CHELVANAYAKAM AND HIS TAMIL NATION
(1998 September 02)
The only son-in-law of Mr. Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam, has done a great service to the Sinhala people by writing a political biography of his father-in-law. In his book "S. J. V. Chelvanayakam and the crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism", Prof. A. J. Wilson has shown how the "Moses of Tamils" has created conceptually a homeland and a nationhood for the Tamils of which they were unaware before 1949. As shown in detail by the political scientist cum son-in-law Mr. Chelvanayakam was the Godfather of the "Tamil Nation" in Sri Lanka.
In what follows I will quote extensively from the above book in order to show that the concept of a Tamil Nation
was created by the same person who created the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK-Lanka Tamil State Party) or the
so-called Federal Party. All quotations are from this Bible of Tamil "Nationalism" and I am thankful
to Prof. Wilson for providing me with all the necessary information.
It so happens that there are no Bhagavad Geetas or Krishnas of Tamil Nation and Tamil "Nationalism" but only Bibles, Godfathers and Moseses. The Arjunas of Tamil "Nationalism" have to follow the Moseses and not the Krishnas.
As I have mentioned on many occasions the Chelvanayakam aspiration of Tamil racism was Federalism followed by an Eelam. The ITAK, which was launched on the 18th of December 1949, significantly enough at a meeting held in the headquarters of the CP/LSSP controlled Government Clerical Service Union (GCSU) in Maradana, emphasised that "Tamils and Sinhalese had coexisted in their separate areas but that the two communities also mingled in each other's areas, and that it was the British imperial power which had imposed a unified system of government on both these areas. Nonetheless, their separate existences now entitled the Tamil speaking peoples to an autonomous state comprising the two Tamil provinces" (Pg.70). In other words Mr. Chelvanayakam either depended on myths or created myths in order to campaign for an Eelam.
"This party, … became within seven years the leading instrument for the implementation of Chelvanayakam's solution for the Tamil people. But meanwhile he saw his task as building a NEW NATION (emphasis added), giving the Tamil people a sense of pride in their homeland……….. He was regarded by the public, Sinhala and Tamil alike, as the Moses who would lead his people to the promised land" (Pg. 8). In other words in order to implement the so-called Chelvanayakam solution, which is nothing but Federalism followed by Eelam, Mr. Chelvanayakam first had to build a new nation. He had to start building a new nation simply because there was no Tamil nation in 1949 as he himself had admitted on several occasions.
At the first national convention of the ITAK held in 1951 in Thirikunamalaya, seven resolutions were adopted. "The first resolution claimed for the Tamil-speaking people an 'unchallengeable title to nationhood', …… Nationhood was derived from 'a separate historical past ….at least as ancient and as glorious as that of the Sinhalese'"(Pg. 74). Mr. Chelvanayakam and the ITAK claimed a separate existence for the Tamils going back to more than two thousand years because they wanted to establish that the Tamils were a nation. Unfortunately for the Tamil racists the ancient or the modern history of the country did not support them in their endeavour.
Prof. Wilson says Mr. Chelvanayakam was regarded by the Sinhala public also as the Moses who would lead his people to the promised land. The Sinhala people never considered Mr. Chelvanayakam as a Moses. He has only led the Tamils to a blood bath after inciting the generation of Prabhakaran against the Sinhala people. He is responsible not only for the creation of the myth of the traditional homeland of the Tamils and the Chelvanayakam aspiration but also for the creation of Prabhakaran and his generation.
"In a public speech at Jaffna a few months after leaving the ACTC, (All Ceylon Tamil Congress) he spoke of HIS CONCEPT (emphasis added) of a single united Tamil nation with 'no division into Indian Tamils and Ceylon Tamils'. He added that 'all Tamils settled in Ceylon formed one nation". (Pg. 19, quoted from Ceylon Daily News, 26 April 1949). The point that Prof. Wilson reminds us is that the Tamils in Sri Lanka not only did not constitute a nation but as late as 1949 even the Yapanaya Tamils considered the Tamils in the estate areas as Indian Tamils. Mr. Chelvanayakam, on the other hand, by then had realised the importance of this sector for his 'solution' and wanted them to be incorporated as members of his so-called Tamil nation.
Even before the formation of the racist ITAK (If ITAK is not racist what is it? A party that wanted to create a separate state for a non existing nation and which under this so-called Moses had only hatred towards the Sinhala people was racist. The Tamil racists in this country with their propaganda machinery have pretended to be moderates, enlightened people, peace loving citizens etc., while calling those who have exposed these charlatans Sinhala chauvinists.). Mr. Chelvanayakam had spoken of secession. Of course, Mr. Suntheralingam had earlier written of Eylom (He did not know then how to write Eelam in English. That itself gives an indication as to how these concepts evolved first among the English educated Tamils who lived in Kolomba), but it was Mr. Chelvanayakam who formulated a plan to realise the Chelvanayakam aspiration of the Tamils.
