Strength of an Idea

“…Demands for ‘national self­determination’ are in one sense, a struggle for a higher form of democracy…It must then be recognised that ‘post-colonial liberation movements’, far from being inherently ‘undemocratic’, ‘subversive’, ‘terrorist’ ad infinitum, are often the most effective medium for democratic assertion by social groups who have been deprived of equal citizenship rights, who have been subjected to denial and state oppression…”

“…It is the common habit of established governments and especially those which are themselves oppressors, to brand all violent methods in subject peoples and communities as criminal and wicked. When you have disarmed your slaves and legalised the infliction of bonds… it is natural and convenient to try and lay a moral as well as a legal ban on any attempt to answer violence by violence…”

CONTENTS 
Last updated
30/09/07

Struggle for Tamil Eelam

இலட்சியத்தால் ஒன்றுபட்ட எழுச்சிகொண்ட மக்களை எந்த ஒரு சக்தியாலும் ஒடுக்கிவிடமுடியாது…”

தமிழ் ஈழத் தேசியத்  தலைவர் வேலுப்பிள்ளை பிரபாகரன்

Nadesan Satyendra

We, too, are a people,1985 “..Thousands of Tamils, young and old, men and women, and children as well, have died and suffered so that we, may stand up and declare, ‘yes, we too, are a people and we will sit and talk with you, on behalf of the Tamil nation, or not at all’…”
Thimpu Declaration – The Path of Reason, 1987 “..Two nations may agree to live together by force of reason. They cannot be compelled to live together by force of arms…”
Spirituality & the Tamil Nation, 1998 “..To work for the flowering of the Tamil nation is to bring forward the emergence of a true trans nationalism. A true trans nationalism will come only from nationalisms that have flowered and matured – it will not come by the suppression of one nation by another..”
Thiyagam & the Tamil Expatriate, 1993  “…A thyagi knows that to seek change without a willingness to suffer to bring about that change, is but to end up making impotent pleas for fair play and justice and issuing stultifying ultimatums without sanctions. A thyagi is no impotent pleader. He does not plead for fair play and justice. He demands it. He does not beg for freedom. He is free…”
Power & Principle,1994  “…The Tamil struggle for freedom is just because it arose in response to decades of ever widening and deepening oppressive alien Sinhala rule. It is lawful because every people have the right to freely choose their political status – and no people may seek to rule another…”

Peter Schalk

On the sacrificial ideology of the Liberation Tigers – Peter Schalk, 1993 “…The concept of tiyakam, abandonment (of life), i.e. a rather specific Indian form of martyrdom, is cultivated by both male and female fighters. A martyr of the LTTE has not chosen like the Christian martyr to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He has taken up arms against the sea of troubles trying to end them by opposing them. The concept of tiyäkam that has its roots in the last section of the Bhagavadgitä was revived in the struggle for independence of India…”
Resistance and Martyrdom in the Process of State Formation of Tamil Eelam – Peter Schalk, 1997 “…The LTTE’s main concept of heroism is the concept of tiyakam, ‘abandonment’ (of life). The heroic element within this concept of tiyakam was reinforced and differentiated by the glorification of a Tamil martial past. The LTTE tiyaki … receives no reward and is without compensation in cuvarkkam, ‘heaven’, or elsewhere, for his voluntary and representational dying. The LTTE hero is a ‘secular’ hero who expects no reward for himself…”
The Revival of Martyr Cults among Ilavar – Peter Schalk, 1997 For cutantiram,individual life is sacrificed. A famous saying from 1990 by Veluppillai Pirapakaran is: “Having spilled sweat, having spilled blood, obtaining death with unbearable sorrow, (after this there is) independence. Without independence (cutantiram) there is no meaning in the life of man.”

