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Seeman (politician)

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Seeman
Tamil Eelam Champion Seeman Speech Outside UN headquarters Geneva 002.jpg
Chief-coordinator of Naam Tamilar Katchi
Personal details
Born (1966-11-08) 8 November 1966 (age 53)[1]
Aranaiyur, Sivagangai district, Tamil Nadu, India[1]
Political partyNaam Tamilar Katchi
Spouse(s)Kayalvizhi (m.2013)[1]
ResidenceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
OccupationFilm director, actor, writer, singer, Tamil nationalist, politician,
Websitewww.naamtamilar.org

Senthamizhan Seeman,[2] known mononymously as Seeman, is an Indian politician, Tamil Nationalist ideologue and the chief-coordinator of the political party, Naam Tamilar Katchi in Tamil Nadu. He is an ardent campaigner for the self determination of the Sri Lankan Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He is an advocate of the rule of Tamils in their homeland, Tamil Nadu, and of spreading the importance of Tamil language.[3] Prior to his involvement in politics, Seeman worked as a filmmaker and actor.

Personal life

Seeman was born in Aranaiyur, Tamil Nadu to Senthamizhan and Annammal Senthamizhan.[1] He married Kayalvizhi, daughter of K. Kalimuthu (former Speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from the AIADMK party)[4] in September 2013 in the presence of Pazha Nedumaran and others. The ceremony was held according to Tamil traditions at the YMCA grounds in Nandanam, Chennai.[5][6]

Film career

Seeman took up film direction as a career after being inspired by the films of his mentor, Bharathi Raja and the work of Manivannan. Seeman started his career by directing Panchalankurichi, a village action film starring Prabhu and Madhubala.[7] He collaborated with Prabhu again in Iniyavalae, a romantic film also featuring Suvalakshmi, Gouthami and Keerthi Reddy. Two further films announced in the period, Anandham with Karthik and Karma Veerar with Sarathkumar, failed to materialise.[8] His third film was Veeranadai with Sathyaraj and Kushboo; after that he took a long break from films.

In 2006, he came back with a successful film Thambi with actor Madhavan. The film carried the message that violence does not pay, and is not the answer to the problems of today. Seeman turned actor with the film Pori where he played the role of a Malaysian Business man. The same year he directed the love story Vaazhthugal again with Madhavan and Bhavana, with every single word used in the movie being written in pure Tamil.[9] However, the film was not successful at the box office and only received negative reviews. Since then Seeman has only acted in films including critically acclaimed roles in Pallikoodam and Evano Oruvan. In 2009, Seeman was among the 10 directors who starred in Rasu Madhavaran's Mayandi Kudumbathar, a huge entertainer in the box office.[10]

In 2013, Seeman played a lead role in a film by his mentor, Manivannan's Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA (sequel to the critically acclaimed Amaidhi Padai), his 50th and last film as a director.[11][12]

Politics and activism

Seeman is a campaigner for the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, braving several counts of intimidation and detention.[13] He is a devout follower and an acquaintance of the LTTE founder and leader Velupillai Prabhakaran whom he affectionately refers to as "Annan" (elder brother). He believes that Prabhakaran is the national leader of all Tamils, and the icon for Tamil liberation.[14]

His support for the Tamil cause and hardline speeches were responded to with numerous arrests and police crackdowns by the then ruling Congress-DMK alliance. He was detained twice without trial under the National Security Act by the ruling DMK-Congress regime, first for speaking in favour of the LTTE and again for protesting the killing of a Tamil fisherman by the Sri Lankan Navy.[15][16]

Seeman along with several other Tamil activists gathered on 18 May 2009, coinciding the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War at Madurai to form the Naam Tamilar Iyakkam, as a social outfit.[17] It subsequently turned into a political party named Naam Tamilar Katchi.[18]

In November 2009, while on a speaking tour in Canada, Seeman was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency for giving a hate-filled incendiary speech at an event in Toronto. In the speech, he called for restarting the civil war in Sri Lanka, and allegedly said "No Sinhala can live," going on to state that the LTTE should have bombed 100 Sinhala schools for every Tamil school which was attacked.[19]

2011 anti-Congress campaigning

Upon his release from a five-month detention at the Vellore prison, Seeman actively campaigned for the defeat of the Congress party in the State Assembly elections for their role in the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.[20][21]

He was neutral on MDMK and extended support to AIADMK. Thus he was instrumental in bringing about a crushing and humiliating defeat of the DMK-Congress alliance in the state.[22][23] The DMK government had come down heavily on Seeman and arrested him under the NSA in order not to have him challenge their hold on power. Successfully withstanding significant time constraint, arrests and political threats, Seeman campaigned in 59 of the 63 places the Congress party were contesting, and the party were defeated in all of those constituencies except for one.[23][24][25]

Political activism 2011–2016

Since the 2011 Assembly elections, Seeman and his party have been actively involved in various causes such as the anti-nuclear Power plant protests in Kudankulam[26][27] or the attacks on Tamil fishermen perpetuated by the Sri Lankan Navy[28] that has claimed the lives of over 800[29] fishermen.

