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Karunanidhi conned into supporting HINDRAF in 'larger conspiracy'?
Was it necessary for Karunanidhi at the fag end of his career to get bogged down in the dirty mire of factional / religious politics? He found himself in the eye of this storm that threatened traditionally cordial relations between India and Malaysia.
CITING THE big noise from India about a simple crowd control exercise that had not resulted in a single injury, the Malaysian PM suspected that HINDRAF’s bigger motive might be to cause chaos and disturb the peace in the country. Shockingly, there seems to be some substance in the apprehension of a larger conspiracy working behind the protest by ethnic Indians in Malaysia.
Syed Hamid Albar, Malaysia’s foreign minister told the daily ‘The Star’: “If they are talking about Indian citizens, we would understand the concern, but what happened that day has involved Malaysian citizens also. If they break any law, it is our right to deal with them in accordance with Malaysian laws.” He was responding to India’s reported ‘concerns’ over alleged bad treatment of Indians in Malaysia last week.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said: “There is concern whenever Indians or people of Indian origin are affected.” PM said it apparently in response to which Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi obliquely referred to India’s records on riots. Manmohan Singh said: “In Malaysia, there has been no conflict between the Muslims and Indians or Islam and Hinduism. We abide by it and hold firmly to the Rukun Negara.”
The unmistakable snubs were in response to the big noise raised in Indian Parliament on the police action against HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force) protesters in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (Nov 25). India’s foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in parliament on Friday: “We are aware of remarks made by a Malaysian minister against the respected Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi. We are in touch with the authority there.”
It was a quirk of fate that the DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi found himself at the eye of this storm, which threatened traditionally cordial relations between both the countries. In fact, even the umpteen splinter factions of DMK have faced charges of corruption; lawlessness but none of them can be accused of ever playing the Hindu-Muslim card. Yet, it was he who had urged centre to take immediate and appropriate action to end the sufferings of ethnic Indians in Malaysia without ascertaining facts completely. It now appears that he was conned into that by highly organised saboteurs, employing the Hindu front.
When reminded by the de-facto justice minister of Malaysia that his place was in Tamil Nadu and not in another country, he mellowed down his voice. He said: “I did not criticise the government of Malaysia. I was only doing my duty as chief minister and a Tamil and spoke up for ethnic Tamils. It is my duty to defend Tamils. I am prepared to accept that.”
His daughter Kanimozhi, who is an MP, clarified: “He has just written to the PM expressing his concern over what had happened there. That’s all. Now, it is up to the centre to decide what it can do to control the situation in Malaysia.” Such postscripts could not heal the severe hurt felt by the Malaysian government.
Karunanidhi, 83, is a gifted scholar Kalaignar (‘expert artist’). He possesses mind-boggling wizardry with the Tamil language. He played a significant role in spreading the ‘self-esteem’ movement under the leadership of CN Annadorai in Tamil Nadu. The state pioneered the concept of ‘egalitarian society through affirmative action’, which became the buzzword in the rest of India and also in Malaysia much later. It was through Kalaignar’s incisive dialogues for Tamil movies that the message was propagated. Karunanidhi is capable of reeling off whole stanzas from dozens of Tamil classics at the drop of a hat despite not having undergone any formal advanced education.
The script-writer is also a gifted poet, who can instantly pen exquisite poems on any subject on earth. Anointed by CNA as his successor, he did emerge simultaneously as the leader of Tamil-speaking people and as the political face of TN as well. However, disintegration of DMK into several factions has eroded his position in state politics. Like any other Indian politician, Karunanidhi is forced to be engaged for most of the time in saving the throne from own partymen and allies.
Was it necessary for him at the fag end of his career to get bogged down in the dirty mire of factional / religious politics? Tragic but true! The CM, who had dedicated his whole life for the betterment of Tamil language, who justifiably prides himself as a rationalist and agnostic, has unwittingly played into the hands of HINDRAF, with a narrow Tamil Hindu constituency to the alienation of everyone else.
