THE SPENT POWER OF HINDRAF

HINDRAF A FLASH IN THE PAN OR A KICK IN THE PANTS?

SOME HOME TRUTHS

Hindraf and its leaders would do well not to compare themselves with Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or Dr. Martin Luther King. Each of these men were peaceful, open minded people, with a high intellect, selfless and open to negotiation on issues that affected their constituents and more importantly reflected the aspirations of all of humanity. There was nothing parochial about their causes, although their individual race groups were necessarily used to channel what belonged to all of us as the situation and need to do so was unavoidable then in their circumstances.

Each of these leaders avoided name calling, unfounded sensational allegations against their adversaries and stuck to the truth however much some of it hurt them in the end on occassion. Hindraf has as its constituent members and followers, Hindus of a particular caste and an organizational structure that favours family members and friends. Its called nepotism. Not a broad church it needs to achieve that critical mass to be heard.

Hindraf as a political movement has become irrelevant and incredulous with its far fetched claims against in particular Dr. Mahathir Mohamed former Prime Minister of Malaysia then the Malays as a race, leaving behind unmentioned in its diatribe, its own many faults and the divisions within the Indian community that is at the root of many an Indian Malaysian problem.

Hindraf instead conveniently pursues a policy and a strategy full of contradictions, its actions and words often found to be in violation of its own stated principles and objectives. It is a movement soundly rejected by the likes of Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, a prominent Tamil and her class of uppity Indian Malaysians who instead chose the wealthy “liberals” and those Chinese opposition members who crave and covet a Malaysia under their rule.

Ambiga’s comments on Hindraf  in private, leaves a lot to be desired about both Hindraf, the Brahmin Ambiga and her “human rights campaign” under the flag of convenience of  Bersih. Bersih being another “non political party” in the same mould of Hindraf, a ploy they hope will allow them to continue to avoid public accountability and the sinister agendas for Malaysia they conceal.

WHO OR WHAT IS HINDRAF TODAY?

Hindraf is a nepotistic organization that does not resile from using children as human shields to further its causes. And those children they have in the past used come from the very families of the same leaders whose claims to leadership and allegations of nepotism against Dr. Mahathir are conveniently protected from public scrutiny by their refusal to become a registered political party. Hindraf is a political party by any other name. Ambiga Sreenivasan adopted the same tactic with Bersih by refusing to disclose Bersih’s sources of foreign funding which she admitted to in London  or to the extent and the amount of funding unlawfully given to her and her movement by the Selangor State Government prior to and subsequent to the July riot.

Waythamurthi, Hindraf’s exiled leader must, first allow the” movement” which is what he refers to Hindraf as to be more transparent, inclusive and accountable (especially for the funds that have not been accounted for, raised during the November 2007 march). Non Tamils and non Hindus continue to struggle in ventilating their views on Hindraf forums without the attendant threatening gestures and censorship by Hindraf’s leadership. The name Hindraf an acronym for Hindu Rights Action Force is of itself a race and culture based organization. Such an organization cannot lend itself to the utopian dream of a race free state Hindraf leaders preach from one side of their mouths.

MALAYSIA  A RACIST COUNTRY-A HINDRAF SLOGAN

If Malaysia is a racist country it is certainly not by UMNO’s existence alone. In fact not at all by UMNO but by the caste and race divisions created by the MIC, its predecessors and the MCA. The two non Malay parties each bargained for the race based enclaves they desired at independence which they now wallow in uncomfortably. That’s neither the fault of UMNO nor that of the Barisan. Instead it is the fault of the political leaders of each of the other two parties non UMNO and their subservient silent followers intimidated into silence by their own cultural practices.

Tun Sambanthan on behalf of the Goundars and those he believed to be Brahmins, like Ambiga Sreenivasan, created a caste based hierarchy excluding all but  a token handful of  non Tamil talent from the party’s central committees. His successor Tan Sri Manickavasagam did no better. Both furthered their own adventures, feathered their own nests at the expense of the Tamils and acquired substantial personal fortunes in their time as did Samy Velu. However for the latter, it must be said that for all his faults he did a far better job for Tamils in Malaysia than the other two could ever have done even in their time and beyond.

