power (status in the society) that easily? Do we know any one did? Yes we know many did loose not in their own will.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    It was CN Annadurai who reportedly said “Annadurai muttrum thurantha munivanum alla. Bhanumathy padi thandaa pathiniyum alla” in a different context. Anyway you can “Believe” whatever you want to believe about Periyaar and Maniyammai.

    There are many who reliquished their power or status in society voluntarily. There are also many who stood up for their principles knowing very well they would lose their power or status in society as a result

  40. Very Interesting articles with valuable comments. And I would like to share my comment about Brahmin Tamils & Nadars

    In fact there was also a tussle between Kamaraj Nadar (non-Brahmin Tamil) and (Rajagopalachari) Brahmin Tamil based on caste. Though I am a Sri Lankan Tamil from Vellala Caste, I know a bit about this because my mother is a Nadar (related to powerful late Venkatesha Pannaiyar, husband of Minister B. Radhika Selvi). Affluent Nadars power and prestige didn’t come from Kamaraj Nadar, in fact he didn’t do anything for Nadar community. But his name added another feather to Nadars glory, that’s all. Nadars were very powerful and wealthy even before Kamaraj Nadar was born. Nadars are from Royal linage (Pandiya Vamsam) however Nayakar kings made them slaves, sent thousands of Nadar Chieftains to gallows in one day, brought them to their knees because Nadars were valiant and battle hardened and they didn’t respect the Nayakar Kings. As someone commented in this blog, true, their situation was brought to a level worst than Dhalits. Nadars overcame all the obstacles and became a very powerful caste in Tamil Nadu again. Not only that, during British rule they held very high positions almost equivalents to Brahmins, and Brahmins always loathed Nadars because of the challenge posed by them. Brahmins didn’t have any problem with any other castes high or low, because they accepted their superiority, other Hindu high caste Tamils respected Brahmins because they were Hindu priest caste, low casts Tamils accepted their superiority because they accepted it as their fate. Nadars because of their Royal linage were very smart and never wanted to bow down to anyone, and they were very proud of their caste. (Though my father is a Tamil Velala caste, and my husband is also a Velala, from my mother I have got Nadar blood in me and I am always proud of it, that is the kind of pride Nadar community has injected into their community). Though the poor Nadars were toddy tappers, toddy tapping was not Nadars occupation, they were warriors and toddy tapping was forced on them by later events. Nadars were the Only cast which never accepted the superiority of Brahmins and they were a challenge to Brahmins’ superiority in power. In the name of Hinduism, and the cast system Brahmins did whatever possible to suppress Nadars. The Tamil Brahmins very cunningly provoked other high caste Tamil Hindus against Nadars, and with the help of Maravars (another valiant Tamil caste) and low cast Tamils went head-on against Nadars, rest was history, with many riots between Nadars and Maravars. Nadars though they were very aggressive and valiant people, they never bothered to go against Brahmins, because Brahmins were very cunning and they were behind the scene. However, down fall of Tamil Brahmins didn’t come from Nadars, but it came from Dravidianism. Tamil Brahmins didn’t like Nadars because they didn’t accept their superiority. Tamil Brahmins, though they too were Dravidians, didn’t like Dravidianism, because their grip on other Tamil casts were shattered by Dravidianism. Rajaji, a Tamil Brahmin even wanted to implement Kulakalvi Thittam (cast-based education) but nothing happened because Kamaraj Nadar was against it, Other high caste non Brahmin Tamils, and Dhalits (to a certain extent) benefited by Dravidianism, but Nadars never benefited, and they too never liked Dravidianism and they were not supporters of Dravidian Parties. Nadars from the very beginning were and still are supporters of Congress. Nadars were very highly honored by British Monarchy, and Nadar Community has produced the best gems among Tamils. Here is a link for some notable Nadars, but this is not a complete list; this is just a fraction of notable Nadars. Even this list doesn’t contain names of some Nadars most people very well know in Sri Lanka and other countries, such as Ma. Po. Si, Dr. Salai Ilanthiraiyan, Padmabushan Dr. Ranjan Roy Daniel, world famous scientist, and Rao Sahib M. Abraham Pandithar etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nadars
    http://www.kuttyjapan.com/nadar/page07.asp

    I also see a big difference in caste system among Tamils in Sri Lanka and India. There is no Nadar caste among Tamils in Sri Lanka

    Before I conclude let me quote a word of wisdom from a wise man (#190. P.K.Rajan, from part One of this article: Roots of Tamil Nadu Secessionism in India)

    “I feel my fellow Tamils Brothers and sisters in Srilanka and the Sinhalese friends have many points to learn to adopt as well as to avoid. Srilankan Tamils may understand what the Indian Tamils have achieved by being part of India and why they generally do not support secessionist tendencies. They can also note how the Indian Tamils have achieved their share in the experiment called India. I would say the Tamils have got more than their share compared to the people of North East and few other areas. Indian Tamils will not be ready to loose these gains even if they are sympathetic to their fellow Tamils elsewhere. It does not mean they were happy with Indian States role. People like Vaiko are defeated and people like EVKS. Elangovan, Manisankar Aiyar and Thangabalu were also defeated. Sinhala friends may note where ever the federal accommodation is effective in India, the problems of secessionism is absent or marginal. It is not uniform in India because many complexities and historical reasons. We Tamils are benefited by being part of India but India as a whole is also benefited by having us part of it. It is a strange algebra in which the parts will be benefited more then the whole by being a part. But the whole will also loose equally as the part in the long run if the part is made to loose.”

    Yes, this is something the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils have to learn. Dear Sinhalese friends you are the majority in Sri Lanka, don’t miss the bus this time. My dear Tamils for you to be powerful and prosperous you don’t need to go separate, Learn from India, learn from Tamil Nadu. Best of Luck!

