WHILE the frightening growth of the LTTE gave the Tamil secessionist movement in Sri Lanka a phenomenal impetus, it also caused an equally strong reaction from India and the Sri Lankan government. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi brought to an immediate and full stop all help rendered so far to the LTTE; it also pushed the Sri Lankan government to equip its own army to deal with the LTTE.
Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the subsequent weakening of the Congress Party ushered in the era of coalition politics and the huge returns accruing from participation in Government in Delhi and the compulsions of coalition politics not only tamed the two major Dravidian parties into a semblance of nationalism but effectively turned Tamil Nadu away not only from the path of secessionism it had been treading for long under the Dravidian parties but also turned it away from the LTTE.
The Church had to regroup and formulate a new war strategy.
The rise of Brahmin Jayalalithaa within the ranks of the AIADMK and her eventual coronation as Gen Secretary which shook the very foundations of Dravidian politics, the rise of the BJP in national politics, the fading lure of the idea of secessionist Tamil Eelam and weakening prospects of realising it even within Tamil Nadu, and the new trend in Indian politics which catapulted both the DMK and the AIADMK to Delhi imposing upon them the primacy of national interests over interests of regional political parties forced the Church to forge new strategies and lay a new road towards its objective of carving the Christian state of Tamil Eelam.
The following trends emerged in Tamil Nadu more or less simultaneously from around the mid 1990s decade and continues till the present –
The Church began to invest in television news channels, schools of journalism and mass communication; the Church also pushed for creating the department of human rights in Tamil Nadu colleges and universities.
Foreign governments, notably the UK and US through DFID and USAID began to fund NGOs in India, primarily Christian NGOs.
Foreign Christian funding agencies like World Vision, Action Aid and agencies from Germany, France and the Netherlands began to fund churches and Christian NGOs.
Tamil Nadu is the largest recipient of foreign funds.
The Church began to fund television soap operas and also financed Tamil films.
Christians are entering the Tamil Nadu film industry and the small screen in almost every area – as directors, producers, actors and music directors.
Tamil films and television, Tamil serials routinely make reference to Tamil people and Tamil nation.
The Church is buying hundreds of acres of land across Tamil Nadu; this is visible even in overcrowded Chennai.
Christians are cornering a major chunk of the reservation quota in admission to institutions of higher learning and also in government jobs; there are growing numbers of Christian students in engineering, medical and law colleges and universities.
Churches and prayer houses are being built in almost every street in Chennai and close to every Hindu temple, big and small.
Churches are coming up even in the holiest of holy Hindu temple towns and they are being allowed by Dravidian parties to come up close to temples.
Foreign Christian missionaries from America, Malaysia and South Korea have a free run of the streets in Chennai.
Instigating fisher-folk communities is the Church’s latest ploy[iii].
Every penny and paisa that the Church spends, it spends as investment towards realising its core objective – control of communities leading to control of polity leading ultimately to control of government culminating in bloody or bloodless conquest of territory. The path to this objective is religious conversion; what was achieved solely through enculturation in the 16th and 17th centuries, through the Church’s missionary educational and medical institutions in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is now being achieved through NGOs, through an aggressive political discourse in religious freedom and human rights which always work only to the Church’s advantage to facilitate penetration, conversion and conquest.
Investing in political parties is the Church’s latest venture in Tamil Nadu. The Church’s investment, besides the time-tested and highly successful strategy of planting Christians in important ruling families through the love angle or as close confidants to politicians, is three-pronged –
Donate liberally and in proportion to expected returns to the two largest Dravidian parties.
Besides the generous donations also get Christians to become members of every big and small political party – DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, PMK, DMDK so that these parties, with an eye on the Christian vote bank are compelled to nominate Christians as office bearers at state and district levels.
Start new Tamil extremist parties and create more and more Tamil chauvinist outfits to make shrill noises for Tamil people/Tamil nation, for the LTTE, against the Sri Lankan government, against the Central Government, even against judges of the High Court and Supreme Court, for human rights, against law-enforcing agencies like police and army; in effect create enough noise and generate enough heat to provoke uncooperative and weak governments to either use force or hopefully to surrender to extremist demands.