THE VISHVA HINDU PARISHAD-FIGHTING FIRE  OR FUELLING THE FLAMES?

Hindraf, which courts the heat and the powerful political lobbies of organizations like the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) must understand the race and religious based fundamentals of the VHP before casting that first stone against UMNO and others who disagree with them. And that too in the US of all places. It was here that Hindraf went to condemn Malaysia as a racist state when the leaders of Hindraf failed to study or understand the background of the US as a state which celebrates institutionalized racism as a virtue and political philosophy in everything it does including its foreign policy. There may be a successful Indian, Chinese, Mexican and yes African American President. But these like that symbolic proverbial ‘single swallow do not a summer make‘.

Just for the record, Malaysia has enjoyed democratic constitutional government with all its flaws long before the US embraced that concept across racial lines. Malaysia had independent and constitutional democratic government in 1957 whilst Dr.Martin Luther King and his people were fighting for the most basic constitutionally guaranteed rights to vote, to travel and to be educated on an equal basis alongside their fellow white citizens.  Their fight was a hundred times worse than May 13 and the Chinese communist insurgency put together squared. Protection against and not from the law as it were was not a guaranteed right to African Americans then as it remains the case in the US today.

The VHP has been behind some of the most vile anti Indian violence and racist policies in India and remains the well spring of non Hindu hatred in the sub-continent. How could anyone forget their vandalism in the destruction of thee Babri Masjid (a 13th century mosque built by the emperor Babur), a historic national monument? The other act of infamy of the VHP is their support for the chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modhi. Modhi is the man who masterminded the massacre of over 2000 unarmed and helpless Indians, simply because they happened to be Muslims.

Modhi has been banned from travel to many parts of the civilized world including the US because of outstanding warrants for his arrest for that crime. Yet Waytha Murthi and his band of merry men continue to court this man and his party as if they were the paragons of virtue and a virtue that Malaysia’s Indians in particular would choose to celebrate.  Perhaps for the Tamils whose continued state of ignorance and backwardness this may be right and appropriate.If that is the end game then Hindraf repeats the tragic mistakes and exploitation of this community its predecessors in the MIC made in their time. Hindraf then is no alternative but a tyrannical outfit of misfits seeking to further exploit vulnerable Tamils along caste and religious lines.

Hindraf would do well to learn to negotiate and become more inclusive, a part of the mainstream process of political discourse and activity. Rather it has been back bitten by Bersh’s leader Ambiga Sreenivasan in her off the record remark on record about her policy of excluding them. Hindraf has been invited on a number of occasions to come to the negotiating table with government which it has absolutely refused to do much to its own detriment. It has instead allowed itself to be attached to the most incredulous of all opposition parties in the PKR again to its detriment. It has failed to disclose to its membership its discussions with government in London and  elsewhere where Waytha Murthi was feted at government expense.

A CASTE RIDDEN PROBLEM- A SELF INFLICTED WOUND

Ambiga is Brahmin as she claims whilst the mainstream of Hindraf and Malaysian Tamils, Shudras, Motheliars, Shatrya’s Goundars and other mid to lower castes. Now herein lies the problem with the Indians the mainly Tamil Indians of Malaysia. Their continued practice and acknowledgement of the caste system is that yoke around their necks. Not Barisan, Not UMNO, Not the Malays. Tamils by and large insist on hanging on to that yoke of casteism and Tamil chauvinism, casteism being the worst known form of discrimination known to mankind. It enjoys in Hindu culture, divine sanction. Perhaps Waythamurthi would care to explain why the mainstream of Indian politics in Malaysia is so fractured with the educated supporting government, the legitimate opposition and the rest if they cared to or intimidated enough, Hindraf.

