Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interlok row and BN´s sinister motives

While the burning of the novel 'Interlok' is heavily debated, PAS' Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud shown her empathy for those against the book, even while she also does not condone the book-burning.
Not only does she put Indians at ease with PAS but also brings into questions the role played by self-proclaimed custodians of various races, the BN, and the PM and DPM's role in engineering our society into the future.

Anwar Ibrahim meanwhile has lost an excellent opportunity to appease and sympathise with the Indians in dismissing the novel as not racist. He clearly misses the mark here. Hence he will become fodder for bashing as being anti-Indian and strengthen the belief that Pakatan is no better than BN.

Without touching on the 'P' word and circumstances surrounding the controversy, let us analyse the motive behind making the book compulsory for SPM students.

The Interlok issue speaks volumes on BN's motive in indoctrinating our nation into the 1Malaysia frenzy. Looking back, the 1Malaysia prime minister and his 'Malay first' deputy are both responsible for the overzealous fake application of 1Malaysia while stressing that pendatangs should not question the status quo. Let's see what has been implemented since March 8, 2008.

The abolition of teaching maths and science in English in all schools amidst protests by many NGOs is one. Results have shown that Tamil school students had improved since implementation of English as the teaching medium, but the so called 'Indian leaders' just toed the line without any clue. What seems to be important is that BN gets its brownie points from the Malay voters.

And attacking non-Malays has been sub-contracted to other groups, yet does this absolve the blame from BN?

Next we see the overzealous implementation of 1Malaysia camps amongst which has resulted in a tragedy and death of students.

And we have the education minister declaring he is a Malay first. This proves the failure of 1Malaysia, that really says we are equal when we really are not.

Another policy that was bulldozed into implementation was the compulsory pass in history for SPM students, while the subject itself is being scrutinised for being a BN propaganda tool. Is the syllabus historically accurate or just the viewpoint of one party? For example where is mention of past heroes such as Youth Corps P Veerasenan and 'Malaya' Ganabathy who died fighting the British insurgency? There are many more heroes and incidents that the current history schoolbooks choose to ignore, this is being tolerated by BN component parties who share the blame.

After 50 years of successful brainwashing and propaganda from young to believe the only eligible government to rule our country is BN, the Indians will never forget the gifts of tear gas canisters and chemical rain the government of the day gave us in 2007.

The torture, blame, and hardships we continue to endure in the last 50 years have created an awareness amongst us. Since that day in 2007, the Indian community has become sensitive and alert. It has now become a volatile community suspicious of every move by any political party.

With pressure groups ready to strike at anyone, each issue is being suspiciously looked upon. Both BN and Pakatan has to be on their toes, as benefit of the doubt is given to neither. Issues of Kugan, Kg Buah Pala, demolitions of temples and now 'Interlok' are all looked upon as being an attack by the ruling party and discriminatory to Indians.

So why does 'Interlok' matter? Because it could have been any other novel with a 1Malaysia recipe. So why now? Why not another novel?

The story's premise is in 1910s at a time when the pendatangs came to Malaysia. Perkasa would surely have loved this notion of telling things as it is - the Indians and Chinese as pendatangs.

Without doubt Perkasa has celebrated the author. Utusan Malaysia carried front page headlines with a large photo of the author in tears. Knowing the role of Utusan Malaysia, we should get an idea of the direction all this is heading.

From an Indian viewpoint it's very simple: why put our children in a lower pedestal of self esteem to others? Do we need to be told to feel grateful to be in this country? That we are pendatangs whose ancestors were glad to be here as socially, Malaya was a viable country compared to India?

Taking it further and generalising most Indians as coming from the lowest caste is indeed mischievous. Are African American students made to watch 'Roots' and read about Kunta Kinte as literature?

To look back at how our ancestors arrived and the struggles they endured has to be seen accurately and in a positive light. When the African Americans read about Kunta Kinte they will also read about Martin Luther King and in the future about Barrack Obama.

So does our history books have many positive Indian figures who were part of our nation building? Are our children taught about them? It's a myth if someone thinks there are only four castes in India, as there are many castes according to profession and hundreds of sub caste from different regions.

So how does the sentence 'most people from Dravida south are of lower caste' sound to readers? Does it mean false statements such as 'the colour of the skin determines the caste' should be accepted? Is calling Indians 'keling' not enough to insult us? Do we need more insults?

Do they take us to be fools who are naïve an unable to see that behind the friendly handshake the hand at the back approves religious conversion, body snatching, little Napoleans, discriminating policies, insincere promises, lack of equal opportunities for education, ongoing marginalisation, fourth class treatment, subtle polarisation ... I could go on.

Spending millions to upgrade Batu Caves and doing some cosmetic changes and colourful paintings with ugly fat dancing statues in Brickfields and hanging a board called Little India there does not solve even a single grouse of the Indian community.

These are smokescreens to keep BN with their 1Malaysia rhetoric in power.

What the Indians need is acknowledgement of marginalisation, sincere efforts to eradicate our problems, amendment of discriminating laws and policies, keeping the little Napoleans in check, reigning back overzealous officers, sincere willingness to listen and to come up with an royal commission of inquiry on various problems among the community.

With its wealth of resources BN only needs to start implementation with discipline and a heart with a willpower to do what is right. MIC is definitely not what the Indians need. They are clueless people, as they are part of BN.

Has the government attempted to solve 53 years of grievances that was highlighted by 30,000 people in the streets of KL? More activist groups will rise if these issues are not solved. What is going to stop another demonstration?

It is no wonder Indians are seeking other countries that offer them equality and unity in diversity. What more when disunity and racial hatred is being sown in front of our eyes!