The South Block, (SB) treated Delhi’s recent UNHRC vote against Lanka as a major setback for the stranglehold it had over Indo- Lanka policy making since Rajiv Gandhi’s days. A series of anti-Tamil acts of the SB pleased Sonia the most. One was Mullivaykal (M’kal) that decimated the LTTE inflicting the biggest body blow on the Tamils in both Lanka and Tamil Nadu (TN). More sinister was the SB bringing the China threat right to the door of TN, appease Lanka and nurture a Chennai-Delhi divide to keep TN/Dravidar in check. These acts are bound to create another Kashmir, alienating this time the South and straining the unity of the Indian Union.
Ever since the UPA regained power in 2004 the anti-Tamil South Block’s influence in Delhi surged that Delhi embarked on a series of anti- Tamil policies with serious divisive implications for India. Delhi under UPA pushed by the SB moved away from a policy of non-interference of the pre 2004 period initially to covertly supporting the Lanka genocide but soon after to overt support for the brutal Rajapakses genocide. The SB that had anti-Dravidar scores to settle instigated the renewal of the Sinhala-Eelam Tamil conflict on UPA coming to power in 2004 over-playing Rajiv assassination for favours from Sonia and the UPA.
The depth of anti-Tamil prejudice of the SB and Sonia/Pranab/Chidambaram club was evident in Delhi supporting Lanka that also dislikes the Tamils equally or more. For the public view the LTTE is targeted for supposedly assassinating Rajiv. As the Rajiv factor faded away and the Rajapakses’ genocide atrocities occupied the central stage internationally the recent statement of the Home Office (July 14) calling for an extension of the ban of the LTTE, ‘for its anti-India posture..pose(ing) a grave threat to the security of its citizens…the activities of LTTE are detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and there is a continuing strong need to control all such separatist activities by all possible means.. declare LTTE as an ‘unlawful association’ with immediate effect.’. sounds absurd. Readers’ attention is drawn to the anti-Tamil prejudice that is embedded in the words/phrases used; highlighted in bold print.. The SB gained some stature when the LTTE with the South Block’s support perished in the May 2009 massacres and yet its SB/ Home Office statement still harps on a non-existent LTTE as a grave threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and security of its citizens ..’. It is customary in public debates on Indo-SL relations for the SB like the Rajapakses to equate all Tamils to the LTTE.
Tamilian anger expressed in strident tones throughout TN condemning Delhi‘s role in the Lankan genocide is not pleasant to the ears of the SB bureaucrats in Delhi. For SB to argue about a dead threat to India from a non-existent LTTE (nay the Tamils) to be as grave as stated in the Home Office statement is simply nothing more than the anti-Tamil venom camouflaging SB’s miserable diplomatic policy failures since May 2009. Analysts of repute convincingly argue that the chances of the revival of the LTTE are almost nil. Even at the height of power the LTTE never posed as a grave threat to Indians or the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. SB effectively elevates the pathologically non-existent LTTE threat in TN to a level higher than the Rajapakse/China threat that SB created for India. The SB home office like the Rajapakses disclaiming any role in the Lankan crimes is re-creating a ‘separatist’ threat in TN. The SB that emerged in the 1960’s when the anti-Hindi /Dravidar feelings in TN ran high strove for Central intervention, displaying the bogey of a Tamil separatist threat to India’s unity. This sensation had a natural death when the divisive sentiments’ evaporated during the non UPA rule until 2004. The UPA’s return to power in 2004 allowed the SB a fresh reign allowing SB to emulate the Rajapakses to create a Chennai/Delhi friction to keep in check the TN Tamilian anger over the Lankan atrocities. The UPA itself is unlikely to follow the Rajapakses, after the UPA lost electorally almost throughout India, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, MP in the Northern heartland and TN in the South.
