Krishna explains differing views of nationalism and ethnic identity, as expressed in India and Sri Lanka. For India, some of this arises out of religious differences with Pakistan. And for both India and Sri Lanka, the issues came out of the British decolonisation. Each had severe problems making a national identity. The bloody separation between India and Pakistan is briefly gone into.
But, albeit on a much smaller scale, Sri Lanka also showed tensions. Between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. President Jayawardene came to power and retained it, in part by cultivating a Sinhala identity. But others like Bandaranaike also exacerbated matters, by proclaiming Sinhala to be the only language of the government. The reaction was an increasing alienation by the Tamils. Later to flare into a simmering civil war by the 1980s.
An ironic aspect of Sri Lanka is that both Sinhalese and Tamils see themselves as embattled minorities. The Sinhalese peer over the straits at India and see Tamil Nadu, with over 50 million Tamils.
The India intervention in Sri Lanka is also studied. An engagement that cost India some soldiers killed, as well as the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi.
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