If the Congress resurrects itself in Tamil Nadu, it will resurrect as a Christian party whose Christian content will not be immediately seen or felt. It will either wear an encultured face like it wears now in Delhi and wore in Andhtra Pradesh under Y. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy or it may even opt for a temporary idiot Hindu face. — Radha Rajan
Church Agenda as Dravidian Ideology
Twice in the last two years the Church[i] pushed the DMK government into a corner making it look helpless, ineffective and worse, supposedly drifting away from its ideological moorings. The DMK was accused by Tamil chauvinist splinter parties for not leveraging its status as partner in the UPA government to stop Mahinda Rajapakse from decimating the LTTE to its last man. The Church won its first major political victory in Tamil Nadu politics when the LTTE was presented not merely as the face and voice of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka, but was made congruent with the idea of Tamil People.
Note: From when it first invented itself two thousand years ago, in the kind of politics that the Church has perfected in every continent that it invaded and conquered, Tamil People is not the same as Tamil-speaking people.
The idea of Tamil People/Tamil Nation was a natural progression from the seed of anti-Brahminism and it was the DMK which propagated it in the ‘60s decade as a political idea and it was the DMK which had consistently and aggressively voiced Tamil Nadu’s concerns about the political inequities suffered by Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking minorities; and yet, by operating through its adherents and Tamil chauvinists from within the smaller fast-mushrooming Dravidian splinter parties like the MDMK, the PMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthai (VC) the Church put the DMK on the back-foot and on the defensive. The beginning of the transformation of the DMK from a sovereign Dravidian party into a Church-reactive, defensive party had begun; only the DMK was in denial about the role of the Church in the unfolding events.
On the second occasion, the DMK because it was the ruling party in the state, had to perforce stand by the Tamil Nadu police in the police-lawyer stand-off in 2009; the government had to stand by its police officers because Justice Ibrahim Khalifullah in the Madras High Court and the former CJI K.G. Balakrishnan in the Supreme Court adopted unconscionable partisan positions on the issue; and while letting off the striking, lawless lawyers with a mild rebuke, the courts humiliated the police by holding them guilty of contempt of court.
The Tamil Nadu Bar especially the Madras High Court is unabashedly political; lawyers of Tamil Nadu’s courts reflecting TN’s polity, are vertically split broadly into the DMK and AIADMK factions while an emerging section can be engaged as rent-a-crowd by any party which wants violence to be let loose in court campuses. A significantly large section of TN’s lawyers had been on strike from 2008 boycotting the courts ostensibly on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, but actually in support of the LTTE.
A violent confrontation between striking lawyers and the police compelled the state government to make a choice between the state’s law-enforcing forces and the lawyers who constituted a sizeable Dravidian electoral constituency. Had the state government not done so, the result would have been a demoralized police force which would have refused to act, leading eventually to spiraling violence and total anarchy in the courts and on the streets. The kind of lawyer rowdy-ism bordering on terrorism that the country witnessed in TN was also linked to the idea of Tamil People.
Both cases had imprints of the Church’s grubby hands all over them.
The taming of Jayalalithaa into a submissive Church agent was completed in record time. The Church’s calibrated measures to lead the Brahmin-led AIADMK back to non-Brahmin Dravidian political objectives began when Jayalalithaa arrested the mathathipathis of the Kanchi matham in November 2004. The Church’s measured steps gathered momentum when Jayalalithaa –
- Admitted Vai.Gopalaswamy ‘Vaiko’, the Christian head of the MDMK, whom she had incarcerated previously under NSA for his pro LTTE and seditious speeches, into the AIADMK orbit
- Invited five Christian priests, including a Bishop to her Poe’s Garden residence on Christmas day in 2008 for solemn Christian prayers
- Made promises galore to TN Christians in her election manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections
- In a complete turnaround from the earlier stated position of her party, declared on the campaign trail in 2009 that she now believed that the secessionist state of Tamil Eelam was the only solution to the civil war in Sri Lanka
- Promised the Christian community during her recent visit to Kanyakumari that when with the blessings of Jesus Christ and the good wishes of Christians she would win the Assembly Elections in April 2011, she would use state treasury funds to send Christians to Jerusalem on pilgrimage; that she thought no one could deny Christians their right to build churches anywhere they wished; she had already committed her party in 2009 to creating the Christian state of Tamil Eelam
The lateral expansion of Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian politics today in terms of tenets and scope as break-away heresies from the parent Justice Party bears a startling resemblance to the lateral expansion of Islam and Christianity as break-away heresies from their parent Judaism. Like the Abrahamic break-away heresies, TN’s Dravidian parties too were nothing more than organized bodies of extremist/maximalist cult worshippers; and the hate-filled political rant of the central cult figures like E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, C.N. Annadurai, Mu. Karunanidhi and now Thol. Tirumavalavan is passed off as Dravidian ideology.