In March 2013, Seeman and his Attorney N. Chandrasekar attended the 22nd UNHRC sessions in Geneva.[30]

During the parliamentary elections in 2014, Seeman has stated that the Naam Tamilar Katchi would campaign for the defeat of the candidates fielded by the Congress, BJP and the DMDK where they are contesting.[22] The three parties lost all the constituencies they contested in Tamil Nadu with the exception of BJP who won their only seat in Kanniyakumari.[31]

Seeman has also appeared as a host and anchor of Makkal Munnal,[32] a weekly television talk show aired on Thanthi TV in which various social activists, political leaders and academicians are part of the panel. The show encompasses a wide variety of topics and is not limited to political issues.

In November 2014, Seeman and Naam Thamizhar Katchi observed the 60th birth anniversary of Velupillai Prabhakaran.[33]

In February 2015, the party conceived Veera Thamizhar Munnani, aimed at reviving and recovering age-old Tamil culture and traditions.[34]

In September 2016, Seeman was among some 176 people arrested after "attempting to lay siege to Srivaikuntam dam, where desilting works [were] under way as per a directive from the National Green Tribunal".[35]

2016 elections

Naam Tamilar Katchi contested in the 2016 assembly elections without joining hands with any of the Dravidian or national parties, which they perceive to have persistently failed the Tamil people.[36] The party contested in all the 234 assembly constituencies on its own, in the elections Tamil Nadu and as well as those in Puducherry.[37] The election symbol allocated for the party was twin candles. In March 2016, the party released its election manifesto of over 300 pages, referring to it as not another manifesto, but as a vision and action plan for the state. Seeman introduced his candidates in Cuddalore in February 2016. He lost the deposit and got the lowest vote among all the other candidates. He declared that he will contest as the Chief Ministerial candidate from the Cuddalore constituency.[36]

NTK gained 458,104 votes in the 2016 TN General Assembly election, but failed to win a single seat.[38]

Books

  • Vendradhu Aariyam; Thunai Nindrathu Dravidam
  • Thiruppi Adippaen

Filmography

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Seeman Profile". OneIndia. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. ^ "சீமான் கைது: போலீஸாரை தடுத்து கதறிய பெண்கள்". Indian Express Tamil (in Tamil). 18 July 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2019. Naam Tamilar Chief Coordinator Senthamizhan Seeman Arrested Women Protest
  3. ^ "Seeman calls for vote bank to protect Tamils". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. ^ Sundar, S. (18 March 2004). "Caste takes centre stage". The Hindu.
  5. ^ "Seeman Kayalvizhi Marriage". Tamil Net Online. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Seeman ties the knot". OneIndia Tamil. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  7. ^ Panchalanguruchi (1996). cinesouth.com
  8. ^ "Gokul's Home Page".
  9. ^ "Movie Review : Vazhthukkal". Sify. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Ten directors star in one film". Behindwoods. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Nagaraja Cholan Ma, Mla Replaces Amaidhi Padai". Behindwoods. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Manivannan's 50th movie Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA". Sify. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Seeman receives threat letter". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  14. ^ "New political party in Tamil Nadu vows to fight for Tamil Eelam". Tamil Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Seeman's remand extended". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  16. ^ "National Security Act slapped on Seeman". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  17. ^ "ஆய்வுகள்" (in Tamil). Tamilkathir. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  18. ^ Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai (15 April 2010). "Seeman to convert his 'Naam Tamilar' into political party". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  19. ^ B. MURALIDHAR REDDY (27 November 2009). "Director Seeman arrested and deported from Canada". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Naam Tamilar Katchi to work for defeat of Cong in TN, IBN Live News". CNN IBN. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Seeman changes tune, targets Congress". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  22. ^ a b "NTK Neutral on Vaiko, to Back Jaya". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  23. ^ a b Sundar, Sidharth Goutham. "Seeman effect on Congress Party". TruthDive. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  24. ^ "Seeman tears into Congress". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Charges a Bid to Ruin Seeman's Image". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Kudankulam". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  27. ^ Madurai bureau (16 September 2012). "Fishermen fast goes on for fifth day". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Sathiyam News Agency – CPI would be made political orphans in TN". Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  29. ^ "DMK, AIADMK target govt on Indian fishermen's arrest in Sri Lanka". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  30. ^ "Seeman leaves to Geneva to seek justice for Eelam Tamils". Onlineuthayan.com. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  31. ^ "Constituencywise Trends – Tamil Nadu". Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  32. ^ "Thanthi TV beefs up content line-up with two new shows". e4m. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  33. ^ "Midnight Events Mark Prabhakaran's Anniversary". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Seeman floats youth wing". The Hindu. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  35. ^ "Nallakannu, Seeman arrested near Srivaikuntam reservoir". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  36. ^ a b "Seeman Sets Campaign Ball Rolling in Cuddalore, Meets Voters". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  37. ^ "One, Two, Three, Four And More CM Aspirants in TN". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  38. ^ "General Election to Legislative Assembly Trends & Results 2016". Election Commission of India.

External links