MALAYSIA’S INDIANS AND THE ART OF SELF DESTRUCTION
HINDRAF: A SHOT ACROSS THEIR BOW
Hindraf would do well not to compare themselves with Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or Dr. Martin Luther King. Each of these leaders were peaceful intellectuals, open to negotiation on neutral terms and had nothing in their policies or structure that gave favour to family members.
The Hindraf movement has become irrelevant and incredulous with its far fetched claims, contradictions and violations of its own stated principles and objectives.
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 are conveniently protected from public scrutiny. They refuse to become a registered political party and subject themselves to the law and public scrutiny. They are after all a political party in every respect of their existence.
Waythamurthi 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).
MALAYSIA A RACIST STATE BY WAYTHAMURTHI AND BERSIH
If Malaysia is a racist country it is not by UMNO alone. In fact not at all by UMNO in the case of the Indians. In the case of the Indians in Malaysia, racism is manifested by practice of the caste and race divisions created by the MIC its predecessors the Malayan Indian Association and the MCA.
Indian political organizations and the MCA bargained for the race based enclaves which they now wallow in uncomfortably. That’s neither the fault of UMNO nor the Barisan but of the political leadership of each of the other two parties, the MIC and the MCA that are not UMNO.
Tun Sambanthan on behalf of his own caste created a caste based hierarchy excluding all non Tamil talent from the party’s central committees. His successor Tan Sri Manickavasagam did no better and took a Chinese concubine causing his wife to commit suicide out of shame. Both these men furthered their own adventures as did Samy Velu to an extent. However for Samy Velu it must be said that for all his faults he did a lot more and much better for the Tamils of Malaysia than the other two could ever have or dreamed of doing.
Hindraf which courts the heat and 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 that too in the US of all places. The US is a nation which still celebrates institutionalized racism as a virtue and political philosophy.
Malaysia had embraced democratic government long before the US was able to put into practice that political doctrine and concept in its wider and more meaningful form. Malaysian’s enjoyed and embraced independent and democratic government at a time when Dr. Martin Luther King and his people, 26% of the US population, were fighting running street battles for the most basic of democratic rights. The right to vote.
The other deprivations to Afro American and Native Americans included the denial of a right to education, to free choice, to freedom against arbitrary arrest, the right to a free and fair trial and the right to travel with their fellow citizens in the same commuter whilst in Malaysia, the Chinese, Tamils and Malays enjoyed these privileges as a basic undeniable right.
The VHP has been behind some of the most vile anti Indian violence in India. How could anyone forget their vandalism in the destruction of thee Babri Masjid (a 13th century mosque built by the emperor Babur), a national historic monument. The other act of infamy of the VHP being their support for the chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modhi. Modhi is the man who allegedly masterminded the massacre of over 2000 unarmed and helpless Indians simply because they happened to be Muslim. Modhi has been banned from travel to many parts of the civilized world including the US where there are outstanding warrants for his crimes against humanity.
THE ART OF NEGOTIATION AND INCLUSIVENESS
Hindraf could 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 Berish’s leader Ambiga Sreenivasan in her off the record remark and on record policy of excluding them from her movement.
Ambiga is Brahmin whilst the mainstream of Hindraf, Shudras, Motheliars, Goundars and other castes. Now therein lies the problem of Malaysia’s Indians. And by that we mean the mainly Tamil Indians in Malaysia and their continued support and practice of that vile caste system. Perhaps Waythamurthi would care to explain why the mainstream of Indian politics in Malaysia is so fractured, with the educated amongst them supporting government, the opposition whilst the rest at the bottom are found clinging on to Hindraf if they care.
Government has not denied Hindraf a place at the table. It has simply demanded Hindraf become part of the mainstream. Syed Albar and Badawi 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 if it has such policies and structures.
If not Hindraf remains a rickety platform on which those who stand have a self tied noose around their weak necks.