தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Journey Down Memory Lane To Reach 'tamiz Izam'
R.Shanmugalingam

Chapter 34

Words, these are the only means at my disposal to express my thoughts and needs. A professional or prolific writer, could use words to produce instant results. I do not have that talent. Otherwise a more or less universally accepted need for international publicity should not be dragging on without concerned ‘tamiz’ support and encouragement. There is anarchy as far as ‘tamizar’ are concerned. How does it go, "we get the government we deserve?"

So it is we who have to form a government we deserve. If we do not, then we deserve to be treated like the way the Sinhalas have treated us and will treat us. It is hard for a guerrilla force to concentrate on governing and at the same time look over their shoulders for enemy attack. "mAmijAr thalyjily kyjum vElikku mElAly kanhnhum." I do not think even the cleverest ‘marumakaL’ has done this successfully.

I have always marveled at the possibilities of making use of twenty-six letters in the English language the number of words formed by permutation and computation. These over a million words could be used to convey ideas, instructions, expressions, desires, love, hate, lies and deceit, facts and figures, laws and rules ad infinitum. There is no doubt that the world is a better place in spite of the cynicism, codes of conduct for the convenience and comforts of a few, who incidentally use words very effectively and in many cases for the benefit of a few to the detriment of many.

The world could reach "top dead center or TDC" if we are dead to continue to do our individual part. TDC in auto industry means, the piston in the cylinder of a car moves up and down. The piston will move up only so far as the design will allow. Any amount of power will not take it up and the piston moves down until it reaches "bottom dead center or BDC." the key word is dead. If we are not alive to our surroundings, we may not ratchet the evolutionary process upwards but in effect will ratchet it downwards. We are dead if we adopt a feline attitude to our surroundings. If a cat closes its eyes the world will not go dark, but it goes dark for the cat. ‘pUny kanhnhy mUdikkonhdAl pUlokam irunhdu pOkumA?’ Then are we cats too?

We have to be effective as we all know the principle of effectiveness plays an important role in our lives. Our participation if effective will give ‘tamiz Izam’ a chance to:

Let us all be energized to keep on with our verbal pounding and pounding and pounding till we get ‘tamiz Izam’ without the ‘copper top’ with the help of our ‘top upper.’ One has to be passionate to the point of being crazy for anything if one wants it badly. How many of us have told our lovers "I am crazy for you." So what and where is the harm in saying I am crazy for ‘tamiz Izam’ not for a crazy ‘tamiz Izam’ thus, as silence will tend to prove to the world. ‘adi mEl adi vyttaL ammijum nakarum.’ Constant barrage with words will have to move world opinion in our favor, as we deserve it and need it.

I give another of my minuscule contribution for making this a better world:

The Ceylon Daily News, Wednesday, September 15, 1971.
"Mechanization Of Agriculture In Ceylon" By. R. Shanmugalingam

Tractors are in short supply in Ceylon and hence farm mechanization is confined mostly to preparatory tillage of paddy lands and that too a superficial rather than an intensive application to the soil is adopted. Unfortunately the subject of cultivation is almost as much a matter of personal opinion as religion or politics. Soil types vary enormously, not only from farm to farm, but even across a single field. Farmers themselves vary too, their knowledge, skill, sense of timing, and not least their patience. Skill in cultivation is more an art than a science. The variability both of soil and of weather doubtless accounts for the vast range of cultivating machinery on the market.

The tractor is the source of mechanical power in the farm. There are many makes and models of farm tractors. Production of these tractors are based on three distinct tractor forms- the skid steered Tracklayers, tool frame tractors and the conventional two wheel drive with the four wheel variants.

The tracklayer tractor is only logical for use on weak frictionless soils and heavy earth work and jungle clearing. Mechanical methods of jungle clearing have come into favor for three reasons. Firstly, they save time and allow the farmer to get the land under crop in a shorter period; secondly, they enable the clearing of land which would otherwise be left in its natural state because of nonavailability of suitable labor and thirdly, the contract system of mechanical land clearing allows the farmer to concentrate his energies on other farm work while the contractor attends to the clearing.

The present methods of jungle clearing by using bulldozers and rippers clear the vegetation, bring stumps and roots to the surface, push all the materials into windrows and leave the land ready for initial cultivation in a matter of a few weeks. The windrowed material is burnt off later when it is sufficiently dry to take fire.

