How majoritarianism has increased the feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils? Explain.
Points to remember
Starting in 1948 , the Sinhalas adopted a series of majoritarian steps to establish their dominance over the Tamils-
- Sinhala was declared as an official language by passing an Act in 1956 .
- Preferential policies only favored Sinhalas for positions in academic and government jobs.
- Buddhism was fostered as the sole religion in the interest of the Sinhalas.
- I nsensitivity towards Tamil language and culture- the constitution denied equal opportunities and rights.
- The relations between the Sinhalas and Tamils strained.
- The distrust and struggle for recognition turned into a civil war .
Answer to be written in the exam
1948 marked the beginning of Sri Lanka's independence . Because they constituted a majority, the leaders of the Sinhala community aimed to control the government. In order to ensure Sinhala dominance, the democratically elected government, therefore, implemented a number of majoritarian policies:
- A law recognizing Sinhala as the single official language was passed in 1956 , completely disregarding Tamil.
- The governments adopted systems of preference that favored Sinhala applicants for academic institutions and government employment.
- The protection and promotion of Buddhism were a requirement of the new constitution.
- The Sri Lankan Tamils' sense of alienation rapidly developed as a result of all these government initiatives, which were implemented one after another. As a result, the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities strained over time .
- Tamil's repeated requests for greater autonomy for the Tamil-populated provinces were turned down. In the 1980s, a number of political organizations were established that called for the creation of an independent Tamil Eelam (state) in Sri Lanka's north and east.
- Widespread fighting resulted from the mistrust between the two communities. The civil war quickly broke out. Because of this, thousands of members of both communities have died. Numerous families were compelled to flee the nation as refugees, and many more lost their source of income.
*Write any 5 points