World history proves that when new religions and ideologies were invented by individuals who offered themselves for cult worship within the Abrahamic families, these cults and cult figures never desired to be a part of the continuum but set themselves up as independent entities around a new power center which chose one aspect, one principle or one tenet from the parent ideology/religion as the principal idea around which to strengthen the heretic group. If we must understand the dynamics of anti-Brahmin/anti-Hindu Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu, we must understand the common features of all break away Abrahamic heresies:
- All of them retain the basic genes from the parent; in this case, conquering the world for their jealous god who will not co-exist with other gods
- One principle or idea, usually an idea born of hate or confrontation is developed to give them an independent identity
- All of them denounce the parent as an imperfect being and offer themselves unabashedly as improved versions of the parent, their predecessor or both
- All of them, without exception seek power – social, political and money power
- All of them want territory with their respective central cult figures as new gods
- Because they all retain the basic genes from the parent and because moving away from one heresy into another poses no ideological/existential dilemma to the new convert, such movement across the Abrahamic spectrum is discouraged with great violence – Catholic to Protestant to Anglican to Orthodox to Pentecostal and other new missions or from Judaism to Christianity, Islam to Christianity or vice versa
- Because all Abrahamic ideologies, parent and heretic offspring alike, are about political power and control of territory, Abrahamic ideologies are always about numbers
- In the absence of numbers in the early stages of existence, violence and terror are the usual methods for getting the converts and for terrorizing and subjugating the target people and nation
- The Periarite groups and parties, the DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, PMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthai all retain anti-Brahmin as their core ideology; this has expanded to include anti-Hindu, anti-Hindu temples, anti-Sanskrit, anti-North India, anti-Hindi and anti-anything as opportunism demands; all of them have demonstrated at one time or the other their ever-preparedness for violence
The anti-Hindu Dravidian politics which developed around the hate-filled cult of ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramaswami Naicker’s Self Respect Movement in the erstwhile Madras Presidency is therefore only an Abrahamic heretic clone.
Taking their cue from the creation of the Muslim League in 1906, the Justice Party also known as South Indian Liberal Federation was created in 1916 by powerful non-Brahmin zamindars and non-Brahmin forward castes as a political instrument with a limited objective – to demand more non-Brahmin representation in colonial government and administration. Even though the Justice party was formed to serve non-Brahmin political interests, the founders and early members of the party TM Nair, Sir P Thegaraya Chetty, the Rajas of Bobbili, Ramnad and Panagal were practicing Hindus and did not subscribe to Tamil secessionist theology associated with later Dravidian political cults.
While the Justice Party rejected extremist formulations which would destabilize society in a manner hoped for by the Church, its creation was nevertheless a step in the intended direction. It was the beginning of caste-identity politics which successfully fragmented not only Hindu consciousness but Hindu society too by pitting jaati against jaati besides accepting without question the Church’s missionary propaganda of ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ castes, ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ castes.
The political marginalization of the Brahmins had begun and the Church had every reason to be pleased; the Brahmins were the weakest link in the Hindu chain and pressure had been successfully exerted on the weakest link. The long-term grand plan was to make Hinduism congruent with Brahmins, dis-empower the Brahmins and hopefully this would weaken Hinduism, and eventually dis-empower Hindus politically by de-Hinduising the polity. The Church hoped that the fall of South India to Church machinations would knock down the Hindus like skittles in the rest of India, segment by segment, from the political arena and from all seats of power.
This may still happen if India’s polity, especially Hindus like Lalu and Mulayam, notional Hindus like Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar and deracinated Hindus in the INC and BJP do not see even now the ultimate purpose of religious conversion and the real purpose behind the thousands of crores of foreign money that is pumped every year into the country by western governments and foreign churches.
The Christian state of Tamil Eelam was critical to Christianizing South Asia and must be seen together with the Church orchestrated upheaval in Nepal and the ongoing mischief in Myanmar.
Having created and then deepened previously unknown fault-lines in Hindu society, the Church now simply had to wait for natural dynamics to take their course from the point of origin called the Justice Party. It did not have long to wait and three centuries of missionary propaganda about the inherent evil and inequities of varna and jaati vyavastha together with the cancerous spread of the Church in South India yielded bountiful results in the form of E.V. Ramaswami Naicker.
Naicker joined the Indian National Congress in 1919 but quit the Congress in 1925 to form the Self Respect Movement. Periyar’s Self Respect Movement was everything that the Church had hoped for. It positioned itself against the Brahmins – the one community the Church feared the most, retained the non-Brahmin identity of the parent but went much beyond it in scope.
The Self Respect Movement was not merely non-Brahmin in its identity but also virulently anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu. If the Justice Party was a political vehicle like the Muslim League, then the Self Respect Movement was like the Khilafat Committee and had well-defined socio-religious objectives; more to the point, like the Khilafat Committee it was not constrained by compulsions of electoral politics to observe social and political niceties.
Periyar’s violent anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu campaign which entailed defiling and destroying Hindu temples and murtis and abusing Brahmins and Hindu gods in offensive language in public speeches sent shock-waves across the Justice Party besides causing intense revulsion among a section of its leaders. To cut a long story short, in less than a decade, the fortunes of the Justice Party and Self Respect Movement became a zero sum game.
