Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the Central Government of India may have patched up differences over the Sri Lankan situation but the evil forces that the former unleashed in a bid to frighten the Congress-led government into submission continue to haunt Tamil Nadu. That is the danger of conjuring up spectres of separatist terror. Yesterday former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha came under a goon attack from the supporters of Karunanidhi`s pro-LTTE campaign. A few days before, she had received threats from the LTTE activists in Canada.
Jayalalitha was lucky that her assailants were not armed with guns and bombs. They only pelted stones at her convoy damaging a couple of vehicles. But, the day may not be far off when they will have access to arms-courtesy the LTTE-and make their presence felt in a bigger way. Belligerent Tamil Nadu allies of the LTTE who must be feeling badly let down by Karunanidhi et al who are wary of going the whole hog in backing the Tigers due to their political compulsions may take recourse to aggression and be on their own, as they are convinced that if the LTTE is allowed to sink in the Vanni, their greater Eelem project will be buried with it.
India may be a military Bigfoot, but its Achilles heel is known to the destabilizing forces operating on its soil. Yesterday, a string of blasts left over 62 dead in Assam. In September, six serial blasts killed 15 in Delhi in July, nine explosions rocked Bangalore killing two persons in October 2007, in Rajasthan two persons were killed in a blast inside a shrine in August 2007, a terror attack killed 30 people in Hyderabad in May 2007, a bomb killed 11 persons in a mosque in February 2007, two bomb ripped through a train from India to Pakistan killing at least 66 in September 2006, 30 people were killed in two blasts in a mosque in Malegaon in July 2006, more than 200 people were killed in seven blasts in trains in Mumbai in March 2006, 20 people perished in twin blasts and in October 2005, three bombs in New Delhi killed 62 people.
These incidents of barbaric violence demonstrates how vulnerable even a powerful country could become vis- -vis low intensity terrorism. There is no guarantee that the LTTE backers in Tamil Nadu won`t be emboldened by India`s growing impotence to follow suit.
Advocates of Eelam in Tamil Nadu have perceived Jayalalitha as an obstacle to their secessionist project. For those who blew Rajiv Gandhi to smithereens, targeting Jayalalitha will be child`s play. She seems to be wise enough to have taken the LTTE threats seriously and called for enhanced security. Lack of rational thinking is Prabhakaran`s both weakness and strength and therefore he possesses an elusive mind. If he gets up one day wanting to eliminate Jayalalitha, he will send her a `child of fire`. This does not mean Karunanidhi and others are safe. If they ditch the LTTE, they will face the same fate as Amirthalingam and other TULF heavyweights who jockeyed for power riding the Tigers.
If India sought to export the problem of the South Indian secessionism to Sri Lanka by creating the LTTE, its plan has manifestly gone awry. Its problem hasn`t gone away, if the rumblings in Tamil Nadu are any indication.
Karunanidhi has let the genie out of the bottle. How India will deal with it remains to be seen. However, it is certain that India cannot try to save its own skin at Sri Lanka`s expense ever again. It must determine itself to grasp the nettle and battle LTTE terrorism. Time is running out.