Why the poor and the marginalized need HINDRAF and its Political Wing the HRP

When the Police, the Political parties and the Courts all gang up against you when your rights are being taken away systematically from you, what do you do? When Politicians, regardless of their hue or colour resort to manipulation and threats to carry out the usurpation of your rights what do you do? When the supposed opposition parties opportunistically work with the same police and courts that they themselves are having trouble with, attack and prevent the poor and marginalized from realising their rights what do you do? 

By Naragan

What do you do?

What does one do?

I think the inevitable is about to happen, if it is not already happening.  

One must first have a basic understanding of how it all works that we have this repeated outcome. The political system in the country is an electoral democracy. The social system is one based on ethnicity. The economic system is based on free market operation. Put all this together you have an ethnically oriented policy making Government that favours the rich among the economic classes, the Malays among the ethnic groups and the politically numerous groups, votewise, among the polity.

Within this system when you have an ethnically homogeneous group that is numerically small and is at the bottom of the economic ladder, like the poor Indians, what tends to occur is a systematic usurpation of their rights and denial of their share of the resources of this nation – in short, marginalization occurs as a direct outcome of the workings of this system. Just scan Malaysiakini for the last several years and every week in their columns you will find something or other about all of this.

The latest case is that of the Kuala Ketil Tamilar Association – a small Association of Indians in the Kuala Ketil area, in Kedah. Right now their burial ground is being threatened by the Kedah State Government. This is a burial ground the Indians in that area have been using for a long, long time. Only a historical study can verify its true age, not petty politicians as they are wont to do in this case to justify their eagerness to sweep away this part of our history.

Now using threats, using treachery, using the Police, using the Media, the Kedah State Government is trying to steal this land from the Indians there, all over again. This story has been told so many times in recent memory across the country – especially so since this thing called ‘economic development’ has been occurring on lands which were historically plantation land, for the benefit of the pockets of the rich and powerful in the country with little or no concern for the historical occupants of the land.

Slowly, little by little, the Indians are being pushed out – a little out of the estates, a little out of their temples, a little out of their urban squatter settlements, a little out of their traditional burial grounds, a little out of their schools, a little out of their traditional employment, without any or proper or equitable replacement. The aggregate social effect of all this is potentially a decimation of a community by what you can call a death of a thousand cuts.

When all these happen, the people of the community are left with little choice but to look to their collective strength to stay this jeopardy to their existence as a community. They have to get organized to ward off this steady, sometimes open, sometimes surreptitious encroachment, which if not checked means a complete erasure of their community from the face of this country.

That collective strength of these Indians is now finding increasing expression in Hindraf and the Human Rights Party. Hindraf and the Human Rights Party are now increasingly providing the ideological, moral and physical leadership for the poor and marginalized Indians in Malaysia. Hindraf started as a huge emotional outburst two years ago. Now it is finding systematic form and is standing up for the people in a more organized manner. Hindraf and its political wing, The Human Rights Party, as a trademark now gets to the crux of the matter right away whenever a problem raises its ugly head against the poor Indians and confronts those responsible immediately for the wrongful actions and does all this fearlessly. This is the defining character of Hindraf and of the Human Rights Party – its fearlessness and its clear articulation of the oppressive tendencies within the system.

In the case of the Kuala Ketil Tamilar Association, they contacted Uthayakumar for support against those who were attempting to steal the burial ground off from them. Uthayakumar immediately responded to support them and sent in a clear letter to the Chief Executive of the State of Kedah, the Kedah MB, Ustaz Azizan. He outlined the problem from the point of the view of the Indians there, the wrong approach of the Kedah State Government in trying to push the Indians out, and a reassertion of the rights of the Indian people there. He is providing the people there with the leadership they need to stop this already too far gone encroachment and to start the process of regaining what has been lost.

Whether this initiative succeeds, the general process has begun – the process where the poor and marginalized Indians will start looking to Hindraf and the Human Rights Party for support against the systematic encroaching which they have been suffering silently all this while and of a systematic and fearless response of support for these people by Hindraf and the Human Rights Party. This is a virtuous cycle and as days pass the momentum of this cycle will build.

The poor and the marginalized need to be heard. They need to obtain their share of the resources of this country. They need to regain their lost dignity. They need to become equals in substance in this system. They need to stand up against the treachery that has kept them there. Hindraf and the Human Rights party provide all of that. Hindraf and the Human Rights Party were borne just out of that need. They are nothing short of an expression of the aspirations of the poor and the marginalized in Malaysia. This is the raison d’etre for Hindraf and the Human Rights Party.

This is history in the making.

Viva la Makkal