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Hindu Diaspora

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

( May 18, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to news reports – the winner in Indian Parliamentary elections has been congratulated by both – the President of Sri Lanka as well as the Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka. Often the same law is interpreted differently by different persons/ organizations/ countries. This is due to the internal component of the base – the belief of the reader/interpreter / judge. The congratulatory messages likewise carry different values from the two leaders. To the President of Sri Lanka – his common belief with Mr. Modi would be more through his investment in Politics and Government Structures in common. To the Chief Minister it is more as a Hindu leader representing the Hindu Diaspora. In both instances - what matters is the belief of the voters and not whether Mr. Modi himself fits that belief.

Even as I read the news relating to election results – I was reminded of a member of the Sinhalese Diaspora recently suggesting as Ms Pauline Hanson did here in Australia in August 1998– that those of us who could not assimilate needed to go back to our countries of origin. To the Sinhalese the ‘home’ of Tamils is India. The same way laws are interpreted on knowledge as well as belief bases – home nation is also interpreted also on belief basis. The question is what happens when a person who believes that a particular country is her/his home nation – is asked by someone who has the apparent authority through majority present or even legal authority to go back to the place where s/he came from? The parallel of this at family level – especially in Hindu families is the husband’s family asking the wife to go back to her parents’ home. Marriage is the first step of a homemaker’s entry into wider world. Going back to parents is a confirmation that that entry had failed. At social level, Minorities are the parallels of homemakers. A society that allows thoughts of sending them back after deriving value from them is a backward looking society. Hindu civilization has prevented such backward flow even at family level. This is clearly structured through the Customary Laws of Jaffna Tamils – Thesawalamai Law – which is based on women being the Energy (Shakthi) of the family and men being allocated higher responsibility with priority rights to lead the family at society level.

When the husband’s family asks a wife to ‘go back’ and does so after enjoying the benefits that are specially contributed to by the wife to whom this new group / country is her family/nation – then those real positive values go to that old home – wife’s side of the family / country of origin in the case of immigrants. I felt that the win of Hindu party in India would have been strongly influenced by genuine pain of Tamils who were asked by Sinhalese to ‘go home’ directly and/or treated as if they did not belong and therefore are being indirectly / mentally sent home by majority power. Even if one Tamil to whom Sri Lanka is home were asked to ‘go back’ and s/he feels the pain – to the extent of her/his belief – the return would be against the person/group making the order. That was how I saw Pauline Hanson’s karma return through her guru John Howard’s pain due to his presence at the place of 9/11 bombing. Likewise I see the Indian Hindu victory being strongly influenced by Hindus being asked by Sinhalese in Sri Lanka to go back home to India. I heard it for the first time recently and hence my belief that our contribution as Hindu Diaspora is very strong to the Indian election outcomes. It’s not coincidental as far as I am concerned. Without this value – the support of Indians to Sri Lankan Tamils would have ceased when the LTTE were listed as terrorists. Those listings are outer structures by outsiders to give form to their work. When we are in their homes we need to respect that. Beyond that they do not have power over us. Belief on the other hand works beyond boundaries.

Making belief based connections is important to know for ourselves that we are acting in accord with the system of Natural Justice. Constructing the expression of such belief needs to be integrated with our position responsibilities.

Yesterday I wrote as a Tamil believer taking a Sri Lankan position:

‘In terms of Tamils seeking to remember publicly their heroes who have passed away, the risk is whether such would bring about anxiety to the relatives of the combatants. Instead, if it were to pray together at the same time – but within our respective homes – that would invoke the blessings of Peace. If we are not able to remember on our own, our valuation of those who died for their cause cannot be deep. Getting together physically is healthy but not when it results in anxiety for those left behind at the family level.’

Today I learnt through ‘Ceylon Today’ that Private Mourning was not unlawful according to Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya. The way the Spokesman’s expressions have been structured are different to mine for reasons similar to the underpinning belief of the President being different to that of the Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka. To my mind, mine is close to the root of the issue whereas the Brigadier’s is structured to represent his position. Mine has more global value whilst the latter’s is strong locally for external purposes. According to the news report:

[‘The LTTE is a banned terrorist organization in the country and we will not allow terrorists to be commemorated’ said the Brigadier. Commenting on certain Tamil Diaspora factions who plan to commemorate Prabhakaran and the LTTE tomorrow Wanigasooriya said ‘Even in America the LTTE is banned Prabhakaran is a terrorist. If they allow Prabhakaran to be commemorated they should also allow people to commemorate Osama Bin Laden. I don’t see that happening anywhere so why should Prabhakaran who is no different from Bin Laden be commemorated?’]

The simple response from me is that American belief in Bin Laden is weak. Prabhakaran on the other hand personifies the voiceless to whom the Sri Lankan Government was more or less an ‘outsider’ – largely due to the ethnic riots which resulted in Tamils going ‘home’ to Jaffna. If that were the case with Americans and they sought to commemorate as per their belief - American government would not block that if it were truly democratic. In terms of listing LTTE as a Terrorist organization – that was on project basis for a particular period for a particular purpose. The LTTE has become a war-program for the Sri Lankan Government. We accept the different purposes. Rationalizing as the Brigadier has done - confirms lack of ‘belief’. This happens when we ‘punish’ outsiders using laws/habits local to us – because that is more convenient to us.

People in powerful positions drawing benefits beyond their earnings often become the cause of problems by expressing beyond the need of the moment and/or to maintain their position and the overall structure that their position is a part of. The basic rule is what we do unto others whose belief we are a part of – we do unto ourselves. Hindus in Sri Lanka would feel greater self-confidence due to the Indian Election Outcomes. The Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka already looks a Hindu leader. This Election win is bound to balance the loss of self-confidence due to majority Buddhist power. Language based power is more to maintain harmony. Religious beliefs go to the roots and empower naturally. Ultimately it matters not where we physically are. Every place/structure/group through which we believe – is our home base. On this basis – Hindu Diaspora is far more powerful than Tamil Diaspora and it is obvious that the Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka is naturally drawing strength from his belief as a Hindu.

Eventually we ‘enjoy’ as per our real contribution – irrespective of whether the ‘other side’ deserves our contribution or not. Others are temporary media through which we invest in our higher-selves – so we enjoy beyond the physical. If this were not true – those of us who could afford it - would be enjoying physically without doing anything else. One who believes naturally gets promoted to the higher joys of life. The Indian election win is therefore a great opportunity for Sri Lankan Tamils including Tamil Diaspora to believe and raise the value of their work – so we would enjoy in old age and also share with wider world through that common belief.