Independence Proclamations

Wikpedia on Declarations of Independence
Scottish Declaration of Independence, 1320 “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself..”
US Declaration of Independence 1776 & the Price that the Signatories paid for Independence
French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen,1793
Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, 1916
Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921
Vietnam Declaration of Independence, 1945 
Israel Declaration of Independence, 1948
 South African Freedom Charter, 1955
Palestine National Covenant – Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, 1968
Vaddukodai Resolution for Independent Tamil Eelam, 1976
Declaration of Independence, Aceh – Sumatra, 1976

On Non Violence

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi’s Pledge of Resistance in Transvaal, Africa
Mahatma Gandhi – the Doctrine of the Sword
Non Violence as a Political Strategy: Gandhi & Western Thinkers – Hugh Tinker, 1980
Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, April, 1963Martin Luther King – I Have a Dream, August 1963
Nadesan Satyendra –  Violence and Integrity, 2001
Reggie Siriwardene – Violence & Human Rights,1989

and Violence

Nonviolence: Its Histories and Myths – Professor Michael Neumann, 8 February 2003
 Sri Aurobindo – the Strength of an Idea, June 1907
Sri Aurobindo – The Morality of the Boycott, May 1908
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose July 1943
Fidel Castro Ruz, October 1953
Nelson Mandela, December 1961
“I am Prepared to Die” – Nelson Mandela Dock Statement, 20 April 1964
Golda Meir, January 1948
Bhagat Singh, June 1929
Michael Collins
Regis Debray, 1967
Racism and Culture – Frantz Fanon, 1956
Concerning Violence – Frantz Fanon, 1963
Marxism and Ideology
Ideology and Althusser
Introduction to Post Colonial Studies ” How did the experience of colonization affect those who were colonized while also influencing the colonizers? How were colonial powers able to gain control over so large a portion of the non-Western world? What traces have been left by colonial education, science and technology in postcolonial societies? How do these traces affect decisions about development and modernization in postcolonies? What were the forms of resistance against colonial control? How didcolonial education and language influence the culture and identity of the colonized?How did Western science, technology, and medicine change existing knowledge systems? What are the emergent forms of postcolonial identity after the departure of the colonizers? To what extent has decolonization (a reconstruction free from colonial influence) been possible? Are Western formulations of postcolonialism overemphasizing hybridity at the expense of material realities? Should decolonization proceed through an aggressive return to the pre-colonial past ? Arenew forms of imperialism replacing colonization and how? Along with these questions, there are some more that are particularly pertinent to postcolonial literature: Should the writer use a colonial language to reach a wider audience or return to a native language more relevant to groups in the postcolony?..How can texts in translation from non-colonial languages enrich our understanding of postcolonial issues? ..”
The Political Testament of Hitler – February – April 1945 – taken down directly by Matin Bormann
Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler, Band I 1925, Band II 1927
On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, Mao Zedong, 1957
Queimada – Gillo Pontecorvo’s Burn!

THE STRENGTH OF AN IDEA

Collated & Sequenced by Nadesan Satyendra

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“..if intellectuals do not hold the flag of analysis high, it is not likely that others will. And if an analytic understanding of the real historical choices are not at the forefront of our reasoning, our moral choices will be defective, and above all our political strength will be undermined..” N Barney Pityana in Liberation, Civil Rights & Democracy

“…The task of intellectuals in nations without states involves the constant actualization of the nationalist ideology to respond to the community’s needs. His or her job is one of service to society…” Nations without States: Political Communities in a Global Age, by Montserrat Guibernau

“I think continually of those who were truly great;
The names of those who in their lives fought for life;
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s center;
Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun.;
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”
– Stephen Spender quoted at AJ Muste Memorial Institute

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1. “..A feeling or a thought …the aspiration towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the terms of concrete power, in so many fighting men, so many armed police, so many guns, so many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and executive powers. But such feelings and thoughts are more powerful than fighting men and guns and prisons and laws and ukases. Their beginnings are feeble, their end is mighty. But of despotic repression the beginnings are mighty, the end is feeble…”. Sri Aurobindo in Bande Mataram, 1907

2. “…Demands for ‘national self­determination’ are in one sense, a struggle for a higher form of democracy…It must then be recognised that ‘post-colonial liberation movements’, far from being inherently ‘undemocratic’, ‘subversive’, ‘terrorist’ ad infinitum, are often the most effective medium for democratic assertion by social groups who have been deprived of equal citizenship rights, who have been subjected to denial and state oppression…” Sumantra Bose in Reconceptualising State, Nation and Sovereignty, 1994

