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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Tamil National Forum
TAMIL NATIONAL FORUM - 1998
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From Ram S. Ravindran November 1998

Some thoughts on how to build Tamil pride.

1. Money and wealth earn respect

Look at China. 15 years ago they had a trade balance of less than a billion dollars. Now they have 100 billion dollar surplus. They are a factor in the thinking of the Europeans and the Americans. We should develop a healthy attitude toward making money. As a whole the province has to become rich. Let us not blame any other factor except us. And let us not kid ourselves thinking that someone else or the centre is responsible for it. When people have found out a way to make money, let them expand the business, let them learn to trust others besides the relatives. Let them expand to other parts of India.

We have to brainwash ourselves and our kids away from thinking that the Government job is the way to go.. why? It does provide security .. but there is no money in it. How many of the Tamilian companies do business outside of Tamil Nadu?

2. Tangible achievement

We need to put into the heads of our kids the idea of achieving in every sphere. We still think in terms of how to get the kids to become doctors, engineers and now computer programmers and send them abroad to earn a living. Why, what is wrong in going the route of business?  Why should not the Government encourage setting up business schools too?

3. Healthy attitude toward manual labour

Develop a healthy attitude toward manual labour. Hindus as a whole have a negative attitude toward manual work. In my opinion the Tamilians are the worst. Everyone thinks that brain work is better than manual work. They would live in filth because the servant lady is sick, than clean their surroundings. Everyone complains about how difficult it is to get a good servant! Why should someone else has to do your dirty work! Even a high school educated traveller thinks that is beneath him to carry a small suitcase. Instead he would employ an emaciated boy to carry his things.. why?

4. Decency in politics and government

I hate to name names. But some of the politicians seem to behave so badly that you feel ashamed that you are one of them (Tamilians). Being elected to run the Government is a honourable job. It is an opportunity to do some public good. What is the point about talking about religious values and reading about Thirukkural, and other moral books when they are not practised.

In this respect the ‘higher caste’ groups have to take the initiative and do something for the good of the society. How many volunteer organisations really do the physical work needed to clean up a place, beautify a place or have a social gathering of the whole town or village?

Prominent people of various communities instead of gaining influence by splitting people should attempt to earn the praise of everyone by doing something that will unite the society as a whole.

5. Unity among Tamilians

Bring about more unity among the caste groups and religious groups and try to even out the differences. It is my feeling that people do certain things deliberately to perpetuate the casteism. Example:

When everyone learns standard Tamil, why perpetuate caste Tamil. It is like the black English spoken in America?

Why wear clothes in a certain way for no reason except to declare one’s caste?

Why do different caste groups make a certain kind of food and avoid eating certain kind of food (whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian) and telling the kids that certain group has to eat certain food and so forth?

6. Symbolic acts by the people of influence

Why can't people of respect and position do something about ending the caste clashes?

I would like to recall the days when there was an AIDs scare in the US. People afflicted with that disease were treated worse than the lepers.

This great lady Princess Di picked up an AIDS afflicted girl and hugged the girl (she was genuine) .That made all the difference

The Bhavad Gita says that to a self-realised man a Brahmin, an elephant rider, a dog, and a dog eater all are the same - there is a part of Brahman in all of them. Why not practice it. Just imagine the impact if the Chief Minister or Shri Shankaracharya, if Rajnikanth or Simran or the local MLA would go to a place where there is a two glass tea-shop and would take tea from the untouchable tea glass (after all even THAT glass is sipped from just like the OTHER glass too) a cup of tea and have it video broadcasted. What an impact it would have, just imagine! ..

7. Tamil Nadu a clean and healthy and orderly place

Achievement in the area of cleanliness, civility and hard work. Why do we need to have procession or work stoppage just for every little thing? Why take pride in making a hartal successful?

8. Attack population growth

Reduce the population growth at least in relation to the rest of the states of India.

9 .Wait your turn for the people to judge you

Wait till the next election to unseat the elected government rather than forcing the current government to worry about the other party and not worrying about doing something for the betterment of people.

10. Institutional pride

Let us compare our schools, industries, universities and the way of running the government (compare it with AP) with the ones that are better than ours.

11. Stop dwelling on the past, try to make a better future

Let us stop dwelling in the past. Let Tamil language be separated from simply a  reliance on  literature of the past. Let it be a business language, let it be a language that you use to write research paper. Let it be a language that is used to discuss complex social issues than a house language or a language to exchange pleasantries. Tamil should be an all-purpose language

12 Unless Tamil Nadu becomes prosperous, achieving, clean, orderly (like Singapore) and act according to rules and regulations we will continue to feel the same way we do. The only consolation we now enjoy is that we are not as bad as Bihar.


From Barry Pittard, Australia, 19 November 1998
bpittard@beachaccess.com.au 

* Request for networking on Naadis - Visitors to the Tamil National Forum
may, email their responses directly to Barry Pittard

I am an Australian social worker, writer, broadcaster, and researcher. Having spent a number of years furthering my spiritual sadhana, I have a deep love of the culture of BHARATH. When not engaged in work among orphans in India, and my writing, meditation, etc., I take an interest in the naadis of various traditions - Agasthyar, Vashistha, Kousika, Brighu, Shuka, and others. My most recent investigations have been done at Vaithishwarankoil, Thanjur and Chennai.

Finding your details in an extensive search of the Internet, I wondered whether you would be a good person to contact as I network in my researches on the naadis. You may in turn know of persons of strictest integrity who have a keen interest in, and experience of, these remarkable documents. At this stage of my interest in the Naadis, I have in mind:

1. Networking everywhere possible - where possible by email - with those who have a genuine interest in, and knowledge about, the naadis.