After the general elections in September 1947, to the first parliament of the country, Mr. Chelvanayakam at a reception for ACTC MP's in Thirikunamalaya had said, "the present situation was such that the Tamils would have to decide whether they should demand a federal government"(Pg.25). "On 26 November 1947, he went a step further from his stance on federalism. In moving an amendment to the first address of Thanks of the first Parliament, he asked 'why the Tamils should not have the right to secede from the rest of the country if they desired to do so". (Pg. 25, quoted from the Parliamentary debates 26 Nov. 1947).
What made Mr. Chelvanayakam to change his 'stance' between September and November 1947? Nothing. It was not a case of changing his 'stance' but a case of gradually revealing to the others what he had in mind. Even the qualifying phrase 'if they desired to do so' had no importance. Mr. Chelvanayakam was only playing with words. It is clear that by 1947 he had formulated the Chelvanayakam aspiration for the Tamils, namely Federalism first and then Eelam. It should be remembered that this happened long before the Sinhala only Act, the so-called standardisation of marks at the University entrance examination, the so-called black July etc. It was aspirations first and then looking for grievances, and not a question of graduating from grievances to aspirations.
"On 15 February 1949, Chelvanayakam made a speech in his Kankasantura constituency clearly outlining his plan of action. He declared that 'Tamil Ceylon must govern itself,' and enunciated for the first time ' the elementary right of small nations to have self determination'." (Pg. 29). By now Mr. Chelvanayakam had dropped the 'if they so desired' and was really 'outlining his plan of action'. Only a son-in-law who has maintained a Chelvanayakam file, as referred to in his book, could have enlightened us on these plans of the father-in -law. However, the problem was that the much-wanted Tamil nation had not come into existence, as shown later, even in February 1949. At that time Mr. Chelvanayakam was talking of an elementary right of a non-existing small nation. It was so small that there were no members belonging to it! It appears that Mr. Chelvanayakam had taken Sunya to be Sudra.
Even in 1949 the Yapanaya Tamils did not consider the eastern province Tamils as their equals. This was not merely a caste difference within a race. The eastern province Tamils were a different group altogether as far as the Yapanaya Tamils were concerned. It was left to Mr. Chelvanayakam to win the eastern province Tamils to the nation he was going to create. " Many in the Jaffna Tamil community were sceptical about the attitudes of the Eastern Province Tamils, in particular those of Batticaloa ('the trousered people of Batticaloa', as Chelvanayakam occasionally called them), but Chelvanayakam was not put off." (Pg. 32).
"From the beginning Chelvanayakam concentrated on (as he put it) 'indoctrinating' the Tamil-speaking people of the Eastern Province. He quickly realised that they constituted the front line. ….. Chelvanayakam, unlike his Tamil adversaries in the UNP, believed in his cause that a united Tamil nation could be built from among the different Tamil -speaking groups in the island. At a meeting in Jaffna on 27 June 1949 he had said that there could be no division into Indian Tamils and Ceylon Tamils; all Tamils in Ceylon formed one nation."( Pg. 33).It is clear that Mr. Chelvanayakam had to indoctrinate the Yapanaya Tamils as well so that they would accept the other groups of Tamils living in the country into the nation that he was striving to create.
However, even as late as 1952 this evasive nation had not been formed. "On 24 August 1952, in a speech at Jaffna College, he (Mr. Chelvanayakam) said that when he first went to the south of Ceylon in 1915 as a student at St Thomas' College, the Sinhala people lived there as a 'race' (sic), where as 'today they have become a nation…. We in North and East Ceylon should also develop into the most advanced stage of human society, that is, we should achieve national status.'"(Pg. 44). Never mind what Mr. Chelvanayakam thought of the Sinhala people while he was at S. Thomas' College. The Sinhala people, who have lived in this country for more than two thousand years as a nation, thus demolishing the theories and the concepts of the western political scientists and their stooges, were well aware of the fact that they were a nation long before S. Thomas' came into existence. However the fact remains that even in 1952, according to Mr. Chelvanayakam himself the Tamils were not a nation.
Only in the seventies Mr. Chelvanayakam stopped talking of building the Tamil nation. Within twenty years he had built this mythical Tamil nation in Sri Lanka and after the formation of the TULF and the adoption of the Vadukkoda (Vadugoda) resolution the Tamil racists have always referred to a non-existing Tamil nation, in their documents. The Tamil racists think that a mythical nation can be established within twenty to thirty years, that is within a generation. As a matter of fact what they have created is not a nation but a generation which believes in a mythical Tamil nation. After all nations cannot be created simply because there are Godfathers who are hell-bent on executing their satanic plans.