The Hindu dated 11 October 2021 carries an article titled ‘A Lengthening Shadow of Tamil Nativism’, written by two apologists of the DMK masquerading as impartial researchers. The Dravidian movement, we all know, doesn’t even have a passing acquaintance with honesty, but this piece is breathtaking in its deception. Here is a link to the article: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-lengthening-shadow-of-tamil-nativism/article36933400.ece
The Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NTK) is without doubt a brazenly Fascist organization. It leader Seeman is a clear danger to the unity of India. He and his set of rabble rousers have as their patron-saint Prabhakaran, a ruthless killer and one of the most heinous terrorists the world has ever known. But Seeman is only a modern version of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, the first Nazi ideologue of Tamil Nadu. His party is almost a mirror-image of the early Dravidian movement when it was sowing the seeds of racist hate.
Now, what are the charges made against Seeman by these authors?
- The NTK seems to downplay the central role of Periyar in modern Tamil politics.
- The NTK seeks to foreground only those who can claim to belong to a native caste, determined by birth in a Tamil clan. Their targets for attacks are C N Annadurai and M Karunanidhi on the specious claim that they belong to non-Tamil immigrant castes.
- Chauvinistic Tamil nationalism, upheld by Seeman, has historically a marginal place in modern Tamil politics. The DMK, on the other hand, has a composite and pluralistic approach to politics and identity.
- Dravidian rule also prevented the rise of violent elements threatening the sovereignty of India.
- While BJP tries to unite castes on the religious plank, the NTK does the same on the nativist plank.
- The TMK’s Tamil nativism addresses the grievances of certain castes with theories of a Dravidian conspiracy.
- Seeman’s sympathizers are characterized by abusive language and aggressive machismo and rooted in an aggravated sense of Tamil victimhood.
- Periyar was less than a marginal player when he was active. It was because of the DMK’s sponsorship and the visceral, anti-Brahmin, Nazi hatred of some Tamil intellectuals and their camp followers that Periyar has gained a larger-than-life image. The NTK is dismantling it for its own chauvinistic motives, but it cannot be disputed that Periyar should be analyzed critically, which the Dravidian theorists have manifestly failed to do.
- The NTK is only following the footsteps of Periyar and the Dravidian Nazis. In fact he has a long way to go. Periyar wanted to murder all Brahmins for the sin of having born Brahmins. Seeman doesn’t seem to advocate the mass murder of ‘Non-Tamil’ castes. Periyar viciously attacked the Brahmins because they were supposed to be immigrants. The DMK too indulges in this sordid exercise with no shame. In Seeman’s case the victims are different but the tactics are identical to those of Periyar and the DMK.
- Yes, chauvinistic Tamil nationalism has a historically marginal place in the modern Tamil politics. But we should not forget the first person who raised the chauvinistic slogan ‘Tamil Nadu for Tamils’ was none other than Periyar. It is a lie to claim that the DMK has a composite and pluralistic approach to politics and identity. It is Stalin who claims that he belongs to Dravidian stock- whatever it means. It was Stalin who spoke about the 3% in a sinister, Nazi way. Seeman has constricted the circle and excluded whom he considers non-Tamils, that is about all.
- It was during Karunanidhi’s regime that the LTTE roamed freely in Tamil Nadu and indulged in nefarious, anti-Indian activities, to which the DMK leader turned a blind eye. The result was the horrendous murder of Rajiv Gandhi and several bystanders. It was during the DMK’s rule that Keelvenmani happened. Above all, the blasts in Coimbatore which killed over 50 persons happened during the DMK’s regime. Thus it is ridiculous to claim that DMK prevented violent elements form raising their heads.
- Yes. The BJP and the NTK try to unite castes on religious and nativist planks. The DMK has managed a broad alliance of comprador bourgeois, rural landlords, rent-seekers, liquor barons, real-estate sharks, czars of education, lumpen riff raff and a rabble of dishonest intellectuals without a moral compass, but its main plank remains Dravidian chauvinism. The party makes no secret of it, though the intellectuals supporting the party pretend that it doesn’t exist or give it a different name.
- Seeman is only imitating the DMK. The DMK has openly announced that it upholds the racist, divisive and anti-human ideas of Periyar. Its leaders keep blaming the Brahmins for all the ills of Tamilnadu. The Dravidian hate circle is as virulent in its toxicity as the Tamil hate circle.
- The father of racist abuse in Tamil Nadu is Periyar. He had splendid disciples. The film dialogues of Anna and Karunanidhi are the very definitions aggressive machismo. The nutrient that continues to nurture the poison-tree of Dravidian ideology is a hugely exaggerated sense of victimhood.
So, what is the difference between the DMK and the NTK? The only difference is that the DMK is in power and that makes the party restrained. There are in the DMK several chauvinists and separatists. The DMK’s MLA, Dr Ezhilan proudly proclaimed that his party had driven out many Brahmins from Tamil Nadu. Stalin said this in 2018.: At a press conference addressed by Mr. Stalin in Erode, a journalist said an idea was gaining ground that the southern States should come together to demand Dravida Nadu. To this Mr. Stalin responded, “If it (such a situation) comes, it would be welcome. We hope that such a situation arises.” Thus even though the DMK today stands by the idea of united India, there are solid grounds to make a surmise that this stand is tactical and temporary and the party may not hesitate to revive its separatist demands, if the situation changes.
The NTK is what DMK was a few decades ago and what the DMK will be if it is denied power.