Tamil nationalism grew stronger within the Tamil diaspora every day even as its flames died down with the end of the prolonged war in Sri Lanka in 2009. The end was not a quiet one, and it was not a war with a clear beginning or end, writes academici Sharika Thiranagama.
What happens when you grow up surrounded by conversations of this war in Tamil Nadu and your whole life becomes an act of documenting it, unravelling the entangled threads and ensuring that suppressed voices find a way to be seen and heard? This book, first intended as a documentary, emerges as a witness to the Sri Lankan conflict.
What is it like to read a documentary film? That’s the second question that emerges. The documentary format as a form falters as it fails to capture everything that the director, Meena Kandasamy, intended. And so, she writes this book. The Orders Were To Rape You.
Meena Kandasamy grew up with posters of the women fighting for Tamil Eelam, the “Tamil homeland”, in Sri…