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Thursday 9 June 2011

The Indian intervention

India is back in the news with people speculating on her role this time. It is quite clear that Indian foreign policy on Sri Lanka is determined by two factors. Firstly India’s hegemonic attitudes towards her neighbouring countries with her desire to consider Indian Ocean as the Ocean of India, reminding us of infamous Panikkar Doctrine. In that respect the central government in Delhi works with all the determination to become the regional power in the area. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned there is no Indian whom can be treated as a friend, and when I say this I do not consider Buddha and Arhant Mahinda as Indians. India as a country came into existence only after the invasion by the English and prior to that there were some dynastic kingdoms which of course did not stay static in the geographical region which is now considered as India. After the English occupation, Indian upper and middle classes have been following the English trying to become little masters in all walks of life including politics. They play the power game essentially in the manner of the English and it is clear that they want to replace the English as the regional power.

The second factor that affects the foreign policy of India towards Sri Lanka is the Tamil Nadu politics. The Tamil Nadu is very close to Sri Lanka and the Tamils in Tamil Nadu have not forgotten the close relationship between the Tamils in India and Sri Lanka. In fact there has not been a sufficient time period to erase these relationship and the Tamil Nadu politicians make use of these not so historical relationships to capture power in the southernmost state in India. However, it also shows the weakness of the Indian system with so called states, with devolution of power to the states. Though the states have been demarcated based on language, it is clear that at least in the southern states the de facto basis is ethnicity and not language. Though the division based on language is very much identical to that based on ethnicity, it is the latter people think of when agitating for the so called human and other rights of the Tamil in Sri Lanka.

The central government in Delhi very often finds it difficult to control the Tamil Nadu state as the politicians come out with story after story on the conditions of the Tamil people both in India and Sri Lanka. The very fact that Delhi finds it difficult to control Chenhai and surrenders to the latter without much resistance, amply shows that Delhi cannot survive without giving concessions to Tamil Nadu Politicians on Sri Lanka. The situation is not healthy at all as India has to satisfy the members of Parliament in India from Tamil Nadu. Whatever said and done, Delhi finds it difficult to control the specter of Tamil Nadu politics. Tamil Nadu may not be able to separate from India and establish a Tamil state but it is giving ample ammunition to the centre to achieve its ambitions of becoming a modern day Chola empire with the Indian ocean as the boundary.

India is trying to fish in troubled waters, with the backing of the western powers. In fact it is a combined invasion of the west and India, which has just begun in the form of a cold war. The general public has no idea of a cold war and it is the invaders who take advantage of that fact as well. What has been the role of India during the last sixty four years after independence? If one begins with Jawaharlal Nehru it becomes clear that India has treated Sri Lanka as its colony, with a grudge against the country for protecting Buddhism over two thousand three hundred years. When Nehru asked the Sri Lankan Prime Minister John Kotelawela in Bandung as to why the latter did not show his speech prior to delivering it the former demonstrated the big brotherly attitude towards Sri Lanka. The Brahmins in India throughout the first few decades after independence gave Sri Lanka enough trouble over the Tamil labourers who were brought by the English to work in the plantations. Then during Indira Gandhi’s period India sponsored protected and trained Tamil terrorists against the Sri Lankan state. Rajiv Gandhi’s attitudes towards Sri Lanka were well known and all that the Nehru dynasty wanted was to covert Sri Lanka to another Bhutan. However, all these schemes failed as Sri Lanka had the strength of the indigenous cultures of these regions to survive the onslaught from the so called Aryan invasions in this part of the world.

The “Aryan” invasions changed the indigenous culture of Dambadiva and converted it to a Bharath culture. The religions such as Buddhism and Jainism were based in the indigenous cultures and as social movements resisted the Brahmin hegemony that had taken roots in Dambadiva. However, these religions could not survive in Bharath, though in the process “Aryanism” had been converted into a Vedic culture with borrowings from indigenous cultures that promoted Bhavana in the form of “Yoga exercises”. It was left to Sri Lanka or Heladiva which had a non Vedic culture to protect Buddhism in its “original” form and the Brahmins have an axe to grind against the Sinhala people.

India wants Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment and in fact go beyond that. If India can instruct what to do regarding its internal matters then Pakistan, China, Maldives and the other countries also should be able to do so. If India claims that it is because of the Tamils living in India then we should be able to instruct India on the course of action that India should follow with respect to the Buddhists in India. If India further states that the Tamils in Sri Lanka have some kind of relationship with the Tamils in India then it will finally lead to the conclusion that all the Tamils in Sri Lanka are of recent Indian origin. After all with the stories on Vijaya coming from North India, India does not claim that the Sinhalas have some form of relationship with Bengalis (Vagu) and Kalinga (Kalingu) people.

The thirteenth amendment has been rejected by the Sinhala people not once but number of times. India cannot force Sinhalas to implement this amendment imposed by India. If the Sinhalas were prepared to implement it there would have been no
“war” with the Tamil terrorists. The Sri Lankan government having fought and won “war” over essentially its opposition to the thirteenth amendment is now been forced by India and (the west) to go beyond the thirteenth amendment. It is strange Brahmin logic and the Sinhalas would never yield to these arm twisting exercises by the modern day Kautilyas. The Brahmins should be reminded that the Sinhalas are guided by Mahaushadas who can expose all these Kautilya tactics. Would the Brahmins have advised the English, the Americans and the Russians to give back what they had won to the Germans and to the Eastern Europe after the so called second world war.(2011/05/25)

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva