Sri Lanka, the ‘Teardrop Isle’, has been under international attention for more than two decades for its ethnic conflict and civil war, and recently, under intense media scrutiny for what seems like a decisive end to the civil war. While the ethnic conflict and the civil war have been the subject of numerous academic and non-academic studies in both the East and the West, there has been no significant research on nationalism, particularly Tamil nationalism, as it manifests itself in Sri Lanka.
Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka endeavors to fill this important academic gap through its collection of ten in-depth essays that present a wide perspective of the subject. The book holistically portrays Tamil nationalism from various disciplinary perspectives like history, political science, international relations, art, literature, sociology, and anthropology. In doing so, it tries to understand the nature of nationalism as it emerges in these areas and adds to the richness and complexity of the problematic.
The significance of this collection is not only its breadth of vision, but also the origins of the hypotheses. The essays cite primary sources from Tamil society and culture that are not usually referred to. It is the first multi-disciplinary collection of essays exploring the state of Sri Lankan Tamils and their nationalistic moorings. The book succeeds in adding further scholarship to the academic debate centered on nationalism, politics, sociology and ethnic conflicts. Academics and readers with a focus on ethnic conflicts, peace studies, nationalism, Tamil politics and society and South Asian history will find the book to be an essential reference source.
Chapter One: Nationalism, Historiography and Archaeology in Sri Lanka
Nationalism, Historiography and Archaeology in Sri Lanka
Nationalism is a political creed that underlies the cohesion of modern societies and legitimizes their claim to authority. It has influenced the development of self-government in many colonies and brought about their political emancipation. Consequently nationalism has been identified with love for the motherland or patriotism. A territorial base, a shared historical experience, a strong sense of kinship and a common culture are the main components of nationalism. Right of self-determination is also inherent in the concept of nationhood. Since nationalism is a modern concept, it is imperative to delve into the history of state formation in modern Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka even territories that were either administered separately by the ...