Monday, June 5, 2017

Distress too beholds good virtues – Kambavaridhi ilangai Jeyaraj

 01 June 2017.

Since my heart filled with cheerfulness and optimism, after long time, I am again holding the pen.

 “Why no new articles in ‘Uharam’ for a while?”
is the repeatedly asked question by many.
“Did you receive any sly threating calls?”
is this next question from concerned well-wishers.
The great hindu saint Navukkarasar’s principle of
“Fear not, nor know how to fear” is something which I live by,
so threats never affect me.   
In essence, the care extended by Uharam readers is motivating. 
Kariya shithi Ganapathy temple setup works,
Back to back trip for discourses,
for these reasons I had to leave a break for penning articles in Uharam.
This is the real reason.
I request everyone to bear with this gap.
With God’s grace, I am starting again to write articles.
  

Why so cheerful and optimistic?,
I understand this question which arises in your mind after reading the first line of this article.
Not to hurry!
as I am going tell you that in detail
  

Our godly poet Thiruvalluvar, in the chapter “Informed friendship”,
has formulated a wonderful verse (kural).
Why to say that this one verse is wonderful?
all of the verses are indeed wonderful!
Based on the need of the subject of discussion,
I have highligthed this verse in particular.
I hear you saying “Why beating around the bush without telling the verse?”
Without further delay, let me tell the verse being referred to.

‘கேட்டினும் உண்டு ஓர் உறுதி கிளைஞரை
நீட்டி அளப்பதோர் கோல்.

Ruin itself one blessing lends: 
'Tis staff that measures out one's friends.

Only at the time of distress, we can ascertain who really cares and stands by us
That’s why, Valluvar says, that distress can be used as an yardstick to measure relationship
  

Is he personifying him as great interpreter Parimezhagar himself?
why is he looking for pride by telling the clichéd verse and its meaning
I understand that these might be questions in your mind.  
Explaining the verse and its meaning is not my intention here.
Today, the great devastation due to rain in our country
and the actions beyond communal enmity triggered by this devastation, 
are the subjects which I found relevant to this verse of Valluvar.
Hence mentioned it here
  

What politicians, scholars and religious leaders
were not able to achieve,
has been achieved by this natural disaster.  
More than two hundred people have lost their lives.
Looking at the missing number,
the feel is that the number of deaths will increase.
The damage in the form of displacement, refugee life, property destruction and more
leaves us shaken
All of these mostly have occurred in Sinhalese areas.
Sinhalese people are in great distress.
  

For any humane person,
this news would wrench their heart without a doubt.
Loss of life, disability, loss of famiy, loss of livelihood,
all these huge losses were experienced by the Tamil people in the recent past.
Those wounds, pain and scares
still have not faded away from the hearts of the Tamil community.
Today's losses incurred by Sinhalese people are due to nature’s fury.
Whereas the loss suffered by our community are attributed the
arrogance, manufactured fear, careless attitude towards minority 
of the Sinhalese people.
This is the difference.
  

Anyways, this is not the time to analyze these.
The enmity between Tamils and Sihalese is not perennial.
It was created one.
Even today our heart flutters when we think of
the fond relationship once shared by Tamils and Sinhalese.
The way they came looking for us
The way we went looking for them
Our ” Panam-kal” and “dosai” was relished by them and
their “kondai Paniyaram” and “cokkies”(?) were relished by us,
Those were the days we happily served and hosted each other.

Even Tigers’ militant poet Puduvai did not fail to register such a pleasant experience in his poetry:

I came to you for my festival holidays to meet

You gave me a grand feast,
You offered Tamilian a mat to sleep and
stayed up until he slept

You came home in the month of April,
for the Tamil  New Year,
you expressed your longing for ‘vadai’ and ‘dosai’
and ate your heartful.
By six O’ clock you used to savor the “toddy”
that oozed in the pot from the Palmira tree

We never had any differences.
You addressed my wife as your sister.
None of these are possible any more

My eyes are filled with tears as I read these lines.
What a beautiful life have we lost.
  

