Yet, LTTE Supremo Prabhakaran was no hero. He wanted to be a dictator
and fell short. Heroes don't want to be anything. They just give
themselves to their cause and court no ill will. Prabhakaran hardly
climbed out of his terrorist leanings to embrace a bigger reality of
what he could have been for his "beloved" people.
That the Tamil populace of Sri Lanka couldn't manage anyone better
than Prabhakaran is in itself a bit sad. They must have been really
impoverished and out of ideas if they accepted a gun toting militant
as their representative in the belief that he could take them towards
a politically respectable position.
For some reason, there is something romantic about a militant
resistance, and Prabhakaran must have taken the easy route. It is no
joke being Gandhi, and non-violence and respectful disagreement are
not for everyone. India has several shining examples in its young
history as a nation, and the moral high ground has been laid so high
that India virtually has no chance to ignore it. Unfortunately, not
many people in the world are evolved enough to take the high road when
Prabhakaran has many admirers in India, without a doubt most of them
in Tamilnadu. They feel he was "great" and stood for something
worthwhile against great odds. Ask the followers of Lashkar e Toiba
and they might tell you the same thing about the thugs that run their
outfits. The LTTE provided armed resistance no doubt. They were a
fairly successful military unit, and were always a potent threat. But
they borrowed every trick from the terrorist book to expand that
At some point, reality seems to have escaped Prabhakaran's
imagination. If he really thought he could buy two piston engined
aircraft and start his own air force, he must have really
underestimated the power of Sri Lanka's organized military forces. No
country is going to tolerate a private air force that is going to be
hostile towards the majority of its population. But that is how
dictatorial minds think, one must suppose.
The suicide tactics must have taken a fair bit of effort to put in
place. A keen student of military history, Prabhakaran obviously must
have learnt enough to put in practice a way of convincing his suicide
attackers that there was a cause well above the value of their lives.
A lot of people are disgruntled enough and hopeless enough to fall for
this, and there will be no surprise when one day, we find that a
branch of Neuro Linguistic Programming has been very handy here.
Still, nothing heroic about any of this.
Prabhakaran was a mistake. The LTTE was a mistake. Decimating the
leaders of the other organizations fighting for the same cause like
the TULF and the TELO was an inevitable mistake in the campaign that
the LTTE unleashed over its own people. Prabhakaran didn't really
care for the lives of his own people for that is what it takes to
maintain a hard edge against odds heavily stacked against him and his
cronies. The Tamil spirit has many loopholes that can effectively
convince one of the holiness of unholy intent. Prabhakaran must have
been a master of convincing himself.
Trickery is not a hero's resort. One of the tricks that fatigued the
Sri Lankan administration was the repeated use of ceasefires to
consolidate military positions. At first, the calls for ceasefire
would bring hope. Maybe this time the fighting would end and an
agreement of some sort reached? Absolutely not! How can you reach an
agreement with a man who is determined to be a dictator? Time and
time again, we saw how Prabhakaran used the ceasefire time outs to
rebuild his military resources without fear of being attacked.
Apparently, some LTTE cadre, leaders included, came out with white
flags from their hiding positions and were shot by the Sri Lankan
military - in clear violation of international norms. What a laugh
this would bring upon the frustrated military of Sri Lanka, knowing
what they know about their enemy! Another truce flag from the LTTE?
No thanks! Shoot them! Who can blame them for the LTTE having become
a bag of many tricks, unworthy of respect, uncaring of its own people,
and working towards a dictatorship?
At the end, it came as undramatically as it started - with a weapon.
Choose the way of the gun, and one day, you will be gunned down.
Prabhakaran never got it, did he? Some student of military history he
must have been. Idiot.