KARUNANIDHI, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, recently said that he was ready to commit the rest of his life for Eelam, but on the contrary, Indian delegation that visited Sri Lanka said that not a single Tamil they met in North raised the issue of Eelam. Then the question that comes to anybody’s mind is who need Eelam- Sri Lankan Tamils or Tamil Nadu politicians.
Eelam is still a major topic among Tamil Nadu politicians even after the defeat of LTTE in 2009 by Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Karunanidhi demanded United Nations intervention and a referendum to create Eelam in North for Tamil speaking people and said, “When someone asked 5 years ago what my unrealized dream, I replied Tamil Elam.” He also vowed to review the Tamil Eelam Support Origination (TESO), which he established in 1980 to support Eelam. However, in responding to his remark, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked Karunanidhi to hold a referendum and create Elam in Tamil Nadu.
Many Sri Lankan Tamils has a lukewarm attitude toward Eelam now- perhaps they have realized that it is a futile attempt. Indian MP Rangarajan who visited along with the Indian delegation said that the Tamil people he met during his visit never requested Indian support to create a separate state. “They needed a political solution within a united state,” he expressed. According to him, Mr. Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has said, “I am a Sri Lankan and I want to die as a Sri Lankan,” Many Tamil political leaders are ready for a solution within a united state.
Tamil Nadu politicians are more interested in Eelam than Sri Lankan Tamils. A Tamil academic in Sri Lanka once expressed that nobody was brave enough to fire a single shot after the death of the leader of Libration Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. It means, he said, only Prabhakaran fought for an Eelam, not even the LTTE carders. “Even if Eelam is created, only 50% of Tamils will be benefited as 50% of Tamils are living outside north and east,” he added.
Therefore, what it implies is that the majority of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka want to live in peace with other communities as Sri Lankans, and Tamil politicians in Tamil Nadu dram about a separate Eelam for Sri Lankan Tamils.
Prabhakaran wanted Eelam because of the influence of MG Ramachandra(MGR), former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. MGR, who had a dream of a separate state for Tamils, considered the young Tamils, like Prabhakaran, was fighting a worthy cause. When Late Rajiv Gandhi prevented him from giving money to LTTE, MGR gave 50 cores from his personal wealth. Then, late President JR Jayawardane called LTTE as a private army of MGR.
Many Tamil Nadu politicians believe Tamils deserve a separate state. Tamil is one of the largest ethnic groups with 2000 years of written history, but without a homeland for themselves. Out of 75 millions of the world Tamils, 55 millions are living in Tamil Nadu, which is almost equal to the population in Britain, France and Germany. There was a demand for a separate state for Tamil people in Tamil Nadu during the time of Indian independence. Nevertheless, Indian constitution gave them language right, which gave them the right to use Tamil as the official language in Tamil Nadu. It satisfied them at the time; yet, the idea of separate state did not completely disappear.
Therefore, those who support the concept of Tamil homeland attempt to use Eelam as a stepping-stone to create a Tamil Empire. Since they cannot do it in India because of the powerful central government, they support the formation of Tamil Eelam in North and East of Sri Lanka, which provide a justification for the creation of Tamil state in Tamil Nadu, separating from India. They used the Sri Lankan Tamil as a scapegoat to realize their unfulfilled dream.
They do not have a genuine interest in the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. While blaming the Sri Lankan government for economic deprivation of Tamil people, they want to fish in the Sri Lanka water grabbing the livelihood of Sri Lankan Tamils in North. They demand the return of Kachchatheevu, which most Sri Lankan Tamil fish forks use as a resting ground. They even refused to send their MP’s with the Indian delegation, headed by opposition MP Sushma Swaraj, to find the grievance of the Tamils, for whom they demand Eelam. Tamil Nadu politicians are only shedding crocodile tears for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
Therefore, it is clear that most of the Sri Lankan Tamils wants to live in harmony with other community as Sri Lankan, but some Tamil Nadu politician wants to create Tamil Empire.