When the Justice Party lost the Provincial elections in 1937, several of its leaders abandoned the party and joined the Self Respect Movement. In 1938 Periyar merged his Self Respect Movement with the Justice Party (just as Jinnah persuaded the Khilafat Committee to merge with the Muslim League around the same time), took control of Justice Party and renamed it Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944.
By 1944 there was little doubt that Periyar E.V. Ramaswami Naicker was the inevitable manifestation of the cancerous Church in TN politics.
The Justice Party was a creature of European Christian missionary intent which fanned the flames of anti-Brahminism as a political ideology in the Madras Presidency in the late 19th and early 20th century. The anti-Brahmin political ideology was a natural consequence of the insidious anti-Brahmin and anti-jaati anti-varna campaigns carried out by European Christian missionaries for three centuries in South India; the bizarre Aryan Invasion Theory was a natural progression of the core idea. The Church’s long-term intent was to sow seeds of discord among the different jaatis, break the jaati and varna vyavastha to cut the socio-cultural and religious roots of Hindus, and then step into the void.
Anti-Brahmin political ideology, as it was conceived and executed, became anti-Hindu because of the cancerous idea underlying the Aryan Invasion Theory with ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker’s Dravidar Kazhagam as the most vocal and powerful proponent of the theory. The resulting anti-Hindu trend in TN polity was fertile soil for Politics of Abrahamic Minority-ism which in turn was exactly the direction in which the Church intended for Dravidian politics to travel. The Church did not have to be seen to be planting the tree; it simply had to sow the seed of poison weed and wait for the weed to sprout.
It is doubtful if it ever occurred to Naicker, or if his acolytes even today see him that way, but Periyar EV Ramaswami Naicker and all Dravidian parties which followed the Dravidar Kazhagam with anti-Brahminism as the only driving force were creatures of the Church. The resulting anti-Hinduism, Tamil Nation for Tamil People all derived only from this point of origin.
What Dravidian Tamil chauvinist parties from 1916 until 2011 claim to be Dravidian ideology rooted in Self Respect is nothing more than Christian missionary agenda for Tamil Nadu.
‘Periyar’ traveled extensively abroad for two years between 1929-1931 through countries as diverse as Russia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, England, France and Germany. Had Naicker been a man of acute political sense or at least an honest man, such extensive travel ought to have shown him the genocidal path that Islam and the Church were traveling even then to expand across continents and he should have judged his own society and the religious-civilisational roots of his culture by American and European Abrahamic standards.
Instead Naicker chose to retain the Church’s fabrication of the Aryan-Dravidian race theory as the core of his Self-respect Movement and later his Dravidar Kazhagam in what may only be termed swallow-and-vomit intellectualism.
Goa, Kerala and TN were the favorite breeding grounds for European missionaries and facing the kind of challenge they did in India which they had not faced when they exterminated entire cultures, religions and peoples first in Europe and then in North and South America followed by Africa, the missionaries set about the task of understanding societal dynamics in Hindu India.
It did not take them long to understand that it was the organic jaati and varna vyavastha and the formidable moral authority wielded by Sanyasis and Brahmins which did not allow Christian missionaries to penetrate Hindu societies. Moral authority vested in Brahmins and Sanyasis should not be confused with temporal power which was vested in different collectives with different responsibilities.
When Brahmins, both the marginally few who were affluent and the vast majority of whom were economically backward, took to English-education, pursued government employment and became doctors, engineers and judges, their hold over their villages and local communities slackened in two generations resulting in irreversible consequences not only for their community but also for the villages and temples they left behind. Effectively they left the field open for Christian missionaries and anti-Hindu Dravidian ideology to take root.
Brahmana and Sanyasa dharma embodied exemplary values – austerity, self-denial, ahimsa, Learning and imparting Learning; the accruing moral authority maintained inter-jaati equilibrium and stability in society. Women and elders in every jaati and varna, Brahmins and Sanyasis were acknowledged as know-ers of dharma. The Portuguese, having understood the critical and central role of the Brahmins, simply picked up the Sword of Christ and decimated the Brahmins of Goa to the last man, woman and child. Only one choice was given to the Brahmins – convert or die.
Without going into excruciating details about the diabolic tactics which Constanzo Beschi, GU Pope, Di Nobili and other charlatans of their ilk adopted in South India with the sole objective of usurping the moral authority vested in Brahmins and Sanyasis, suffice it to say that while some learnt Sanskrit and Tamil, others pretended to be Brahmins and Sanyasis by sporting the tuft, sacred thread, saffron robes and living a life of bogus austerity.
Realizing that Inquisitions of the Portuguese variety in Goa would almost certainly inflame the non-Brahmin Hindu martial castes against them, Italian and British Christian missionaries knew that they could penetrate Hindu society only by becoming a cancerous cell that lodges itself quietly and unnoticed within the bloodstream of the body it intends to kill.
