If we Indians don’t wake up soon, we’re going to wind up extinct

Minorities always have to perform better than average in order to be on par with the majority. 

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

This is not Anwar’s fault or Malaysia’s fault or anyone else’s fault; it is just a fact of life. In all four corners of the world throughout the history of mankind, this has been the case.

This is part of the reason why immigrants tend to be better than locals everywhere in the world. Immigrants instinctively know that they belong in a minority group and the only way that they will be able to keep up with majority races is by giving a better than average performance at a consistent rate.

A minority that is headed for an undignified extinction is a minority that doesn’t understand this fact of life.

If you belong in a minority group, but instead of upping your level to maintain your identity, you keep comparing yourself with the majority group and assume that you will be able to keep your identity while performing at an average or below average level, as sure as night follows the day, you are headed for extinction.

A lorry that can only travel up to 90 kmh is a functioning lorry, but a car that can only travel upto 90 kmh is headed for the scrapyard. A minority cannot afford to compete at the same rate as a majority and still possess a reason for its identity to exist. Reality simply doesn’t work this way.

I am not saying that extinction is by itself a bad idea. Another way to see extinction is as integration. When a minority group’s competitive edge decreases and becomes comparable to that of the majority race, we don’t have to always see it as a case of identity extinction – we can also see it as a case of integration of identity, or a sign that the minority group and the majority group are getting ready to shed their differences and integrate their separate identity into one entity .

However, there is a difference between integration by means of compromise and integration by means of capitulation.

If two groups were to integrate by compromise, the feature of both groups will influence the new entity that is formed. If the integration occurs by means of capitulations on the other hand, only one of the groups will have an influence in the new entity that is formed.

There are two things that will happen to us Indians if we are unable to up our game and continuously compare ourselves with the majority race.

The first is that an increasing number of our own members will abandon our group identity and embrace the identity of other bigger or more successful races and the second is that  we will become so disenfranchised and disempowered, that we will we will either turn on each other as our opportunities shrink or we will become so deprived of opportunities that we will simply not have the resources to continue preserving our identity.

Either way, both paths lead to the undignified extinction of our identity.

In practical terms, what I mean by performing better than average is that if the majority race is touting someone with a bachelor’s degree to be their leader, we need to have someone with a Masters degree to be ours. If the Majority group can tolerate a leader who might be a little corrupt, ours has to be spick and span clean. If the majority group can afford to fight with each other and create 6 or 7 parties over the slightest issue, we must find a way to stay united even if we have major differences amongst ourselves. If the majority race can afford to put past-shelf-life geriatrics as their leaders, we must always ensure that our leaders are made up of energetic men and women who are at the prime of their life . If they have the luxury of letting their incumbent leaders select their successors according to their taste and preference, we must always ensure that our leadership positions are only accessible by means of competition. If anybody wants to be the leader of the Indians, they must compete with other potential leaders within the community, and let the Indian community themselves decide who is the best person to lead us forward. Despite promoting such a competition within our community, we must also be a people that can ensure that these competitions between us remain healthy and not turn vicious. A majority race can afford to not compete for top positions or allow their competitions to turn so vicious that it leads to schism in their ranks without it leading to the extinction of their identity, but if a minority race does the same, we will be inching closer and closer to oblivion.

When you are a minority that is interested in preserving your identity, you must always aim to be the best, because if you can do no better than average, you are going to become extinct and as you decline and deteriorate, you will have nobody else to blame but yourself.

Ramasamy the ex-DCM of Penang and Charles Santiago, the ex-MP of Klang are railing at Anwar after his cabinet reshuffle for having not even one Minister of Indian origin (Gobind Singh doesn’t count) , but what is the point of berating Anwar, when we ourselves are so disunited and weak, that despite being just around 6 or 7 percent of the population, we are splintered in so many different directions.

It is also not Anwar’s fault that Sivakumar, the only Federal Minister we had, lost his job.

Anwar did not cause Sivakumar’s aide, political secretary and officers to be investigated for corruption and abuse of power by MACC. Sivakumar alone is responsible for that. Even if you were to argue that we cannot hold Sivakumar responsible for the failing of his subordinates, this still does not mean he is not incompetent at his job. If he was more competent, his subordinates surely would not have gotten so out of line.

It is not that I don’t see the purpose of Ramasamy and Santiago railing at Anwar.  I can understand that Ramasamy and Santiago have to make a name for themselves  in order to garner a following, which they can then translate into political power in order to advance the Indian cause, but I also seriously suspect that all it will do is exacerbate our differences and divide us even further.

When Ramasamy and Santiago rail at Anwar, I am quite certain that it will be taken by the Madani friendly Indian politicians as an attempt to draw Indians away from the Madani government’s fold into the Ramasamy or Santiago camp, which will then invite a retaliatory response from the Madani friendly Indian politicians in order to stop the siphoning away of their support.

This “rail at the chief and draw from his wellspring of support” technique in order to siphon support from the chief is not a new technique, especially in Indian politics. It is precisely because this technique is so frequently utilized in Indian politics that Indian politics have gained a reputation as a chair throwing and table turning event.

Currently, the Madani government is the side that has the majority of the Indian support. When Indian politicians on the Madani government’s side realizes that people like Ramasamy are trying waylay Anwar and rob him of his support, they are likely going to return fire and cause a war of word to erupt, which might even result in chairs to be thrown and tables to be turned in and effort to frustrate the move.

This gung ho and abrasive practise of gaining support , applied ad nauseum, is probably why Indian politics has devolved to a point where the Indian electorate have not only become embarrassed with the antics of our politicians, we would rather trust a Malay or a Chinese than their own kind to forward our interest and aspirations.

Albert Einstein said:  “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

Indian politicians in the past have already tried this “ let me out gun all the existing Indian leader to draw the Indian support to my side so that I can unite the Indians under my party” technique, and all it did was break up the Indian community to such an extent that not only are the Indians virtually unrepresented in the national politics today,  malls don’t even bother to decorate their venue during Deepavali and our teenagers and young adults are complaining in public that they are being edged out of things like scholarship and university placement.

Rather than engage in this divisive, and frankly, egocentric, practice, which doesn’t even work, let me suggest an alternative path to our politicians.

Why not just pick up the phone, call your fellow Indian politician regardless of which side of the political aisle they are from and have some tea together?

Instead of always trying to steal the thunder from your fellow Indian politician, why not talk to them , and come up with a mechanism where you can compete for the support of the Indian community in a healthy manner?

Rather than attempt to pry their supporters to your side, why not bring all of your supporters to the same side?

Instead of trying to wrest the opportunities that they have, why not try to create more opportunities for everyone?

If even at this stage, our existing politicians can’t  humble themselves enough to sit together in the same table and have tea with their fellow Indian politician, so that we may build  a united and competitive minority society that can maintain its identity despite being surrounded by more successful and bigger races, I am sorry to say but the chances that we will be able to preserve our identity or carry our identity until it reaches a stage where it can have  a proper, fitting and dignified end, is getting dimmer by the day.