3. “..the people’s patience is not endless. The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means within our power in defence of our people, our future and our freedom. …Refusal to resort to force has been interpreted by the government as an invitation to use armed force against the people without any fear of reprisals…” Nelson Mandela, December 1961

4.“…Justice and righteousness are the atmosphere of political morality, but the justice and righteousness of a fighter, not of the priest. Aggression is unjust only when unprovoked; violence, unrighteous when used wantonly or for unrighteous ends. It is a barren philosophy which applies a mechanical rule to all actions, or takes a word and tries to fit all human life into it..” Sri Aurobindo on The Morality of the Boycott, May 1908

5. “…It is the common habit of established governments and especially those which are themselves oppressors, to brand all violent methods in subject peoples and communities as criminal and wicked. When you have disarmed your slaves and legalised the infliction of bonds… it is natural and convenient to try and lay a moral as well as a legal ban on any attempt to answer violence by violence…” Sri Aurobindo, Early Political Writings, 1907

6.. “..Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another…This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience…During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die…” “I am Prepared to Die” – Nelson Mandela Dock Statement, 20 April 1964

7.”..When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”  US Declaration of Independence, 1776

8. “..Resistance to oppression is the consequence of the other rights of man. There is oppression against the social body when a single one of its members is oppressed: there is oppression against each member when the social body is oppressed. When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties…” French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen 1793

8. “….We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish  people…” Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, 1916

9. …” (Gaelic) is for us what no other language can be. It is our very own. It is more than a symbol, it is an essential part of our nationhood. It has been moulded by the thought of a hundred generations of our forebearers. In it is stored the accumulated experience of a people – our people who, even before Christianity was brought to them, were already cultured and living in a well ordered society. The Irish language spoken in Ireland today is the direct descendant without break of the language our ancestors spoke in those far off days. A vessel for three thousand years of our history, the language is for us precious beyond measure. As the bearer to us of a philosophy, of an outlook on life deeply Christian and rich in practical wisdom, the language today is worth far too much to dream of letting it go. To part with it would be to abandon a great part of ourselves, to loose the key to our past, to cut away the roots from the tree. With the language gone we could never again aspire to being more than half a nation…” On Language & the Irish Nation – Eamon de Valera, 1943

10. “…The whole Vietnamese people, animated by a common purpose, are determined to fight to the bitter end against any attempt by the French colonialists to reconquer their country….. we, members of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, solemnly declare to the world that Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country and in fact it is so already. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilise all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty. ” Vietnam Declaration of Independence, 1945

11. “…This convention resolves that the restoration and reconstitution of the Free, Sovereign, Secular Socialist State of Tamil Eelam based on the right of self determination inherent to every nation has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil Nation in this Country…” Vaddukodai Resolution for Independent Tamil Eelam, 1976

12. “..If Indians outside and inside India will do their duty, it is possible for the Indian people to throw the British out of India and liberate 388 millions of their countrymen…It is our duty to pay for our liberty with our own blood. The freedom that we shall win through our sacrifice and exertions, we shall be able to preserve with our own strength…'” – Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose July 1943

13. “We are proud of the history of our country… We were taught to venerate the glorious example of our heroes and martyrs…. We were taught … that liberty is not begged for but won with the blade of a machete. We were taught that for the guidance of Cuba’s free citizens, the Apostle wrote in his book The Golden Age: ‘The man who abides by unjust laws and permits any man to trample and mistreat the country in which he was born is not an honorable man … In the world there must be a certain degree of honor just as there must be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without honor, there are always others who bear in themselves the honor of many men. These are the men who rebel with great force against those who steal the people’s freedom, that is to say, against those who steal honor itself. In those men thousands more are contained, an entire people is contained, human dignity is contained …’ … We were taught to cherish and defend the beloved flag of the lone star, and to sing every afternoon the verses of our National Anthem: ‘To live in chains is to live in disgrace and in opprobrium,’ and ‘to die for one’s homeland is to live forever!’ All this we learned and will never forget… “ Fidel Castro Ruz, October 1953 Fidel Castro Ruz, October 1953

