Adviser Ganesan says the movements anti-racism campaign is “very much alive”.
GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has castigated the Home Minister and other Barisan Nasional leaders for equating the foiling of Sunday’s protest march with the movement’s alleged loss of popularity.
Hindraf advisor N Ganesan said the conclusion was ludicrous and reflected only BN’s wishful thinking.
BN leaders were in denial and should stop insulting the intelligence of ordinary Malaysians, he added.
“Popularity and support cannot be accurately adjudged by the size of the crowd,” he told FMT.
“Furthermore, it was the police dragnet that prevented the crowd from getting bigger.
“But Hindraf’s anti-racism campaign is very much alive.”
Ganesan was commenting on claims by several BN leaders, including Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, that Hindraf had lost support among Malaysian Indians.
They said this was the reason that police succeeded in preventing the march from KLCC.
Scores of Hindraf activists, including legal adviser P Uthayakumar, national coordinator W Sambulingam and Ganesan himself, were detained in a pre-demonstration police crackdown on Sunday morning.
Police also arrested Indian men and women found around KLCC.
“The real measurement of popularity is whether the people believe in Hindraf’s struggle,” Ganesan said.
Because of the police clampdown, he said, no one could now say for sure how many people actually turned up for the march.
Many protestors on their way to KLCC turned back after hearing that police had foiled the protest, he claimed.
Five activists charged today
The massive deployment of police against the protest exposed Umno’s fear of the movement, he said.
“If we lack support, why should the Umno government initiate such a massive security operation to halt our peaceful march?”
But the crackdown had not dampened Hindraf’s fighting spirit, he said.
“Indeed, it is a morale booster for the movement to intensify its struggle to get the novel Interlok off the school shelves.”
He said Hindraf was not against the novel remaining in bookshops because it respected freedom of expression.
But, he stressed, the movement was against the book being in schools because it would further the cause of racists.
He described the book as “shallow”, and said it distorted historical and cultural facts and was a symbol of Umno racism.
He said Hindraf would continue to galvanise the people to rise and vote out the “racist Umno government”.
Meanwhile in another development, five Hindraf activists, including spokesman S Jayathas, were arrested in Kuala Lumpur today and were charged at the Selayang Sessions’ Court for being involved in a banned organisation – Hindraf – under Section 43 of the Societies Act. All five claimed trial.
Jayathas, K Navakrishna, K Tamil Selvam, T Periasamy dan S Loshna Rau were accused of committing the offence at Bukit Kanching, Jalan Ipoh, Rawang on Feb 13.
Loshna also faced another charge of disrupting a police officer from carrying out his duties.
Deputy public prosecutor Ridha Abdah Subri prosecuted while the five were represented by P Uthayakumar.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.