This cancerous missionary cell, which was manufactured in the sixteenth century in TN, when it pretended to be Brahmins and Sanyasis and when it adopted local customs and language, was dignified by the Second Vatican Council with the nomenclature ‘enculturation’.
Enculturation is a cancerous cell and is a political weapon in Christian hands in the war to conquer territory.
Sonia Gandhi is far and away the best example of ‘enculturation’ of the Constanzo Beschi and Di Nobili kind. When she ‘encultered’ her Christian, Roman Catholic Italian identity in the sari, when she sported the bindi and waved her hand in conscious imitation of her mother-in-law, and when she was planted inside the family and home of India’s Prime Minister, it had already been decided that she would be the cancerous cell within the Indian National Congress and by extension, in the body politic of the Hindu nation. ‘Indian National’ Congress lost its meaning once again as did the INC-led freedom movement supposedly to free the nation from White Christian colonial rule.
Once penetration into society was achieved, the cancer called the local resident missionary began to spread the disease in the body. It has always been the way of the Church to defame and defile the highest institutions in target communities, create a vacuum, and then step into the resulting unrest and instability to offer its Jesus-cult religion as solution. Taking note of the moral authority wielded by Brahmins in society, the Church trained its guns on Brahmins and Hindu scriptural texts. It crafted the diabolic Aryan Invasion theory which said –
Brahmins were an alien race called Aryans who invaded the country, defeated the native populace or Dravidians and drove them away from North-India to the South
The Vedas are the roots of Hinduism and the Vedas are composed in Sanskrit
Brahmins spoke Sanskrit while the defeated Dravidian race spoke Tamil (Kannada and Telugu, languages in the Dravidasthan as conceived of by the Church and Naicker have been placed on the back burner for the present in favour of Tamil. Tamil holds preeminence now in Church calculations because Dravidian ‘Tamil’ can be expanded into Tamil People and Tamil Nation)
Persons of the eminence of Asko Parpola and Iravatham Mahadevan, not immune to pecuniary and other benefits accruing from Dravidian state patronage have now begun to mouth the preposterous theory that the language of the Saraswati-Indus script is Dravidian.
This poisonous Aryan-Dravidian propaganda inter alia also meant –
- Hinduism is only Brahminism (the Romilla Thapar brand of history writing uses this language)
- Because the Vedas are the roots of Hinduism and the Vedas are composed in Sanskrit and it is the religion of the alien race which invaded and occupied this land, Tamil-speaking Dravidians are not Hindus
- Dravidians are not Tamil-speaking Hindus in South India but are Tamil People (Tamil Inam) with a culture that has nothing to do with Hinduism
- Saivism, the religion of the Tamil People of Dravidasthan, is Tamil Saivism and therefore is not Hinduism
The cancerous objective was to eat away the umbilical cord binding Tamil Hindus to Hindus in the rest of India and replace it with a sense of anti-Hindu Dravidian Tamil and anti-Hindu, non-Hindu Church ‘Tamil’ ness.
This was the lemon sold to Kashmiri Hindus too in the name of Kashmiriyat. The Kashmiriyat lemon was sold to Kashmiri Hindus by Kashmiri Muslims (almost certainly this fiction was fabricated in the colonial Christian mind and its potential allowed to sprout in the Kashmiri Muslim mind) which said, we Kashmiris are unique and so Kashmiri Hindus have more in common with Kashmiri Muslims than with the Hindus in the rest of India.
This is vintage Christian war strategy – de-link the target community from its parent, give it a sense of separateness resulting in alienation, render it defenseless, alone and vulnerable and then step in for the kill. The political propaganda that Sikhism is not Hinduism, Jainism is not Hinduism is a piece of the same diabolic Church fabric. Sikhs and Jains who mouth this Church fiction must look at the tragic fate of Kashmiri Hindus which does not warrant repetition here.
While the political trajectory of Dravidian anti-Hindu politics is now better understood, what has so far escaped the notice of political observers and commentators is the picture that emerges when we connect the dots. First, the growing numbers of break-away heresies within the Dravidian fold –
Justice Party 1916 (non-Brahmin zamindars and forward castes) – Self Respect Movement 1925 – Dravidar Kazhagam 1944 (E.V. Ramaswami Naicker) – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1949 (C.N. Annadurai, Karunanidhi) – All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1972 (M.G. Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa). For the moment, all latter-day heresies which followed the AIADMK in quick succession, including Tamil Muslim and Tamil Christian heresies are left out of the reckoning.
