Senthamizhan Seeman is a Tamil politician and the chief-coordinator of the political party, Naam Tamilar Katchi in Tamil Nadu. He is an ardent campaigner for the self determination of the Sri Lankan Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He is an advocate of the rule of Tamils in their homeland, Tamil Nadu and to spread the importance of Tamil language, only by which unity of Tamil People is possible. Prior to his involvement in politics, Seeman has worked as a film director and actor, and has also been regarded as an outspoken orator, writer and activist.
2011 Anti-Congress campaigning
Upon his release from a 5 month detention at the Vellore prison, Seeman actively campaigned for the defeat of the Congress party in the State Assembly elections for their role in the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
He was instrumental in bringing about a crushing and humiliating defeat of the DMK-Congress alliance in the state. The DMK government had come down heavily on Seeman and arrested him under the NSA in order not to have him challenge their hold on power. Successfully withstanding significant time constraint, arrests and political threats, Seeman campaigned in 59 of the 63 places the Congress party were contesting, and the party were defeated in all of those constituencies except for one. Wherever he went he was watched by people in numbers ranging from 5000 to 25000 as compared to the rest of the political parties which only attract a few 100s in their meetings.
Seeman was born in Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu to Mr. Senthamizhan and Mrs. Annammal Senthamizhan in Tamil family. He married K. Kayalvizhi, daughter of K. Kalimuthu (former speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from AIADMK party) in September 2013 in the presence of Pazha. Nedumaran and others. The ceremony was held according to Tamil traditions at the YMCA grounds, Nandanam, Chennai.
Seeman took up film direction as a career after being inspired by the films of his mentor, Bharathi Raja and the work of Manivannan. Seeman started his career by directing Panchalankurichi, a village action film starring Prabhu and Madhubala. He collaborated with actor Prabhu again in Iniyavalae, a romantic film also featuring Suvalakshmi, Gouthami and Keerthi Reddy. Two further films announced in the period, Anandham with Karthik and Karma Veerar with Sarathkumar, failed to materialise. His third film was Veeranadai with Sathyaraj and Kushboo; after that he took a long break from films.
In 2006, he came back with a successful film Thambi with actor Madhavan. The film carried the message that violence does not pay, and is not the answer to the problems of today. Seeman turned actor with the film Pori where he played the role of a Malaysian Business man. The same year he directed the love story Vaazhthugal again with Madhavan and Bhavana, with every single word used in the movie being written in pure Tamil. However, the film was not successful at the box office and only received negative reviews. Since then Seeman has only acted in films including critically acclaimed roles in Pallikoodam and Evano Oruvan. In 2009, Seeman was among the 10 directors who starred in Rasu Madhavaran's Mayandi Kudumbathar, a huge entertainer in the box office.
In 2013, Seeman played a lead role in Director and his mentor Manivannan's Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA(sequel to the critically acclaimed Amaidhi Padai), the latter's 50th and last film as a director.
Politics and activism
Seeman is known to be a campaigner for the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam braving several counts of intimidation and detention. He is also a devout follower and an acquaintance of the LTTE founder and leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who he affectionately refers to as "Annan" (Elder brother). He believes that Prabhakaran is the national leader of all Tamils, and the icon for Tamil liberation. His support for the Tamil cause and hardline speeches were responded with numerous arrests and police crackdowns by the then ruling Congress-DMK alliance. He was detained twice without trial under the National Security Act by the ruling DMK-Congress regime, first for speaking in favor of the LTTE and again for protesting the killing of a Tamil fisherman by the Sri Lankan Navy.
Seeman along with several other Tamil activists gathered on 18 May 2009, coinciding the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War at Madurai to form the Naam Tamilar Iyakkam, as a social outfit. It subsequently turned into a political party named Naam Tamilar Katchi.
In November of 2009, while on a speaking tour in Canada, Seeman was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency on account of giving a hate-filled incendiary speech at an event in Toronto. In the speech, he called for restarting the civil war in Sri Lanka, and allegedly said "No Sinhala can live," going on to state that the LTTE should have bombed 100 Sinhala schools for every 1 Tamil school which was attacked.
Political activism 2011–2016
Since the 2011 Assembly elections, Seeman and his party has been actively involved in various causes such as the anti-nuclear Power plant protests in Kudankulam or the attacks on Tamil fishermen perpetuated by the Sri Lankan Navy that has claimed the lives of over 800 fishermen.
In March 2013, Seeman and his Attorney N. Chandrasekar attended the 22nd UNHRC sessions in Geneva.
During the parliamentary elections in 2014, Seeman has stated that the Naam Tamilar Katchi would campaign for the defeat of the candidates fielded by the Congress, BJP and the DMDK where they are contesting. The three parties lost all the constituencies they contested in Tamil Nadu with the exception of BJP who managed to win their only seat in Kanniyakumari.
Seeman has also appeared as a host and anchor to Makkal Munnal a weekly television talk show aired on Thanthi TV in which various social activists, political leaders and academicians are part of the panel. The show encompasses a wide variety of topics and is not limited to political issues.
In November 2014, Seeman and Naam Thamizhar Katchi observed the 60th birth anniversary of Velupillai Prabhakaran.
In February 2015, the party conceived Veera Thamizhar Munnani, aimed at reviving and recovering age-old Tamil culture and traditions.
In September of 2016, Seeman was among some 176 people arrested after "attempting to lay siege to Srivaikuntam dam, where desilting works [were] under way as per a directive from the National Green Tribunal".
Naam Tamilar Katchi had been continually proclaiming its will to participate in the 2016 assembly elections without joining hands with any of the Dravidian or national parties, which they perceive, to have persistently failed the Tamil people. The party will contest in all the 234 assembly constituencies on its own, in the elections Tamil Nadu and as well as those in Puducherry. The election symbol allocated for the party consists of Twin Candles.
Seeman introduced his candidates in Cuddalore in February, 2016. Seeman will contest as the Chief Ministerial candidate from the Cuddalore constituency.
In March 2016, the party released its election manifesto of over 300 pages, referring to it as not another manifesto, but as a vision and action plan for the state. Seeman's party lost everywhere with himself scoring 5th place in Cuddalore.