The Tamil Politicians
Take any Tamil Politician and look at his or her statements. You would think that he or she lives and dies for the Tamil language and the Tamil-speaking people. Only a few are exceptions, but they mostly are unelectable and belong to the national political parties who do not have much grass root support in the state of Tamilnadu. Any one capable of winning an election takes an extreme position on the twin-issues of primacy of Tamil language and priority for the Tamil people. The general impression outside the state of Tamilnadu is that the politicians , in doing so, represent the people's aspirations ; in other words, the Tamil people are narrow-minded and intolerant of other linguistic groups in India. Is this impression correct? No, it is totally incorrect.
The Tamil people are liberal by nature
Look at the following facts and infer your conclusions.
*Tamilnadu has had two Chief Ministers in the past, whose mother tongue was not Tamil. They were Omandhur Ramaswamy Reddy and M.G.Ramachandran. The former had Telugu as mother tongue. The latter, a Malayalee, was the most popular Chief Minister the state has ever had.
*The man who is being considered as a future Chief Minister, Vijayakanth speaks Telugu at home. His popular support is growing and worrying the two major Dravidian Parties.
*Vaiko, the firebrand pro-LTTE politician, is from a Telugu-speaking family settled in South Tamilnadu.
*The No. 1 Tamil movie star of the earlier era was MGR, a non-Tamil. Today's No.1 is Rajnikanth, a Maharashtrian by birth.
*90% of the Tamil film directors of the 1950-s and 1960-s were Telugu-speaking men. eg.: P.Pulliah, D.Yoganand, B.N.Reddy, Sridhar, K.S.Gopalakrishnan, Ch.Narayanamoorthy, L.V.Prasad, Madhavan, Y.V.Rao, K.S.Prakash Rao, T.Prakash Rao, Chanakya etc. Among the rest too , a good number was from other linguistic groups. eg. P.Shankar (Malayalam), Dada Mirasi (Marathi), Sundar Rao Nadkarni(Konkani), A.Bhim Singh (Hindi).
*95% of the Tamil Heroines from the 1950-s to till today are from linguistic groups other than Tamil. eg.: Savitri, Kannamba, Jamuna, Anjali Devi, Devika ( all yesteryear and all Telugu). Saroja Devi, Sowkar Janaki ( yesteryear and Kannada), Padmini, Ambika, Radha ( yesteryear and Malayalam), Nayanthara, Asin, Navya, Mira Jasmine (all Today's and Malayalam), Simran (Today's and Punjabi), Shreya Saran (Today's and Hindi). Even the top TV serial Heroine Devyani is non-Tamil ( Konkani).
I could give examples of the topmost Govt. officials who are non-Tamil but I have restricted the examples to Politics and Movies because no one can make it in these two fields without popular support.
I view this situation as unprecedented anywhere in India. While Hindi movies have people from all the states, their market too exists throughout India. But non-Hindi politicians can not make it in any of the Hindi-speaking states. Non-Marathi actors can not make it in Marathi movies. A person whose mother tongue is not Bengali can never aspire to be the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
I conclude that while the people of Tamilnadu are among the most liberal, cosmopolitan and nationalistic linguistic groups in the entire country , the Tamil politicians are an outdated and narrow-minded lot. This gives a wrong impression about the state in the rest of India.