Tamilian Leaders are locked up!
The press is either gagged or deliberately misled.
The public are kept in a state of shock and scare.
And Mr. Bhandaranaike has scored the usual victory on
the floor of the House of Representatives.
The bill to oust Tamil practically, has been passed,
and the Sinhalese language has become the single, superb
national and official language of Ceylon.
"You are doomed to be the serfs here" said
the Sinhalese extremists, and casting away the garb
of compromise, Mr. Bhandaranaike has translated into
action the fond wishes of those whom he formerly dubbed
as 'fanatics'. There is not doubt about the fact, that
he would be hailed as the Saviour of the Sinhalese language
and race. Much encomium would be poured forth, and Mr.
Bhanda would be in the happiest of moods.
Having got himself power, by parading his leanings towards
Socialism, Mr. Bhanda had the astuteness to find out
that, to be a in undisputed power, he should cajole
the extremists. And he has done the dirty job in as
thorough a manner as Stryjdom of Africa.
The House of Representatives met to discuss this vital
matter, but the chosen representatives of the Tamilians,
were kept under house arrest.
Mr. Bhandaranaike announced to an astounded world that
normal conditions have returned—and he did not think
that it is necessary at least to substantiate his statement
he should release those who were kept under house arrest.
Defiant in his attitude, dogged in his purpose, Bhandaranaike
he carried out his diabolical scheme, for, he knows
full well that the Tamilians there and elsewhere, have
fallen on evil days and evil tongues.
"Oh! These Tamilians! They could boast about a
hoary past. But now, there is none to champion their
cause, defend their right, " Such would have been
the thoughts surging up in the mind of this Stryjdom
of Ceylon. For, did he not witness the shameful sight
of the President of the T.N.C.C., condemning the Tamilians
and offering justification for the dastardly deeds perpetrated
by the Sinhalese government? No wonder that Bhanda got
the stout heart and steely sinews! The Tamilians happen
to be a minority in the island, and their kith and kin
in Tamil Nad are kept under the leadership of men, devoid
of even the most elementary principles of humanity.
And why should Bhandaranaike, hesitate to carry out
any cruel and unjust measure?
The Tamilian leaders would certainly have raised their
voice of protest on the floor of the House of Representatives.
But they were kept under lock and key, and this democrat
who did not stoop to do things that dictators would
hesitate to undertake, undertook to discuss the measure!
What a cruel mockery of the democratic process! And
how deftly has he deformed democracy! But, who is there
to question this doughty warrior? The Tamilians are
there undefended. And the Sinhalese fanatics are there
brandishing their daggers!
Betray Not the Tamilians
Had there been a protest, a query, a sigh, a tear from
the powers-that-be here, when Tamilians in Ceylon were
butchered, their shops looted and when savagery went
to the length of molestation of women—then perhaps would
Bhanda have thought it prudent to adopt milder methods.
But, no! The Madras government, thought that the problem
was 'foreign'—and the Central government thought that
it was purely and primarily a Ceylon problem! So both
kept mum and left Bhanda to carry on! And he did it
with a gusto!
The bill came up for discussion. A bill affecting the
honour and self-respect, rights and future of the Tamilians
there, and yet, the chosen representatives and the sober
champions of the Tamilians were not in the House—they
were under arrest! Most other parties opposed to the
ministerial party, did not care to take part in the
discussion. In fact it is stated that only four out
of the forty six members of the opposition took part
in the discussion. Mr.Bhanda scored a victory, and the
Sinhalese press and pulpit was naturally jubilant,
When thus the Tamilians in Ceylon, were robbed of their
elementary rights, Mr. Kamaraj, the one and only stalwart
amongst Tamilians, was busy touring Tirunelveli District
enlightening the people on the very delicate subject
of coir industry!
He had not a single suggestion to offer, a single word
conveying his opinion about such an event! His geographical
knowledge allows him not to gaze beyond Remeshwaram,
and his history is so sound and profound that he remembers
only his rise to power and the means he had to adopt,
and the allies he had to seek. No other event seems
to be of any importance to this successful politician.
The Tamilians are shedding their blood and tears in
Ceylon, and the one and only Tamilian of stature, integrity
and acumen, is busy amusing audiences here by an abundant
exhibition of the his knowledge in the politico-social
No other leader could be so adamant in ignoring such
an issue of vital importance.
"The fact is that the bill denies the Tamils the
elementary rights they possess as rightful citizens
of Ceylon, a citizenship of which they are proud and
which by their energy and skill they have made something
to be proud of.
