I just returned from Sydney attending a forum organized by the Tamil Diaspora. One person from the audience asked a question which I should have answered but was preoccupied with other issues and did not answer. That is bothering me and I want to share with everybody. I thought I will share it with you all and hope it will reach others and I feel relieved that even though I miss the question in Sydney but my response will reach many others. Hope by providence’s grace it will reach the person who asked this question. I have received similar questions especially from the Tamil population in Malaysia too.
Question; ‘politics is dirty and therefore should be dumped in dustbin and that we should not get involved. This is what I read in books and comments from respected people’. What does the panelist say about it?’ This was the question and two other panelists responded. I should have replied but somehow did not.
My reply would be that politics affects all aspect of our life. Whether we accept it or not political decisions by political decision makers namely the Parliament, state legislative councils and even municipal councils decision very much influence the way we live and the effect of this decisions even get into our minds and bother us. The prices of basic essential items like rice, sugar, etc are all influenced by politics. Our religious freedoms, syllabus content in schools, what is allowed to study in schools are influenced by political decisions. The housing schemes, public transportation systems, job opportunities, scholarships, business opportunities are political decisions. Some of the bills passed like ISA, OSA, emergence ordinance, university and society acts, printing and publishing acts in parliament have far reaching consequences. These acts of parliament bring about fear, anger, disgust and moles our mind. Therefore politics affects our inner self. The crucification of Jesus Christ and assassination of Mahatma Gandhi are about political considerations and nothing religious or spiritual. The emergence of religious bigots and extremism are about political dominance and controlling the hearts and minds of people so that can be in power.
Therefore the Tamil population must reconcile with this reality and not too concerned about what some arm chair critics say. Tamils all over the world must have more political awareness and participate in the political process of which ever country they live in. They must influence the political decisions both national and internationally. Israel is a small country in Middle Eastsurrounded by their enemies. But they are in control of their surroundings and they have strong presence in the U.S who protects them. They are a minority in their region and in the U.S. too. But they are the most powerful people sitting in the most powerful political decision making bodies. Malaysian Indians always lament that we are minority what can we do? As a community Malaysian Indians and Tamils are ignorant people. They only know how to complain all the time and expect others to give handouts and support when they are in need. But when others are in dire situation the Tamils will look the other way.
Tamils generally bring up their children to become doctors and lawyers etc. They frown and fear upon the thought of going into politics. These actions of good people leave a vacuum for others to occupy political post and therefore the world is what it is. This looking down on politics must change among Indians in particular the Tamils. Tamils are all over the world therefore they must go international in politics. If a Tamil were to head UN, would Sri Lanka get away with war crimes? The atrocities and killing of innocent people would have been averted. We must stop begging and blaming others but on the other hand take-charge of our own welfare.
One of the culprits who keep Tamils mental poor is the Tamil linguists who prevent the Tamil masses from integrating with the other communities by not learning Hindi. Today they have less influence in Indian federal decisions. They acclaim that their language is their mother and God. Most of Tamil politicians do not have high and noble values but are very profound in their language skills. They use their Tamil oratory skills to keep Tamils from going national or global. Tamil language is rich in noble and spiritual values because of the great contributions from Tamil speaking saints and sages. But the Tamil arm chair critics and politicians will only focus on literary and language and their greatness and totally leave out the noble and spiritual values that need to be emulated from the Tamil saints and sages. Tamils must aspire to be rich in values, realistic and pragmatic and not get drowned in the language greatness. Their language will not save them but on the contrary they save their language.
Tamil culture places too much importance to temples and religious rituals. Temples and all rituals must be used to build a community with high values. Temples must become community centers that bring together the segregated and cast ridden Tamil population. Temples can be learning and character building centers for the younger generations. All temples must focus on these issues if they truly love the Tamil god and people. Great political leaders must come out of temples to care for the Tamil population all over the world is my humble wish and prayers.