In a country that is a peninsula, finding a harbour is not a laborious task. One such port is Thoothukudi (Tuticorin). The place holds a special position for its multifaceted identities. The city has an excellent account of flora and fauna. The cetacean population in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) would be a good study material for marine biologists. This is… Read More »

In a country that is a peninsula, finding a harbour is not a laborious task. One such port is Thoothukudi (Tuticorin). The place holds a special position for its multifaceted identities. The city has an excellent account of flora and fauna. The cetacean population in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) would be a good study material for marine biologists. This is one among many Indian cities, where intolerance is practised and people live harmoniously among themselves. History too gives a notable place for Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) with the Kings, poets and other people. However, the same history paints the city red on the day, May 22, 2018.

Sterlite Copper

Way back in the year 1975, Sterlite copper, an offspring of Vedanta resources was commenced to smelt copper for industries. The company serves worldwide. In this area particularly, the company did not abide by the rules. The company generated temperatures more than the limits. In the last few years, specifically since 1996, people fell sick of many health issues. The people of the city encountered skin irritation, nausea and other problems associated with the earlier. They found their hair being polluted, their water being contaminated.

After a scientific test, the reason behind that was found to be the discharge of toxic gas. The underground water also was contaminated due to the gases employed. The air we breathe and the water that is assigned for men to quench their thirst have purity. No human has the right to venture into these things with the knowledge of these hazards. It is sinful.

Protest throughout Longitudes and Latitudes

To show their opposition, not only the people of that place but also the people of the state throughout the globe staged a protest in different manners. The Digital media association of Tamil Nadu, comprising people like Gopi and Sudhakar of Madras Central, Hari Baski of Jump Cuts, Madan Gowri, Vigneshkanth of Black Sheep gathered in a place and staged the protest. These people also invested their time to do videos to create awareness of Sterlite complications.

The people of Tamil Nadu boycotted many items during the Jallikattu protest. This time, the boycott was heavy. Cricket lovers did not watch IPL and with a heavy heart could not support their teams too to show their irritation towards the company. People of that place had to go to the extent of staying away from their places to fight against. Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) has a rich heritage of people fighting against injustice. Long back, due to their patriotic fervour, these people did not want them to be offended by British law. This is very much of a fighting past.

The current incident involves people of the city gathering at places to stage a protest. People, who are based in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), wanted the company called the Sterlite Copper Smelting unit to be shut down. The electricity used by the industry alarmed the people of that place. The temperature generated was also more than the limit. The government warned the company to regulate its usage. The company was penalized too. All these happened only after a strong petition.

Manner of Revolt

In the later stages, people felt the company would bring them their doom. This pushed the people in and around Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) to rise against the government to close the company. The protest was a Gandhian one which was carried over during the ban of the sport of Jallikattu. Under the pretext of controlling the mass, the police opened fire. The people in the crowd were agitated. Police shot the people. In the reports, the number of deaths recorded varies.

These deaths were very moving. A city very much a spinal cord for the entire Tamil Nadu has taken the responsibility to help their offspring. The entire town turned bloody and violent. This reminded me of the Jallianwalabhag massacre that took place from Amritsar to Thiru. Vaiko, Tamil Political leader. It is moreover similar to the Indian War of Independence. The boycott of many goods marked the origin of the protest. During the national struggle, lawyers, doctors, and civil servants held themselves back from going to their workplaces to mark their uneasiness with the rule. This was the same in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) too.

Final achievement

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board withheld electric current for the company. The company ceased its mobility on the 28th of May. This was the victory for the Tamil fighters all around the world. However, the most pathetic feeling that arises in every mind is the shooting that swept off the lives of those martyrs. These lives and blood have purified the future lives, which would change the calibre and spirit of the entire city of Thoothukudi (Tuticorin).

What does that mean?

One must understand that the place that is native is very dear. None can demand one to go from their hometown unless otherwise, they wish for, not even animals. When you are made to give up the venue and the profession that caters, you can hardly bear it. This was the position of those people.

Never teach your children, “The world is like this. Learn to adapt yourselves to your milieu rather than be a non-conformist. That’s why I’ve put you in this school full of competition. Just run for marks and money.” If the martyrs’ parents have taught them these bluffs, what would be the situation of Thoothukudi (Tuticorin)? Salutations to the parents of these martyrs along with the martyrs.

Tribute to the Honour:

Rest In peace the souls of the martyrs. Pranams to the family of the martyrs, their kids, spouses, and siblings. You will hold a special place in every Indian heart. This is similar to the Indian War of Independence, where the people found bloodless and swordless battles. However, later this turned into a rupture. Yet the war was successful like the Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) issue.

Bloom Back Thoothukudi (Tuticorin).

Reference: P. Balasaraswathi, Social Setting in Thoothukudi District, Available Here

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Updated On 29 April 2022 5:46 AM GMT
Sivashruthy Namachivayam

Sivashruthy Namachivayam

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