Feature Article

Muthukumar triggers off mood of defiance in Tamil Nadu

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2009, 02:11 GMT]
Muthukumar was not there but his spirit was there. The lamentable self-immolation of the youth and the last statement he distributed had significant impact especially on the youth of Tamil Nadu and triggered off a series of consequences, unprecedented in such acts earlier in Tamil Nadu. Apart from public unrest, tension and street violence, the deeper manifestation was the open public defiance of the Government of India ban against the LTTE, which the people demonstrated carrying LTTE flags, placards and images of Pirapaharan in the funeral procession of Muthukumar. The intensification of student uprising as an aftermath of his sacrifice has made the state government to close colleges indefinitely, reports a journalist from Tamil Nadu.

Muthukumar funeral
Muthukumar funeral
Open display of the images of the LTTE leader Pirapaharan along with Muthukumar
Muthukumar funeral
The hearse carrying LTTE declared Tamil Eelam National flag
Muthukumar funeral
A part 8 km long procession
Muthukumar funeral
Security deployed by the government for the funeral
About a hundred thousand people, including college students from all over Tamil Nadu, cadres of various pro-Eelam political parties, women organizations, mediapersons and members of the public participated in Muthukumar's funeral procession Saturday that lasted eight hours. As fiery soul-stirring slogans rent the air, mourners at the emotional procession prominently displayed Tamil National Leader Pirapaharan's photographs and the Tamil Eelam flag.

Prominent Tamil nationalist leaders Vaiko (General Secretary, MDMK), Thirumavalavan (President, VCK) and Nedumaran (President, Tamil Nationalist Movement) and leading film personalities like Bharatiraja, Cheran, Seeman, Maniratnam, Selvamani and Mansoor Ali Khan took part in the procession. Also present were the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State General Secretary Tamilisai Sounderrajan, Traders Union President T Vellaiyan and Tamil National Alliance MP Srikandha.

Muthukumar's mortal remains were placed on a decorated and modified hearse at 3:00 p.m. Law college students turned pall-bearers and carried Muthukumar's coffin to the hearse. The vehicle carried the photographs of Muthukumar along with that of LTTE leader Pirapaharan. It took eight hours for the three-kilometer long procession to traverse a mere distance of six kilometres from Muthukumar's sister Tamilarasi's home in Kolathur to the Moolakoththalam cremation ground.

All shops in the district had downed their shutters as a mark of solidarity. Members of the public welcomed the procession and saluted Muthukumar's sacrifice by lighting torches. College students from all over Tamil Nadu, and members of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK), Revolutionary Youth Front (RYF), Revolutionary Students Front (RSF), and other Tamil organizations took part in the procession.

Tension prevailed when hoardings of Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi were torn; and wall-writings displaying their names were damaged by the youth taking part in the rally. Heavy police and paramiltary presence could do nothing to dampen the courageous spirit of the students. Slogans raised in the meeting were in support of a separate Tamil homeland Eelam, and in praise of National Leader Pirapakaran and the Tamil Tigers. For the first time in recent years, such a public display of the Eelam flag and Pirapakaran's photograph has taken place in Tamil Nadu, a journalist taking part in the event observed.

Even before the funeral procession entered the cremation ground, news reached the students that the Tamil Nadu Government had ordered indefinite closure of all colleges and hostels. This lead to students vigorously voicing their protests and venting their anger by raising anti-government slogans and threatening dire consequences if the ruling class failed to respect their sentiments. As a result of their frustration, law college students spontaneously protested by sitting in the middle of the procession and blocking the roads. They vowed to prevent the funeral from taking place until the government paid heed to their demands. This stalled the procession by two hours. Only after they were cajoled and convinced by several leaders, they agreed to allow the procession to move.

The funeral procession carrying Muthukumar's body entered the Moolakoththalam cremation ground at 10.30 p.m. The last rites were performed subsequently.

At 11:10 p.m. his funeral pyre was lit by his father Kumaresan. Condolence speeches were made at the Moolakoththalam cremation ground itself. Political leaders Vaiko and Thirumavalavan eulogised Muthukumar and saluted his bravery in their fiery speeches. Veteran CPI leader Nallakannu, Traders Union President T Vellaiyan and director Cheran also spoke on this occasion.The last of the speeches ended at exactly 12.07 a.m on Sunday.

About five thousand people stayed in the burial ground till the end of this tense and teary ceremony.



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