The harsh Home Office statement warns the angry TN Tamilians away from separatist ‘postures’ more so when Chennai/Delhi debate became over-heated over the training programs for Lankan armed personnel in India. Delhi transferring the Lankan armed personnel from Chennai to Bangalore was more insensitive to anger TN Tamils when the shift in effect meant that Delhi has the leeway to by-pass the feelings of TN Tamils. By this act Delhi downgrades Chennai/TN as a political entity in favour of Lanka; a friendship that continues from the pre-May 2009 and dragged the SB trio into the widely believed the Mullivaykal massacres. The UPA soon after the M’Kal massacres showed its support to Lanka by Delhi voting to congratulate Lanka at the May 2009 UNHRC sessions for eliminating the LTTE/Tamils, the kins of TN Tamils in Mullivaykal in staggering numbers. Thereafter Delhi observed silence when the Eelam Tamils faced more brutal massacres to ethnic cleanse the Eelam Tamils for the Rajapakses’ genocide.
Analysts also construe that the tone of the Home Office /Chidambaram’s statement is deliberately harsh to silence the forthright statements of the TN CM Jayalalitha on the training for Lankan armed personnel in India. The ex TN CM’s statements are much milder still slithering under the spell of the Pranab Mukerjees ultimatum; a CBI attack on the family unless TN observed stilled silence over the Rajapakses massacres. Delhi on the advice of the SB may now engineer a sharper Delhi//Chennai confrontation to browbeat CM Jayalalitha into submission as it did to ex TN CM Karunanidhi in 2009. Jayalalitha has the credentials to face Delhi head-on.
Chidambaram designated to undertake the anti –Tamil Pranab April/May 2009 role flew down to warn the DMK to convey the Central Giovernment’s displeasure over a resolution to be passed to demand Tamil Eelam at the TESO (Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation) meet on August 12 in Chennai. It is no coincidence that the TESO meeting comes a day after Chidambaram’s Home Office issued a harshly worded notification extending the ban on a non-existent LTTE. Whether the weakened DMK will stand up to face Central political action after listening to UPA’s unhappiness is a poser that interests most Tamils. Does an ultimatum waving Pranab deserve DMK’s vote for President. It is understood that powerful leaders/ organizations India wide are to participate in the TESO conference.
Following reports of anger mounting in TN over Delhi’s dubious actions on the promised devolution and the extra-ordinary slow progress in implementing the UNHRC resolution/ LLRC measures, the training of Lankan air force men was the most offensive act of Delhi that required a plea from A Narayanasamy of the PMO ‘Don’t whip up Tamil sentiments’ to damage the cordial relations with the island nation’ …in the larger interest of the Sri Lanka Tamils and also for the protection of hundreds of industrialists , businessmen and traders from India and more particularly from Tamil Nadu doing their business there. ..’ In Narayana’s plea the only concern is for the protection of hundreds of industrialists, businessmen and traders from India but Lankans in the past attacked Indian workers and traders living in any nook and corner in Lanka and driven out to India. Pettah Indian traders suffered the most. and dharmic Delhi then reacted expressing anger for Colombo to act to prevent the Lankan inhuman attacks getting out of hand. Now the UPA Narayana call is to TN Tamilians ‘don’t protest Lankan atrocities for fear of retaliation realizing that he has to join Delhi in over appeasing Colombo to plead with the Rajapakses to prevent any Lankan attacks on the Indians in Lanka. It was was dharmic Delhi tbelieves in appeasing even if Indians are attacked. How very humane is Narayanasamy and the Congress leadership that kept a stilled silence when tens of thousands of Eelam Tamils were massacred at their doorstep. No talk of protection for their lives is necessary when those under attack on the M’kakl scale needed protection. Delhi ‘s SB in the loop’ as captives had to continue to over-appease Lanka for the wrong reasons. The M’Kal massacres was the product of Narayanan’s ‘no fire zone’and Gothbhaya was quick to point this out within days of the M’kal massacre leak..
