Tamil nationalism undefeatable - Prof. Kumar David
[TamilNet, Monday, 13 October 2008, 10:59 GMT]
Looking at the characteristics of Tamil nationalism within the four demographic groups, North, East, Colombo and the diaspora Tamils, Professor Kumar David, in an opinion column in the weekend edition of Lakbima, says that the anger of the Tamils with the Sinhala state, though very real, will always remain muted and the "rise of the LTTE in the shape of a militarist alternative is precisely the dialectical response, the antithesis, the rejection, that this [Sri Lankan] state of affairs gave rise to." The Tamil diaspora can drive the nationalist movement forward for decades, irrespective of the outcome of today's military campaigns, he says.
On Tamils in North, Prof. Kumar says: "The willingness of Wanni Tamils to follow the LTTE into the wilderness indicates that despite the ravages of war, Northern Tamils are willing to choose the LTTE over the Sinhala state."
"Congenital meekness of the Tamil psyche will prevent a Warsaw Ghetto type uprising in Jaffna."
Opining that many Tamils in the east are now willing to strike a deal with the Sri Lankan state due to "war weariness and declining confidence in the armed struggle," he believes, "eventually quislings will be marginalised sans constitutional reform (a high degree of autonomy) and a solution to the land question, neither possible for the Rajapaksa regime," and elaborates that a "client TMVP will decay in time to no more than a Douglas [Devananda] type brigade."
On diaspora Tamils Prof David adds, Tami diaspora "is solidly pro-LTTE, it has enormous financial clout and political influence, and it is numerous in crucial Western countries." However, David asserts that he "cannot envision an "Expatriate Tamil Brigade", like the world Jewish community which stormed Palestine after World War I, "landing on the shores of the Wanni." He adds, the diaspora, however, "can drive the nationalist movement forward for decades, irrespective of the outcome of today's military campaigns."
On the possibility of the ascendance of Tamil nationalism, "LTTE will suffer a knockout blow or eventually tie the military up in knots," Prof David says, "if the LTTE strikes back effectively, Tamil nationalism will ride high again and changes will accelerate in the southern polity," and ponders that in this scenario whether the Rajapaksa regime will be destroyed "at the hands of its own people."
Prof David surmises that if the compromise view that "LTTE is not invincible, but will not be entirely vanquished either," is correct then "there will be a period of depression and disillusionment followed by the eruption of new politico-military struggles."
"I envisage a much bigger role for Southern Tamils in alliance with radical Sinhalese; the process will take a year or two to mature but Southern Tamils will come out of their shell since the regime is politically bankrupt. Faster reactions will be in the diaspora and in South India; a prominent role in Tamil nationalism will accrue to the diaspora, and it will be effective."