  41. Hi DBSJ
    Another great article. You have researched well and written it. I concur with your analysis.
    Yes, I too believe Annadurai used Periyar’s marriage as a ruse to assert himself politically. And Periyar at that age and political situation was no match to Anna’s machinations. I do agree with your assessment that Periyar’s relationship with Maniammai was just platonic. If they did have sex, what’s wrong? Many DK and DMK leaders did it and you can know it from Poet Kannadasan’s Vanvaasam. It is universally known that the current CM, M Karunanidhi has two wives.
    Their separate Tamil Nadu or Dravida Nadu was never a sensible political argument. Thankfully it never took off. More importantly the separatism did not take a violent turn. It was great that the Indian democracy allowed the political aspirations of the Tamil Nadu politics. But I believe that the Dravidian parties succeeded in furthering the Tamil language and the Non-Brahmin parties. But Dalits never realized their potential in TN till now. In this case, I believe the Dravidian parties didn’t succeed.

  42. DBSJ, You have well summarised the Dravidian politics of last century, and about the Tamil Nadu leaders. I thought that I was well informed person of Dravidian politics, but you’ve proved me that I was wrong. You’d new information for me. I usually equate ‘Dravidian’ politics to ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ , and ‘anti-Brahmin’ to ‘anti-Tamil’ in Sri Lanka. Most of these slogans are uttered by leaders to get innocent people’s electoral support, but not for their own consumption. i.e. Thayanidhi Marran’s (DMK Minister at Central government) wife is from a prominent Tamil-Brahmin family. Refreshing to read some thing other than Sri Lankan politics.

  43. If you want to learn more about Periyar or Anna, I suggest everyone do their own research. DBS article explains the monumental impact of Periyar and Anna on Tamil Nadu separatism and does not fully give details into their characteristics. It would be nice if DBS can find time just to write about Periyar and another one for Anna.

    Periyar?s legacy in the Tamil community to bring forward the oppressed Tamils to the front and to the rest of the Dravidian community to bring the oppressed Dravidians to the front is an irrevocable history.

    Anna is brilliant, he could have ordered the Tamils to go for an armed struggle but he analyzed the strength of the Tamils and the Indian Armed Forces along with the political establishment of India and avoided a massacre.

    But this split between them has created resentments and has put a black mark in their quest for the betterment of a society.

    I admire them both for putting development / social reforms / personal empowerment before independence; I admire the Indian political system of their time for giving them the space instead of going around forcefully and without any consideration of the Tamils implementing laws (also committing violence) on to the Tamils as the Sinhalese did. India of today should be dismantled for the future of humanity in the subcontinent as it is oppressive and self-centered around few elites who do not value righteous.

    Also the Tamil people (Tamil mainstream media and so on) should stop picking or demonizing the so called Brahmins. What earlier generations were against was Brahmanism as a whole and not the so called Tamil Brahmins. This is misinterpreted by many in the current generations by both parties creating a huge division. Weather they like it or not and weather we like it or not, we are all part of the Tamil society, there should be one rule, equal right in all aspects.

    The movie Periyar and its director: http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/apr/30inter.htm

  44. DBSJ has contributed a well researched and informative article on the founder of the Dravida movement, and the evolution of the DMK & ADMK.

    I remember reading in the 1970’s an article in the Tamil paper ‘Janasakthi’ published by the CPI where one Sir Paneerselvam of the Justice Party had during the tail end of British rule had made an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a separate deal for Dravidistan. Would DBSJ be able throw any light on this?

    Although Kamraj was a Congress leader he had an abiding regard and respect for P.Jeevanandam of the CPI. Whereas Rajaji on the other hand had nothing but abhorrence for the latter who had been influenced by Satyamoorthy.

    #50 Dharsini’s comment serves to give an interesting insight of Dravidianism and a well reasoned advice to both the Sri Lankan majority and minority communities in the final para of her comment.


  45. #51 Giri
    If they did have sex, what’s wrong?

    There would not have been any problem had periyar not preached “freedom for women” in extreme form.

    He had preached women should not marry and should not have womb to give birth to babies.

    Going against his own teachings(?!!) /preachings he married a woman half his age. This showed how hypocrite his teachings were and how hollow his principles were.

    Anna grabbed this oppurtunity to form his own party.

    Anna ,it was alleged , was a CIA agent. Even T.N. Seshan ( a upright Election commisioner of India who was a terror to politicians ) mentioned in a book he wrote but he had to withdraw his comments because of big protets organized by Jayalalitha and others.

  46. Mr DBSJ
    You have only sensationalised the personal aspects of the relationship between Periyar and Annadurai. Wish you had touched upon the Dravidian movement and Periyar’s monumental fight against the caste system, for the socially down trodden and emancipation of women.
    Narayanswamy Sankaran.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Mr.NS, This extended article is about Tamil separatism in India and not about the contribution of Periyaar to social emancipation. In this segment my focus was on the DK-DMK split. Wjile most writers including those of Dravidian hue have tried to make out that to be a personal clash between Periyaar and Anna , I have gone beyond that and outlined political reasons for the inevitable split. I find it strange that someone should accuse me of “sensationalising” when I’ve gone out of my way not to do that.Perhaps your understanding of sensationalisatising differes from mine.

  47. Hi DBSJ

    Previously, you mentioned that the Brahmins had empathy for Sri Lankan Tamils until 1987. Your statement might not be correct here. I think that their thinking aligned with Indian government stand and they supported Srilankan Tamils like India. Most of the RAW agents are Brahmins. When the clash errupted between IPKF and LTTE, they changed their view. Then emerged the outspoken people like Hindu Ram, Supramaniaswammy etc.
    This inevitably led LTTE to team up with anti-Brahmins. This made them angry and went against LTTE. The Brahmins delebrately stated that Tamils are living happily in Srilanka.