The new heresy around the cult of M.G. Ramachandran dealt a near-mortal blow to the hitherto unchallenged heresy, the DMK. From 1972 when the AIADMK (ADMK as it was then called) was formed until today, the DMK and AIADMK have successfully played the Bad cop/Good cop routine with the Hindus of TN. The rise of the DMK was marked by physical abuse of Brahmins in public spaces –
- Cutting off their sacred thread
- Dragging Brahmin men by their tufts and in several instances even cutting off their tuft (apocryphal stories about Chanakya and the evil Dhananand tell us how King Dhananand gave Chanakya the choice between death and cutting off his Brahminic tuft)
- Obscene and vulgar depiction of Brahmin men and even women, their customs, traditions and their way of life in Tamil films
- Public calls to make Brahmin women the common property of non-Brahmin men
- Increasing shrill calls for seceding from the Indian Union and the beginning of usage of political phrases Tamil People and Tamil Nation which found prompt echo and support in American/Western think tanks and their foreign policy jargon
MGR’s AIADMK departed marginally from what was widely recognized as Dravidian politics in that MGR did not encourage public humiliation and physical abuse of Brahmins; but significantly he did not depart even minimally from the anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu Dravidian tenets and policies. Nevertheless, the good cop role assumed by MGR triggered a frenzy of covert political activity by the Church in neighboring Sri Lanka.
Neither the LTTE, nor demands by other splinter Tamil separatist groups for the secessionist Christian state of Tamil Eelam were accidents of history.
The Church, notwithstanding its much splintered body, is one as regards the ultimate political objective; and the Church hierarchy comprising its cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, pastors, monks, nuns and Christian laity constitute the army of Christ; each segment of the army working within different sections of the target society and nation without losing sight of the goal – Church-control of communities leading to Church-control of the polity followed by Church-control of the state, as in government.
Conquest of nations by the sword or by the cancer called religious conversion ever remains the sole objective of the Church. When the Church’s dream of Dravidasthan comprising the whole of South India fragmented into Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the Church changed tracks and began to work on the notion of Tamil Nation comprising the whole of Tamil Nadu in India and the North and East of Sri Lanka.
The notion of Tamil People had already been sowed by the Church both in India and in Sri Lanka and had taken root. The Church’s most promising offspring, the violence-prone DMK had been well-groomed as the vehicle for Tamil People/Tamil Nation in India; it was time to deliver a similar creature in Sri Lanka and the emergence of M.G. Ramachandran in Tamil Nadu provided the perfect backdrop to unveil the Sri Lankan chapter of the Tamil Nation.
Born in a small town near Kandy in Sri Lanka to immigrant parents from Kerala, MGR’s Sri Lanka connection gave the Tamil Nation idea a personal, emotional edge which ultimately and totally unexpectedly, destroyed the movement, its terrorist vehicle and its sponsors in India; the idea of Tamil Nation itself suffered a serious setback.
At the time of independence in 1948 a peculiar situation prevailed in Sri Lanka where the politically assertive section both among the Sinhala and Tamil people were Christians, a situation which continues till the present day. This was the result of the almost total control of education and state patronage extended to Christian missionary schools and colleges by all colonial powers – Portuguese, Dutch and then the British.
Church-run schools, which received colonial state patronage and government funds, provided education in English as compared to the education in the vernacular languages in Sinhala and Tamil provided by temples and Buddhist monasteries. English education was mandatory for admission to institutions of higher learning which in turn led to employment in government institutions.
The Church in Sri Lanka, in an extension of its rice-bowl conversion in Africa, made admission to their schools and colleges conditional upon religious conversion to Christianity in what may be termed blackboard conversion. The Church in South India targeted the Tamil Nadar community similarly; thus within the same family those who opted to send their children to missionary schools converted to Christianity and were given alien foreign sounding Christian names.
Not surprisingly, in the early years of the twentieth century only those Sri Lankans – Sinhala and Tamil who were English-educated were employed by the British administration in government jobs and the same section emerged as frontrunners in the country’s polity too. Bandaranaike, Jayawardene, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Chelvanayakam and even Ranasinghe Premadasa, son of Richard Ranasinghe were all Christians. The Church had never had it so good; except that the notion of Tamil People which the Church had sown in society rebounded on the Church in an unexpected turn of events.
While the Church fabricated the Tamil People/Tamil Nation fiction in India vis-a-vis the Brahmins, its work to plant the cancerous cell in Sri Lanka was made easier because the Tamil language and its culture/people had to be presented as being separate only vis-a-vis the Sinhala language and its culture/people. The fact that both the Sinhala speaking people and the Tamil speaking people were civilisationally, culturally and religiously bound to Hinduism and bound by the umbilical cord to the Hindu bhumi in equal measure was pushed to the margins of their collective consciousness; and identity of language was privileged over civilisational identity.
The Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka, like the non-Brahmins of Tamil Nadu, was a willing customer for Church peddled separatism.
The Church’s invidious propaganda about the separateness of Tamil People from the nationhood of Sri Lanka and about Tamil People being a distinct nationality with a right to their own territory not only worked like cancer in the Tamil psyche but also reactively in the Sinhala psyche. A brief look at Sri Lanka’s demography is in order to understand how and why the Church’s invidious propaganda succeeded in that country.
Sri Lanka’s demography as per language –
Sinhala – 74%
Tamil – 12.6%
Tamil of Indian origin – 5.19%[ii]
Religious demography –
Buddhism – 70%
Hinduism – 15%
Islam – 7.5%
Christianity – 7.5%
Sinhala speaking people are both Buddhists and Christians; Tamil speaking people are Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Except for a negligible percentage of Moors who are Muslims, the majority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims are Tamil-speaking just as all Sri Lanka’s Buddhists are Sinhala-speaking.
