The book Why TN is forbidden land and
The State and its state of affairs explained
By TR Jawahar
Dravidian Tamil Nadu is a political conundrum as observers fail to traverse the landscape of a Forbidden Land. Periyar, Unplugged.
Left, Right, Centre, Left of Centre, Far Right, Liberal, Conservative and several such sundry stuff: These ideological labels that litter the lexicon are a legacy of the Western academic mindset that believes in categorisation.
In my view, no person or party can really be sorted or slotted so simply because ideas and ideals are always in a state of flux and therefore keep their hosts also that way. Points of view can change with experience and stages in life. One can swing between all of the above in a short span or on different issues at the same time. ‘Right Liberal’ and ‘Left Conservative’ need not be oxymorons. Still, for convenience and in consonance with current discourse, the use of these terms, even if loosely, have to follow these set patterns.
Ratan Sharda Wrotes
I have been reading and watching Dravidian politics since long. Though one can make some sense of what the Tamil politicians are upto, one does not have a chance to read about Tamil Nadu politics, its roots; and its problematic approach to social and political issues in a systematic way. “Why TN is forbidden land – The State of its state of affairs explained” by T R Jawahar is book with very large foot print in Tamil Nadu and Dravidian politics.
The massive win of BJP in 2019 everywhere except Tamil Nadu made him think hard – Why is Tamil Nadu so isolated? Why does this state vote differently from other states of India? Where is this disconnect between Tamil Nadu and India? Does the problem lie with TN people, its politicos or north Indian netas? Are national parties clueless about TN?
The premise of the book may have been built around BJP’s inability to decode the Tamil mind, but his series doesn’t just talk about BJP, Hindutva or immediate issues. It takes you through Tamil history, its rich language, culture and religious heritage, the politics of Dravidian parties, decodes the farcical games they play on Tamils and their decay. He doesn’t spare BJP or Hindutva movement. Though, I must say, some of his observations about RSS are out of lack of knowledge about it and lack of interest in reading its literature or talking to RSS people to check out his understanding.
Jawahar boldly states, “A civilization generally includes a specific land, language and literature, the life and times of its people, their culture, tradition, religion, rituals and rules governing the commune. By this definition, Thamizhagam qualifies as a unique civilization. He questions the efforts of Northerners to talk of a unified Bharathiya culture Sanskrit as the foundation, bringing in its arc the whole of India including the Dravidian.