2. Establishing a list of persons, from both India and beyond, of great and undoubted integrity, and distinction whatever be their profession or trade, who are happy to answer my research questions relating to their experiences of their Naadi readings.

3. To gradually interest open-minded scientists, scholars and other intellectuals in these extraordinary documents.

4. So as to safeguard the integrity of these great documents, to spend ample, reflection and consultation before publishing anything substantial in book form, articles, the Web .... Perhaps, I may initially write something and put it up on the Web so as to generate some further interest and dialogue about the subject...

5. Compile a list of the location of all collections of naadis of various traditions - e.g., Vashishta, Brighu, Suka, Agasthiaya, Kousika .......

6. Your ideas and inspiration ...


From France: Charlotte Boulanger

"... As you probably know, I am a strong supporter of Tamil culture and I have always tried to make it known in the West. I had never heard of a specific Tamil culture until I went to India. I first arrived in India at Rameshvaram (and had already seen some Tamils in Sri Lanka), and fell in love with Tamil Nadu at once!

Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware, Tamil culture is not very well known abroad, or even in North India! Once I gave a course to MA students of Indian History at Columbia University (New York), about Tamil History, and they had never heard of the Sangam texts! Even though the anthologies are the most ancient political records of India ... they are totally ignored by historians! I was so shocked by all this that I tried, in my small way, to help awareness of Tamil culture in the West. I am very happy to see that your web site is doing so much for this. It is indeed an invaluable reference."


From Malaysia:

"The burning of the Jaffna Library was indeed the turning point for many of the 'silent majority Tamils'.... It touched me personally as a number of irreplaceable writings by my grand uncle Father Gnanapragasar went up in flames and my dear erstwhile teacher Rev.Fr. David (St. Patrick's College) who was an avid Tamil researcher died, as I believe, due to the shock of seeing such revered writings and part of Tamil culture being denied to future generations.


From Melbourne, Australia:

I read with interest your article 'The charge is Genocide....the Struggle is for Freedom' and your response to one of the site visitors re LTTE violence etc. It was excellent. It was clear, motivating and provides a framework that stimulates further thought... I may pick a quarrel with you on some of your points on LTTE violence and violence in general....but I will leave that to another occasion.

Your passion for the end goal for the Tamils is very evident in every page...I continue with my little private study of Gandhi and it is absolutely fascinating. I thought I might share some pieces of information that struck a chord with me.

Gandhi used to spend a great deal of time with a gentlemen by the name of Richard Casey, an Australian who served as British Governor of Bengal.Summing up his impressions of the Mahatma, Casey recorded:

" Mr Gandhi's greatest asset is his warm humanity...He can make his point publicly with an opponent and yet leave his opponent without any feeling of  bitterness....He seldom, if ever, speaks ill of any man. I discussed with him several men who had been harsh to him but he managed to find some good to say to them and no ill....He trusts those who trust him..."

A couple of quotes from Gandhi that also provoked my thoughts:

" Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of the coin, or rather a smoothed unstamped metallic disc. Who can say which is the obverse and which is the reverse? Nevertheless ahimsa is the means; Truth is the end."

" .... whoever would trust General Smuts? Someone reminded me of the fiasco in 1908 and said 'General Smuts once played us false, often charged you with forcing fresh issues, and subjected the community to fresh issues, and subjected the community to endless suffering. And yet what a pity that you have not learnt the necessary lesson of declining to trust him! This man will betray you once again, and you will again propose to revive satyagraha. But who will then listen to you?'...

I knew that such arguments will be brought forward, and was not surprised when they were. No matter how often a satyagrahi is betrayed, he will repose his trust in the adversary as long as there are not cogent ground for distrust. Pain to the satyagrahi is the same as pleasure. He will therefore not be misled by the mere fear of suffering into groundless distrust. On the other hand, relying as he does upon his own strength, he will not mind being betrayed by the adversary, he will continue to trust in spite of frequent betrayals, and will believe that he thereby strengthens the forces of truth and brings victory nearer....Distrust is a sign of weakness and satyagraha implies the banishment of all weakness and therefore of distrust, which is clearly out of place when the adversory is not to be destroyed but to be won over."

A book you may consider including in your Book List is: Rediscovering Gandhi by Yogesh Chadha.(Published in 1997)


From Finland:

(Towards the United Nations - Peace March) ஈழத்தமிழர்
- விட்ட பெருமுச்சுக்கள்
- பட்ட துன்பங்கள்
- வடித்த கண்ணீர்கள்
- சிந்திய இரத்தங்கள்
- இழந்த உயிர்கள்
- பிரிந்த குடும்பங்கள்
அனைத்துக்கும் விமோசனம் கிடைக்க இறைவனைப் பிரார்த்திக்கிறேன்.


From Malaysia:

இந்தப்பேரணி (Towards the United Nations - Peace March) வெற்றிபெற அகிலலோகசக்தியினைப் பிரார்த்திக்கிறேன்.என் போன்றவர்களின் தார்மீக ஆதரவு என்றும் உண்டு. வெல்க தமிழீம் - வாழ்க தன்மானம்


From Chennai, Tamil Nadu:

பேரணியின் (Towards the United Nations - Peace March)  இலட்சியம் விரைவிலேயே நிறைவேற வாழ்த்துக்கள். ... இந்த பூமியில் வேறு எந்த மொழியைக் காட்டிலும், அதிக நாட்கள் ஒலித்துக் கொண்டிருக்கும் எம் தமிழ் மொழிக்கும் அதன் மக்களுக்கும் வந்திருக்கின்ற பிரச்னைகள் தீர பிரார்திக்கின்றேன்.f


From Dubai:

பேரணி(Towards the United Nations - Peace March)  வெற்றி பெற மன மார்ந்த வாழ்த்துக்கள்.


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