After independence in 1948, in a move to assert the Sinhala identity of the nation and to stem the trend of what the Buddhist clergy thought was disproportionate numbers of Tamil-speaking people (mostly Tamil Christians and negligible numbers of forward caste Tamil Hindus who did not need the Church’s missionary charity for higher education) in government employment, administration and high-end professions including politics, which the Buddhist clergy correctly attributed to Church-run English medium schools and colleges, the Buddhist clergy prevailed upon the Sri Lankan government to nationalize all educational institutions, impart education in the vernacular languages, and accord primacy once again to Pirivenas or educational institutions run by Buddhist monasteries.
Although the move to nationalize Sri Lanka’s education was formalized only in 1961, the trend towards non-missionary Sinhala and Tamil vernacular schools had already begun in the 1930s; but the government move to nationalize education in 1961 dealt a near-mortal blow to Christian evangelization and religious conversion when the most potent instrument for religious conversion, Church-funded and administered missionary schools and colleges were de-fanged, and unseated from their positions of preeminence. The front-end of the assembly line which was delivering Sinhala and Tamil Christian political leaders at the other end had been permanently disabled dealing a terrible blow to the Church agenda to control the government.
The Church’s Tamil People/Tamil Nation boomerang turned around and began to fly back at the Church. The Church trained its guns on the Buddhist clergy again, this time by sharpening the division between the Sinhala majority and Tamil minority by taking recourse to extremism in the form of the LTTE. Needless to say, the top leadership of the LTTE was Christian with notional Hindus in the LTTE cadre playing useful idiots to fulfill the Church agenda.
The time had come to give shape to the Sri Lankan vehicle for Tamil separatism to match the rise and growth of the DMK in Tamil Nadu. The measures that the Church took to realize the Christian state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka and in Tamil Nadu were always well calibrated and in tune with events in both countries. The LTTE burst upon the political scene in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in 1975; it follows that preparation for the launch must have started at least a few years earlier.
The success of the Church propaganda that the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu were a separate nationality can be gauged from the fact that while the Buddhist clergy, reacting strongly to Tamil separatism which had reared its head even before independence in 1948, wanted to push the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka to the margins of national life, it remained sanguine to the fact that every President that the country elected was Christian; Sinhala Christian. The Buddhist clergy was prepared to accommodate an Abrahamic religion into its conception of Sinhala nationalism while refusing to reach out to the civilisationally related Tamil Hindus who constituted 15% of the population.
Pitting brother against brother is classic Abrahamic/Christian war tactics going back to the Old Testament.
Christians who constitute 7.5% of the population were tactically distributed among the 74% Sinhala, 12.6 % Tamil and 5.19% Indian Tamil populace thus giving the Church a powerful leverage among all sections of the language divide.
The Sinhala-Buddhist Tamil-Hindu animosity had very little to do with religion while it had everything to do with language. The Sinhala-Buddhists and Tamil-Hindus alike failed to see the cancerous cell called the Sinhala Christian and Tamil Christian quietly embedded in their respective blood streams and who were the sole beneficiary from the internecine war between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka.
The rise of MGR and the formation of the AIADMK coincided not only with the rise and emergence of the LTTE in Sri Lanka but also with the rise and emergence of the Sri Lankan communist party, the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna or the JVP. Considering the role of the Church behind the Maoists of Orissa and Nepal it is tempting to wonder if the Church may not have had a hand in the creation of this new front with cadres drawn equally from among the economically backward Tamil and Sinhala speaking people in its early years. What cannot also be denied is that the Church has always adroitly turned every event, every phenomenon to its advantage.
The emergence of MGR, the return of Indira Gandhi in 1980 as Prime Minister, the rise of the LTTE and the rise of the JVP, proved to be a direct and four-pronged attack against the Sri Lankan government and an indirect attack against the primacy and power of the island’s Buddhist clergy. The Church was the only beneficiary of the three decades long civil war which tore Sri Lanka apart and which was ended with the determined extermination of the LTTE in 2010. Not only is the Church continuing to harvest Tamil souls in Sri Lanka but is also harvesting souls in Tamil Nadu’s refugee camps. The protracted civil war in Sri Lanka provided the Church with a bountiful harvest.
Indians outside Tamil Nadu remember the dismissal of the DMK government by Prime Minister Chandrashekhar in 1991. What is almost totally unknown is that the reviled LTTE was armed and trained by the Tamil Nadu and Indian governments in camps set up in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka where India’s armed forces gave the LTTE full military training including in guerilla warfare.
The well-armed and trained LTTE cadre was then sent into Sri Lanka as deadly terrorists in a move which many foreign affairs experts believe was intended by Indira Gandhi and MGR acting in tandem to force the Sri Lankan government to the negotiating table and draft an equitable national constitution which would protect and guarantee equal rights for the Tamil speaking minority community.
