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 Two: Towards Understanding Militant Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka
Towards Understanding Militant Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka
There is by now a growing body of literature on Tamil militant nationalism in Sri Lanka and the violence and ‘terrorism’ associated with it. Tamil insurgency, especially after the major anti-Tamil violence of July 1983, has attracted greater scholarly attention. If the earlier scholarship, much of it written in the immediate aftermath of the massive pogromist violence, was generally sympathetic to the Tamil struggle, later scholarship has been much more critical, with a tendency towards a singular focus on the violence and extremism of Tamil militancy. Thus, this growing body of writings has closely reflected, among other things, the changing political and military balance and the dynamics between the various ...