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Updated: April 10, 2013 06:48 IST
Kissinger cables

DMK’s Rajaram asked diplomat whether U.S. would back Tamil Nadu secession

    M. Kalyanaraman
    B. Kolappan
Comment (25)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

A week into the Emergency when the relationship between the Congress government at the Centre and the DMK government in Tamil Nadu was becoming increasingly hostile, Labour and Housing Minister K. Rajaram asked a U.S. diplomatic representative in Chennai whether the U.S. would give assistance to the State if it decided to secede from India.

In a diplomatic cable dated July 3, 1975, obtained by WikiLeaks (1975NEWDE08889_b, secret), the representative said his direct answer to this question was that the U.S. would not support such a move.

“This was an internal affair of India and we supported the territorial integrity of India and other countries,” the representative said.

To the diplomat’s query whether the DMK regime was seriously considering independence from the Union, Rajaram is reported to have said: “No, not at the highest levels.”

The conversation was taking place 13 years after the DMK abandoned separatism. A separate Tamil Nadu was a key demand of the DMK’s parent organisation, the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK).

It was also part of the DMK’s platform but during the India-China war, the party’s founder, C.N. Annadurai, gave up the demand after the Nehru government passed a strong anti-sedition law in 1963. The party has since advocated federalism. It sent its first ministerial representatives to the Centre in 1989 and has been a member of coalition governments in the 2000s.

Rajaram, who died in 2008, told the U.S. representative at the 1976 meeting held at his residence that while no such move was in the offing, young people within the DMK were talking about separation.

“The USSR and other communist countries are backing Mrs. Gandhi in her efforts to kill democracy here. If this succeeds, communist influence will grow and [the young party workers felt] Tamil Nadu should secede.” Rajaram said that was his reason for floating the trial balloon.

The U.S. diplomat notes in the cable that despite the talk among the younger elements secession is not something “that is now being seriously considered by the higher echelons of the party.”

The cable also details a meeting between the same diplomat and a “local educator” who said he had told the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, “that if the rest of India were under a communist-influenced dictatorship, the U.S. might help.”

But Mr. Karunanidhi reportedly told the educator that after Vietnam he did not think the U.S. would take on anything new in Asia.

Do we want a seperate Tamilnadu under the leadership of the likes Karuna and Jaya, I tremble under my pants.

from:  raju
Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 at 03:04 IST

The leaked out information hardly surprises any political observer.
Moderates in this country know for certain that DMK still have the trump
card for a separate Tamil Country. In fact, some Dravidian parties,
after the 2009 onslaught on LTTE and Sinahalese-Tamil by Sri Lankan
Army, have now started in a subtle manner their propaganda against
Central Govt. (read India). Indian Government should see the writings on
the wall and take appropriate steps to thwart the secessionist
tendencies.

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 19:35 IST

Being a Punjabi, I won't be surprised if we get similar cables on Punjab. There was a much violent movement going on in Punjab around that time. Also Just like Tamils, Punjab has been a distinct cultural realm for centuries but in my view, unless there is any decimation of the local culture & economy, separating from Union of India would be the stupidest thing for the people. The territory in which we can freely roam will be reduced, tendency of majoritarianism/parochialism will rise, diversity of resources available reduces, people will become vulnerable to bullying by the bigger foreign powers. Rationality should guide saner folks to remain within Union of India. Even on emotional front, A secular multireligious, multilinguistic India is a beautiful experiment to be part of.

from:  Naveen
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 19:16 IST

By publishing such articles the Hindu truly is fueling up a fire created
for political ends...This isn't pragmatic and this shows the
recklessness of the people concerned...Who are these Americans to divide
our nation? after all they themselves are a Federation.India is a union
of like-minded states.There is not an iota of doubt in that, and the
countrymen are Indian first ,then a Tamilian ,marathi etc.Let patriotism
rise above regionalism. Jai Hind!!!

from:  Akshay Bhatt
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 18:18 IST

When over 500 Tamil Fishermen were brutally murdered by the Sri Lankan forces, Indian Centre did not take any meaningful action, continues to call Sri Lanka as a friendly nation, what do you expect the Tamils' to do?

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 16:29 IST

There is nothing here for obvious moral outrage,as a lot of people seem to be doing.
It was a document shedding light on history. thats all. Historians should use it to
interpret the political tendencies of the past, of course recent past. people should
understand that India is just a political association born from a historical colonial
experience. How it is to be built for the betterment of such a union is left to the
people(s). Patriotism is no substitute for analysis of or scholarship about the union of
India.

from:  Rafeeq Peermohideen
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 15:55 IST

During the 70s it was the dream of Dravidian leaders to have a separate
country of their own and rule it like the Chera, Chola and Pandia
regimes as we learn from historical records. Dynasties are ruling us
even after six decades of independence. But still majority of us think
we are slowly becoming citizens of the world with no barriers among the
nations.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 15:26 IST

USA is so successful only because it is united. People in Europe
realize their mistake and want to unit it their better economic
condition. Had Europe been united they would have out thrown US but
unfortunately they aren't.