14 “..I want to say to you, friends, that the Jewish community in Palestine is going to fight to the very end. If we have arms to fight with, we will fight with those, and if not, we will fight with stones in our hands…The issue is that if these 700,000 Jews in Palestine can remain alive, then the Jewish people as such is alive and Jewish independence is assured. If these 700,000 people are killed off, then for many centuries, we are through with this dream of a Jewish people and a Jewish homeland…” Golda Meir, January 1948

15. “I lead no party; I follow no leader.. I propose, not to guide you in your decision, but to attempt the humbler task of bringing clearly to your consciousness the main principle which, in my opinion, should determine the general character of these decisions…There are communalism and communities. A community which is inspired by a feeling of ill-will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religious and social institutions of other communities….The unity of an Indian nation, therefore, must be sought, not in the negation, but in the mutual harmony and cooperation of the many…In view of India’s infinite variety in climates, races, languages, creeds and social systems, the creation of autonomous states based on the unity of language, race, history, religion and identity of economic interests, is the only possible way to secure a stable constitutional structure in India…

… If these demands are not agreed to, then a question of a very great and far-reaching importance will arise for the community. Then will arrive the moment for independent and concerted political action by the Muslims of India. If you are at all serious about your ideals and aspirations, you must be ready for such action… In the near future our community may be called upon to adopt an independent line of action to cope with the present crisis. And an independent line of political action, in such a crisis, is possible only to a determined people, possessing a will focalized by a single purpose. … Rise above sectional interests and private ambitions….Pass from matter to spirit. Matter is diversity; spirit is light, life and unity….one lesson I have learnt from the history of Muslims.  “ Allama Muhammad Iqbal , The Poet, Philosopher & Prophet of Pakistan, 1930

16. “…Various meanings and significances are attributed to this word (Revolution), according to the interests of those who use or misuse it. For the established agencies of exploitation it conjures up a feeling of blood stained horror. To the revolutionaries it is a sacred phrase…Revolution does  not necessarily involve sanguinary strife….A rebellion is not a revolution. It may ultimately lead to that end…Bombs and pistols do not make revolution. That is not our understanding. The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas… (It is)  the longing for a change for the better. A people generally get accustomed to the established order of things and begin to tremble at the very idea of a change. It is this lethargic spirit that needs be replaced by a revolutionary spirit… The spirit of Revolution should always permeate the soul of humanity, so that the reactionary forces may not accumulate (strength) to check its eternal onward march. The old order should change, always and ever, yielding place to new, so that one “good” order may not corrupt the world. It is in this sense that we raise the shout “Long Live Revolution” ” Bhagat Singh, June 1929

17.”… It is not possible to enslave men without logically making them inferior through and through. And racism is only the emotional, affective, sometimes intellectual explanation of this inferiorization..” Racism and Culture – Frantz Fanon, 1956

18. “The Peace cannot exist without equality: This is an intellectual value desperately in need of reiteration, demonstration and reinforcement. The seduction of the word itself -peace -is that it is surrounded by, indeed drenched in, the blandishments of approval, uncontroversial eulogizing, sentimental endorsement. ..The intellectual’s role generally is to uncover and elucidate the contest, to challenge and defeat both an imposed silence and the normalized quiet of unseen power, wherever and whenever possible. For there is a social and intellectual equivalence between this mass of overbearing collective interests and the discourse used to justify, disguise or mystify its workings while at the same time preventing objections or challenges to it. In this day, and almost universally, phrases such as “the free market,” “privatization,” “less government” and others like them have become the orthodoxy of globalization, its counterfeit universals. They are staples of the dominant discourse, designed to create consent and tacit approval. From that nexus emanate such ideological confections as “the West,” the “clash of civilizations,” “traditional values” and “identity” (perhaps the most overused phrases in the global lexicon today). All these are deployed not as they sometimes seem to be–as instigations for debate–but quite the opposite, to stifle, pre-empt and crush dissent whenever the false universals face resistance or questioning. ..” The Public Role of Writers and Intellectuals – Edward W. Said