"The only result of the Bill taken in conjunction
with the Official Language Act will be to strengthen
Sinhalese fanaticism and obscurantism."
So comments the 'Mail' editorially and it is not a daily
that would rush in haste to offer remarks.
The deed is there and the danger inherent in that move,
Either the Tamilians there, are to become the hewers
of wood and drawers of water willingly, and become the
scum of the earth, or they have to stand to demand justice
and fairplay —at least till they are shot down dead.
There is as is well-known, enough determination and
valour in the minds of the Tamilians there.
But, are they to be left in the lurch?
Should the Tamilians, democrats, those who place the
minimum value at least on principles of justice—are
these men of character to look unconcerned at the sorrowful
spectacle, over there?
The T.N.C.C. met at Kanyakumari not to denounce the
diabolical deeds perpetrated by the Bhanda Regime—not
even to discuss measures for bringing forth concord
and peace there—but just to request the Central government
to step in to see, that adequate compensation is paid
to those Tamilians who had to undergo untold sufferings
at the hands of the fanatics, during those terrific
days of riot, loot, arson and rape.
The T.N.C.C. had the guts to go only so far and no further.
It had the guts to pass resolutions couched in words
of flame and fury, about the Portuguese atrocity at
Goa! But when the Tamilians are being butchered the
T.N.C.C. fumbles and falters and becomes the mendicant!
It is stated, that when some Tamilians from Ceylon,
discussed this problem with the Chief Minister of our
State, he placed before them his position.
"I am powerless,"—it is stated, our Chief
Minister explained, "only the Central government
can do anything in this matter,"
When those who discussed with the chief, pointed out,
that his word would carry its own weight, it is said,
the chief replied promptly, "for that I should
cast away the Khadar shirt"
Thus argues the stalwart—and it is far this 'courage'
that he is being extolled to the skies.
But, the public have got a right to—and in fact they
do—look towards other parties and individuals, whose
vision is not dimmed by power mongering, to come forward
to champion the cause of the Tamilians.
That does not necessarily mean, demanding a Tamil Raj
comprising Tamil Nad and that portion of Ceylon wherein
Tamilians are in a majority.
The task immediately ahead is to focus public attention
on this problem.
World opinion should be harnessed to the cause for justice
The plight of the Tamilians in Ceylon should be placed
before the discerning public, all over the world.
Lebanon and Iraq, Jordan and Iran have become 'problems'
to be discussed in Tamil Nad but the undemocratic; and
inhuman treatment meted out to the Tamilians in Ceylon,
is being studiously ignored or mischievously misinterpreted.
All those who are interested in the salubrious principles
of democracy, should come forward to champion a cause,
noble and of utmost importance.
When once the public conscience is aroused, the State
government dare not persist in the sheepish method—it
will be forced to stand up and speak.
Measures and methods, should be discussed and chalked
out, to extricate the state government from its stupor.
To keep mum now, is to throw the Tamilians to the wolves
'Now or Never' is no empty slogan. Either the rights
of the Tamilians are to be safeguarded now, or we should
renounce all claims to decency justice, faiplay and
There should be an agitation—a joint venture—to open
the eyes and mind of the State government.
It may be in the shape of Satyagrahas, peaceful mass
demonstrations and the like. It is not the method that
is of immediate importance—it is the will that is all
important and acutely urgent now.
Mr. Kamaraj, the Chief Minister, is a past master in
the art of utilising situations. He rarely creates situations
and never fails to get the best out of any situation
that arises. Hence if a situation, wherein the Tamilian
public of our State stand up, united and determined,
championing the cause of Tamilians in Ceylon, Mr.Kamaraj,
though he would be irritated during the initial phase,
would cash that situation abundantly well, and force
Pandit Nehru to bestow his attention towards the problem
of Tamilians in Ceylon.
Hence, even those who claim to be the 'defenders and
saviours' of Kamaraj ministry need not feel sorrowful,
Something should be done, to drive away the drowsiness
that has set in! The State government should be rescued
from the clutches, of indifference and inactivity. It
should be taught, that to keep calm and unconcerned
when the Tamilians are being hunted down, is a piece
of treachery and betrayal, that cannot be tolerated.
All parties and public-spirited individuals should consider
it their supreme, sacred duty, to stand up and speak—the
voice of truth and justice. For, only by such a course,
could a cruel catastrophe be averted. The D.M.K., has
already contributed its mite towards this mission and
is eager and ready to place at the disposal of the public,
all the strength that it is capable of mustering, for