Archive for January 2011

Does interlock bonds or drives away the Malaysian Indians in Malaysia

January 12, 2011

Ever since the induction of Interlock novel as a compulsory text in SPM Malay literature paper, a large section of Malaysian Indians have voiced their strong disapproval. They feel insulted and disparaged by the statement in the novel that all Malaysian Indians who came to Malaysia during the colonial period belong to the pariah caste. The novel further says that the different linguistic and ethnic groups that came from south India are able get along well among themselves because they all belong to the pariah caste and that they spoke Tamil.  Indian Muslims and Christians also were implicated because they too were among those who made the crowded and packed journey from India.

UMNO hardliners are standing firmly with the decision to introduce Interlock as a compulsory text because they feel that the Malaysian Indians have no right to question the decision of the Ministry of Education. There are a small section of Indians who don’t mind the novel Interlock as a compulsory text in the SPM Malay literature subject.

The different forums and groups among the Indian community are of the opinion that there are two issues here. Most of the groups accept interlock as a novel because they believe in freedom of expression, but introducing the novel as a compulsory text for the Form 5 students is insensitive and derogatory. They agree that the author has no intention to defile and demean any community. Why and what is it that the Indian community is discontented about in this novel is the issue that this paper wants to address.

Indian society was classified more structurally in terms of profession and trade. Those who were scholarly and knowledge oriented were classified as Brahmins, those who were valorous classified as Kshatriyas, merchants and businessman were labeled as Vaisyas and those without any skill and general workers are labeled as Shudras. These classifications were horizontal and not vertical in meaning that is no caste is superior to the other. Even in the great Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the god incarnations Rama and Krishnan were depicted as belonging to Kshatriyas. Lord Buddha was a Kshatriya. Many Hindu saints and sages who were praised as godly people belong to all four classes. There was a flexible caste system where when a person’s character, trait and profession changes his caste too becomes different. The word ‘pariah’ means drummer. In those days there were drummers who went around the towns and villages spreading the royal message to commoners. They were like messenger boys passing the royal or establishment message to commoners. This must be the most unskilled job that involves more brawn than brain therefore they must have belonged to the Shudra category.

With the advent of foreign invaders, traders, religions and religious missionaries and India being ruled by foreigners for 1000 years, the practice of caste system has deviated from its original intent and changed so much that Indians themselves consider caste as an evil and social disease that needed to be discarded. Indian political and community leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Subramanyar Bharathi and many more have vehemently spoken against this social disease and the Indian government has introduced laws with severe punishment to prohibit caste practice. Swami Vivekananda once said caste ridden society is a lunatic asylum. Indian based parties in Malaysia have been practicing caste politics for the past 50 years as vote bank. Caste is a bane to Malaysian Indians but a boon to ruthless politicians and evil religious leaders. In a democratic society, the caste system is always exploited by some groups for their own purpose.

Foreigners and outsiders to Indian tradition don’t understand the psychological phobia and earnestness of Indians to get rid of caste practices. Well meaning Indians and community leaders consider caste practices that refuse to go away as a real curse. It creates mental limitations to move forward. But the non-Indians and the opportunistic Indians keep using the caste labels again and again to the embarrassment and irritation of Indians in general. Caste names and tags is being constantly re-awakened and reminded again and again so much so that Indians themselves are learning to accept it. Now that the novel Interlock is being introduced as a compulsory text for form five students, it irks the feeling of Malaysian Indians.

The study of this novel by Malaysian students of all races will further reinforce and strengthen the very social evil disease that the Indian community wants to get rid of. To the author and many educationists the novel may be a good literary work that portrays a shared mystery and a shared caste. But this shared caste is not the making of Indians themselves but a malice that has distorted the origin of the Indian caste system and survived and refused to go away despite every gigantic effort. When Malay, Chinese and other students read this novel which will be taught by teachers who have no clue about the distorted historical baggage, it will further reinforce the caste system in the minds of all Malaysians that the Indians want to get rid of. The repercussion of including Indian caste practices in the education system is interpreted as one more step to suppress the marginalized community.