Delhi’s present enigma is the result of Delhi going overboard to appease Lanka post May 2009. Though there was much euphoria in Sri Lanka and amongst the SB apologists, discerning observers do not share in..(that) optimism. ‘Delhi is not happy over the lukewarm response on …finding a speedy solution to the ethnic issue’ more so when important provisions in the (made in India) 13th Amendment are jettisoned ‘(ExpressBuzz 29 Jun 2010). Delhi invested heavily politically by promising on the 13th Amendment plus to the Eelam Tamils/LTTE and TN Tamils and now delivering ’nothing’’ (ExpressBuzz 29 May). On the basis of Delhi’s promise the DMK that was in power in TN a constituent state of the Indian Union supported Delhi’s role in Lanka. The Delhi trio, Narayanan/Menon made frequent calls in Chennai before proceeding to Colombo promising the then TN CM that Eelam Tamil lives will be protected. Narayanan ‘no fire zone’ in effect served as a death trap for over 40 000 Eelam Tamils.
Within a year, the insolence that the Lankan President showed to PM Delhi was ‘We will take our own time and find the solution, you can’t ask for instant noodles.. my commitment remains’ (Times of India). The Lankan President’s instant noodles imagery is a plainly rude response to the Indian PM‘s call emphasizing the ‘need for speeding up the devolution of powers to the ethnic Tamils’ (Indiatimes 10 Jun). Relying on the Rajapakses ‘‘my commitment remains’ the UPA Pranab/Narayanan/Menon (Singh/Soania’s emissaries) repeated the devolution promises to TN to buy the then TN CM’s silence to Delhi’s support for military solution first. Hence ‘No political solution has yet been found for Tamils. This..became the cry of despair of all Tamils’. The then TN CM who drummed up his credentials as champion of the Tamils was badly let down by his UPA Congress partners and in consequence suffered an ignominious defeat in TN. This defeat was brought about by the SB/Rajapakse’s breach of faith on the 13th Amendment political solution to the Eelam Tamil trauma.
The unexpected yet undeserved decisive Lankan win over the Tamil militancy explains Rajapakses evasiveness despite his 2006 13th Amendment commitment. The Rajapakses’ win encouraged a taunting culture revealing Lankan provocative and abrasive style it used towards its erstwhile ally the Delhi leadership. Delhi dragged DMK down by underwriting the totally untrustworthy Rajapakse isolating and weakening itself to resolve an issue that dogged Delhi for six decades. Delhi’s foreign policy establishment dominated by the SB right through though skeptical on Rajapakses’ intentions entrapped the naïve Delhi political leadership into an unforgettable dilemma. Rubbing salt to the wound Gothabhaya flaunts the Delhi trio’s ‘in the loop’ involvement should Delhi go overboard on Delhi’s 13th Amendment. The ‘in the loop’ taunt is an important component of Lanka’s dual track diplomacy and damaging to Delhi standing internationally.
A key feature in the Indo-SL Accord is a merged North and East entity underpinning the historical reality of the ‘Tamil homelands’ in Eelam. The inability of Delhi to get the Rajapakses to agree to the 13th Amendment on devolution would undermine any political outfit that collaborates with the SB driven UPA. The DMK in May 2009 when the massacres were occurring had the potential to de-stabilize the UPA government in Delhi once TN Tamils were convinced on Congress’ betrayal of Tamil interest resulting in an irreversible alienation of TN Tamils. The Rajapakses relished such Chennai/Delhi alienation to neutralize TN and Delhi by importing the Lankan divisive culture into the body politic of India. The Rajapakses thrive on exporting the divisive politics more easily to India thanks to the SB to lighten Delhi’s pressure on Lanka to implement devolution that guarantees no more Tamil lives are lost.