Government has not denied Hindraf a place at the main table. It has simply demanded Hindraf become part of the political mainstream. Syed Albar and Abdullah Badawi may have over acted and over played their hand lending credibility to Waythamurthi’s claims of racism. But they are not all of UMNO. These two are an anachronism and maybe part of that diversity which is the Barisan and UMNO. Lets see some democratic examples of Hindraf’s policies and its actions through a diversity of leadership and membership if it has such character and structures in place. Till then Hindraf remains a Tamil chauvinistic party to the exclusion of all others who call themselves Malaysians, culturally Hindus or Indians.  If it does not and does not do so soon, Hindraf remains a rickety platform on which those who stand in the name of justice and political rights, have a self -tied noose around their weak necks waiting for the will of the people to pull that lever and relegate them  into the void of political darkness.

Comments
12 Responses to “THE SPENT POWER OF HINDRAF”
  1. elangovan namasivayam says:

    GRK,

    You have so many errors in fact:

    1) Hindraf is made of Hindus of a particular caste and an organizational structure that favours family members and friends

    – what caste are you referring to. In Hindraf it is open policy we accept all castes, including yours , if you choose to join Hindraf. Yes,Hindraf as an organization has as leaders two brothers. Is that enough to make for nepotism. What largesse have they shared with their family members – maybe harassment from the police on whose side you seem to be speaking from.

    2) far fetched claims against in particular Dr. Mahathir Mohamed former Prime Minister of Malaysia then the Malays as a race.

    What may be a far fetched claim is this statement of yours. Not being able to see how Mahathir, that which is just beyond your nose, has screwed Malaysian social and political development generally and economic development for the Indian marginalized specifixally, with his brand of development is really telling. There is enough out there for any one with just a litlle bit more vision than yours to be able to see what Mahathir has done. I will not waste any more time on that.

    I am sorry that you make out our hitting at Ketuanan Melayu to be hitting at the malay race. Hindraf certainly hits at UMNO and their racist policies where they claim Malay supremacy. Hitting at white supremacy in Apartheid South Africa is not hitting at the white race is it??

    3) (especially for the funds that have not been accounted for, raised during the November 2007 march).
    It is shameful for one who wants to influence opinion to be so out of touch with the truth. Pls go checkout the accounts in http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com. Was published a long time ago.

    4) Waytha Murthi was feted at government expense

    really, can you please come up and show what you mean with some facts about this feting – where, how, when, what manner of feting. Casting baseless apsersions like this puts you in exactly the categorry you say Hindraf should not be part of. Meeting some wannabe’s from UMNO to negotiate on the 18 point demand to redress the marginalization problem of the Indian poor requires we sit at some place and talk maybe over some tea. And that you call feting… Hindraf will talk to the devil about the 18 points.And we know what the devil can do, what its cohorts will do.

    I will end here. Anymore will be a waste of my and the readers time. Just stay with the facts and do not attempt to mislead with your lies, twisted logic, fancy language and self serving agenda.

    And I challenge you to publish this piece……………….!!!

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Dear Elangovan

      Thank you for your detailed though selective and self serving response to our article on Hindraf. You have reinforced the main point I make as to the major problem with the Malaysian Indians (read Tamilians).The problem being the caste system which I maintain (inspite of your protestations) is at the root cause of everything Tamil in Malaysia including and especially with Hindraf. You mention it explicitly and have the gall to then invite me to join Hindraf with the following:

      “what caste are you referring to. In Hindraf it is open policy we accept all castes, including yours , if you choose to join Hindraf”.

      In doing what you have done which I have included in quotes for you to re examine, you have exposed Tamil racism and your acceptance of the caste system. It is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary in the context of Hindraf and Malaysian Tamil politics. As a problem it is endemic, it is systemic and it appears
      to be part of yours and the general Malaysian Tamil DNA. You remain blissfully (or is it painfully) ignorant of your prejudices and shortcomings as does Hindraf
      of which you are clearly a member and supporter. Therein lies the devil. I restate my observations that Hidnraf is like all Malaysian Indian (read Tamil) politics
      is caste driven.