The history of Sir.Pon Ramanathan’s victorious fight in London to eradicate the British who were torturing the Singhalese.
Even after the demand for separate Elam was initiated, the history of Late. Mr. Amirthalingam‘s struggle to restore the citizenship rights which J.R. tried to grab Srimavo Ammaiyar.
These are standing examples for Tamils’ humanity that goes beyond the love for their race.
In the same spirit, the voice of some Singhalese leaders like Mr. Vikramabaghu Karunaratna, when they stood for the rights of struggling Tamils, is a proof of similar Sinhalese humanitarianism beyond communal differences.
  

All races have good and bad people.
It is not possible to categorize any community as entirely bad or good.
The reason behind our nation’s destruction due to enmity is
while the evil minds began to gain strength in their actions.
the good ones stood quiet and watched.
The evil minds stressed their evil ways time and again
thereby changing even the good minds into bad ones resulting in national destruction.
And so the seeds of communal hatred were sown
in Sri Lanka, the “heaven on earth”.
As the roots of this poisonous tree spread with vigor, it resulted in gory blood bath.
  

It is easier to be without enmity,
but once sowed, removing it is extremely difficult.
Is it not possible to remove the enmity? A question naturally arises.
The ego snakes lay coiled in human minds,
once they begin their dance,
it is difficult to put them to rest.
If the question is “Can’t we control it at all?”
The answer is “yes, we can”!
For that both the adversaries should try with true intent.
The ego snake can only be countered by the lute of love
and could even be tamed!
  

To kindle the fire of enmity that had sprouted, and make it rage further
there were few such people in both communities then,
and even in the present day.
The community is not of concern to these people,
rather the community’s leadership position concerns them more.
Truth is that unless the good minds come together,
the strength of the evil minds cannot to be broken.
  

What is the way to share love between adversaries?
The way we empathize with our enemies as they fall, is the way.
By showing our humanitarian nature when our enemies are in trouble,
we can shake the roots of hatred in their hearts.
It is in this spirit, the defeated Ravana is forgiven and given another chance by Rama.
In the final war of Elam, thousands of lives were lost.
As Tamils of Elam touched their Limits of loss and misfortune,
if only the former President Mr. Mahinda had said:

“Tamilians are also our brothers
Realize that the militant youths who lost their lives are our children too
Our mistakes are the only reason they were forced to pick up arms.
Both sides have witnessed enormous losses,
at least now let us put aside our differences and live together.”

If these would have been his words to the Sinhalese people,
he would have become a historic leader.
Our Lanka would have become heaven once again.
  

What to do?
Fate hadn’t finished its game in Sri Lanka.
Rather than marking his name in history
Mahinda was more interested in retaining the comfort of his political power.
Which is why, unperturbed by the fact that,
Tamils were hurt and dying,
he, celebrated this victory at Galle face,
and sowed seeds of enmity all over again.
He kicked more dirt on the esteemed lap of our mother Lanka.
  

Even though many years have passed by,
The worst part is that,
following the path of communal hatred laid by our former President,
leaders in both communities of this nation are trying to secure their post and power.
Even after bathing in blood,
they are fools who failed to learn from experience,
and dull-heads who do not understand the implications of destruction.
Leaders those who expel logic and consider hollow emotional adamance as their leadership trait still have followers from both the communities.
What to do these dull-heads?
who want sow the seeds of destruction again and again
  

Nature,
At this juncture has imposed a huge impediment to the Sinhalese people.
“Did you notice the miracle that the devastation has happened
during the same month that they decided to destroy us?”,
is the thought of heart-less few who intend to celebrate the fall of mankind.
Such lowly people channel their ugliness and rejoice
in the face of death and destruction of lives,
through Facebook, Twitter, Whatapp and Viber.
  

