Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/934/24362

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2017

Tamil Nadu mass protests against state repression

Isai Priya and Tamil Solidarity on a solidarity demonstration in East Ham, 22.1.17, photo by Tamil Solidarity

Isai Priya and Tamil Solidarity on a solidarity demonstration in East Ham, 22.1.17, photo by Tamil Solidarity   (Click to enlarge)

Isai Priya, Tamil Solidarity

In December 2016 it was reported that India had surpassed Britain to become the sixth largest economy in the world. However, India is one of the most unequal countries with the richest 1% holding 58% of overall wealth. For the poorest and those suffering oppression, life in India is brutal.

The current prime minister, Narendra Modi, leader of the right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP, has implemented many policies with the aim of whipping up Hindu nationalist sentiments in the hope of securing its fast-diminishing vote base.

The government recently attempted to introduce a ban on eating cow meat which led to attacks on oppressed-caste people who get labelled as 'beef eaters'. Cows are considered sacred to Hinduism.

Fascistic forces such as the 'RSS', that is linked to the BJP, use issues such as this in the hope of building their support base. They have been trying to use similar tactics in many states. But in Tamil Nadu, where the BJP has miniscule support with only one narrowly elected MP, various such attempts have failed in the past.

Anger

In Tamil Nadu many issues have caused anger, particularly among young workers in the cities. These include how the BJP-dominated nearby Karnataka state blocked the Kaveri river water supply to Tamil Nadu, and the recent demonetisation mayhem throughout India.

The anger burst out when the Tamil New Year holiday, Pongal Day, was taken away and the Jallikattu (bull taming) tradition, which is associated with the Tamil New Year, was banned.

Tamil New Year celebrations include a four-day festival which marks the winter harvest. The tradition of cooking harvested rice on the first day has survived to this day.

However, celebrating cows and bulls on the second day had become ceremonial. Only a few villages maintain the tradition of Jallikattu.

Though the Tamil New Year is celebrated largely by Hindus, recently its character has been changing as something celebrated by all Tamils and is seen as part of the Tamil identity.

A ban took place following a successful court case brought forward by Peta, a well-known animal rights organisation. This ban is seen as a direct attack on the Tamil-speaking people and gave rise to a mass eruption of anger.

What made this eruption the largest since the 1960s is its character in defence of Tamil identity. Although some of the most visible slogans centred on Jallikattu, it is in general linked to Tamil aspirations for national rights. The majority who took part in the protests are city workers who had never been to Jallikattu or will ever take it up.

Placards such as "save our farmers" and chants against the state and central government politicians and parties were a common feature. It was clear that protesters wanted to inflict a blow against the Modi-led government.

The protest quickly spread across the world in places where big Tamil populations live. The spontaneous uprising in Tamil Nadu of tens of thousands of students and young workers has gained the support of and inspired many.

However the protest that was largely mobilised by social media lacked leadership and direction. No attempt has been made to put forward a coordinated set of demands and clear tactics.

Some argued for an organised approach and the need to prepare for future challenges, including possible attacks by the state.

Attack

The movement forced the government to give some concessions. They have now temporarily removed the ban.

But rather than calming things down, the situation became more explosive. This response is correctly seen by many as political and directly aimed at Modi's central government.

The state and the media immediately began a propaganda campaign against the youth and students labelling them "terrorists", "traitors", and "anti-Indian infiltrators". This was followed by a brutal attack by the Tamil Nadu police.

Although this attack caused riots on the streets, videos are now emerging which clearly show the police themselves setting fire to the public properties to vilify students and young workers. Many young people have now been detained and many more, including children, were injured.

Tamil Solidarity supports the right to assemble and protest. We also demand that all those arrested be immediately released and adequate medical and other facilities are made available to the victims of the brutal police attack. There should also be a public inquiry into the actions of the police.

There was a real sense of unity which will not go away easily; rather it can fuel the struggle to come.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 February 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

No Ban, No Wall: Socialism not Trumpism

Tide of opposition to Trump surges

Fight for our health service!

Super-rich shareholders cause of pension deficits

Babies in poverty are twice as likely to die

Energy bill hikes con: nationalise them now!

Blairite stitch-up in Stoke Central byelection

Manchester metro mayor: How will you fight cuts?

Millwall victory


What we think

Establishment papers over Brexit chasms


Socialist Party workplace news

Government attack on DWP job centres and offices

Vote for Left Unity in the PCS elections

Trade Union Act: Strategy needed to defeat anti-union laws and lead the fightback

Victory: removed Royal Mail workers reinstated

Strike at ABMU Health Board

Workplace news in brief


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC: To stand or not to stand?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Support your newspaper - help us get May Day greetings!

Why I joined: "Things have to change"

Newham council challenged over 1.8 million cut workers' pay

Leicester: libraries fightback

Bristol: Angry meeting discusses tasering of race relations man

Cumbria care home beds under threat

Wallasey Labour 'dispute' escalates

Socialist Students: conference Saturday and Sunday, 11-12 February 2017


Low pay, no way!

End poverty pay now... Get organised!

UK textile workers on 3 an hour!

Slave labour at Sports Direct


International socialist news and analysis

Build 100 days of resistance to Trump's agenda!

Tamil Nadu mass protests against state repression

Bangladesh: 'Hartal' protest against destructive power plant


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 February 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tamil:

triangleTamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleInterview: Refugee Rights Campaign

triangleTamil Solidarity Day

State:

triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The state - a warning to the labour movement

triangleCatalan elections: PP humiliated

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Government:

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangleBigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

Workers:

triangleCarillion and the construction industry

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

Police:

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

India:

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

Students:

triangleVictory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

Young workers:

triangleThem & Us

Protest:

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

Solidarity:

triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

Tamil Solidarity:

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

Media:

triangleSocialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

Farmers:

triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

Right-wing:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Economy:

triangleAmber warning lights flash on British economy

Britain:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

Animal rights:

triangleCouncil meeting abandoned after undercover policing protest

Caste:

triangleItaly: Establishment routed - workers alternative needed

Children:

triangleOpinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

International

International

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

10/1/18

Iran

Movement challenges Iranian regime

10/1/18

Appeal

Appeal from Iranian independent unions

10/1/18

Sweden

Sweden: School strike against deportations

3/1/18

Catalonia

Catalan elections: PP humiliated

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2