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Poet Pulamaipithan who championed Tamil Eelam solidarity in Tamil Nadu turns 85

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 October 2020, 11:40 GMT]
It was Kuttimani's profound speech proclaiming his last wish while on death row that captivated Poet Laureate Pulamaipithan to be inspired by the freedom struggle of Eezham Tamils. The poet was 44 in 1979. His commitment secured LTTE leader V Pirapaharan and fellow militants from possible deportation from Tamil Nadu to Colombo back in 1982, following a shoot-out at Pondy Bazaar in Chennai. A man of integrity, Poet Pulamaipithan, played a crucial role in getting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) to support Mr Pirapaharan and the Tamil Eelam cause. In an interview with TamilNet in June 2008, the famous lyricist, who was also a former Deputy Chairman of Tamil Nadu Legislative Council, narrated his involvement since the early days. Joining Tamils world over in wishing him well on his 85th birthday, TamilNet releases this 2-hour long video recording made in Tamil.

The interview reveals the contribution of M Kalyanasundaram, a member of the Indian parliament from Tamil Nadu (1980-1986) in convincing the then Indian PM Ms Indira Gandhi not to deport the Tamil militants involved in the Pondy Bazaar shoot-out citing the fate of Kuttimani and others handed over to the SL State earlier.

“I cannot support Tamil Eelam, but I won’t deport the boys,” Ms Gandhi had told Mr Kalyanasundaram, according to Pulavar Pulamaipithan.

Kuttimani was deported earlier by India. At the death row of the SL State, the TELO leader’s last wish was for his eyes to be transplanted on another so that they could see the independence of Tamil Eelam. The Sinhala attackers gouged out his eyes and massacred Mr Kuttimani along with 53 Tamil political prisoners during the SL State-sponsored anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 (Black July).

Ms Gandhi liked the idea of liberating Tamil Eelam like Bangladesh. But she was reluctant, citing the Dravida Nadu movement of 1940-60s, according to M Kalyanasundaram. His party too did not support Tamil Eelam freedom.

Pulamaipithan emphasised the role of cinema and song lyrics in advancing the counter-hegemonic ideologies of his times, the Self-Respect Movement and the Dravidian movement.

The interview also reveals how MGR gradually became an ardent supporter of the Tamil Eelam cause and Mr Pirapaharan.

Expressing disappointment in Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s lack of statesmanship at the crucial hour of need, ahead of genocidal onslaught in 2009, the poet warned not to rely upon election and power-oriented politicians in Tamil Nadu.

However, the next generation was being shaped by the lessons of failures committed by the political leaders in Tamil Nadu, he said in 2008.

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