Naam Tamilar Katchi

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Naam Tamizhar Katchi
Secretary-General Chandrasekaran
Founded 18 May 2010
Headquarters Hospital road, Senthil Nagar, Porur, Chennai.[1]
Ideology Tamil nationalism
Colours Red and yellow
ECI Status Registered[2]
Website
naamtamilar.org
Politics of India
Political parties
Elections

Naam Tamilar Katchi, (trans. "We are Tamils party"; abbr. NTK) is a political party in the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, India. It is a Tamil nationalist party which was conceived as a result of the brutal end to the Sri Lankan Civil War which had claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in the island.

The party was founded by noted director, writer and Tamil activist Seeman who is the Chief Coordinator and the present Secretary-General is T Chandrasekaran.[3]

History[edit]

Chief Coordinator Seeman and Party Secretary Chandrasekaran addressing a Tamil diaspora gathering in Geneva, March 2013

Early formation and merger[edit]

Although the Naam Tamilar Katchi in its present form is fairly new, the party's origins lie in the mid 20th century when it was founded with the same name by S. P. Adithanar, also the founder of the Tamil daily Dina Thanthi. The party’s principal agenda was the founding of a sovereign state of Tamil Nadu out of the Madras Presidency.

In 1960, the Party conducted statewide protests for the secession of Madras and the establishment of a sovereign Tamil Nadu. The protests were marked by the burning of maps of India (with Tamil Nadu left out), and they led to the arrests of Adithan, Ramasami, and numerous others.[4] The party contested in the State legislative assembly elections in 1962 and 1967.[5] In 1967, the party contested under C.N. Annadurai's DMK banner and later merged with it.

Re-launch as Naam Tamilar Iyakkam[edit]

Following the closure of the Sri Lankan Civil War in which thousands of Tamil civilians were wiped out and over 140,000 remaining unaccounted for, several activists in Tamil Nadu led by noted film director and Periyarism activist[citation needed] Seeman, gathered in Madurai on 18 May 2009 to revive the party as a social outfit Naam Tamilar Iyakkam (We are Tamils Organization).[6]

Second founding[edit]

On 18 May 2010, a year after the military subjugation of the Eelam Tamils and on the first anniversary of the organisation, the Naam Tamilar Iyakkam was converted into the Naam Tamilar Katchi, with Seeman the Chief Coordinator of the Party stating that the party would be an alternate political party different from the mainstream political outfits and also claiming that the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam would be the moral goal of not just the party but Tamils in Tamil Nadu.[7]

During the formation of the party, Seeman added that "we are not founding the Naam Tamilar organization or party, we are continuing with what S. P. Adithanar founded."[8]

Name and emblem[edit]

The name of the party signifies "We are Tamils" as opposed to being labelled by any caste or religion.[7] The name also emphasizes the rule of Tamils in the Tamil homeland as opposed to the prevailing 'Dravidian' and 'Indian' parties that have contributed to the downfall of the Tamil people.[9]

The flag contains the emblem of the Tiger, which was also present on the flags of the Chola dynasty and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The event of introducing the flag took place at Thanjavur, the historic capital of the Cholas.[7]

Policy position[edit]

Water-sharing dispute[edit]

The party has launched several agitations in demanding the state's share of water from upstream states, of the Kaveri and Mullaiperiyar rivers.[10][11] Seeman has also publicly criticized successive regimes' apathy on the issue as well as the illegal sand quarrying of the river beds in the state.[12]

NLC situation[edit]

In 2011-2012, when the state of Tamil Nadu was in the midst of a severe power crisis leading to exorbitant power tariffs and failure of industries in the state,[13] the management of Neyveli Lignite Corporation, a central government held entity in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu was contemplating divesting shares to private players. This immediately sparked public unrest in the state, and most of its employees organizing a massive strike against the central government's decision. The corporation is accused of then allegedly manipulating its workers and indulging in acts to swiftly play down the issue.[14][15]

The Naam Tamilar Katchi was among the forefront in opposing the decision, with Seeman declaring that the problem facing strikers was the prejudice of non-Tamil management against Tamil workers. He also attacked NLC for investing in other Indian states while there was an acute power shortage in Tamil Nadu.[14][16]

Law and order[edit]

Seeman has observed of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state during the Congress-DMK aliance.[17] Seeman had also condemned the alleged assault of a group of Lankan tourists in Chennai. Seeman said that the party abhors violence in any form, and cadres who violate the party's principles of conduct will not be tolerated.[18]

State of refugees[edit]

Naam Tamilar Katchi has raised the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils who seek refuge in the country, and their prolonged persecution at the hands of the both state and central governments.[19]

Abolition of death penalty[edit]

Naam Tamilar Katchi has vocally supported the life-commutation and release of those accused in the Rajiv Gandhi case. Seeman has advocated that the party's stand was not limited to the lives of the three Tamils but for the total abolition of the death penalty in India.[20]

Elections[edit]

2011 Election campaign[edit]

Though it did not contest in any polls, the NTK spearheaded a large-scale campaign against the Congress Party in the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, 2011 for their alleged role in the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and various other anti-Tamil policies of the party [21][22][23]

2016 Election campaign[edit]

The party has reportedly stated it will contest the 2016 state assembly elections.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Naam Tamilar Katchi.pdf" (pdf). Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Naam Tamilar Katchi.pdf" (pdf). Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  3. ^ D Madhavan, TNN Jul 6, 2012, 02.59PM IST (2012-07-06). "Protest against training for Sri Lankan troops delays trains". The Times of India. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  4. ^ "Passions of the Tongue". Publishing.cdlib.org. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  5. ^ "Madras state election, 1962" (PDF). Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  6. ^ Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai (2010-04-15). "Seeman to convert his ‘Naam Tamilar' into political party". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  7. ^ a b c "New party to be launched in Tamil Nadu with Leaping Tiger as its flag". TamilNet. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "ஆய்வுகள்" (in Tamil). Tamilkathir. 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  9. ^ "Seeman calls for vote bank to protect Tamils". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Popular Tamil actor Seeman among 400 arrested following protests over Mullaperiyar". IBNLive. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Declare Thanjavur district drought-hit: Seeman". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Clean sweep". Frontline. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Power Crisis in Tamil Nadu". livemint. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "India: The lessons of the NLC betrayal". World Socialist Website. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "NLC workers withdraw strike". Business standard. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ban on all sorts of stir in Cuddalore district". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mercenary menace up: Seeman". New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Seeman condemns attacks on Lankan tourists". New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "TN: Eight Lankan refugees arrested". New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "'Land of Ahimsa should abolish death penalty'". New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "NTK Neutral on Vaiko, to Back Jaya". Indian Express. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Naam Tamilar Katchi to work for defeat of Cong in TN, IBN Live News". Ibnlive.in.com. 2011-02-20. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  23. ^ "Seeman effect on Congress Party". TruthDive. Retrieved 2 April 2014.