India would really go the african way had there been many small
nations instead of one nation called India and countries like china
are ready to occupy all small nations adjacent to them and one day
they will capture whole of india.

This is insane, as it gives you more dis-advantages than advantages.
as the old proverb says united we stand and divided we fall.

from:  prabha
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 14:01 IST

I think we don't have research more into the past. This is not going to help now. We can note it down and thank. And that is it. Let us look forward.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 13:48 IST

Wikileaks cable releases do not have a mandate to be a front page story.
Investigative journalism, obtaining info through special arrangement;
all these are fine and infact good but, just, release a book on it or
make it part of magazines such as Outlook or Frontline or similar..not
the front page of a national newspaper. If I am wrong/mistaken then
please expatiate.

from:  Ganesh Ram
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 13:40 IST

After reading this I feel Mr.Karunanidhi was correct. During emergency, then prime minister Indira Gandhi and her son sanjay Gandhi were ruling like dictators. If it had continued India would have been doomed. All states, not only tamilnadu would have had no option but to seek help from outside to have a democratic country.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:32 IST

It is very understandable why Julian Assange is haunted by the governments. He is showing second face of diplomacy which is not known to common people.

from:  Jayesh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:08 IST

Ramakrishna you cant book this guy on sedation B'cause "Rajaram, who died in 2008,told the U.S. representative at the 1976 "

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:50 IST

These KISSINGER CABLES informations/events were happened in past period
What is the necessity to leak these informations/events to-day.These
leakage of information is biased one to focus on future parliament
election 2014. United states or any other country cannot brainwash
Indian voters.Good and bad are coming from our own not from outside.

from:  murali
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:39 IST

I still feel the same smell even now. But if such a separate Nation got
succeeded, sustaining water sharing between states is different story
all together..

from:  Somanprabhu
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:26 IST

Don't know what kind of fools we are. We have such a big nation, and we thrive on dividing it for personal benefit. There was never any benefit realized by dividing a country, this is what history says. The day you divide the country, that is the end of your consciousness. Any person involving in dividing the country should be shown no mercy. The person who seeks separation are the only benefiter's of division. The day this country divides, you will see the terrorist in your door steps, killing you mercilessly and still you wont be able to do anything. Always give priority to nationalistic ideas above all.

from:  Raghav
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:24 IST

Based on this information can we book this person for sedition and
treachery after so many years?

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:21 IST

Why is the Wikileaks not talking too much about the Western Countries these days?
Why is the Wikileak spreading more details on India?
Is this a consipiracy to destabilize emerging nations?
Why cant this be true when "they" have failed to control the world with brute power?
Points to ponder...Lets not get swayed by these reports...Equations have changed in the last 20 years...Lets focus on our internal problems and elect a party which can lead from the front...Unfortunately I dont see any in the horizon and we end-up signing up for the best amongst the worst! While our "worst" are merrily piling public wealth and left the majority of us in filth! Our country needs a revolution to turn the tide! it may derail our inflated "Growth" for a few years but I am pretty sure we will be able cleanse the system of the "worst" and make a new beggining which the Mahatma dreamed of. Why cant we give a try to New thoughts or ideas - a refined version of Anna or a Kejriwal?

from:  Prince
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:49 IST

I don't want to take any of these above 'leaks' seriously. After all,
these were the reports from the officials of one particular country's
Embassy. They were free to draw their conclusions and these leaks
only show their conclusion or noting of what had happened. These
'notings' need not necessarily be right.
One need not believe that K Rajaram had indeed said so or Rajiv Gandhi
indeed acted as a 'go between' for an aircraft company. These leaks
should be taken and read only as somebody's diary entries!

from:  Rajaram
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:30 IST

i always wondered why this is a sub-continent. separate states, separate countries.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:23 IST

What did the anti-sedition law of 1963 said?

from:  Shalini Jena
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:21 IST

I thank The Hindu for enabling the Tamilian readers to realise that in
the past separate and independent Tamil naadu was under contemplation
in the mind of politicians. There are two key aspects to the political
goal of a separate sovereign Tamil naadu- the need for it and
practicality, that is viablity. Emotionally, the need is there and it
is natural. Why not the Tamils too to have their own country? But the
practicality is not there in view of present economic compulsions and
social variations of the Tamilians by caste identities. There is no
enduring cohesiveness in the society and it is too risky to have
separate and sovereign Tamil naadu. Tamilians must stay as citizens of
the Union. However the future generation of Tamils may have
different situation and it would not be a sin to have sovereign
Thamizh Naadu, if the Tamils can sustain it.

from:  P.Padmanaabhan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:12 IST

While the US is blamed for spying in India, Indian politicians covertly ask the help of the US and interference in the internal affairs of India. These politicians are traitors and should be prosecuted

from:  Davis K. Thanjan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:30 IST

Some people in Tamil Nadu still dream of a "Tamil Nation".

from:  MAzo
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:03 IST

These revelations would be good journalism or history, if released all
at once, instead of in daily teasers. What are you trying to prove?
Courageous journalism does not direct its scrutiny only at
politicians!

from:  Sree Srinivasan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 04:22 IST
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