Be Tamil – a poem by NM [PDF]
A Poem: Be Tamil…
The brief notes below will be informative and is of relevance to the poem.
The poem has the phrase “sprouting gopurams”. The well known Yugoslavian Tamil researcher Kamil Zvelebil, writing about the period that followed the ubiquitous sprouting of gopurams said, “Tamil became “the language of devotion.” Tamil literature became the literature of bhakti. ……. This trend continued as a strong and vital stream for about 1,000 years, and it had influenced greatly, perhaps conclusively, the Tamil Hindu mind — a mind which had proven to be, prior to the 6th-7th Cent. A.D., critically probing, full of the spirit of inquiry, lucid and this-world oriented. …..”
The word, “merchants” in the poem refer to the East India Company that arrived in Tamil Nadu with trade in mind. The poem refers to the spin of the merchants in three places. It is first mentioned in relation to the wars waged by Tamils in Tamil Nadu against them. See the collection of 11 essays by Dharmaratnam Sivaram (Taraki) on the topic of Tamil militancy of this period at: tamilnation.co/forum/sivaram/
The West is the continuation of the merchants and thus is also referred as merchants in the poem. Their effect on Tamils is mentioned a second and a third time. To gain insight into this refer to the verdict of the Bremen Peoples Tribunal on complicity of UK: http://ptsrilanka.org/en/verdict