    The bottomline is that the Brahmins are not interested inTamils getting equal rights.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    This is not to generalise but Brahmins in Tamil Nadu empathise with predicament of Jaffna Tamils in Sri Lanka because they underwent the same problem Jaffna Tamils underwent in Sri Lanka. Standardisation there and reservation here.

    Brahmins do not like separate State for Tamils in the Island because they dont want demonstration effect in India. This resonates with thinking in South Blocck. Brahmins therefore want Tamils in Lanka to get equal rights and so not support a separate state.

    I dont know why people like you write such utter nonsense vilifying an ENTIRE community. I know so many Tamil brahmins who want equal rights for Sri Lankan Tamils and do what they can. But venomous attacks by the likes of you will definitely put them off

    It is not only Brahmins but so many Tamils of other castes also who are against a separate state. So why are you not condemning them but only focus on this tiny community.

    The LTTE blundered badly y aligning with the lunatic fringe of Tamil extremist anti- brahmin, anti – Indian elements in Tamil Nadu

    The greatest damage to the Tamils was/is done by insincere jokers like Vaiko, Nedumaran and Thirumavalavan, Kozhathoor Mani, Kovai Ramakrishnan etc

    Please dont use this forum for your anti – brahmin rants &raves

  48. 50. Dharshini
    Your response is well researched and informative. Congratulations. I am a Singhalese with many Tamil friends. I have been interested about the cast interactions of Srilankans. I always thought the Nayakars were not of royal blood but according to you it is so. Were they the same people who became the last kings of Kandy Srilanka? Because in one story, when SL Nayakar king send emissaries to India to find a bride it is said that Indian royal families chased them out saying Nayakar’s are below their status!
    I also can remember around 1970’s my Tamil friend getting me to inform his mother in Jaffna that the sinhala girl he was marrying was of the best sinhala cast because his mother was so much conscious of it but luckily was totally ignorant of the sinhala cast system! I carried out my assignment and soon became a spectator of my first Hindu wedding. I also can remember working with a beautiful Brahmin girl and my Tamil friends warning that she was out of bounds to non Brahmins like me. Another time, I got lost while searching for my friends house outside Jaffna and the guy who showed me the way refused to come into my friends house due to this cast business. But finally, when I believed that all this mumbo jumbo is now over, my Tamil friends abroad tell me it is still alive in the west among Tamil community!
    Finally I totally agree with your advice in your last paragraph to both Singhalese and Tamils. Together we shall be happy. Against each other we shall be miserable. The choice is ours.


  49. # 57. Ramesh

    Thank you DBSJ. You are really a jem of a persom. You have accurately captured the views of majority of Tambrahs in your reply to Mr. Ramesh.

  50. Thank you Don,

    You are right. Though there were Nayakar Kings, Nayakars were not of royal blood, that was one of the reasons why Nadars never respected Nayakar Kings and earned their resentment.

    Chola, Chera, Pandya and Pallava are the four Dravidian Tamil Dynasties that were highly revered by Tamil people. Nayakar was a title conferred on commanders, provincial governors and high government officials of Vijayanagara Emperor. Later the provincial governors of Thanjavur and Madurai were made kings by the Emperor Krishna Devaraya. Thus the provincial governors of Thanjavur and Madurai became the Nayakar Kings. Nayakar title was not only conferred on Telugu administrators. It was also conferred on Tamil and Kannadiga administrators. Because of the Telugu origin of Vijeyanagar Empire, any Nayakars (and their families ) of any origin whether they were Tamils or Kannadigas were described as Telugu origin.

    King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha ( Kannusamy) was from a Tamil Nayakar family ( but said to be Telugu origin because of Vijeyanagar connection). Most of these Nayakars were not related to Vijeyanagar Emperor so they were not considered as Royal and they were not respected by people who considered themselves as royal.

    As far as I know cast system among Tamils is still intact in the west, and I guess as VP is now no more it will get a new lease of life in the North & East.

    I am glad that you agree that the prosperity of Sri Lanka depends on the unity of Sinhalese and Tamils, but how to bring about that unity. All what we can do is learn from other countries and educate our people. DBJS articles ( 1 & 2 and many more that are going to be published) and the positive comments in the blog should be read by all.

    To my other friends:-
    Lot of my friends who read my comment on Tamil Brahmins and Nadars called me/emailed me to ask how come I only mentioned about Nadar men, not Nadar women. Oh, well…there is nothing. This article is about Tamil Nadu Separatist movement, not about Nadar men or women. But, I feel when you talk about Tamils Nadu sep movement, you can’t help mentioning about Tamils Brahmins, Nadars, Dravidnism etc.

    My friend Birunda sent me a link from FORBES.COM about Roshini Nadar (this is the first time I read about her).

    Last week, I visited another link about Varalaxsmi (Actor Sarathkumar’s daughter).

    This morning I visited another link about Kiran Nadar

    Here are the links

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/22/hcl-india-roshni-nadar-technology-internet-nadar-q-and-a.html

    http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/50107.html

    Hope you all are happy now that I have mentiond about three Nadar Women.

  51. 51. Giri | October 4th, 2009 at 11:01 pm
    Hi DBSJ
    “..Their separate Tamil Nadu or Dravida Nadu was never a sensible political argument. Thankfully it never took off…”

    Tamil Nadu was part of India for only about 400years. Tamil Nadu had glorious days when it was not part of India. They peaked in literature when they were not part of India(though the Notherners described them as monkeys in Ramayana). They built numerous temples as not part of India. Present day Indian concept was not there before 400years. Indian is a foreign concept. Indian army trained by the British would have massacred Tamils if they would have taken arms. That is the reality. Kashmere was not part of India at the time of Independence.More than 90% muslim Kashmere was subjugated by Hindu India. Now, I feel, Dravidian concept is irrelevant. As Seeman says, Tamilian concept will be more appropriate. If Congress remain in power another ten years or so, it will gain momentum.
    K.Easwaran

  52. #61. Mr.Easwaran.