But humanity is not dead yet
Going beyond the actions of these narrow-minded
Tamil community based organizations have gone beyond
these narrow-minded people by lending a helping hand
to the Sinhalese people in trouble, there by proving
that we hail from the heritage of Sangam poets, 
who even two thousand years before told the world about Tamils’ love for humanity
in the lines “every place is home and everyone our kin”.

  

To support the hurting Singhalese community,
the larger Sri Lankan hindu foundation "All Ceylon Hindu Congress" is seeking help from Tamil people.
Similarly the business associations of the northern province
have started to gather materials to help the Sinhalese community.
In the same way, as we learn that many more organizations are coming forward with various initiatives,
We realize that humanity is still alive in the hearts of Tamilians
and hence stand with our heads held high.
  

Above all, there is one news that was released on June 1st  
that gives us motivation and excitement to our hearts.
Mr. Viswanathan Ruthrakumar, the lead representative of the
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam functioning in America
has sent out this request to the Tamil diaspora,
“come forward to help the people of Sri Lanka who are facing the calamity of nature”
This is that happy news.
A good example that deserves appreciation.
  

War and enmity are just casual entertainment for the Tamil diaspora,
after securing their safety, endangering ours is their usual trait,
they are people, who put-down Tamils as narrow minded,
These were the kind of charges conventionally levied on Tamil diaspora,
but Rudrakumaran’s psu-motto initiatives on this issue have broken all these clichéd charges.
He has proved that we can set aside the communal hatred and think beyond that.
Much appreciated.
  

Tamils, are not enemies to anyone. 
they only have been asking for their just rights,
and protesting against the unjust suppressions imposed on them.
Even as we are fighting for our own rights,
we are not people who hesitate to respect others’ rights and humanity,
at the time of this natural disaster, this noble message has been communicated with clarity, courage and justice to the Sinhalese people.
  

Even an enemy who is running away should not be attacked during war,
this is the level of righteousness upheld by Tamils.
Noble people proved this pride of Tamils to the world in a timely manner
and the Tamil community bows before them with respect.
Tamils’ this act of affection,
if understood with integrity by Sinhalese people
The iron fence of ethnic conflict that has been dividing this land for decades
will be broken into pieces within seconds.
Our mother land Sri Lanka will prosper.
I express my heartfelt appreciation
to the all Tamil people who set the path for this betterment
and extended their arm of friendship at the right time by telling
“We are there for you, do not fear” to the struggling Sinhalese people.
My heart is filled with happiness as I praise
those virtuous people who have stood by Thiruvalluvar and shown whom to trust during this disaster.
  

Let the communal hatred end with the generation that passed
Let the new generation create a new Sri Lanka free of enmity
For those college youths who act with vigor on the issues regarding ethnic conflict,
I intend to tell one thing.
This is an opportunity to prove your worth
like you come together and function as a team for all other issues,
at this crucial time when Sinhalese people are struggling,
come together and rush to them with helping hands.
Set up meetings, form groups,
reach out immediately to the all the affected areas where people live.
This is the chance to make their hearts feel
“What…!, are these the people whom we wronged”,
do not miss this opportunity.
You are the future leaders of this land
Unlike the past leaders who
sowed hate and harvested enmity
you need to come forward to
sow love and harvest peace in this land.
This is my kind request.
  

On an ending note,
It would be one week since the flood devastations started;
we are now in the month of June,
but not aware of any condolence messages or supportive steps for the Sinhalese people from the people who call themselves as Tamil leaders.
Not seen any instance till today where they have gathered their party supporters to do on-ground work for helping the affected Sinhalese people.
Mr Sampanthan, the opposition party leader who is common to all Sri Lankan people, is also silent about this natural disaster.
Not heard of any speech or comments even from our northern province chief minister who is only focused on paper-politics.
Imagine how positive and proud it would have been if all party leaders had come together in support of the Sinhalese people?
It is the leaders who should show the right way to the people,
but here people have shown the right way to the leaders.
What to do? Our fate seems to be so.
The announcements by the leaders of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam,
at least should drive some sense of truth into the minds of our national leaders.
    

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