19 “…Compromise is  attractive to the nationalist bourgeoisie, who since they are not clearly aware of the possible consequences of the rising storm, are genuinely afraid of being swept away by this huge hurricane and never stop saying to the settlers: ‘ we are still capable of stopping the slaughter; the masses still have confidence in us; act quickly if you do not want to put everything in jeopardy.’ One step more, and the leader of the nationalist party keeps his distance with regard to that violence. He loudly proclaims that he has nothing to do with these Mau-Mau, these terrorists, these throatslitters. At best, he shuts himself off in a no-man’s-land between the terrorists and the settlers and willingly offers his services as go-between; that is to say, that as the settlers cannot discuss terms with these Mau-Mau, he himself will be quite willing to begin negotiations… Thus it is that the rear-guard of the national struggle, that very party of people who have never ceased to be on the other side in the fight, find themselves somersaulted into the vanguard of negotiations and compromise – precisely because that party has taken very good care never to break contact with colonialism… National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon…” Concerning Violence – Frantz Fanon, 1963

20.  “…The guerrilla force is independent of the civilian population, in action as well as in military organisation; consequently it need not assume the direct defence of the peasant population. The protection of the population depends on the progressive destruction of the enemy’s military potential. It is relative to the overall balance of forces: the populace will be completely safe when the opposing forces are completely defeated……. the political and the military are not separate, but form one organic whole, consisting of the people’s army, whose nucleus is the guerrilla army… the guerrilla force is the party in embryo….” Regis Debray, 1967

21. “..Carrying cyanide on our person is a symbolic expression of our determination, our commitment, our courage. It gives our fighters an extra measure of belief in our cause, a special edge; the cyanide has instilled in us a determination to sacrifice our lives and our everything for our cause…” Velupillai Pirabaharan

22. “…From the earliest days, they were incapable of justifying what they nevertheless found necessary, and conceived the idea of offering themselves as a justification and of replying by personal sacrifice to the question they asked themselves. For them as for all rebels before them, murder is identified with suicide… therefore they do not value any idea above human life, though they kill for the sake of ideas. To be precise, they live on the plane of their idea. They justify it, finally, by incarnating it to the point of death… They will then put an abstract idea above human life, even if they call it history, to which they themselves have submitted in advance, and to which they will decide, quite arbitrarily, to submit every one else… The greater the value the estimator places in this final realisation, the less the value of human life. At the ultimate limit, it is no longer worth anything at all.” Albert Camus in The Rebel quoted by Sumantra Bose in Forging Nationhood Through Struggle, Suffering and Sacrifice , 1994

23. ” .. (Altruistic suicide), Durkheim argued, is imposed by society for social purposes; and for society to be able to do this, the individual personality must have little value, a state Durkheim called altruism, and whose corresponding mode of self-inflicted death was called obligatory altruistic suicide. Like all suicides, the altruist kills himself because he is unhappy; but this unhappiness is distinctive both in its causes and in its effects… the egoist sees no goal to which he might commit himself, and thus feels useless and without purpose while the altruist commits himself to a goal beyond this world, and henceforth this world is an obstacle and burden to him….” Emile Durkheim on Altruistic Suicide

24.”…Milgram’s book summarizes his now famous laboratory studies of the early 1960s. The situation involves a naive subject who is placed in the position of teacher and is commanded to administer severe electric shocks to a “learner.” In effect, the teacher is commanded to carry out an experiment even though great harm is done to the learner. The “teachers” proved to be obedient far beyond the expectations of experts. Indeed, a large proportion of teachers applied such severe shocks that they thought that the learner had died as a result. The subjects did not shock the learner because they were sadistic or inhumane. Almost all of the subjects were upset at what they were doing – yet they did it. They did it because they believed they were required to do so in their role as a teacher. They assumed that the person in authority had a worthy goal in mind and they wanted to help the authority figure. In a sense, they did harm by trying to do good. They were obedient…” Obedience to Authority – Stanley Milgram