    Indian is a foreign concept.

    If india is a foreign concept so is tamilnadu. There was no tamil nadu even 50 years ago.

    These type of poisioning of minds is the only legacy that periyar and Anna have left Tamilians with no other tangible offerings.

    The concept of india existed even before christ was born.

    Various greek authors like megasthenes (350 BC-290 BCE) ,Arrian (140 BC) named their travelouges as “Indika or indica” describing their travels in india.

    If you read Arrian’s Indika he refers to india as the land from sind to the Indian ocean.

    The olden day greece also had numerous empires that does not mean that there is no entity called greece. So was Italy. It had numerous kingdoms.

    Also if you read BBC’s Mark Tully you can understand that the concept of India was present from the ancient times.

    Periyar who could not raise up in the Congress devised dubious means to remain in limelight.

    The undercurrent which connects all Indians are present from ancient times and it is not just an invention of the british.


    Congress remain in power another ten years or so, it will gain momentum

    Mr. Easwarn, dream as much as you want. your dream will never materialise. India has seen so many seemans and bigger seemans like periyar. One old man who had raised big ruckles than seeman has stopped those things after becoming a big seeman so would this seeman after he fills his kitty would stop, duping the tamilinas till his coffers swell.

  53. periyar failed, while jinnah suceeded. why is that?. the main reason seems to be according to DBSJ’s article, the lack of enthusiasm from tamils and other dravidians for dravidia. fair enough. if you don’t have popular support then you can’t blame periyar for failing, though he also made many mistakes, such as putting the dravidia demand on the backburner during world war 2.. reminds me of prabhas mistake in accepting a ceasefire and thus losing the momentum. in anything you do momentum must be always maintained until you have achieved your goal. stagnation is bankruptcy.

    india is better as it is, than as a dravidia and india. india is the fifth largest economy in the world after the EU,US, china and japan. during this decade it will overtake japan. this would have not been possible if it had split up into north and south.

    looking at india’s unity there are lessons to be learned for srilankan’s . problem with srilanka is their is too much of hot air all over the place. reminds me of a man in a hot air balloon asking a guy down below, what is his position. when the man below gave it , the fellow up there started shouting that it does help him if he does not give it more precisely, and that he is a dumb peasant etc, etc. the man below asked him ” you must be in senior management”.

    yes, that is right. how did you know asked the man in the hot air balloon.

    because you are up there full of hot air, you don’t know where you are, or where you are going, and you blame those below you for all your problems.

  54. Comment # 63 (krishnakumar),

    Don’t get too excited. India might have been referred to as the land from A to B but never in history until the British was it under one administration.

    North America is a continent that was never under one administration and never will be. India is refereed probably the same way in historical data if such data does exist as you mentioned.

    The problem with earlier Tamil secessionist movement and Dravidian movement in my point of view is that it never internationalized or shared its strength with others and never brought in the strength of others. Tamil Eelam movement is the same, if the Eelam Tamils had joined with other struggles and supported them openly in ideology and material (or simply if they had went and showed their sympathy with other struggles would have naturally made awareness and connections), the Tamil people would have stood with iron support around the world. It did not, that is why when a massacre was ongoing, Latin America and other sympathetic people had no clue and still don’t have any clue. While the west and giant powers who act according to their geo-political interests had much to say which was in more support of the Sinhalese as they were offered prices from what belonged to the Tamils.

    Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes. That we live in a globalised world and our struggle which was always carried out with only our strength is no match for the enemy who had a global support (mostly irresponsible governments or governments who put their geo-politics in the driver’s seat).

    Seeman has a great standing in Tamil Nadu especially with the youths. The Tamil Diaspora is mesmerized by him. In terms of age he has a long way to go as he is very young. Many Tamil Diaspora youths are currently taking on projects with other struggles, already are in many different fields and the Tamils after seeing what happened on the island is keen on getting to the position of powers in respective countries and world organizations (including forming their own global organizations which is untraceable by the current terrorism/criminal laws around the world). Tamil Nadu is more empowered then before, educated then before and will want to determine their own destiny. If Seeman is thrown in for a front leadership role in positions that has been always occupied by Karunathi, Jayalalitha and Prabakaran then the tables will turn. The Tamil Diaspora can give support and gather international support to him as well. The youths who are very attached to him would put a cork in your mouth and make you sit and watch the drama. The Tamil secessionist movement joining with Kalaistan, Kashmeries, Assamese and many others that want India broken apart will do the job.

  55. 62. krishnakumar | October 6th, 2009 at 9:24 pm
    India as today never existed. Greeks visited Tamil Nadu but they did not say they visited India. India is clearly a foreign concept as it is only found in Foreign countries. Greek India is more of today’s Pakistan, the land along the Indus river. For you foreigners are great, that is why Greek is more to you than any of your forefathers account. All the puranas refer 56 states, never ever one India. India is a concept created by the East Indian Company. India is kept by the brute force of Indian military not by anything else. Was Kashmere was part of India? What is the similarity? Language? religion? Greeks have their own language to identify and so are Italians. What are you talking about Indian Ocean? Indian Ocean is a very recent concept. This name was not there before. These are colonial identities. What India now is another colonization. That is all. North Indians considered South Indians as monkeys and us as demons. This is your concept of Indians. We do not belong to these despicable concept. We founded the concept of Yaadum oore Yavrum Kelir.
    Easwaran

  56. Thanks DBS for another most illuminating article in the series. How much do we owe you for these gems.

    I want to know from this educated audience the parallels of the development of political conscience in the South India and in Sri Lanka. In the latter we know the leading families that had the extra cash to get into this luxury were the ‘rentier’ capitalists, owning the arrack trade like DS Senannaykes’s parents and those receiving government bounty like the ancestors of SWRDB, JRJ and SJVC. Some families had one or two wayward sons in the family who would take up religious and political causes. Controllable state of things changes with the entry of angry men astute and worldly wise ready to take up trade union organization typically of NM Perera, Peiter Keuneman, Colvin R de Silva ilk. The Vice chancellor Ivor Jennings of the Uni in early 40s uppity young lecturer NMP was sacked from his job. Wimalasurendra father of hydro electricity had disciplinary investigations against him for approaching state councillors with his new fangled ideas of generating electricity, and later became as state councillor himself. Osmund Jayaratne, a junior lecturer too was sacked from a similar position 15 years later for taking part in a May day parade taking sick leave.