An analyst (Nateri Adigal in ‘Tamil Nadu being forced to go the Eelam way’- Merinews 8 Oct 2008) with sharp insight was able to visualize the success the Rajapakses sought to achieve by sowing the seeds of divisiveness in India creating conditions for a ‘do nothing ‘ alternative to the 13th Amendment . The really smart Rajapakses’ threat to use the ‘in the loop’ weapon is taken seriously by Delhi aware how the SB bureaucrats dragged Delhi (India) deep into Lanka’s war crimes cesspool. Hence Delhi’s muted response to all the atrocities/crimes; damaging India’s image by association and silence. Delhi’s thoughtless support for the UNHRC May 2009 resolution effectively commending Lanka’s crimes record in the conduct of the war meant abdicating the high moral ground to the West and continuing with its policy of appeasing Lanka and intimately associating with Lanka while the international community views Lanka as a genocidal/terrorist state. Lanka with its image tattered by its massacres and interning of hundreds of thousands behind barb wire fence is confident that if required it could implicate Delhi as its willing partner in these crimes.
Once free of the formidable LTTE the Rajapakses have no hesitation in bluntly delivering its messages to Delhi. No more India imposed Indo-SL Accord (1978), no 13 Amendment plus or minus instead the ‘we will take our time … and find a home grown solution to the conflict’. The 13th Amendment gave a measure of credibility to Delhi as Lanka’s super power neighbour after losing LTTE leverage. The SB to dilute Delhi’s loss of face cynically introduced the China factor to justify Delhi continuing to appease Lanka. Using this SB advantage the Rajapakses earnestly extended China’s presence rapidly island wide to terrify Delhi into submission. “Is there anyone in the SB to atone for this blunder?
The Rajapakses’’ home grown”’ ‘do nothing ‘solution is based on ‘winner takes all’ (Palitha Kohona’s) rationale discarding the ‘India made’ 13th Amendment minus or plus the Tamil homelands. Taking over the Tamil homelands populating it with Sinhalese especially Sinhala armed forces creates a military occupation of the Tamil homelands. Is this a serious ‘reconciliation’ proposal in the LLRC that the UNHRC and Delhi accepted, though it is ethnic cleansing pure and simple and a crime against humanity? How long will Delhi support the Rajapakses/ South Block’s commitment on ethnic cleansing in Lanka and remain isolated from mainstream international community? Indian silence on such a military occupation amounts to Delhi morally accepting it as a just solution to the plight to the Eelam Tamils. Dharmic is it? Delhi’s support for a ‘unitary’ constitution itself is not ‘home grown’ more so in a plural Lanka where the greedy majority believes in a’ winner takes all’. ‘The Union home minster conveying to the DMK chief the Central government’s displeasure over a resolution to demand Tamil Eelam at a meeting of the TESO on 12 August provides DMK with an opportunity to walk out of the UPA and allow the consequences to play out or extract its due though the DMK gave this a miss in 2009. Teso has invited several Indian wide leaders and organizations for the TESO meeting and this should freeze the UPA Delhi into stopping the over appeasing the Rajapakses.
Bringing the China threat to TN’s door step is based on a queer SB concept of equity. Any threat China or any other needs to be shared by all not just the border states in the North alone. The China threat for India is now real. Delhi intends to use Lanka’s China friendship to protect India’s threat from the South; a simplistic logic. Hence Chidambaram’s ‘Drop the Eelam agenda’ ultimatum to Karunanithi (Times of India Jul 16). This is a recast of the Pranab ultimatum also to Karunanithi in 2009 who had a CBI scam knife hanging over his head. On the 2G scam Chidambaram is not as clean as Pranab; hence Chidambaram is not morally entitled to wield the CBI knife as Pranab did. The Union Home Minister visited the ex-TN CM to convey the Central government’s displeasure over a move by DMK to pass a resolution to demand Tamil Eelam at a meeting of the TESO on 12 August. The DMK now has the opportunity to walk out of the UPA allowing the consequences that would follow to give the DMK the oppoertunity to extract its due though late. DMK was better placed in 2009 to resort to this move and frozen Delhi’s over-appeasing policies then and there itself. There is no salvation to the Eelam Tamils as long as Delhi does not show the will to extricate itself from the legacy SB created or UPA is prepared to suffer a DMK class defeat in the coming elections.