The bulldozer causes a greater disturbance and inversion of the soil layers, and is responsible for uneven crop development for the first two years. It is during the removal of the timber from the field that the bulldozer causes most damage to the soil. An inexpert operator can, by keeping the blade too low, remove the valuable surface soil layer and push it to the sides of the field where the trees are piled for a subsequent burning. Once the land has been cleared of either scrub or forest cover., it will be ready for its first cultivation. Large roots which have not been removed, or stones near the surface, can cause costly breakages to tillage implements, but a stump-jump disc plough is not likely to be damaged by such obstacles.

As soon as the preliminary ploughing is completed, a simple farm leveler is dragged over the field to fill in depressions left by the removal of stumps. Any roots or boulders encountered in ploughing are removed either by improvised mechanical loaders or hand picked; and the land is then ready for normal cultivation.

The tool frame tractor carries the implement between its axles and because of difficulties encountered in steering, restricts the implements to single furrow or narrow width implements. In turn this limits the size of the engine.

Hence production of agricultural tractors is therefore dominated by the rigid frame two-wheel drive tractor with a small proportion of a 4 WD adaptations. This form was introduced by Ford in 1917 fitted with pneumatic tyres in the 1930s and made into a thoroughly practical arrangement by Ferguson in the 1940s.

The Agricultural Tractor is called upon to perform an infinite variety of tasks such as tillage planting, weed control. spraying and dusting, fertilizing, harrowing, crop processing, loading, leveling, transporting etc. However, all this can be reduced to the following three functions: (1) The application of full engine power in the form of a large drawbar pull at low speeds. (2) The provision of power , mobile support and control for an infinite variety of attached machines capable of performing a multitude of tasks. (3) The provision of the basis for an economical fast transport system capable of operating on or off the road.

The primary objectives and fundamental purposes of tillage or the preparation of the soil for planting are as follows:

(1) To create a good seed bed, physically, chemically and biologically fitted to the growth of crops. (2) To add humus and fertility to the soil by covering and burying crop residues and manures so they are incorporated in the soil. (3) To prevent and destroy weeds or other unwanted vegetation; (4) To leave the soil in such condition that air will circulate freely. (5) To leave the soil in such condition as to retain moisture from rain. (6) To destroy insects as well as their eggs, larvae, and breeding places. (7) To leave soil surface in a condition to prevent erosion.

The common tiller or the spring tined cultivator harrow is being used as an alternative tto the plough. The attraction for the tine tiller is that, it is very light and driving in the field can be done at a higher speed than most other conventional implements. Further, farm mechanization in Ceylon is almost invariably initiated by small contractor organizations or a farmer purchasing a tractor and tiller for use on his own land and thereafter contracts out to others in his area. There appears to be very little research or experiments carried out in Ceylon with a view to measure the long term effects of tiller cultivation on paddy yields, physical condition of the soil and economy of operation as compared to other more modern methods.

One of the most efficient ways of applying tractor power to cultivation is by the rotary cultivator or the Rotavator. Power is transmitted into the most effective and economical method of tillage. The blades cultivate all the soil in their path, producing an even mix of soil, organic matter and air at depths ranging from two to eight inches. Their rotary action also provides a driving force that asserts forward traction without exerting downward pressure. One revolution is equivalent to the work of a range of conventional implements or a greater number of passes in the same field with the tiller.

The Rotavator is found to be a very useful implement for seed bed preparation for wet paddy cultivation. Rotavation creates a "water-borne tilth," or a "rice puddle" - the intimate mixing of soil and water to a consistency suitable for planting and growth of paddy.

There do not appear to be any significant changes in the basic arrangement in the form of two-wheel tractors since Harry Ferguson introduced his tractor in the 1940s. But progress has been made in detailed design and the machine has become more complex.

The Ceylonese agricultural environment is different from those countries where tractors originated. The tractor industry has the prime mission of providing a steady flow of tractors to markets distributed throughout the world. It must support these tractors with adequate spare parts and repair facilities. Large organizations devoted to such complex tasks are inherently incapable of making a model to suit a country like Ceylon with a limited market. As such manufacturers produce models of a universally acceptable exportable machine capable of operating anywhere.

Therefore we in Ceylon have no alternative but to accept a make and model which has so far proved popular or in other words a "prestige" machine and develop or modify it to suit our conditions. This can be phased with the proposed tractor assembly and manufacture in stages so that in a matter of three or five years a reasonably ideal prototype tractor could be evolved. This would ensure that when we are ready to manufacture our own tractors and implements we have a model to meet a major part of an ideal tractor for our local conditions , especially for wet paddy.

 continued

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