    Perhaps South India was more insular to ideas of socialism because they did not have the income or a land owning class of people rich enough to send their off spring for education abroad. Madras Uni in Madras supplied the need and educated the lower elite of Sri Lanka too in science and engineering education. Nehru and his foreign Minister from Kerala were the exceptions.

    In the films of the 60s do you recall ‘Veera pandiya Kattabomman’. Don’t you think that was an exception to the run of the mill Tamil films glorifying the anti imperial struggle of Prince Kattabomman with Shivaji Ganesan in the lead role. I saw few extracts of that in the Utube.

  57. 60. Dharshini… Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are smart. I don’t think I would have got this info from 100 history books. Secondly my solution to SL ethnic problem is to encourage inter marriage because most of my friends who have married across the racial boundaries are extremely happy and prosperous although I missed the boat!
    63. Shankar… I love your hot air balloon!!
    66. Tissa Wije… Is it true that Sir Ivor Jennings and Sir Arthur Ranasinghe of Kegalle drew up the SL constitution for Independent SL? Have you got any literature/information on this?
    Finally thank you DBS for providing this wonderful opportunity

  58. Re 50 coments by Ms Dharshini .
    Its quite obvious that the likes of Ms Dharshini are relics from the past what with her anti Brahmin vitriolics !! She starts off with the Kamaraj vs Rajaji feud and calls it Brahmin subterfuge against a hapless Nadar.A brief study of the political history of Tamil Nadu in the 30s and 40s would enlighten a keen student of the happenings then.The myth of Brahmin domination of Tamil Nadu politics would disappear from the minds of the reader with the knowledge that there were only a handful of Brahmins in the arena- Satyamoorthi and R Venkataraman (who later became the President of India), were the only notable exceptions who held sway. Rajaji’s stature as an astute lawyer, freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi(his conscience keeper) catapulted him to political limelight. He was there by his own right.The glaring fact for the proponents of the Dravidian movement that at the helm of affairs was a”‘wiley old Brahmin” who was calling the shots, was something galling and unthinkable to have happened.It would pointless to fault with the way in which Rajaji was shunted out,but that was politics and Rajaji himself was no exception to the rules of the game.In a no holds barred contest for the chief Minister’s post Kamaraj’s machinations put paid Rajaji .Finally Independent India honoured the great man and Rajaji became the first Indian Governor General.

    Ms Darshini’s distorted views of Nadar history is quite amusing.Its quite unthinkable how a community which considered itself as a martial race would have meekly submitted to the might of an alien force. A brief glimpse into the medevial history of Tamil Nadu would pooh pooh Ms Varshini’s assumptions. The Pandyas of Madurai were subjugated from early 900s till mid 1200s by the Cholas but never in those nearly 300 years could the Cholas break their spirit. Around 1250 CE,the Pandyas of Madurai bounced back and overthrew the Cholan yoke. The high point in that glorious come back was the reign of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan.His military exploits,administrative capability,his generous endowments to temples especially to Srirangam were in no way inferior of that of the great Rajaraja Chola.
    Brahmin bashing notwithstanding,history will always speak the truth.During the reign of the Chola king Kulothunga the 1st, Brahmins who sufficiently distinquished themselves as military generals (senapatis) where given the title “Brahmadhirajas” .

    In conclusion no one can never grudge the meteoric rise of the Nadar community in the last 150 years socially and economically.They have earned a special place and respect among the people of Tamil Nadu at large.
    Narayanswamy Sankaran

  59. This is in response to # 62 from Mr. K. Eswaran.

    I think it is prudent to say that your (and a few more people’s) views and mine a few more like Krishnakumar’s are unlikely to change. You think India is a foreign concept. History doesn’t say that. Well, you’ll then say the History was written by foreigners. I’ll simply say you are entitled to your opinion.

    As Krishnakumar said, if India is a recent concept, so is Tamil Nadu. There was never a country or state called Tamil Nadu until the Congress government in Independent India (the ones I believe you hate) announced it. There were Chera, Chola, Pandya kingdoms. Then there were Pallava kingdoms and so many more. You want to claim a separate Tamil Nation, then I will say, separate it as Chola Nadu and Pandya nadu. And someone else will ask it to split it up as separate districts. My friend, your logic can be extended to a level that you too will find unacceptable.

    For that matter, most nations currently are different from what they were. China was not like what it is now. Tibet is under dispute and so on. On what basis do you say Kashmir (it is not Kashmere) is not part of India? Is it because of the current dispute? There are disputes in many nations in the world. Tibet and Xinjiang in China, Kashmir in India, Balochistan in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and so on. India existed before the British came. It may not have been by the same name but it existed as several Empires and kingdoms – just like our state, Tamil Nadu. That’s how all the nations have been. The languages spoken may be different but the concept of India has always existed. I am sure you may not accept it, but I’m just stating it here as a response to your comment.

    I write here like this because I too am a Tamilian born and raised in TN. I consider myself Indian and Tamilian and I don’t see a contradiction. Yadhum Oore yavaraum KeLir is very much an Indian concept of Sarva Jana Sukhino Bhavantu.