      If the Malays espouse Ketuanan Melayu, then at least as a majority in a democracy, in a country universally recognised as theirs, as the indigenous
      inhabitants of whats known as Malaysia, they do nothing wrong in championing Ketuanan Melayu or the primacy of Malays in Malaysia. It is a bit like the Tamil dominance
      of the Indian sector of the Barisan in the MIC and in Hindraf in opposition. But Ketuanan Melayu is not as hypocritical or undeserving or wrong. It is called self preservation.

      If there is no Ketuanan Melayu the Malays will end up with Ketuanan China like they were fooled into allowing in Singapore all those years ago by Lee Kuan Yew and his Chinese cohorts.
      Many of who remained in Malaysia from that time are now trying that same trick of the Chinese twice. And the Indians who were also betrayed by the Chinese then should not be siding with the Chinese to achieve that second step of Ketuanan China in the region. Indians in Malaysia instead ought to stand side by side with the Malays who gave them a home when Nehru ignored them, the Kanganis and others stepped on them and the caste system robbed them of their dignity.

      Perhaps you would rather the Malays do what the Tamils in India and in other parts of the world have done in search of an identity. And that is to agitate violently and unreasonably.
      In India the Tamils eschew the Hindi national language in favour of Tamil a parochial language. Nothing wrong with that in the Tamil Nadu context. But the Tamils there too want an autonomous Dravidian state and the benefits of the Indian union at the same time. Such an existence may be possible in India where the Tamils are not a minority in the south.

      Economic survival and prosperity is not an issue in Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Karnataka and Andhra and other parts in the south where Tamils enjoy an economic dominance like the Chinese do in Malaysia.
      Is not what Hindraf and the Tamils asking for another form of chauvinism another from of self inflicted discrimination and a form of Ketuanan Tamil? What about the disaster of Eelam? The Tamils there could well have succeeded when they had the military and political advantage. But no they had to go that extra mile and squander it till their own ranks broke and gave the government of Sri Lanka the weapon it needed to destroy the Tamil Tigers.

      A pity because they did have a moral and political cause till Vellupillay Prabahkaran destroyed it all with his megalomania and his family and friends. The Charles Anthony Brigade and the extra juridical executions and wanton discrimination against the Tamils from the Eastern Sector which was not Prabhakaran’s area. His closest lieutenant in the end crossed sides and sold him out. With his eastern divisions gone he too was gone and so too the Tamil cause. Hindraf cannot win from a zero sum game and through intimidation, fear and intransigence. It has to be smart and learn how to chart the waters it wades in. Thus far it has a bunch of lawyers who can’t string a few words together to make a proper sentence which says little for the University of London law Degree an Lincoln’s Inn as a training ground for advocates.

      Funnily you and Hindraf do not condemn or fight the Chinese who give you nothing but grief. The exploitation of Tamils is from within the Indian communities first then by the Chinese. But Hindraf
      by its silence supports them.

      On the subject of the audit and the accounts, Hindraf needs to have an independent audit conducted and not one where Hindraf sympathisers arrange for the audits to be undertaken. It does not
      require an Einstein to do a set of audited accounts and to declare them unqualified. It is how the great corporations like TYCO and Enron collapsed. And their audits had the best pedigree
      in Arthur Anderson as independent auditors. More recently of course we have the banking collapse and collapse of government institutions in the USA, the worlds most powerful economy and a
      state Hindraf goes to seek support from. There too they have had the best accountants and auditors perform “independent audits” only to have the entire system collapse from under their feet.

      We are not against Hindraf. There are more than just the Tamils who want accountability, fairness and justice from government. Continued attacks on Dr. Mahathir alone won’t do that.
      You haave made sweeping statements about how Dr. Mahathir destroyed the country and its economy. I see no signs o that at all. I see a near first world country which rose from the rubber estates
      the swamps and the Malaria with wide highways,a larger than average ownership of private homes, cars, white goods, higher than average wages, greater employment opportunities than there was during the time of the Tengku, Razak and Hussein Onn.

