Minutes back a cousin of mine pinged me to tell that her college, a leading b-school at Chennai has been closed and her exam scheduled for tomorrow stands cancelled.
I was shocked to know the reason - the state government of Tamil Nadu has ordered all government and private colleges and hostels to close for an indefinite period.
This decision came early today morning while people on CnC were busy reading about situation in Pakistan and others were discussing about yesterday’s cricket match between India and Sri Lanka.
A Tamil youth, Muthukumar had immolated himself in protest against Lankan troops’ operation in the island country. Muthukumar worked with a Tamil journal, in his four-page dying declaration asked students not to allow anyone to bury his body and instead urged them to use it as a tool to further the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils.
This action stirred loud protest by the student community against the LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran and also India for its alleged military support to Lanka.
More than 10,000 people including students and political and social activists on Saturday attended his funeral. PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, CPI leaders D Pandian and R Nallakannu, VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan, Tamil National Movement leader, P Nedumaran and several others were present at Muthukumar's Kolathur residence in suburban Chennai. Shops and commercial establishments in the area downed shutters to condole the youth's death.
The protesters torched a state-owned bus near Vellore, while 225 people were arrested in Thanjavur when they tried to lay siege on the Air Force station. They were protesting against the alleged use of the Air Force station for sending arms to Lanka.
BJP and Nationalist Congress Party have backed a newly-formed Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement's call for a general strike in the state on the 4th of February, seeking ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Interesting to note the date coincides with Sri Lankan Independence Day. The aim of the movement is to protect Tamils and protest against their genocide in the island republic.
Sitting here at Pune, I did barely get to know about all these developments. Our 24x7 news channels did talk about protests in TN, but then they never highlighted the gravity of the situation. Now that all colleges and hostels have been closed, things might even turn worse. The State and Central government should now act to the situation and issue a public statement to clarify their stand on this issue and try to restore normalcy at the earliest.