Tamil Student Youth show the way forward

From CWI/India socialism.in


What started as a sympathy & solidarity expression by 8 students of Loyala College, Chennai, has catapulted into a mass youth mobilisation across Tamil Nadu. In a span of few days the student youth of Tamil Nadu have created history and have certainly rattled the political establishment of the day and also the opposition political forces.

Disgusted at the crocodile tears and the mere shallow sloganeering of all the established political parties and the filmdom of Tamil Nadu, the youth have certainly arrived on the scene to put pressure on the Indian Government to vote against Sri Lanka in the coming United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) meeting which is in progress.

As these lines are getting written one of the principal ally of Congress led UPA coalition government, has declared its withdrawal of support to the regime. The left, right and centre of Indian polity are in fact showing their true colours in the debates surrounding the issue of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lankan regime’s war crimes coming up for vote on the 22nd of March.

This proposed resolution, though on the face value looks like a rap on the knuckles of Mahinda’s regime, is in fact an eye wash by the imperialist and regional powers to hood wink affected Tamils in Sri Lanka’s north and the east and also the Tamil and Dravidian population in India.

Last year in a similar exercise, in which a ridiculously diluted draft was voted upon. India which is party to the war crimes perpetrated by the Sri Lankan regime pulled a fast one by voting against Sri Lanka, it was mere a posturing without any effect on the communal and dictatorial regime of Mahinda.

But no longer such acts of deceitful diplomacy can hold water, the youth of Tamil Nadu have woken up to challenge the establishment both in the state and at the centre. Though it seems the struggle lacks vision and strategy, but nevertheless the youth have shown what is possible if a determined mass struggle erupts.

The New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) along with Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) and its affiliate United Socialist Party (CWI-Sri Lanka) has been in the forefront of the campaign and struggle for the Right of Self Determination of the Tamils in the Island country. The CWI initiated independent international mass campaign Tamil Solidarity, is relentlessly arguing and campaigning for justice and organising support for the cause in dozens of countries.

The following initial note prepared by one of the supporters of New Socialist Alternative from Tamil nadu. A further detailed statement will be posted soon on the pages of socialism.in .


Justice for Tamils now!

Demand an Independent International inquiry into the War Crimes of Chauvinist Communal regime of Mahinda Rajapakse.

It is four years since the end of the brutal war in Srilanka, in which nearly one lakh forty thousand Tamil civilians were killed by the Sri Lankan Government. Sri Lanka wanted a war without witness but the ever since the war was over evidences of systematic killing of civilians have surfaced. Tamil Nadu became the hot bed of protest, particularly by the students. Their main demand is centered around the demand for separate Eelam to which they believe enormous lives been sacrificed.

On Feb 19th 2013 channel – 4 released the shocking pictures of cold blooded murder of Balachandran, the 12 year old son of LTTE leader Vellupillai prabhakaran by the Sri Lankan army in the final phase of the war. Ever since then Balachandran also became the symbol of the Protest in Tamil Nadu. It stirred the consciousness, kick started recent protests as one of the student protesters puts it, of the people of Tamil Nadu.

Students of the Loyola College were the first to embark on a fast unto death over this issue on 8th march 2013. The students were taken into custody in the early hours of Monday.

Despite this arrest the protest intensified and spread to various colleges in Tamil nadu. Students from Presidency college, Ambedkar Government Arts College, St Josephs college, St Xaviers College, Government Law college, Manomaniam Sundaranar University, Coimbatore Governments Arts college entered into the protest. Students resorted to Class boycotts, Fasts and Demonstrations throughout Tamil Nadu. 1000 students of Bharathidasan University including large sections of girls commenced a two-day fast on March 15th. In Pudhukottai the students of Rajahs College burnt effigies of Mahinda Rajapaske and Sonia Gandhi in front of the district congress party.

The protest has spread to the professional colleges with students from Kanyakumari Medical college and Chennai IITs joining the protest.

In Kanchipuram Hundreds of school students masked with the face of Balachandran paraded in the streets.

The political parties in Tamil Nadu are in an attempt to gain political mileage from the students struggle. DMK has warned that it will pull out from the UPA government. Chief Minister Jayalalitha has not yet exercised her legacy methods of using police brutality on the student struggles. In fear the government has responded by indefinite closure of the colleges and hostels. When Tamil Nadu congress president K. Thangabalu came to the premise of protest in Loyola College to express his solidarity slippers were thrown at him and he was chased away.

The media is continuing its job of twisting the purpose of the protest. Most of the media are trying to portray the motive of the protest as to support the UN sponsored UNHRC resolution. Contrary to that the students in Thirunelveli and Chidambaram burnt the US resolution.

The Current Student Protests in Tamil Nadu, which is happening at the time of acute crisis faced by capitalism, will alter perception and consciousness of youth and students of how they regard politics and will impact on the discussion of the way forward to solving the national question of Eelam Tamils

Arun Kaliraja
May 17 movement
Supporter of New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)