It has been a protest unlike any Tamil Nadu has seen in decades. “We are here,” declared the young men and women of the state, with a vehemence that sent a Chief Minister rushing to Delhi to appease mass outrage. The rightness of the cause of jallikattu may be debated by seasoned voices, but there’s no denying that this spontaneous uprising of young minds birthed dozens of other conversations on culture, caste, capitalism, power and freedom. From Nityanand Jayaraman of the Vetiver Collective, a wishlist of the hopes and dreams of Tamil people for the youth of Tamil Nadu to pursue.
If Jallikattu is the symbol of Tamil culture, the Poromboke commons are its backbone. Cultural symbols too need to constantly evolve to remain in tune with the times. Here's hoping that the youth of Tamil Nadu help make gentle sexy, inclusive an identity and diversity the backbone of Tamil Nadu's culture.
1. Stop Koodankulam expansion.
3. Let our rivers flow free and clean, and our eris and waterbodies remain free of encroachments.
4. End illegal sand-mining and stone quarrying (in other words, starve the corrupt political parties of spending money).
5. End the sea-sand mining in southern districts (in other words, starve the corrupt political parties of spending money).
6. Promote natural, water-efficient agriculture.
7. Give the boot to the pesticide, seed and fertiliser industry.
8. Revive native cattle and poultry breeds, and seeds, and the economic and environmental contexts for them to thrive.
9. Bring under public control our corrupt, inept, unaccountable regulators like TNPCB, State Coastal Zone Management Authority and the Police.
10. Free up the coast for our fisherfolk.
11. End bottom trawling and other destructive fishing methods, and promote healthy, sustainable fisheries.
12. Expose the contractor-Government nexus in building contracts (in other words, starve the corrupt political parties of spending money).
13. Keep fundamentalist forces from taking root in Tamil Nadu.
14. Keep Tamil identity from morphing into a fundamentalist force.
15. Make Tamil nationalism an honest, gentle, hospitable and voluntary sentiment that is respectful of all genders and communities.
16. Keep Tamil Nadu safe and hospitable for all life-forms, and all people.
17. Make friends with Karnataka and Kerala, and figure out how to improve the health of our shared rivers so there is enough for all people and the environment.
18. Assert a Tamil identity that is not anti-something (e.g. anti-Hindi or anti-North Indian).
19. Exercise eternal vigilance to ensure that the message you delivered to our political leaders continues to be heard in the months and years to come.
20. Don't let Alanganallur become any single organisation or party's public meeting.