While MGR who became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1977 was playing competing Dravidian politics with the defeated DMK around the core issue of Tamil People/Tamil Nation, for Indira Gandhi, who felt the urgent need to assert her strong-man image which suffered a setback in the electoral defeat in 1977, it was more a move to re-assert her one-woman regional super power status which the creation of Bangladesh had given her in 1971.
Indira Gandhi and M.G. Ramachandran may have acted for two entirely different reasons when they set up camps in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India to train, arm and finance the LTTE but they created a Bhasmaasura who turned upon the very people who made the LTTE invincible against the Sri Lankan government in the first place. Indira Gandhi was playing with secessionist fire at home and abroad – she created Bhindranwale and the problem of Khalistan and she created the problem of the LTTE and Tamil Eelam – fires which would soon engulf India, herself and her family.
It was not in the capacity of any state government in TN to militarily arm and train the LTTE without the tacit support and active involvement of the central government. Whoever was advising Indira Gandhi on foreign affairs did not have the nation’s interests in mind, that much is obvious when one retrospectively analyses the events of the critical 1970 and 1980s decade. It is not clear why Indira Gandhi and MGR privileged the LTTE over other Tamil political groups, parties and formations but it was this privileging and the money, arms and training provided to the LTTE which gave the LTTE the brute power and the motive to decimate the leadership and cadre of all other Tamil groups so that it could emerge as the sole representative of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka.
While the frightening growth of the LTTE gave the Tamil secessionist movement in Sri Lanka a phenomenal impetus, it also caused an equally strong reaction from India and the Sri Lankan government. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi brought to an immediate and full stop all help rendered so far to the LTTE; it also pushed the Sri Lankan government to equip its own army to deal with the LTTE.
Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the subsequent weakening of the Congress party ushered in the era of coalition politics and the huge returns accruing from participation in government in Delhi and the compulsions of coalition politics not only tamed the two major Dravidian parties into a semblance of nationalism but effectively turned Tamil Nadu away not only from the path of secessionism it had been treading for long under the Dravidian parties but also turned it away from the LTTE.
The Church had to regroup and formulate a new war strategy.
The rise of Brahmin Jayalalithaa within the ranks of the AIADMK and her eventual coronation as Gen. Secretary which shook the very foundations of Dravidian politics, the rise of the BJP in national politics, the fading lure of the idea of secessionist Tamil Eelam and weakening prospects of realizing it even within Tamil Nadu, and the new trend in Indian politics which catapulted both the DMK and the AIADMK to Delhi imposing upon them the primacy of national interests over interests of regional political parties forced the Church to forge new strategies and lay a new road towards its objective of carving the Christian state of Tamil Eelam.
The following trends emerged in Tamil Nadu more or less simultaneously from around the mid 1990s decade and continues till the present –
- The Church began to invest in television news channels, schools of journalism and mass communication; the Church also pushed for creating the department of human rights in Tamil Nadu colleges and universities
- Foreign governments, notably the UK and US through DFID and USAID began to fund NGOs in India, primarily Christian NGOs
- Foreign Christian funding agencies like World Vision, Action Aid and agencies from Germany, France and the Netherlands began to fund churches and Christian NGOs
- Tamil Nadu is the largest recipient of foreign funds
- The Church began to fund television soap operas and also financed Tamil films
- Christians are entering the Tamil Nadu film industry and the small screen in almost every area – as directors, producers, actors and music directors
- Tamil films and television Tamil serials routinely make reference to Tamil People and Tamil Nation
- The Church is buying hundreds of acres of land across Tamil Nadu; this is visible even in overcrowded Chennai
- Christians are cornering a major chunk of the reservation quota in admission to institutions of higher learning and also in government jobs; there are growing numbers of Christian students in engineering, medical and law colleges and universities
- Churches and prayer houses are being built-in almost every street in Chennai and close to every Hindu temple, big and small
- Churches are coming up even in the holiest of holy Hindu temple towns and they are being allowed by Dravidian parties to come up close to temples
- Foreign Christian missionaries from America, Malaysia and South Korea have a free run of the streets in Chennai
- Instigating fisher-folk communities is the Church’s latest ploy[iii]
Every penny and paisa that the Church spends, it spends as investment towards realizing its core objective – control of communities leading to control of polity leading ultimately to control of government culminating in bloody or bloodless conquest of territory. The path to this objective is religious conversion; what was achieved solely through enculturation in the 16th and 17th centuries, through the Church’s missionary educational and medical institutions in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is now being achieved through NGOs, through an aggressive political discourse in religious freedom and human rights which always work only to the Church’s advantage to facilitate penetration, conversion and conquest.
