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Communication dans un congrès Année : 2012

India and Tamil nationalism in a post-Tamil Tiger world


The total population of (both Sri Lankan and Indian) Tamils in the world is estimated at between 80 to 100 million people, the majority of which (around 60 million) lives in Tamil Nadu (India), and an additional 3 million in Sri Lanka (for a total of around 20 million). In other words, there may well be a Tamil nation of sorts, but no Tamil state, and the Tamil population is widely scattered around the world, although the majority of Tamils live in South and the South-East Asia. Tamil nationalism is best illustrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LLTE) movement, which considers itself as "the heart and soul of the Tamil struggle for self-determination" and aims at creating an independent Tamil state in North East Sri Lanka. However, Tamil nationalism is also represented by other less known organisations, certainly in Sri Lanka, but also in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Not all of them request independence, either for Tamil Eelam or for Tamil Nadu, but their mere existence has a disturbing effect on both Sri Lanka's and India's national unity. The purpose of this presentation is two-fold. First, we will consider India's reaction to Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, knowing that a substantial number of Sri Lankan Tamils live in Tamil Nadu as refugees and that Sri Lankan Tamils abroad (including in Tamil Nadu) remain profoundly committed to Tamil Eelam and to the coming into existence of a separate state in Sri Lanka, even after the fall on the battlefield of LLTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on 18 May 2009. India's reaction will be divided into two parts: the reaction of the central government, i.e. India's Sri Lanka policy, and the reaction of the State of Tamil Nadu. Second, we will focus on India's own Tamil nationalism and the rise of Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu - can Tamil nationalism still threaten India as a nation in the new context?


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Dates et versions

halshs-00703310, version 1 (01-06-2012)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00703310 , version 1


Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud. India and Tamil nationalism in a post-Tamil Tiger world: Panel N14 "Breaking India: Centrifugal forces and the Indian nation", 17th Annual ASN World Convention. 17th Annual ASN World Convention, Apr 2012, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New-York, United States. ⟨halshs-00703310⟩
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