HINDRAF – The Way forward

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

By Naragan N

This article  was originally published in March 2008 . Today May 2009 ,with Uthayakumar back in our fold I think this article takes on fresh significance and needs to be revisited. The country is once again going to experience the effects of a brand of  leadership not very much known in our politics – a leadership based on ideals. Here is the article…………..

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

It was when the people started responding in large ways to Hindraf’s initiatives from the 25th of Nov 2007 that these major events started to happen. Even as the momentum was gathering in the days prior, Hindraf was just another organization. In fact most of us were hardly aware of Hindraf prior to that. The people were galvanized into action only from the 25th of Nov. Hindraf had existed for several years prior to that and had been struggling and very hard at that, as just another organization till the 25th of Nov. 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 25th of Nov.2007. Without the wave there would be nothing significantly different today.

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 places of worship, the injustices of a careless government, and the injustices of an apartheid type of system.

That fearless confrontation touched the people at the core of their souls and created a ground swell of support of Tsunami proportions. This unexpectedly resulted in 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 destinies. The kind of unity needed to stop the destruction of the places of worship, to stop the continuing impoverishment of a large majority of Indians, to stop the denial of access to quality education, to end a system that marginalises as policy, to stop the continuing bullying both by thugs from within and without and to begin the process towards winning the  rightful place under the sun, here in Malaysia.

That is the ideal Hindraf needs to continue to stand for. It is that ideal that Uthayakumar stands for, 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.

Hindraf’s focus must be to continue to confront injustice wherever and whenever it occurs, courageously and consistently. Hindraf must use the position that was created in the period up to Nov 2007 now to take this on to more, larger and substantial issues of injustice.

This then should become Hindraf’s central strategy. Continue to confront injustice, 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 fruits. 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 and contribute to National Change.