06 September 2012

Delhi sows some seeds…

India has made a promise.  Apparently, India ‘will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Sri Lankan dignitaries and visitors to India, including to Tamil Nadu’.  No outright condemnation.  No indignation.  India has finally broken silence on the issue of Sri Lankan pilgrims being attacked by thugs in Tamil Nadu.  The Times of India opines that ‘local politics, including sensitivities in Tamil Nadu’ had prevented Delhi from responding earlier.  Indeed, these ‘sensitivities’ constrained Delhi to limit statement to a guarded response to the travel advisory issued by Sri Lanka.  

Times of India suggests that the ‘sensitivity-driven’ response has a legal foundation: ‘The Central Government could not react since law and order is a state subject’. 


If Delhi takes a hands-off approach on account of what’s not its official business, then Delhi should not get upset about anything that happens in other countries (to people who didn’t elect the Central Government by others who likewise don’t have Indian citizenship).  Law and order in Botswana, for instance, is none of the Indian Central Government’s business, for example. 

In reality, though, India actually picks and chooses its business, whether it is law and order or anything else. 

On Tuesday night, an NDTV panel discussion on the issue of Sri Lanka pilgrims being attacked several prominent Tamil Nadu politicians got quite fidgety, bending over backwards to ‘explain’ the thuggery by referring to what their ‘Tamil brethren’ across the Palk Straits suffer and the righteous anger this provokes among Tamil Nadu Tamils.   While much of the allegations were mere repetition of lies crafted by backers of the very terrorism that these very same politicians nurtured (with both overt and covert support by successive Indian Governments, none of which referred to the niceties of state subjects such as ‘Law and Order’), the ignorance about Sri Lanka and the said ‘Tamil brethren’ was astounding. 

First of all, there was absolutely no mention of the kind of ‘righteous anger’ that Sri Lankans could have about Tamil terrorists and what they did.  There was no mention of LTTE atrocities against all communities, Tamils included.  No mention of the fact that the LTTE held close to 300,000 people hostage and that the Sri Lankan security forces suffered massive casualties in carrying out the greatest hostage rescue operation in history. No mention of the fact that even in the camps for the displaced, people enjoyed 3 full meals a day and had access to adequate healthcare and in general they enjoyed even in those restricted circumstances facilities that many in Tamil Nadu don’t have.

Much was made of Tamil Nadu fishermen being harassed by the Sri Lankan Army (yes, not ‘Navy’).  Nothing about Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Nothing about the fact that the fishing rights battle pits Indian fishermen against Sri Lankan TAMIL fishermen. 

The quality of life that Tamils enjoy in Sri Lanka is something that the vast majority of Tamil Nadu citizens can only dream of.  Every Tamil child in Sri Lanka is a beneficiary of free education. Indeed, the State pays for the midwife who visits the mother of every Tamil child the moment he or she enters the mother’s womb.  Every Tamil child who qualifies to enter university has his or her education paid for by the State.  Tamil Nadu, in comparison, is contemplating paying for the university education of just the first child of any family that qualifies to enter an institution of higher education. 

Bankrupt Tamil Nadu politicians will continue to rant and rave.  Can Delhi afford to look away, though? 

Delhi in effect pussyfooted around the issue. That’s Delhi’s prerogative.  Delhi would do well to understand that the true address of Tamil Nationalism in Chennai and that the longtime strategy of deflecting the uncomfortable to its neighbor in the South will only buy time.  Sooner, rather than later, considering that the ‘Sri Lankan Option’ of Tamil Chauvinism has run its course and proved impossible, Tamil Nationalism will plant its flag on its true traditional homeland, Tamil Nadu.  Delhi will not, one can be certain, say ‘law and order is a state subject’.  The Kashmiri Option will be employed in Tamil Nadu, most likely.  At great cost.  Indeed, Tamil Nadu might be harder to contain given the historical antipathies between India’s North and South, than Kashmir. 

Rubbing Sri Lanka the wrong way won’t matter to Delhi now, but that particular rubbing will embolden many a ‘rubber’ who will seek to give Delhi a rubbing it might not forget. 

Wait a minute.  Did we hear someone say that Tamil Nadu is constructing a Great Wall of China around Sri Lanka?  We might have heard wrong of course, but then again, you never know!



Anonymous said...

a great reason to deny police powers to any federal state!

SANDIKA said...

we like to break all the 'possible walls' that distract 'human relationships and friendships', we should break all the walls and barriers that allow human to stay away from human ' building a wall is not building the minds of people'let's us the world to build a friendship walls together in every possible place of this world.'

sajic said...

very prophetic, malinda. Not in my
lifetime perhaps, but very probably in yours!