Like getting journalists, politicians, diplomats and academics in India from time to time over the decades, to engineer public opinion justifying the genocidal unity and integrity of the Sinhala-Buddhist State in the island, Colombo is now actively engaged in grooming ‘historiographers’ in India specialised in the Sinhala-Buddhist ‘State’ history, to which New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has become the partner and space provider, said an academic in Jaffna. He was citing the JNU in collaboration with the genocidal State’s High Commission in New Delhi starting a course in the university last year on “State, Society and religion in Sri Lanka, from circa 3rd century BCE to 13th century CE” with specific focus on Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa period.
Further comments from the academic in Jaffna:
This is the first ‘specially designed course of study’ on ‘Sri Lankan’ history in an Indian university, Colombo media reports eulogised.
We are told that the Sinhala State’s High Commission in New Delhi is supplying selective ‘study material’ for the students following the course and doing research.
The number of students last year was around 40. As an institution created for working for the agenda of the New Delhi Establishment inside and outside of India, the JNU recruits students nationally.
With the support of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation, which is actually directed by the two High Commissions of the partners, 15 students following the course were toured around the island in last December.
The touring students’ interaction schedule was with the University of Kelaniya, under which the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR) functions, Asiatic Society of Colombo, SL Department of Archaeology and SL Archives. All of them are exclusive Sinhala institutions.
Genocidal Colombo’s eagerness in being selective of the island’s history to condition Indian students on a ‘Sinhala-Buddhist promised land blighted by Tamil invaders’ is understandable.
But why the course should begin at 3rd century BCE and why should it end at 13th century CE are serious historiographical questions.
The Centre for Historical Studies of the JNU, if it has any academic integrity, should answer to its historiographical selectiveness in accepting such a course proposal for the ‘first of the kind’ historical study of the island, unless it is just another part of the ‘military to military’ and genocidal partnerships of the Establishments in New Delhi and Colombo.
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3rd century BCE marks the time when North India’s Mauryan Empire sent a Buddhist emissary to the island which until then was a part and parcel of the South Indian cultural milieu, going through the pre and protohistoric sequences of microlithic and megalithic cultures.
While Sinhala historians view the event as responsible for the formation of a Sinhala-Buddhist State in the island, and interpret that the State centred at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa owned the entire Island, imperialist historians of New Delhi for whom the Mauryan Empire is the forerunner of Indian Imperialism, view the event as State in the island setting a paradigm in accepting the hegemony of Indian imperialism centred in the North.
13th century CE marks the time when Sinhala and Tamil identities evolving over centuries out of a common substratum with demography added from time to time, became nations of separate territoriality. A part of the Dravidian substratum in the island that resisted language replacement and existed in parallel, found new impetus, came out of Buddhism too, and thus Tamils and Sinhalese became separate States of their respective territories.
One may now understand, why the head, the South Indian substratum part evidenced by archaeology and genetics, and the tail, the part of separate Tamil and Sinhala State existence, are truncated from the ‘first of its kind’ history course on the island initiated by today’s genocidal Sri Lanka and taught by the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
In its orientation, the course would end up in promoting a historiography among Indian students that would justify the entire island claim of the ‘dominant’ formation and would detract the historical achievement of statehood by Eezham Tamils.
While indirectly following a Mahavamsa outline, as well as Anuradhapura-centric and Polonnaruwa-centric focus for the study of the Sinhala Buddhist State, will the JNU start a course on the evolution of the identity and Statehood of Eezham Tamils in the island?
This is not the first time the JNU shade of academic imperialism collaborates with the agenda of genocidal Sri Lanka.
JNU’s South Asian Studies Professor S.D. Muni was awarded ‘Sri Lanka Ratna’ for his ‘services’ to the Sri Lankan State, along with The Hindu’s N. Ram, during the regime of Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike.
JNU’s emeritus star historian, Professor Romila Thapar was one of the first to rush to the island and to bestow academic recognition to the Rajapaksa regime immediately after the genocidal war. She was focussing on preaching Buddhism and on detracting Tamil diaspora voicing for the liberation of genocide-facing Eezham Tamils.
Tamil Nadu that notices New Delhi’s training to Sinhala military, sports politics of Sri Lanka etc., often misses challenging and coming out with counter measures to some of the most fundamental engineering of long term impact undertaken by the genocidal partners at the opinion shaping level of academics, journalists etc.