HINDRAF had started off as a small Lawyers’ practice engaged in advocating interests of poor labourers pitted against authorities seeing the law across, taking back the squatter land, and delaying eviction. Its clientele consisted of downtrodden descendents of Tamil-speaking labourers brought in by white settlers in Malaya to hunt and terrorise locals. Its functionaries Ganapathy Rao and brothers P Waytha Moorthy and P Udaya Kumar later started inciting them to protest against removal of temples from squatter land by alleging injuring, humiliation and emotional trauma.
About 80 per cent of Malaysians of Indian origin belong to this category and are in the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Rather encouraging them to become more educated and to develop skills, the outfit flourished by exploiting the ignorant, unskilled and perhaps stupid people by promising to get reparations worth $2-plus million each from UK. The HINDRAF rally of November 25 was for petitioning the British queen to expedite its comical class action suit it has filed in London. Rational Tamil-speaking Malaysians feel that the repercussions for violating law on November 25 are going to affect the innocent, hardworking Malaysians of Indian origin.
The HINDRAF lawyers are suspected to have landed up in an assignment from contacts developed during the course of their class action suit to undermine the efforts of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with intent to finish it off by using their ingenious legal stunts. This angle will be clear when the attorney general’s office in Kuala Lumpur completes investigations about the outfit.
By equating Malaysia with Eelam, and itself with LTTE, the Malaysian outfit plans to destroy the goodwill and respect still being enjoyed by LTTE. An indication of HINDRAF’s agenda is provided by the frequent references it makes to Sri Lankan situation. The outfit had sent out a petition to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, stating that genocide would occur in Malaysia, with the Indian community being forced into violence like in Sri Lanka if their “cause” was ignored.
However, P Waytha Moorthy, in an interview after the rally, said: “I prefer the path of nonviolence. But I don’t rule out the possibility of the protest turning violent in the future, though I hope it does not.” He also said that he will not seek the support of the LTTE and hoped the LTTE will not offer its support to me as well.
Karunanidhi has been conned into the horrible mess, by falling prey to a bunch of imposters, must come cleared from any kind of association with HINDRAF’s future plans. According to the interactions of the Indian daily DNA with Waytha Moorthy, the overwhelming response to the HINDRAF rally has spurred its leaders into planning revolution. He will be traveling to Delhi, London, Geneva, and Amsterdam. The outfit will lobby for support from governments and NGOs for the fight against ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Malaysia. Moorthy has also claimed that Karunanidhi, who was extremely sympathetic towards the cause, has promised him to continue to speak up in their support and follow up the matter with PM Manmohan Singh despite the barbs from the Malaysian government.
Now, only Karunanidhi can confirm if the HINDRAF founder was telling the truth. If not, he will be well advised to promptly repair the damage he has done to his own reputation in this issue. He must clarify things to PM Abdullah of Malaysia and halt the unfortunate slide in Indo-Malaysian relations.
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I feel sorry for you. You have absolutely little understanding of what Hindraf stands for nor of the plight of malaysian indians, second class citizens in their own country. The term "ethnic cleansing" as stated by Hindraf may not fit the general view of how it perceived. But perhaps. apartheid might be more suitable in a case where a people are systematically ignored and left out of the mainstream of development.The issues raised by Hindraf are no longer "hindu" issues. they are issues that concern every Indian, If you think that the Hindraf protest has not touched a vein among the middle class Indians- think again. As for references to Sri Lanka, understand that when a people lose all hope, have their backs to the wall and are repeatedly told that they do not mater, then they will react in ways and means to legitamise their struggle for justice.Indeed, what Indians, the 30,000 who gathered at the protest rally, were fighting against was injustice. Don't dismiss the possibility of suicide bombers emerging among the ranks of the oppressed Indians in Malaysia, if that is the only way they will get the Government to listen to their pleas. As for Karunanidhi, I thank him for his support and also all the MP's in the Indian parliament who called for the malaysian government to better treat its Indian citizens.If you don't have the scrotal gumption to lend your support for Hindraf, don't malign it. It is better yiou get the bigger picture of what is really happening on the ground before writing such an insipid comment.
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