Seeman the movie director turned civil activist launched his organization “Naam Tamizhar” (We are Tamils) recently from the ancient city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Several thousand men and women marched through the streets of Madurai and congregated at the public meeting where Seeman announced that his organizations objective is not to indulge in power seeking politics, but to care for the Tamil people, advance the liberation struggle of the Sri Lankan Tamils (Eelam Tamils) and provide social justice by eliminating the caste-based structure from the Tamil speaking world.
Seeman has carved a niche for him self in the Tamil speaking world with his bold and articulative speeches. Seeman organized several public meetings during the final phases of the Sri Lanka civil war and has focussed on the humanitarian aspect of the crisis. He has expressed open support to the struggle of the Tamil rebels and wears a T-Shirt with a photo of V. Prabhakaran – the leader of the Tamil Tigers.
Seeman argues that Sri Lankan issue should not be viewed as terrorism but as a freedom struggle by an oppressed ethnic group. Seeman also argues that the Tamil rebels are the real friends of India and highlights the fact that Sri Lanka stood with Pakistan and China during India’s conflict with those countries.
Seeman has the knack to hold the crowd captive during his speeches. His body language and emotionally charged speeches would make almost anybody and everybody to agree with his lines of thought. Seeman asks several intriguing questions regarding India’s role in the Sri Lankan conflict, including the inaction of the Indian forces is protecting the lives of Indian fishermen who were killed by the Sri Lankan forces.
Succumbing to pressure from some Tamil Nadu Congress members, Seeman was arrested by the state police but was released later with a verdict by the court that Seeman had done nothing against the interests of the nation.
Some of Seemans intriguing statements:
Instead of just protecting Budha’s teeth, if they had focussed on protecting his words, there would have been no bloodshed in Sri Lanka.
You can arrest me and put me in jail, but how can you control my thoughts and imagination?
When the Congress government continuosly ignores the killing of Indian fishermen by a foreign government aren’t they sowing the seeds of seperatism?
When Italian born Sonia can become the mother (Annai) to Congress members, why cant a fellow Tamil (Pirabakaran) be my brother (Annan) ?
Seeman in several of his speeches exhibitted his quick wit. When J. Jayalalitha – the opposition leader in Tamil Nadu commented that Indian army should be sent to Sri Lanka to carve an independent Eelam, the Congress spokesperson Gulam Nabi Azad ridiculed and asked, how can we send our army to a foreign nation. Reacting to it Seeman commented that Gulam should have given this advice to his own leader Rajiv when it was prudent and could have avoided all this mess. While Seeman’s speeches are emotional, he is eloquent to mix humor and introspective questions which keeps his audience wanting more.
During the past election, Seeman along with few of his friends, campaigned not to get votes, but to prevent votes going to Congress which he says is the biggest enemy of the nation. His campaign resulted in the rout of several senior Congress leaders, including Union Ministers. The prominent losers from the Congress include Union Ministers E.V.K.S. Elangovan from Erode and Mani Shankar Aiyar from Mayiladuthurai, former Union Minister R. Prabhu from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu from Salem. In a see-saw battle, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram of the Congress won by a narrow margin of 3,354 votes.
Seeman seem to have realized that real change to this nation cannot come from politicians but only through the creation of a vigilant civil society.
Seeman also practices what he preaches. He champions the revival of Indian languages and speaks Tamil without mixing any English words. He also made a movie in which English words were avoided. Learn as many languages you should, speak all languages in its true form and before all, learn your mother tongue first and respect it – this is what seeman preaches and practices.
Seeman strongly believes that a new independent nation for the Tamils of Sri Lanka is not just the need of the Tamils of that region, but also the only option for India to have a friendly force in the south. Seeman proclaims that the Tamils of Sri Lanka are the real friends of India and with the strong ethnic and cultural bonding they share with the Tamils of India, the trust and cooperation will be strong unless India continues to alienate the Eelam Tamils.
Seemans flag for Naam Tamilar is strikingly similar to that of the Tamil Rebels of Sri Lanka. A roaring tiger with the text “We are Tamils” in red background. Tiger is also the symbol of the ancient kingdom Chola – the only Indian kingdom with largest foreign invasions incorporating far away territories in South and South East Asia. The Chola dynasty symbolizes a prosperous and super power status for India, especially the South.
Seeman’s naamtamilar.org spreads his policies – socio-economic reforms and political agenda through Internet. Very rarely do we see people who enter public life with the objective of not engaging in Power Politics but doing something beyond that. India needs more and more civil activists who stress the importance to respect and honor people’s life and aspirations, no matter from which corner of our nation they are from. India needs to realize that it is a BIG nation and start taking care of regional aspirations to its advantage.
Leaders like Seeman who display genuine care for regional aspirations are indeed very rare. Of the thousands of known comets in the solar system, Halley’s comet is one of some 200 that appear to us periodically. Halley’s comet orbits Earth every 76 years; the next flyby will occur in 2061. However in the Tamil-speaking world looks as though it appeared now – in the name of glowing Seeman.