25.”… As it is we have played at war . . . we play at magnanimity and all that stuff. Such magnanimity and sensibility are like the magnanimity and sensibilities of a lady who faints when she sees a calf being killed; she is so kind-hearted that she can’t look at blood, but enjoys eating the calf served up with sauce. They talk to us of the rules of war, of chivalry, of flags of truce, of mercy to the unfortunate and so on. It’s all rubbish. I saw chivalry and flags of truce in 1805. They humbugged us and we humbugged them. They plunder other peoples’ houses, issue false paper money, and worst of all they kill my children and my father, and then talk of rules of war and magnanimity to foes ! Take no prisoners but kill and be killed ! . . . If there was none of this magnanimity in war, we should go to war only when it was worth while going to certain death, as now…. war is not courtesy but the most horrible thing in life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war…. The air of war is murder; the methods of war are spying, treachery, and their encouragement, the ruin of a country’s inhabitants, robbing them or stealing to provision the army, and fraud and falsehood termed military craft…. ” (The fictional Prince Andrew Bolkhonsky in *Tolstoy’s War & Peace , Book 10, Chapter 25, pp 486-7)

26. “Over the past few years I have consistently preached that non-violence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.” – Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, April, 1963

27. “Show us not the aim without the way. For ends and means on earth are so entangled, That changing one, you change the other too. Each different path brings other ends in view.”  German socialist Lasalle, quoted by Reggie Siriwardene in the Kanthasamy Memorial Lecture – Violence & Human Rights,1989

28. “…We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone…” – Martin Luther King – I Have a Dream, August 1963

29. “…In my view, politics is concerned only formally with power and government and fundamentally with the moral development of human beings. Politics is about people, and how they endeavour to face the challenge of their times. M.N. Roy… put, his beliefs this way: “When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic society he may not be able to free the whole world . . . but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example.” I don’t think I can put it any better. If that is the goal, then Gandhi is more relevant than ever, both in India and in the West…” – Non Violence as a Political Strategy: Gandhi & Western Thinkers – Hugh Tinker, 1980

30. “Nonviolence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute, and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law – to the strength of the spirit.. The best and most lasting self-defense is self-purification….It is open to a war resister to judge between the combatants and wish success to the one who has justice on his side. By so judging he is more likely to bring peace between the two rather than remaining a mere spectator…”” – Mahatma Gandhi

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A visitor from Singapore wrote: “…I was going through (your website) and am impressed with its layout and all. What disappointed me was your call to arms along racial lines which is contrary to what most mainland Tamils favour…”

Responsetamilnation.org has made no call for arms and makes no call for arms – whether on ‘racial’ lines or any other line. We do take the view that the armed resistance of the people of Tamil Eelam to alien Sinhala rule is not unlawful – and the double negative is deliberate…We, together with many Tamils, will continue to grapple with (and agonise over) the question of moral laws and ethical ideals in the context of an armed struggle for freedom. The question  troubled Arujna in the battlefield of Kurushetra. What then should be our response to armed resistance? There is no mechanical rule which will provide us with an easy answer. Each of us have our dharma – our way of harmony. We seek a coincidence of our own words and deeds. tamilnation.org believes that means and ends are inseparable. We are mindful that the resort to violence to secure political ends brings in its train consequences which offend the conscience of humanity… We take the view that the Sri Lankan government and its agencies have during the past several decades, committed systematic violations of the rights of the Tamil people, including grave breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Genocide Convention. We judge that the struggle for Tamil Eelam hasjustice on its side and that… by so judging, and by placing in the public domain the facts on which that judgment is founded,  we are more likely to bring peace between the parties to the conflict, than by remaining a passive spectator. And here, we find the words of Martin Luther King persuasive:  “..The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”” Nadesan Satyendra in Violence and Integrity, February 2001

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Source:  TamilNation.org

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