Wednesday, February 16, 2011

INTERLOK- do not teach Indians how to appreciate literature – Iraiputtiran

INTERLOK- do not teach Indians how to appreciate literature in context as Indians were the ones who kindly loaned and introduced “Sastera” to Malay as well as “bumiputera”, etc… 
By Iraiputtiran
UMNO made a grave mistake, just like the many it has lavishly made in the past unchecked. UMNO takes for granted the public’s patience, tolerance and accommodating nature of its atrocities, racism, religious fanaticism, etc., in other words, its failed governance of the country. It didn’t learn after the 25 November 2007, neither did it after the 2008 Tsunami. Solely surviving on the racial segregation and polarization policy to govern the multiracial, multicultural, multilingual and multireligious country, UMNO deliberately, but quite idiotically took a perilous plunge to quench its false sense of supremacy by not withdrawing or banning Interlok as demanded by Hindraf/HRP and many Indians NGOs in the country, but merely agreeing to amend the novel, a least welcomed decision by those offended. 
UMNO so used to transgressing the moral and civil boundaries of law, found itself trapped in a quandary called Interlok!!!  Perhaps, perhaps… the UMNO supremacists thought the Indians could be fooled and be forced into submission of being labeled the “P_ _ _ _ _ s”!!! The recent uproar of the Indian community in such a magnitude all over the country against the use of Interlok as compulsory reading for Form Five Malay Literature is baffling to UMNO, especially so with its totalitarian governance that ignores the pulse of the nation!!! 
Embedded in arrogance and false sense of supremacy, will UMNO do a volte-face to end the quandary gnawing at the national laureate’s master piece (as drooled and slobbered by PERKASA)? Nah, unlikely!!! 
What would UMNO lose by bowing to the demand of the public, the dirty, untouchable, black-skinned and backward thinking Indians, opprobrious than animals (as very creatively penned by the national laureate!!!) to drop the novel from the curriculum? Just what? Why is UMNO so adamant in retaining the novel despite it being the bone of public contention? 
Ever since the controversy surfaced both in the government controlled mainstream media as well as on the internet based alternative media, various parties, individuals and NGOs have voiced their disgust and disagreement with the selection of the literary text including MIC, the third largest component  member of the ruling Barisan National coalition and the latest, Bishop Dr Paul Tan, the  president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The only exception were the pro-UMNO organizations including PERKASA which is least surprising anyway! 
The novel penned by a national laureate, Abdullah Hussain, was published in 1971, just two years after the May 13 deadly racial riot that saw the uproar of the Malays over their seeming loss of political power to the Chinese in 1969. Reading the novel carefully to the letter and spirit, one would not find it difficult to comprehend why this particular novel is the literature text in the Federal Territory (the UMNOputras’ pride as a supreme ruling race) as well as in Selangor (where UMNO has the best BTN trained and brainwashed obedient servants of their masters). The novel, like the famous and finger licking tasty Malaysian ‘Rojak’, has an excellent mixture of ingredients to produce yet another UMNO effect; further widen the racial gap and dramatically increase the racial segregation and polarization between the Malays and non-Malays. The ingredients for this racist Rojas include reminders that Chinese and Indians are immigrants in this country, the worrying flood of Indian and Chinese immigrants in Malaya, the suspicion that the Chinese will not only make money, but also rob off the country from the Malays, the alleged  Chinese stereotyped labeling of Malays as lazy and uncultured, Chinese and Indians immigrants preferring vernacular Chinese and Tamil schools instead of Malay schools for their children, Islamisation of Malaya by reducing the Hindu and Chinese Gods into demigods, and bastardisation of Indians as black-skinned, dirty, untouchable, uncaring, bad tempered, chatty, lazy, selfish, adulterers and beings more opprobrious than animals!!! In other words, Interlok captures at its best, UMNO’s political sermon, RACISM!!! It promotes not unity, but RACISM!!!
If the novel serves anybody any purpose, then probably it helps UMNO to inculcate in the young minds of Malay students, seeds of racism against the Chinese and Indians and Islamic religious supremacy!!! Any claim that the novel helps to promote unity and I Malaysia crap,doesn’t hold water and is negligible as it happens almost towards the end of the story, in the very last chapter in “a sprinkle of this and a dash of that” fashion!!! 
What is the necessity to narrate the experiences of the main characters from three major races in the country, that happened some one hundred years ago? Who needs the reminder? UMNO, the Malays, or the Chinese and Indians? When we are talking about nation building and Vision 2020, how a flash back of hundred years in the past could help to forge forward the diverse community in peace and harmony to a greater height?? By constant reminders that they are immigrants, robbers, lower than animals, black-skinned, dirty, untouchable, money-minded, and demigods’ devotees??? 
The uproar and objection of the Indians over the selection of Interlok is not just about the derogatory “P…….” word, but rather about the unfavourable portrayals of the Indian characters throughout the novel. Interlok does not promote unity but racism! Interlok is detrimental as a compulsory reading given the many unwanted incidents in schools, stirring racial tensions!!! We have not forgotten “mata sepet and kaki botol”, “tali anjing”, “balik India and balik Cina” incidents as well as other incidents stemming from UMNO racism!!!
After 53 years of severe discrimination, dehumanisation and ethnic cleansing of Indians in the country, UMNO cannot blame the Indians, especially Hindraf/HRP for standing up firmly against UMNO RACISM to guard their dignity and pride!!! UMNO has no right to demoralise the Indians in this country at their whims and fancy and they have had enough of the UMNO antics!
It is not for UMNO to teach the Indians how to read the novel in context as a piece of literature, as it was the Indians, who gave life to the Malay literature by loan of the very word “Sastera” and many other important words to describe many fundamental concepts in the language including “bahasa”, “agama”, “bumiputera”,  etc…. UMNO now is really biting the hands that fed them!!!
If UMNO, driven by racism and sadism refuses to drop the novel from the national curriculum and tries to perform a “Wayang Kulit” (Shadow Play) amendments today, then… 
The People’s March in Solidarity against UMNO Racism on 27 February 2011- is the only answer!