      What you complain of like many Indians in Malaysia do is about your own incompetence. The same I say of Hindraf. It is an incompetent organization of incompetent lawyers and narrow minded parochial statements they call alternative policies. If you want marginalization more than what you already sufer then Hindraf is your choice and your party.

      The Malaysian opposition unfortunately consists of misfits and power hungry individuals with no alternative policies that will do justice to the wider Malaysian population. The DAP is so Chinese centric Mao Tze Tung would have avoided them. The PKR is so full of itself it can’t see the light of day. Ambiga Sreenivasan who you have conveniently side stepped in your discussion is perhaps the best reason why Hindraf should have policies that should include prosecuting the woman for her direct involvement in giving Abdullah Badawi the green light to attack the 27 November demonstrations in KL before it could achieve its objective of handing a document to the British High Commissioner to Malaysia. Hindraf will not attack her because she is Brahmin and by their own inaction therefore someone of a higher caste they are culturally prevented from attacking. That is also the reason why Tun Sambanthan , Manickavasagam and Samy Velu all thrived at your expense.

      Look inwardly my friend. Because someone shows you what you do not wish to see does not mean they work for the Barisan or the police. Remember that the man accused of murdering Kugan was himself a Tamil. Take a good look at Hindraf and what criticisms are leveled at it and think. Then see if you can encourage them to be more inclusive and open. If not there is little else to say. You keep seeing the world through your glasses and I will with mine.

      Like

  2. Rajan says:

    Once again a great piece of writing. i just wanted to remind you that recently Hindraf was in states meeting congressmen sponsored by HAF, a sympathiser of India’s RSS in USA who are mostly American Citizens of India(Brahmin/upper catse) origin. In fact, if one examines the objectives of groups like HAF, it is creation of a upper-caste run fanatic religious Hindu India overthrowing Indian Constitution. Is Hindraf a Malaysian wing of India’s RSS, needs to be known since Hindraf also thrives on muslim/malay bashing, akin to the favorite past-time of Hindutva/RSS/BJP/VHP etc.

    http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/congressional-briefing-focuses-human-rights-struggles-malaysian-hindus-and-other-minorities

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Waythamurthi must realise that he is part of a transplanted culture that has failed to come to terms with its castless new home. In failing to accept that point the Malaysian Indians will continue to hang on to a past that long deserted them, a future thats long passed them by and a present they have yet to come to terms with.

      Waythamurthi and his grandstanding is courting the same countries that played a part in dividing Indians abroad because of what was perceived to be their suspect loyalties. Yesterday Pakistan, the Arabs and Muslims were their buddies. Today they trash them. It would pay Waythamurthi to remember the lessons of history or suffer the consequences of its being repeated.

      Like

  3. cherasusie says:

    years of caste system has made indians in whatever class or caste to constantly feel the need to prop up their egos, the higher caste people need to maintain their positions whereas the lower caste always try to uplift their inferior complex by doing somethings, sometimes despicable acts or utterance.

    deng xiao peng once said, “white cats, black cats, if they know how to catch mice they are good cats” – please don’t try to twist its good meaning as many would be tempted to do…..

    we always say the indians and malays are poor……ok, prove it!!! with a genuine survey and not through yours or his eyes. though, through my eyes, they are many wealthy non chinese in the forms of blood sucking lawyers and doctors if freedom of expression is the norm.

    many people just like to pick on the accommodating chinese as if they were gullible and easy meat….i think all races should be thankful that we have a lee kuan yew reigning in singapore rather than a malay guy like muhyddin or an indian guy like samy vellu or a chinese guy like chua soy lek….. of course if we have a ghandi in singapore, the majority chinese in singapore will surely vote for ghandi….and in malaysia you see these things happen to ambiga, karpal singh or the beloved seenivasagam brothers.

    if you like evil cat like mamak kutty, i can only say alhamdulillah……anyway he already charted a dangerous path for us……nothing can be undone now.

    but we need good cats whether they are chinese, malays or indians or others or natives we are citizen of malaysia…please try not to see ourselves in different colours, different castes or religious believes, please don’t make an enemy out of especially, the chinese, by encouraging indians to gang up with malays and other evil thoughts, this is too satanic!!!!!