Investing in political parties is the Church’s latest venture in Tamil Nadu. The Church’s investment, besides the time-tested and highly successful strategy of planting Christians in important ruling families through the love angle or as close confidants to politicians, is three-pronged –
- Donate liberally and in proportion to expected returns to the two largest Dravidian parties
- Besides the generous donations also get Christians to become members of every big and small political party – DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, PMK, DMDK so that these parties, with an eye on the Christian vote bank are compelled to nominate Christians as office bearers at state and district levels
- Start new Tamil extremist parties and create more and more Tamil chauvinist outfits to make shrill noises for Tamil People/Tamil Nation, for the LTTE, against the Sri Lankan government, against the central government, even against judges of the High Court and Supreme Court, for human rights, against law-enforcing agencies like police and army; in effect create enough noise and generate enough heat to provoke uncooperative and weak governments to either use force or hopefully to surrender to extremist demands
The ploy has succeeded just as every Church ploy has succeeded because the Church always preys upon vulnerability, ambition, hubris and greed. The state government-central government partnership had yielded phenomenal results for the Christian state of Tamil Eelam but that had ended with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Temptations of sharing power in New Delhi had weakened even the verbal call and support for Eelam. The Church’s next move was to weaken the two largest Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu by making them dependant upon smaller parties for survival.
The Church was the only force which saw the advantages of weakening national, nationalist and large regional parties. Tamil Nadu politics had been centered around only two poles for close to half a century. A strong DMK and AIADMK were assets to both the Congress and the BJP not only in state elections but also in national elections. The Church saw how regional parties with no support outside of their states could still influence national policies and it applied the rule with great foresight in Tamil Nadu.
As government support for the LTTE ended and the vehicle was destroyed in Sri Lanka, the Church had to keep the idea of Tamil People/Tamil Nation alive in Tamil Nadu. Even as the Church donated liberally to both the DMK and AIADMK, making them both look like subservient agents of the Church, the Church punished them both by eating into their varied constituencies through the innumerable splinter parties which mushroomed to coincide with waning government support and interest in Tamil Eelam.
The two largest Dravidian parties were themselves made vulnerable to intra-state coalition politics which diminished their value and leverage in New Delhi. Neither the Congress nor the BJP were strong enough to accommodate the baggage which now came along with the DMK and the AIADMK in the form of their state coalition partners.
The Congress and the BJP would now be subject to pressures not only from Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa but also from Vaiko, Thol Thirumavalavan and Ramdoss; not to speak of the good reverend Father Jegath Gaspar Raj, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and the Indian Christian Front. Muslims and Christians not only form political parties which are overtly Christian and Muslim but also spread themselves tactically in all important political parties for leverage.
The DMK and AIADMK must both realize that only when Tamil Nadu’s non-Brahmin communities, when coastal villages and communities remain Hindu, their own electoral constituencies will remain with them. If they allow Christian donation to their parties to pressure their policies, if they allow foreign money to continue to come on the scale it is now coming into Tamil Nadu, inevitably, inexorably, they will be weakened because the first rule in any business is that all investments must yield profit.
The Church is not going to invest money into their parties and the state only to have Karunanidhi and family, Jayalalithaa and baggage to enjoy the fruits of power. The Church wants the whole of Tamil Nadu and a large part of Sri Lanka. If the DMK, AIADMK and the BJP do not see this even now, it may well spell their doom. The Congress in Tamil Nadu is recruiting Christians into the party at all levels – educated, poorly educated, as leaders and as cadre.
If because the DMK and AIADMK have already been weakened and if because the BJP in Tamil Nadu is still clueless about what is happening in the state, the Congress resurrects itself, it will resurrect as a Christian party whose Christian content will not be immediately seen or felt. It will either wear an encultured face like it wears now in Delhi and wore in Andhtra Pradesh under Y. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy or it may even opt for a temporary idiot Hindu face.
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus can be protected and Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu protected from the predatory Church only if India’s polity, Tamil Nadu’s polity and the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka wake up to the Church’s agenda for India, Sri Lanka and Asia.
[i] The writer has used the word Church generically to mean not only churches of all denominations, including Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Adventist, Pentecostal and New Life, New Mission but also Christian NGOs, Christian funding agencies, White Christian governments and countries which legitimize and use evangelization and militant Christian missionary objectives as instruments of foreign policy in countries of Asia, especially India, China, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia; the generic Church also includes the United Nations with a charter that enforces Christian ‘liberal’ political principles as the universal socio-political ideal which will be enforced coercively by any one of the arms of the generic Church, including military intervention.
[ii] Indian Tamil people are indentured labour from the erstwhile Madras presidency forcibly transported to Sri Lanka to work in British owned tea-estates.
[iii] South of Cuddalore every fishing hamlet along Tamil Nadu’s vast coastline is almost 100% Christian. The Church wants fisher-folk to be given the status of Scheduled Tribes where even Christian converts are eligible for reservation quota; and that is why the Church is not asking for Scheduled Caste status. The Church is playing a covert role in getting Tamil Nadu’s fishermen to regularly intrude into Sri Lankan waters, not only to pressure the state government and New Delhi to confront the Sri Lankan government, but also to provoke the Sri Lankan government into using force to deal with trespassing fishermen. The idea is to vitiate Tamil Nadu/India-Sri Lanka relations.
» Radha Rajan is a political analyst and the editor of www.vigilonline.com
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