Haris Ibrahim from the People’s Parliament likened Hindraf to a spirit, a force of good seeking justice and equality for a community that has been marginalised, oppressed and disenfranchised for as long as anyone can remember. And like all forces/energy , this spirit cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed.
In the song, ‘How can you mend a broken heart?’, the lyrics goes to question:
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
In other words, how do you stop a Divine Natural Occurence from happening? So how does one really stop the sun from shining or the rain from falling down? Well the BN government is trying very hard to do just that when it outlawed Hindraf on October 15, 2008, almost a year after the historic ‘Indian Uprising’ on November, 2007.
Hindraf’s chairman P. Waytha Moorthy succinctly said that “Hindraf represents a very deep feeling experienced in the hearts and souls of millions of Indians both locally and internationally”. Hindraf indeed is no MIC stooge or one of the mainstream Indian NGOs that claims to champion the rights of the Indians in the country.
Hindraf represents the Indian commoner, the hard working oily-faced man who is made fun of in the streets, the man who people step on, the man who walks past you yet you notice him not.
In honour and as a tribute to Hindraf, this writer would like to repost some of his past postings on the people’s movement that will truly make its way into the annals of history not as an ‘Indian Uprising’ but as the birth of a force, a spirit that stood for truth, justice and equality.
MAKKAL SAKTI !! MAKKAL SAKTI !!
(I was thousands of miles away overseas when I heard about my Indian brothers and sisters and Anak Bangsa Malaysia being brutalised on the streets of Ampang and KL when they tried to submit a memorandum to the British Embassy on November 25, 2007. It caused me so much grief and pain that I blogged this post on Nov. 27.)
Although miles away from Malaysia, I feel deeply concerned to see fellow Anak Bangsa Malaysia of Hindu origin being sprayed with chemical laced water and shot at with tear gas cannisters. Indeed, that was most excessive. Malaysians MUST be allowed to gather peacefully as guaranteed under our Constitution and the Human Rights Charter?
The government must immediately act on the plight of ALL poor, oppressed, marginalised, disempowered and disenfrachised communities in this country and heed their desperate cries for help.
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”.
I will not debate as to why I strongly advocate for the well being of ALL Anak Bangsa Malaysia particularly those in dire poverty, the downtrodden, subjugated and tyrannized instead of just one particular community. I think Frederick Douglass sums it well when he said:
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
2. Anak Bangsa Malaysia Award 2007
The picture speaks for itself … these courageous lads waving the jalur gemilang as a sign of their patriotism, although oppressed and marginalised till they had enough. Others were sprayed with chemical-laced water but still clinging on to pictures of the Great Mahatma while on their knees. The rest , choked with tear gas and drenched, cried out, “You will NOT dampened our spirits and our hearts, for God is on the side of the righteous.”
Yes, the Anak Bangsa Malaysia award definitely goes to the brave, courageous marchers of BERSIH, HINDRAF, Bar Council, bloggers, civil society and everyone who took to the streets to stand up for justice, freedom and equality in 2007.
3. Hari Thaipusam/Hari Hindraf
( Many credited Hindraf for the public holiday declared in the Federal Territory for the Thaipusam celebrations. Some even called it Hari Hindraf)
SELAMAT MENYAMBUT HARI THAIPUSAM / HARI HINDRAF
YOU DID IT MACHA !! IT WAS WORTH THE SACRIFICE!
4. The ‘Guns & Roses’ episode
( Face-off between the heavily armed FRU and Hindraf children trying to hand the PM Valentine roses. )
As time gets dangerously nearer to 16 February 2008 (tomorrow), I honestly am getting shit worried. Theres no telling what will happen. I have been to the November 10 Bersih rally and gotten the full brunt of the tear gas and believe me it is not a pleasant thing, what more for young children whose only intention is to give Valentine roses to the PM. So far the organisers have vowed to proceed with plans for the rally. SUHAKAM should come out and make their stand.
I do pray for the safety of the children.
The Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, plans to gather 200 children and some 10,000 supporters outside Parliament on Saturday to hand roses and a protest note to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said coordinator Manickavasagam, who uses only one name.
But police have refused to grant them a permit on grounds that Hindraf isn’t a registered body and that the gathering will disturb public peace and security, he said.
“It is a peaceful gathering. We are only asking for two hours. There will be no speech, no banner, only roses. We also have our own marshals to direct traffic. There is no reason for them to deny our right to assemble,” he said.
“If the P.M. doesn’t want to see us, he can send a representative. The rose campaign will go ahead as scheduled with or without permit,” he vowed.
The gathering will be the first public event by Hindraf since police used tear gas and water cannons to crush a Nov. 25 demonstration by at least 20,000 Indians in Kuala Lumpur.
The violence sparked fears of racial tensions in this ethnic Malay Muslim-majority nation and led to the arrest of five Hindraf leaders in December under the Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite imprisonment without trial.
Manickavasagam urged Abdullah, who on Wednesday called snap elections to be held next month, to meet demonstrators and keep his promise to address the complaints of the Indian community.
“There has been a lot of talk, but we want action. We call for our five Hindraf leaders to be released immediately. That is the first step,” he said.
The government says it does not discriminate against ethnic Indians, who form 8 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people and remain at the bottom of Malaysia’s economic and political hierarchy.
Many Indians allege that authorities deprive them of fair chances to get jobs and education, and that their temples are being systematically destroyed.