Feature Article

Timing of Jayalalithaa case targets Dravidian polity

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 September 2014, 17:10 GMT]
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK Chief Ms J Jayalalithaa has been sentenced on Saturday to 4 years of imprisonment, Rs. 100 crore fine and has been debarred from contesting elections for six years after the completion of the prison term by a special court of India, in a 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. Last month, New Delhi’s Central Bureau of Investigation filed a new telecommunication corruption case against a former DMK minister and a Malaysian corporate owner of Eezham Tamil origin, in addition to earlier cases on DMK leaders. The New Delhi government stridently opposes and blocks any UN or international scrutiny on crimes committed in the island of Sri Lanka. Ms Jayalalithaa, personally as well as through Tamil Nadu State Assembly, has been demanding international investigations on the genocide in the island.

The timing of the judicial measures, politically and geopolitically targets Dravidian polity in Tamil Nadu that challenges the ‘Hindutva’ polity’s imperialist vision, which doesn’t shun complicity in the genocide of Eezham Tamils, political observers in Chennai said.

New Delhi’s partnership with Colombo in the genocidal-military engineering in the region is the core factor behind the unfolding developments related to Tamil Nadu, the observers further said.

Citing political unrest in Tamil Nadu following the court verdict on Saturday, BJP’s Strategic Action Committee chairman Subramanian Swamy, who had originally filed the case against Ms Jayalalithaa in 1996, has already started demanding dismissal of the Tamil Nadu government and ‘presidential rule’ in the State.

While individual misappropriation of public funds are heard, decided, publicized and used, en bloc misappropriation of the lands and resources of the whole nation of Eezham Tamils takes place by the larger designs of the New Delhi Establishment. New Delhi's approach to Tamil Nadu is no more ‘national’. It is international imperialistic and geopolitical. The Tamil Nadu polity has to be awakened to the larger realities and should respond in intelligent ways, the political observers in Chennai said.

* * *

Further observations by a political analyst in Chennai follow:

The Dravidian movement had emerged as a counter-hegemonic force in Tamil Nadu politics in the early 20th century, where its foundational leaders had challenged the Indian nationalist movement for being North Indian centric and for upholding Brahminism both in society and politics.

One of the most important historic leaders of this movement, Periyar, who was a staunch anti-caste and pro-women’s rights activist, was of the opinion from the 1920’s that a separate state of Dravida Nadu alone could guarantee rights for the Tamils in the mainland.

However, the demand for a separate state was dropped by DMK, which split from the Periyar’s Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949 to become a political party. The DMK, led by CN Annadurai (Anna), focused more on having more political and cultural autonomy for the state of Tamil Nadu.

After Anna was elected as Chief Minister in 1967, the state rule has alternated only between Dravidian parties - the DMK led by Karunanidhi following Anna’s death, and the AIADMK led by MGR and later by Jayalalitha.

Several Indian academics have conceded to the Dravidian rule that the alternating governments, with their policy of competitive populism and socio-economic welfare schemes, have contributed to making Tamil Nadu one of the model states in India.

Yet, at several occasions in the past, the centre has used its powers to dismiss governments in Tamil Nadu if the state’s rulers did not comply with the centre’s line.

Likewise, this is not the first time that corruption charges against the Dravidian parties have been laid. Indian-centric media, both ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’, have for several years tried to paint the Dravidian rule as essentially corrupt.

However, the recent judicial moves against Dravidian leaders have a larger and more insidious agenda.

This particular case against Jayalalitha was filed by Subramaniam Swamy in 1996. Swamy, a high ranking member in the BJP which currently rules the central government, has also clashed with the AIADMK leader recently on the issue of Tamil fishermen being shot by the Sri Lanka Navy.

He has also called for dismissal of the Tamil Nadu government citing Jayalalitha’s opposition to Sri Lanka.

While Jayalalitha was initially opposed to the political demands of the Eezham Tamil people, one of her campaign slogans in the run-up to the 2011 elections was support for free Tamil Eelam.

After she came to power, historically significant resolutions were passed in the Tamil Nadu state assembly, calling for an independent international investigation into Sri Lanka’s genocidal crimes and for a referendum to be conducted among Eezham Tamils to decide their political future.

These moves irked Delhi-centric politicians and political pundits, with many expressing the opinion that a state government cannot interfere in foreign policy, which, according to them, was a preserve of the centre.

It also needs to be noted that the India has blocked even the minimal investigations that the UN has recently commissioned. Likewise, the extent of the role of Indian officials in the war is yet to be properly investigated.

The war on the Eezham Tamil nation was facilitated by the world powers in general, specifically the Washington-New Delhi axis, owing to the geo-political significance of the region.

The same logic of these imperialisms recognizes the role that Tamil Nadu can play in the future in significantly shaping and maybe even securing political justice for the Eezham Tamils.

The targeting of strong leaders in the Tamil Nadu state, the assault on civil and political liberties, the creation of a security or corruption paranoia by the Indian media, the calls by Hindutva extremists to impose President’s rule, all have to be seen in the light of New Delhi’s attempts to break the morale of the Tamil people.


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