  60. This is a contination of response to Mr. K Easwaran

    Mr. Easwaran’s comments reflect the Separate Tamil nation concept. A weak argument, I believe and most ppl of TN too do, including the Dravidian parties, came to accept as unacceptable. That was the reason, the concept, originated with the Dravidian parties, floundered and was finally killed not externally, but by the very same people who propounded it. Even Mr. DBSJ has elaborated it very well. As Krishnakumar mentioned in # 62, why don’t you or anyone in TN, try flying this kite of separatism? My request is please don’t take it violently. I’m saying this out of concern for innocent Tamils. Try fighting it politically. Let someone like Director Seeman lead it if he wants. See how the people of TN react to your antics. Fortunately, you have the political space in India to try it.

    I’m sorry to say this – you are like the LTTE supporters who refuse to believe the death of Prabhakaran and the military defeat of LTTE. Go ahead with your imagination of Kumari Kandam, separate Tamil nation etc. The world is moving ahead.

  61. 71. Giri | October 8th, 2009 at 6:04 pm
    Tholkapiar says Vada Vengadam then kumari aayidath Thamil koorum Nallulagu, about 2000 years back. He did not say that Thamil koorum Nallulagu was in India. Not a single soul in the so called India, at least 500years back, ever said that India is a country stretching from Himalaya to Indian ocean. North Indians wants others to fight Pakistan. That is why this concept India. Forget about China, India lost huge chunk of land to them and never think of fighting to get that part. Was that part of India or China? India is a foreign concept, nothing else. When Andra wanted their land, Nehru never wanted to give. One man died without taking food, then only he relented to give Andra Predesh. Then Karnataka followed. Periyar said Dravida Nadu concept is no more and wanted to take Thami Nadu concept. Anna did not want that. He clinged on to Dravida Nadu, fearing that the Indian military might can only be managed by the combined action of Southern States. Thamil and Thamil Nadu concept was there from Tholkapiar. Ennai Nanraga Iravian Seithan Thannai Nanraga Thamil Seivatharge. Thirumular did not say Thannai Nanraga Sayanscript Seivatharge. Another one says Thamilodu isai pada maranthariyen. Not only India is a foreign concept, even Indian leaders are foreigners. Nehru to Sonia. You still consider southners as monkeys and demons. Take out the Indian army and say to a Kashmere that Kashmere had been and will be part of India. You better say that over the phone, to be safe.
    Easwaran

  62. #64. Ananthan
    If Seeman is thrown in for a front leadership role in positions that has been always occupied by Karunathi, Jayalalitha and Prabakaran then the tables will turn.

    It is so funny to see this. I bet $1000, wherever/whenever seeman stands in an election in TN for a MP or MLA post he would loose his deposit. I think he cannot even win a post of councillor in any ward in TN.

    The youths who are very attached to him would put a cork in your mouth and make you sit and watch the drama


    What these youths would know as you rightly say they know only violence and nothing else.

    Just aks the people who were youths in 60s and 70s , they can tell the war cries of seeman would just pale in comparison with that of MK and Anna.

    The Tamil secessionist movement joining with Kalaistan, Kashmeries, Assamese

    Good joke. I think you are suffering from Amnesia or the time has frozen for you in the late 80s.

    Is there anything called Kalisthan movement now? ha ha ha. Is there anything called Assamese terrorism now? Assamese terrorism was there because of hostile govt. of Khalida zia in bangladesh. That lady now is gone so is the terrorism in Assam.

    Once Burma gets a sensible govt then the remaining small pockets of terrorism in Maniput would vanish.

    Kashmir is an issue just because of pakistan’s involvement.
    Why there wasnt any kashmiri issue before 1971?
    The utterly defeated pakistan is just trying to foment trouble in india to seek revenge for 1971.

    The majority of millitants in kashmir is not kashmiri but they are pakistani. Even there, there is no separatism in Jammu region,Ladakh region,Leh region of J&K . Only violence is there in the valley and mind you now in the whole valley but it is restricted to only few few districts of the valley.

    Even those few districts are coming back to normalcy.

    Take pakistan out of the picture then there is nothing called Kashmiri terrorism.

    Come back to reality. Probably your broken time machine is still in 1980s.

  63. Comment # 73,

    You would be surprised how much support the Maoist and other separatist movements of India thrive in the western countries and socialist states around the world building an unshakable base. A lesson and allies for the Tamil that we have not contacted nor have learned from. India’s elite luxurious Diaspora who is only interested in the economic benefit has not done any work with grassroots or other movements/organizations in the west or socialist states to keep the Indian Unity. The Indian mission in the country of my residence is coated with corruption (you would expect that India would at least refrain from exporting their corruption beyond its border, many of my friends have done wonders with just $100). The Eelam Tamils should move away from India and ally with the very people India oppresses and speak us one and add to the movement. Even if India did help us it would only do it for their benefit such as plundering the land and the human resources of the Tamil people.

    I had a discussion from an elderly Sikh gentleman who explained the challenge they face in openly lobbying for Kalistan politically or in armed struggle in India at the moment. It is all done in underground, and one of the finest ways is to get their cadres in influential position with in the governments at all stages. Which means that your worst nightmare can be your best friend!!!!

    “Once Burma gets a sensible govt then the remaining small pockets of terrorism in Maniput would vanish.”

    You wish…..If everything was easy as that then no one would have problem. I am sure it is people of your caliber that is advising the Sri Lankan government that getting rid of the LTTE and locking everyone up from the de-facto state would solve the entire problem.

    “Come back to reality. Probably your broken time machine is still in 1980s”

    Your solutions are still stuck in the 1980’s, we are all in 2000. The tactics/methods all have changed. Then again you are stuck in the Indian mentality who blindingly praise Ghandi for the exit of the Brtisih not considering the many others who contributed it even at a much greater level then Ghandi. Many still take pleasure in blaming Jinah (sadly many things that Jinah basing makes you more Indian) and not looking into why he had to make such a call for Pakistan (the Pakistan that he had in vision and oversaw is totally different from what exists today). Then again your mind is set on the Indian idea and you are convinced that nothing can go wrong. You won’t budge until it hits you on the ground, it will be soon if not very soon.

