What is majoritarianism? How has it increased the feeling of alienation among Sri Lankan Tamils? Explain with examples.
A belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whichever way it wants, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority is majoritarianism. Sri Lanka emerged as an independent Country in 1948. The democratically elected government adopted a series of measures to establish Sinhala supremacy.
- In 1956, an Act was passed to make Sinhala the official language.
- The government followed preferential policies favouring Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs.
- The Constitution provided for state protection and fostering of Buddhism.
The Sri Lankan Tamils felt that none of the major political parties led by the Buddhist Sinhala leaders were sensitive to their language and culture and the government policies denied them equal political rights which led to increased feeling of alienation among them. The Sri Lankan Tamils launched parties and struggles for the recognition of Tamil, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunities in every field.
Therefore, the measures adopted by the government to establish Sinhala supremacy led to distrust between the two communities which turned the widespread conflict into a Civil War.