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Updated: November 29, 2012 21:18 IST

Slice of a struggle

S.E.Ganesalingan
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Veedu Nedum Dooram
Veedu Nedum Dooram

The author in his introduction states that the book is not a creative work but a narration of his experiences in his political journey from 1972 to 1986. He is now settled in London and has written from what he calls his “unsettled memories.” He rushes through the first five years with Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism and then enters a new phase of ideology and politics with Comrade Visu for a new democratic revolution aligned with workers and peasants as practised in China during their revolution.

The book is a first-person narration of the author’s political experiences in northern Sri Lanka. He asks the question whether the situation could be similar to that of China. He worked as a full-time instructor and teacher to educate and mobilise cadre using media such as film, drama, verses, posters and so on for the organisation.

The writer would ride a bicycle all over the villages risking the ire of the Sinhala army, which routinely rounded up people and fired from helicopters. He worked as an underground cadre with the consent of his parents, who allowed him to be a fighter rather than be captured by the army. He was away from home for more than two years, during which period he suffered hardship and also made several clandestine visits to several south Indian cities, including Madurai and Rameswaram.

His organisation was not in conflict with the other militant organisations. He narrates serious events that took place in the North, such as the burning of the Jaffna library, which had about 90,000 rare books, the retaliation by the militants, who burnt the Yarldevi Express train from Colombo to Jaffna at Kondavil station and blasted an army truck at Tinnavely, Jaffna, killing 16 soldiers. The last said incident sparked riots all over Sri Lanka.

A female character, Valli, is introduced for propagating feminism as well as to mobilise female cadre with reading material.

The book comprises 48 brief chapters, filled with the Jaffna dialect, which Tamil readers in India may have difficulty to understand. More than the ideology of this political group led by Comrade Visu, the narration of events portrays a period when a generation of young volunteers fought against the Army, Air Force and Navy that had occupied their traditional homeland. Sacrifice was a big part of their liberation struggle. The book may be classified as a novel of contemporary history of a difficult period of northern Sri Lanka.

Veedu Nedum Thooram

A. Eravi - Parisal Puthaga Nilayam, 96, J Block, Nalvaravu Theru, MMDA Colony, Chennai

600106 - Rs.160.

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