  64. Comment #74,

    “Do we want a single state or do we want two? Do we want one Ceylon or do we want two?.. These are the issues that in fact we have been discussing under the form and appearance of the language issue… if you mistreat them (Tamils), if you ill treat them…. if you oppress and harass them, in the process you may cause to emerge in Ceylon, from that particular racial stock with its own language and tradition, a new nationality to which we will have to concede more claims than it puts forward now… If we come to the stage where instead of parity, we through needless insularity, get into the position of suppressing the Tamil … federal demand… there may emerge separatism.” – Dr Colvin R. De Silva, Sinhala Opposition Member of Parliament, Hansard, June 1956

    I wonder how much laughter he got in parliament and how many of them called him a good joker or turned around to tell others that he is just kidding.

  65. Mr. Easwaran

    You want to throw away all the History books and cling to a few lines of a poem and believe that Tamil Nadu was a nation and India isn’t? Well, its your choice.

    You don’t accept or agree the political realities of present day and maintain your views. I believe you are in a dream world. It is possible to wake up a sleeping person, not one who is pretending. God Bless you.

    Well, finally, now that you continue to believe that TN is a nation and India isn’t, what are you going to do? Write blogs, or create a political movement? Go ahead.

  66. 77. Giri | October 9th, 2009 at 2:15 pm
    I said India, as it is today, never existed about 500 years back. That is fact. Alexander came to India and and stopped long away from South India. That was the Greek India which you are clinging on as present day India. Actually, Pakistan belong to the title of India, not the present day India, the land along the river Indus. I proved you that the Tamils had the concept of Thamil Nadu from the time of Tholkappiar and many others to this day, with land area clearly defined. You happily disregard the few lines of Tamil poems because you have no regard for the Tamils. You are the decendants of those who described the Tamils as Monkeys and demons. Show me one Indian author of 500years or more back using the word India to describe the land from Nepal to Indian Ocean. I agree India is there now, but it is there by the brute force of Indian military. About your blessing, please keep it with you. Indian blessing killed about 40000Tamils in the month of May alone. I no longer trust your blessing.
    Easwaran

  67. Mr. Eswaran,

    Reg the name of India, pls see this link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_India.

    Anything you say has to withstand the analysis of historians and finally accepted. The existence of India is not a fact that I have propounded. I’m simply restating what the History books are saying. It has existed as Bharat, Hindustan, Hindoostan, Aryavrata etc. Currently it is called India. You may choose to disagree.

    Regarding Tamil Nadu, what you have stated are those lines of the poem. That is not proof. The statement that India or Bharat or Hindustan was never a nation, has to be accepted by the Historians, not just me. By the way, Vada vengadam is now part of Andra Pradesh. A good number of people in that region don’t speak Tamil now. These are historical changes that have taken place. It was a part of the Tamil koorum ulagam at that time, but not now. Similarly what was Chera nadu is now mostly Kerala and the people speak Malayalam. This too is a historical change from the times of Tolkappiam.

    It is impossible for Indian army to maintain TN as part of India by brute force. The DK and DMK proposed separate Dravida Nadu and then Thani Tamil Nadu. It was simply unacceptable to the people. Mr. DBSJ has elaborately described it. The DMK themselves let that argument go because they knew that the people will not accept it. If TN is part of India because of military force, the people will resist it, actively or passively – look at Palestine or Tibet. The people of Tamil Nadu participate in Indian elections willingly and reasonably overwhelmingly. If the elections aren’t free or fair, the media will report them. These are proof enough that people of TN willingly accept India as a nation, not because of military force. If Kashmir is disputed, it is because Pakistan is encouraging it overtly and covertly. India is providing political space to people of that state and now the people are participating in elections better than before. It is a case of democratic work in progress. The present India is a democratic Union of the individual states including TN. The majority of people have chose that but you can disagree from the majority.

    As I said before, I know for sure that you are not going to accept my arguments. I’m supporting my arguments with information from history books. I don’t want to let your selective quotation of poems and distorted beliefs, unchallenged and hence my responses. Tolkappaim belongs not just to you but to me too and each and everyone born in this state and who loves, cherishes and is part of the Tamil culture. My responses are as much relevant to you as well as Mr. Ananthan. You can accuse me whatever you like.

    Regarding the Sri Lankan civil war, the gory civilian deaths and the eventual defeat in May 2009, Mr. DBSJ has written so well that I don’t have much to add. I only want to state that If LTTE had acted sensibly and responsibly in the past, it wouldn’t have come to such a pass. It is useless to blame India or Indians for that.

  68. 79. Giri | October 10th, 2009 at 1:03 pm
    Have any one defined the limits of these Bharat, Hindustan, Hindoostan, Aryavrata etc. before 500years? No. I agree that the people along Vadavengadam are no more Tamils. So what?Canada is mainly an English and French speaking country now. Does that mean that those who lived in Canada mainly spoke these languages 500years ago? Tamil speaking people’s limits were defined long long ago without the appendage of India. That was my point. About Kashmere, It was not part of India even in 1947-48. British Indian army helped a hindu man to rule over almost 100% muslim Kashmere. Kashmere in present day India is smilar to day light robbery. It is the Indians care which resulted in the deaths of so many deaths of Tamil. Tamils followed many religions in the past, Buddhism, Sammanam, Saivam etc. They did not confine themselves within the confines of Hinduism from which Hindustan, Hindoostan derived. Aryavrata name itself sounds non Tamil related. Tholkapiar is nothing to you, but a Greek reference is more to you. Tamil Nadu people were denied the opportunity to prove their affinity towards Tamil Nadu. India got a humiliating blow from China in the early sixties. All the Indians, present day Indians, were angry but could not do anything. Nehru exploited the opportunity to pass the law denying the right to contest election on a secessionist platform. Tamil Nadu people were denied the opportunity to prove it. It is the Indian military might which stood in the way for Tamil Nadu platform. Anna wanted to tackle the issue through the Legislative Assembly and it was frustrated by Nehru by passing that law. Kamaraj was such a sincere leader and he was summarily defeated by a student. Kamaraj never had the guts to say no to Nehru when Nehru was wrong. It was Nehru who made Kamaraj to loose base in Tamil Nadu not the DMK, though it happened after Nehru passed away, as elections come after certain period. DMK exploited the weakness of the Nehru’s ever obedient Kamaraj.
    Easwaran

