Forget not your ideal, Hindraf

Naragan | Apr 16, 08 4:11pm


Hindraf has had some major successes in the very recent past and has created a major impact on the politics of Malaysia. Hindraf has contributed to a change of the whole political landscape.

It was when the people started responding in a large way to Hindraf’s initiatives from Nov 25 that these major events started to happen. Even as the momentum was gathering in the days prior, Hindraf was just another organisation. In fact, many were only marginally involved with Hindraf prior to that. They were galvanised into action only from Nov 25. Hindraf had existed for several years prior to that and had been struggling (and very hard at that) as just another organisation till the Nov 25. Then the big things started to happen.

What all of this says is that the major successes of Hindraf have been possible only because of the ‘Great Wave’ that was created beginning the Nov 25. Without the wave, there would be nothing significantly different today.

Hindraf must never forget this. Any time Hindraf forgets this, it is surely on its way out from the influential position it finds itself in now.

The people rallied behind Hindraf because of an ideal. The ideal is this – confront injustice without fear. Confront the injustices of police brutality, the injustices of mindless demolition of temples, the injustices of a careless government, and the injustices of an apartheid type of system.

This fearless confrontation touched the people at the core of their souls and created a ground swell of support of tsunami proportions. This unexpectedly provided a significant basis for almost complete unity among the Indians in the country.

The unity the Indians needed as a minority ethnic group to be able to have more say over their own destinies. The kind of unity the Indian minority group needs to stop the destruction of their places of worship, to stop their continuing impoverishment, to stop the denial of access to quality education, to end a system that marginalises them as policy, to stop the continuing bullying both by thugs from within and without and to begin the process towards winning their rightful place under the sun, here in Malaysia.

That is the ideal Hindraf needs to continue to stand for. It is that ideal that P Uthayakumar stood for in those years that Hindraf was seen as a maverick organisation, and which today resonates in the hearts of millions of people. Hindraf has created such a resonance within the hearts of our people. When we have the courage to stand up and speak up for the people, the people respond with their hearts and souls. Only possible, only possible, I repeat, because of the ideal Hindraf was created on.

As long as Hindraf does not abandon the path towards this ideal, Hindraf will get continuing support from the people. The day Hindraf deviates from this ideal, Hindraf will lose their reason to be and the support from the people will dry up and it will only be a matter of time before Hindraf also will fade into oblivion.

No ideal – no Hindraf.

So, what all of this in my opinion says is that Hindraf cannot expect to lead the Indian people in Malaysia without really standing for this ideal. Hindraf’s focus must be to continue to confront injustice wherever and whenever it occurs, courageously and consistently. Hindraf must use the position they have created now to take this on to more, larger and substantial issues of injustice.

Indians cannot win in a straight forward numbers game, they are too small to count – 7- 8% of the total population. But experience also shows, that effects of a colossal proportion far beyond what these numbers suggest can be created just by being united and by synchronising the energies of this small number.

This, then, should become Hindraf’s central strategy. Continue to confront injustice, continue to build unity and continue to build synergy. Continue to have the people solidly behind Hindraf and push against the injustices in the system and create national change in the process.

The inertia of the system, however ,is great. So one must not be deluded into thinking that the next initiatives will easily bear fruit. There are many challenges and obstacles ahead. There is much work to be done. Only by having the people solidly behind Hindraf can Hindraf yet move ahead.

Confrontation against injustice and creating of unity and synergy are Hindraf’s central missions. All else will follow, I say.


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