The ploy has succeeded just as every Church ploy has succeeded because the Church always preys upon vulnerability, ambition, hubris and greed. The State Government-Central Government partnership had yielded phenomenal results for the Christian state of Tamil Eelam but that had ended with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Temptations of sharing power in New Delhi had weakened even the verbal call and support for Eelam. The Church’s next move was to weaken the two largest Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu by making them dependant upon smaller parties for survival.
The Church was the only force which saw the advantages of weakening national, nationalist and large regional parties. Tamil Nadu politics had been centered around only two poles for close to half a century. A strong DMK and AIADMK were assets to both the Congress and the BJP not only in state elections but also in national elections. The Church saw how regional parties with no support outside of their states could still influence national policies and it applied the rule with great foresight in Tamil Nadu.
As government support for the LTTE ended and the vehicle was destroyed in Sri Lanka, the Church had to keep the idea of Tamil People/Tamil Nation alive in Tamil Nadu. Even as the Church donated liberally to both the DMK and AIADMK, making them both look like subservient agents of the Church, the Church punished them both by eating into their varied constituencies through the innumerable splinter parties which mushroomed to coincide with waning government support and interest in Tamil Eelam.
The two largest Dravidian parties were themselves made vulnerable to intra-state coalition politics which diminished their value and leverage in New Delhi. Neither the Congress nor the BJP were strong enough to accommodate the baggage which now came along with the DMK and the AIADMK in the form of their state coalition partners.
The Congress and the BJP would now be subject to pressures not only from Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa but also from Vaiko, Thol Thirumavalavan and Ramdoss; not to speak of the good reverend Father Jegath Gaspar Raj, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and the Indian Christian Front. Muslims and Christians not only form political parties which are overtly Christian and Muslim but also spread themselves tactically in all important political parties for leverage.
The DMK and AIADMK must both realise that only when Tamil Nadu’s non-Brahmin communities, when coastal villages and communities remain Hindu, their own electoral constituencies will remain with them. If they allow Christian donation to their parties to pressure their policies, if they allow foreign money to continue to come on the scale it is now coming into Tamil Nadu, inevitably, inexorably, they will be weakened because the first rule in any business is that all investments must yield profit.
The Church is not going to invest money into their parties and the state only to have Karunanidhi and family, Jayalalithaa and baggage to enjoy the fruits of power. The Church wants the whole of Tamil Nadu and a large part of Sri Lanka. If the DMK, AIADMK and the BJP do not see this even now, it may well spell their doom. The Congress in Tamil Nadu is recruiting Christians into the party at all levels – educated, poorly educated, as leaders and as cadre.
If because of the DMK and AIADMK have already been weakened and if because the BJP in Tamil Nadu is still clueless about what is happening in the state, the Congress resurrects itself, it will resurrect as a Christian party whose Christian content will not be immediately seen or felt. It will either wear an encultured face like it wears now in Delhi and wore in Andhtra Pradesh under Y Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy or it may even opt for a temporary idiot Hindu face.
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus can be protected and Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu protected from the predatory Church only if India’s polity, Tamil Nadu’s polity and the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka wake up to the Church’s agenda for India, Sri Lanka and Asia.
[i] The writer has used the word Church generically to mean not only churches of all denominations, including Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Adventist, Pentecostal and New Life, New Mission but also Christian NGOs, Christian funding agencies, White Christian governments and countries which legitimize and use evangelization and militant Christian missionary objectives as instruments of foreign policy in countries of Asia, especially India, China, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia; the generic Church also includes the United Nations with a charter that enforces Christian ‘liberal’ political principles as the universal socio-political ideal which will be enforced coercively by any one of the arms of the generic Church, including military intervention.
[ii] Indian Tamil people are indentured labour from the erstwhile Madras presidency forcibly transported to Sri Lanka to work in British owned tea-estates.
[iii] South of Cuddalore every fishing hamlet along Tamil Nadu’s vast coastline is almost 100% Christian. The Church wants fisher-folk to be given the status of Scheduled Tribes where even Christian converts are eligible for reservation quota; and that is why the Church is not asking for Scheduled Caste status. The Church is playing a covert role in getting Tamil Nadu’s fishermen to regularly intrude into Sri Lankan waters, not only to pressure the state government and New Delhi to confront the Sri Lankan government, but also to provoke the Sri Lankan government into using force to deal with trespassing fishermen. The idea is to vitiate Tamil Nadu/India-Sri Lanka relations.