  69. to comment 78-k. easwaran

    your quote” I agree India is there now, but it is there by the brute force of Indian military” unquote.

    are you sure of that? how many indian military stationed in tamilnadu? does what you say apply to the other 24 states too? how many tamils killed by the brutal indian military? does that include tamils in the indian military too, or are they less brutal?

  70. Mr Easwaran,

    Let me respond to your questions slightly differently. It may not convince you satisfactorily though because you like what you believe even if it is different from the accepted History books and current political reality. It is like an Utopian nation for you.

    You say that the Telugu, Kannada and Malyalam speaking areas can be part of the Tamil nation, then why not Tamil speaking area be part of Bharatam? You may not like the name India, but Bharatam has been in existence for a very long time – since Mahabharatam, which we have from our own Villiputturar. Or the name Hindustanam, which has been in existence from the time of the Indus valley civilization. You ask boundaries of it defined in a poem and I’m not aware of any such poem. My knowledge is limted on that area. May be someone more knowledgeable can enlighten us. But, pls remember – absence of proof is not proof of absence.

    But proofs do exist politically if not poetically. Bharat or Hindustan has been in existence politically as mostly Maurya empire, Gupta Empire in the north along with kingdoms of Chera, Chola, Pandya, Rashtrakutas in the south as also Pala, Magadha kingdoms in the East (presently, Bengal and Orissa). Firstly the Greeks, then the Eastern and Western Christian nations, later Islamic nations have called these empires and Kingdoms together as Hindustan or Hindoostan.

    Let us leave the languages for a moment and ask ourselves what comprises a nation state. If it has to contain mostly (for ex. 90% of people speaking the same language), then only the present day TN can be called so. But as much as the language, also the shared History and cultural beliefs have been part of a nation. In that case, TN, Kerala, Andhra and so on form part of the Bharat and it also transcends religion. In my opinion you are convinced that only the former (linguistic majority) forms a nation state whereas I say that shared history and culture, forms a nation state. India is a union of linguistically diverse states. Here is where you disagree, I don’t think you will change this opinion. I say that it is politically present as a Union of states because of shared history.

    Regarding Kashmir, pls refer to this – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Kashmir. It has always been part of Bharat. When Pakistan invaded India in 1965 with the hope of snatching Kashmir, the people in the border areas alerted the Indian army and only hence India could win and retain Kashmir. Even during the Kargil war, the people in the border areas alerted the army of Pak intruders and Indian army chased them out. The alerting wouldn’t have happened if those people did not think that they are part of Indian union. You can find this out if you study about those wars. The political disturbances in only Kashmir valley (not Jammu and Ladakh regions) is because Pakistan using the religion, overtly and covertly instigated for their selfish reasons.

    Your argument blaming Mr. Nehru for clamping down on seccesionism doesn’t hold water. He did what any PM of this Union state would have done. Hypotherically if there were a separate Tamil nation, no leader would have allowed seccesionism as Chola and Pandya areas. DMK could have fought back Mr. Nehru if they had the conviction. DMK realized it is unacceptable to the people of TN and hence backed out. If TN people’s support for seccesionism had been present strongly, DMK wouldn’t have backed down, Few other seccesionists such as some Kasmir valley people aren’t backing down to the Indian military might. India is currently defeating seccesionism in Kashmir through political accommodation – something that Sri Lankan Tamils have been asking the Sri Lankan governments for many decades. Indian political accommodation is a work in progress as much as the Indian democracy is.

  71. giri

    thanks for your comments 83. i got some valuable knowledge from it, which i was looking for some time.

  72. I have had the occasion to personally talk to people who are blood relations of EVR in erode. They told me that EVR married maniyammai only because she was sexually abused by both anna & mu.ka.

    They also told me that EVR was called “maapillai naicker” bcos of his shenangians.

    Unfortunately where EVR erred was in thinking that it was brahmins who were the root cause of all eveil. He failed & rather did not speak up for the SC/ST & as a result the divison between the NBs & the SC/ST widened.

    I also got some personal titbits abt EVR. Seems he wasa once seen parying to Lord Ganesha in house by Anna. Anna was disgusted on seeing this & this led to the split.

    Difficult to believe but not impossible.

    Also EVR wore a black shirt bcos as per hindu belief, you can wear a black dress & speak lies.

    Anyway the single biggest contribution of EVR has been a highly divided society on caste lines.

  73. Talking of annadurai he was no saint. He started the practise of collecting money at party meetings by ‘hundi’. This was resented by EVR.

    His Govt was the first to institutionalise corruption. During the govt formation, mu.ka was adamant on the home portfolio but anna fearing that mu.ka may get vindictive against his political enemies, gave him the PWD portfolio & “allowed” him to make money.

    As for mu.ka, he is the worst ever politician in India. he will stoop to any level to gain favours.

  74. The entire dravidian movement is a fraud. Look at the present situation in TN. The so-called dravidian parties have engendered many scams. Tamil Nadu is the only state where there are hardly any higher institutions of learning like IIMs. Blind belief in the reservation system (affirmative action)has led to a total failure of the educational system and only rote learning seems to have prospered. This is proved by the fact that very few Tamilians succeed in any competitive exam. Please do not dismiss this as a biased Brahminical or North Indian viewpoint. Please face facts.

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