    What do we personally want? a good leader of course!!!! that make sure our country is a heavenly place on earth, not like in china or india and probably now, malaysia that we see so much human sufferings….. be they man-made or otherwise.

    rid ourselves of evils and get united for a heavenly malaysia, god bless. cherasusie

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      There is a Beatles song for writers like you. “The Long and Winding Road”. Whatever it is you mean you defeat your argument by contradicting yourself along the way.

      “White cat Black cat as long as it catches mice”: Even that quote has its limits in meaning when the mice and the cats are devoured by the ruthless who claim it is because of them that the mice and cats have their existence. (your Lee Kuan Yew analogy)

      Like

  4. cherasusie says:

    u seemingly try to be sophisticated by winding around to suit your ways…may be the song “MY WAY” suit ur lines of argument and there will be no end to everything.

    jus to give u an example…….some people blamed the chinese schools for the inability, the people in malaysia to unite as a nation and wished them close down overnite but then these schools did not cost anyone to lose anything and had no problem for umpteen years, long before we had merdeka. so the onus is on the nation to find an amicable way, not jus ur way to deal with this problem.

    or wouldn’t u agree we already have an indian prime minister………i mean i cant say i am a malay or an indian just because i said so, according to “My Way”……..pls go by the international recognized ways

    and this idiot of a former pm even hated the brits without reflecting upon himself, for without the brits bringing in the indians here, would we have a hated mamak kutty aka big mole aka dr.m

    he mocked lee kwan yew, a feral animal if you like, for building an empire for his own family…and that he would not be like lee, meddling in the nation’s politics after retirement…….may i ask what he is doing now?

    like him or not, lee is famous internationally and respected for what “good” he had done for singapore and mahathir is famous for what “bad” he has done for malaysia and i can assured u, he is despised locally and internationally among the modern, civil and democratic society, in short a pariah!!!!

    cheers!

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      So what? Go stay with Lee Kuan Yew then if race matters so much to you as it does to some Chinese and Indians in Malaysia who can’t get their way all the time.

      Like

  5. Sathis says:

    Gopal Raj Kumar, go and get a life…! sigh…

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Why? have you not got one thats worthy of living like that of the
      loosers who blame Mahathir and UMNO for their inherent poor performance all the time?

      Like

  6. integers lavender says:

    tak suka duduk malaysia, pergi balik India at anytime! u said Malaysia is a racist country, pergi tengok India la…. yang datang tinggal di Malaysia adalah asalnya tidak memiliki tanah atau rumah di India! di negara India dulu hidup miskin, papa kedana, makan tikus, makan bangkai. bila hidup di malaysia dapat makan kenyang, dapat tinggal dalam rumah, nak tunjuk besar kepala. kenapa tak balik india? sebelum merdeka, kerajaan british ada offer kepada rakyat india yang mahu balik india, pengangkutan disediakan, kenapa tak follow? sebab you all tau hidup di india lebih susah dan lebih hina dari hidup di malaysia. so, apa masalahnya? kamu kata malaysia racist – makan kamu cukup tak? tidur kamu cukup tak? anak2 cucu2 kamu dapat pelajaran tak? ada kerja tak? boleh bukak business tak? so???????????

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Hey hey don’t get so hot under the collar. You are right. The Tamils I did say suffer from a unique form of racism. It is the racism of their own caste system. And you are right, if they go back to India it will be intolerable with the racism there. But one form of racism does not justify another. But thanks for reading and writing to us with your comments.

      GRK

      Like

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