This is a guest post by FRANCIS CODY
All who did and most who did not support the Chief Minister are in mourning, in some form or another. J. Jayalalithaa is no more. A cinema star-turned-leader, whose determination in the face of massive adversity had won her the titles of ‘Iron Butterfly’ and ‘Revolutionary Leader’, Jayalalithaa captured the imagination as a woman not necessarily of the people, but certainly with the people as a ubiquitous presence and force in political and popular life. It’s hard to fathom the Tamil landscape with the knowledge that all of those portraits of the leader no longer point back to a living, sentient being. The outpouring of emotion she commanded in life and now in death never cease to amaze those do not have a feel for how the political and popular affect have been collapsed into one another, for better and for worse. Without getting into the task of proving the sincerity of sentiment leading some to go so far as to take their own lives in acts of political devotion, or the opposite and equally misguided one of showing that those who participate in public displays of mourning are doing so because of some culture of political ‘sycophancy’ as it is often dubbed, we must shift the terms of debate on the nature of her power while appreciating the massive loss Tamil Nadu has sustained with her passing.
Continue reading Wrought of Iron Until She Was No More – Jayalalithaa’s Passing: Francis Cody
Kovan, the Dalit-activist poet and singer and member of a revolutionary organisation PALA (People’s Arts And Literary Association), from Trichy district in Tamil Nadu, has been in the news lately. One of his anti-Jayalalitha songs earned him the ire of the state government, which slapped a Sedition case against him in December 2015.
In this video sent to us by Vinavu Thalam, Kovan lampoons Jayalalitha’s promise of “step by step prohibition” as “peg by peg de-addiction”!
Seduce the gullible voters with false promise/ File sedition cases against those who fight/ This is her game/ The game of a cheat/
In Chennai slang, “Bongu” means, a Cheat! She is the AMMA of all cheats!
This is a guest post by ANONYMOUS: When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers, so goes an old Kenyan proverb. In the maelstrom of political hysteria unleashed by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi ostensibly in aid of Sri Lankan Tamils, democracy, truth and solidarity have been the biggest casualties. Over the past few months, Tamil Nadu has witnessed attacks on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and Christian pilgrims, and the government sanctioned blockade of Sri Lankan schoolchildren and sportspersons.
The latest salvo from Chennai regarding Sri Lanka is the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution calling upon India to press for a United Nations Security Council mandated referendum amongst Tamils living in Sri Lanka as well as Tamils of Sri Lankan origin in other countries on the question of carving out an independent Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. This is in addition to demands to declare Sri Lanka a ‘hostile state’, impose some form of sanctions etc. Continue reading Of imagined solidarities and real fears – The politics of the Sri Lankan Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu: Anonymous
Previously posted on dbsjeyaraj.com
We the undersigned are aghast and anguished by the recent decision of the government of Tamil Nadu, acting on the Chief Minister’s orders, to send back two sports teams from Sri Lanka that were in Chennai to play matches against local school teams.
Two days after the Chief Minister issued her orders, members of a Tamil nationalist group, Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam protested against a group of pilgrims from Sri Lanka visiting a church near Thanjavur.
There have been similar protests in the past against visiting teams – by members of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam. Continue reading Protesting the Forced Repatriation of Visiting Sports persons and Others from Sri Lanka
Guest Post by V. GEETHA
Readers of Kafila might have heard of the horrific shootings that took place at Paramakudi and Madurai on September 11. Officially seven people died when police opened fire on dalits who had gathered to pay their respects to Immanuel Sekaran, a dalit leader who was brutally killed in 1957 in circumstances that pointed to the complicity of dominant caste thevars in carrying out this murder. (The thevars are an important constituent of the ‘Mukkulathor’ complex of castes that includes the kallars and the maravars.) Subsequently, U Muthuramalinga Thevar, Forward Bloc leader was arrested in connection with Sekaran’s death – he stood trail and was released two years later, because the case against him was not established and proved. (Thevar was proud of his anti-communism and his Hinduism; to him he claimed that patriotism and theistic belief constituted his very vision, they were the ‘eyes’ through which he saw the world.) Continue reading Desecrating Memory – The Paramakudi Police Shootings: V Geetha