Theravada Sinhala Buddhism needs further understanding in Tamil Nadu
The genocidal onslaught carried out by Theravada Sinhala-Buddhist institutions of the island of Lanka against the nation of Eezham Tamils and other non-Buddhist peoples in the island is often presented by certain sections in certain countries as a necessary ‘civilisation-engineering’ that should be welcomed and supported. This is not due to innocence or ignorance. The Establishments of most of these countries were in complicity in the genocidal war either through the Tokyo Co-Chairs (USA, EU, Japan and Norway) or through joining the US bandwagon. A few others especially in Southeast Asia consider Sinhala-Buddhism a role model. But the most misleading of them all is a campaign carried out in Tamil Nadu.
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Certain elements in Tamil Nadu try to project the genocidal operations of Sinhala Theravada Buddhist institutions as a ‘necessary and progressive’ move against caste and the evils of Brahmanism among Tamils, and hence the Tamil Nadu Tamils should not have any qualms. The campaign is addressed to the gullible in certain sections in Tamil Nadu.
People of Tamil Nadu especially, and India in general, have to carefully and subtly understand the difference between Mahayana Buddhism advised for Dalits in India by Ambedkar and the Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism of the island of Lanka.
The Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism was a staunch adversary of Mahayana Buddhism since its inception, expelling the Mahayana Buddhist institutions out of the island even 2000 years ago.
Unlike Jainsim of Tamil Nadu and southern India that extensively contributed to the development of Tamil, Kannada and other languages of the peoples of the Dravidian region, the Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism, based on Pali texts, was historically intent on the genocide of anything that was Tamil. It created the ‘Aryan’ myth for the Sinhala formation that was actually sharing a Dravidian substratum.
The Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism will not stop without making Tamils in the island into ‘second class Sinhalese.’ This it was doing for ages, and often arguments are put forth that what is wrong in it, as it could contribute for (genocidal) ‘peace’ and facilitate ‘one State’ for the whole of the island.
The Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism is not a remedy for caste. In its predominant Sangha or chapters in the island, no one except a Goyigama caste Sinhala could become a monk. This is controlled by tradition, practice and incumbency in the dominant chapters and monasteries.
The Theravada Sinhala-Buddhism is also not a remedy for the evils of Brahmanism, because both are birds of the same feather and they flock together for power, colonialism, subjugation, social monopoly and imperialism.
While on one hand the Sinhala Buddhism is campaigned as a hope for Tamil Dalits, on the other hand, it is the ‘Hindutva’ forces that buttress the genocidal Sinhala-Buddhism, create space for it in the rest of India, and compromise with it, citing a so-called larger perspective of ‘Indian-ness’.
It is not merely the ‘Hindutva’ elements. But New Delhi’s imperialists in the garb of pseudo-secularism, who were prepared to hush the crime of genocide in their pursuit of power-related ideology, were also in the forefront in setting the paradigm. Professor Romila Thapar was one of the first to run to Colombo to preach Buddhism to its perfection in the island and give legitimacy to the genocidal State shortly after the war.
The ‘Holy See’ of Vatican, receiving Rajapaksa and his siblings and giving them legitimacy, is no exception in the list of establishments-engineered political injustices committed against Eezham Tamils. The Sinhala Archbishop, Malcolm Ranjith, a defender of the Sinhala State, was made a Cardinal after the Mu’l’livaaykkaal war and became one of the Pope-makers in the last papal conclave. He was even tipped as a possible candidate to become the Pope.
The approach of Sinhala Theravada Buddhism towards Tamils is not religious, philosophical, social revolutionary, humanitarian or even ‘mystic’ of the genre of the ‘Babajis’.
Making no pretentions of its genocidal intent, it comes nakedly with an occupying genocidal army, archaeology, mushrooming construction of stupas and an array of monks, backed by the ideologically rotting establishments of the world.
More than making Tamils into Buddhists, the primary aim is to make them Sinhalese or subservient to Sinhalese, in order to claim the land as Sinhala, before pawning it to the imperialists.
The Sinhala people should think of their own history during the times of European colonialism.
It should be always asked why the Catholic Christianity came to stay in the island both among the Sinhalese and Tamils, while the Reformed Dutch Church disappeared with an astounding quickness despite 150 years of stable colonial rule and hundreds and hundreds of churches built by the Dutch in the island. The oppression faced by the Catholics during the Protestant rule and the resultant spirit of self-respect in the masses was a major reason.
Unlike Sinhala or any other language in South Asia, Tamil has a rare distinction of serving a medium to all the major religions of today as well as to some extinct ones.
In their long civilisation sharing the various human experiences on religion, Tamils have always retained the spirit of rising against any kind of authority, whether political, social, military, or colonial that thinks a conquest could be made by spiritual fraud. Self-respect in spiritual pursuit is the essence of Tamil religious thinking that is found recorded from the Changkam corpus, Thirukku’ral and the Pakthi corpus to Bharathy’s “The Fox with the Golden Tail” or Puthumaippiththan’s short stories.
When Thiruva’l’luvar said in the early centuries of the Common Era that “Mazhiththalum needdalum vea’ndaa, ulakam pazhiththathu ozhiththuvidin,” (Don’t shave your head or extend your hair in the show of asceticism, which the world reproaches; stop it), it was on all the types of institutionalised religious fraud.
Progressive forces in Tamil Nadu have to work on enlightening the gullible against the campaign that the operations of Sinhala Buddhism in the country of Eezham Tamils have to be compromised with, as an antidote to the evils of Brahmanism and as means of promotion of Buddhism in India.