Monday, September 29, 2008

A open letter to the Hindraf wives - Dr M Kalaivani and B.Buvaneswary

BA letter to the Hindraf wives - Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary.y by G. Kanchana (28/09/08)

I refer to the recent statements made by Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary, the wives of K Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, which appeared in Malaysiakini on 26/09/08 and Tamil Nesan and Makkal Osai on 27/09/08 at front page, who said the struggle of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is different now compared to when it started under the leadership of the five who are currently under ISA detention, and that they were not comfortable with the direction in which the movement has taken.

The above statement comes from one who self admittedly says she was never involved in the Hindraf struggle. It also comes from the Hindraf wife who was the least seen to have participated in events organised by Hindraf after Nov 25th but sadly and suddenly decides to make an appearance and now comments on the direction Hindraf has taken.

Dr K further states that aside from the goal of obtaining the release of the Hindraf leaders, the utmost importance is that the Indian community's problems are alleviated and that both these goals can be affected without rallies planned by those now coordinating Hindraf activities. That on the contrary, the rallies may actually serve to harm the chances of the five's release.

Since you clearly state that you were never involved with Hindraf, It is not expected of you to be acquainted with, or understand the Hindraf struggle, its aspirations, its demands, its plans or the enormous works done and still carrying on to “alleviate” the problems faced by Indians. Your ignorance of Hindraf’s history, the ensuing rally that changed Malaysia and the loads of work being carried out in the name of justice, fairness and equality for the Indians forbids you from issuing any statement or opinion on the directions of Hindraf. These are reserved exclusively for those who have involved or participated either directly or indirectly in the struggle to obtain the 18 point demands which are so basic yet crucial and essential to the deprived Indians. “You have to be in it, to know it,…more so to comment on or criticise it”.

OR, are these comments specifically targeted to show your disapproval of the current leadership or those coordinating Hindraf activities. If goals can be affected without rallies and those behind these rallies are dubious then why were the respected Mr Kenghadharan and Mr Ganabatirau amongst those who initiated the Nov 25th Hindraf rally. Yet, you show your support of the Nov 25th rally under the leadership of the five Hindraf lawyers who are currently under ISA and one in exile. Dr K and Mrs G, if you disapprove of rallies you should disapprove of all rallies and not just those NOT organised by your husbands. As for Mrs G who contends that the rallies organised after the detention of the Hindraf five had deviated into becoming 'anti-government' rallies, well the Nov 25th 2007 rally was equally described as the mother of all rallies and equally ‘anti-government’ of which your husband Mr Ganabatirau was very much part of and paying a price for now. It is hypocritical of him (or yourself ) to now call for an end to such rallies, when he was amongst those who introduced to the entire nation how to take our plight to the streets. The 10,000 odd people who gathered at the candle light vigil/march on Sat 27/09/08 (yesterday) to show solidarity against ISA and infact the entire nation who supports the abolishment of ISA would not at all appreciate your new found criticism. It is a fact that in any civil society that practices true democracy, rallies are a norm and infact a healthy way for society to voice or show their grievances as opposed to suppression and oppression . It is quite often the case here that the police would assist such rallies and those in governance would take heed of such grievances. Article 10 of the Federal Constitution states clearly our rights to demonstrate peacefully.

As to the learned Dr K’s view’s on Hindraf’s plan to gather 10,000 people at PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house, as ‘intimidation’ it is suggested she reads thoroughly the detailed explanation by Hindraf’s Chairman Mr P Waytha Moorthy (currently in London) in his article entitled “Are you prepared to be part of the neo passive democratisation, Revolution ” . This you can find in the website which serves to be very informative to those who have no understanding of Hindraf’s struggles. In this article Mr Waytha Moorthy clearly explains the rationale and basis of the visit to the Prime Minister which is far from Dr K’ s view of intimidation.

On whether or not Dr K support’s her husband or Hindraf the decision is entirely hers however the support or rather the lack of it, of someone remote to the movement is not detrimental to it. The support comes in the form of a burning desire nestled deep in the hearts of many who want to bring about changes. That alone is enough.

Curiosity begs the question on what other ways Dr K proposes to help the Indian community that has not already been attempted by Hindraf. It would be interesting to know how the Dr would deal with religious extremism by some who invade, disregard and intrude into the beliefs of others, or a solution to racist policies and discrimination that trample on the very basic rights of many especially Indians , or resolve the scores of injustices, unfairness and inequality that takes place day after day in areas of education, civil services, opportunities etc. Pray do let us know if you are able to come up with other definite ways of resolving these issues. Let us know how you would persuade an otherwise ignorant and arrogant government into acknowledging and “alleviate” the current plight of the Indians. Please be reminded that in your approach to the above, the Indians will no longer take peanuts but only settle for nothing less than wholesome permanent solutions which they believe are within their very basic rights as citizens of this country.

Why are Samy Vellu’s efforts so appreciated ? Why so much gratitude to the person many see as “the cause behind Indian struggle today” and the person who at times openly justified ISA detention alongside the PM and who has many unanswered questions hanging over his head. Why should no individual question the integrity of any such leaders or individuals from any party or question why they are asking for the release of the Hindraf leaders but the same integrity is questioned of the Hindraf coordinators and supporters who most sincerely and steadfastly from Dec 13th 2007 (the day of arrest) have pro actively and fearlessly campaigned, spoken without hypocriticism, actively organised nationwide peaceful assemblies, convoy’s and marches, condemned the ISA arrest by way of media statements, press conferences and letters to editors for the release of the Hindraf lawyers and all others detained under the ISA. Why no such similar and specific appreciation or gratitude to Hindraf, it’s coordinators and supporters who have and are genuinely fighting for the release of your husbands.

As for thanking the government for having looked after your husband , I guess you are equally thankful to the government for detaining well respected lawyers (including your husband ) for merely championing the rights of those marginalised and discriminated under the cruel and draconian ISA which was solely meant for the communist and terrorist that attempted to overthrow the government through violent and forceful means. You must be thankful to the government for forcing human rights lawyers to be attired in the same washed out and torn prison clothes day after day where they had been used to suits and ties not long ago, you must be thankful to the government for serving them “bun manis and kopi oh” where they would have preferred to come home to the sweet smells of “sambar and chutney”. Or are you thankful to the government that they are sleeping on 1” foam laid on cement floor in humid surroundings where they otherwise may have laid on original Dunlop mattresses with the air-conditioner on with you of course beside!!!!
Come on Dr you must know better!

In your eagerness for the return of your husbands (God bless that they do come home to you soon) there is no need to undermine, tarnish or disrepute the very same movement and principles they stood for, not so long ago.

Vaalga Hindraf! May it persevere and overcome all turbulence and turmoil!!!