Although, the great grandfathers of the Tamils, Telugus, Malayalis and the others who came in the dreaded journey from India may not be drummers (pariahs), they could have been in any other professional and/or business class. Many second generation Indians whose parents or one of the parents or their grandfathers who came to Malaya in crowed ships like goats and sheep, have been senior civil servants, successful professionals and businessmen. Some from the second generation have also become politicians who continue the caste practices for vote bank purpose.

Unfortunately, the Malay literature students will learn the word pariah and its derogatory meanings. They will miss the historical distortions and the reason for the continued existence of caste. Whether Interlock links the various ethnic groups or offends any ethnic group is to be carefully thought of.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan

11/1/2011


 

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Conversion a favorite hobby of religious zealots

January 10, 2011

Conversion is overzealously advocated, encouraged and undertaken by clerics of Islam and Christian religions. There is a church in brickfields displaying prominently to all “go and get disciples’. A seven year old girl was snatched from school by a mother without the father’s knowledge with presence of police and Islamic department officials and converted to Islam immediately. In another case a father stole his baby from the Hindu mother and converted into Islam in Ipoh. We have the other extreme of dead bodies snatched from the loved ones and buried the Islamic way. It is said that there are about 7000 people converting to Islam in Malaysia every year. Conversion into Christianity should be more because churches have active new convert programs. Conversions are causing more unhappiness within families of converting persons but religious clerics are only concerned about recruiting new converts. All these conversions are undertaken by public institutions that are supposed foster harmony and peace within the family and the general public.

Wikipedia talks about people converting to different religions for various reasons, including: active conversion by free choice due to a change in beliefs, secondary conversion, deathbed conversion, conversion for convenience, marital conversion and forced conversion. For example, someone might join a religious group primarily because their spouse or partner has done so; such a person would be a secondary convert. People who convert others into their religion do not understand their religion and what is religion is all about. Organized and institutionalized religions have over the years studied the social and psychological needs and vulnerability of people and perfected the art of converting ignorant and gullible people. Those with financial, health and family problems are the easy targets for converting. Such people need hope and assurance from the so called godly people. These religions clerics with religious knowledge instill fear and hope and easily hoodwink them.

But these religious converters do not talk about conversions to higher and nobler values which involve expansion of mind, more selflessness and tolerance, greater forbearance, sharing and caring and seeing the bigger picture. To become a better person one need not convert to another religion. Inner transformation to higher values is within ourselves which may require knowledge. This knowledge is not the monopoly of any one religion but is everywhere and all it requires is awareness and wanting to change for the better. Many religious clerics themselves do not have these wanting to change for higher and nobler values. They are more interested in increasing their religious authority and control and make many people’s life miserable such as the non converting parties in a conversion trauma.

To transform ourselves to higher values there must be greater awareness about who we are. Jesus Christhas said that “be still and know thyself”. Therefore to have greater awareness of ourselves one need not convert or go anywhere but to remain wherever we are and reflect inwards into ourselves. Ramana Maharishi said inquire into “who are you”. Such self inquiries will make us realize our greater potential and inner resources and will provide an understanding that religion is just one means to an end. Therefore we make or mar ourselves and it has nothing to do with god. We are the architect of our own future.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan

8/1/2011

 

QUESTION NO. 9:

January 4, 2011

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the MINISTER OF EDUCATION to state what are the government action against the principle at a school in Ayer Tawar, Perak who has ordered three girls to remove their underwear during an inspection of whether they bring mobile phones to school or not. The incident occurred on October 17.

ANSWER:

Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued Professional Circular No. 2/2009 dated March 25, 2009 relating to Enforcement and Prohibition of Bringing and Using Cell Phones by the Students at the school. This prohibition was made with regards to the use of mobile phones in schools which was found to be abused during  the teaching and learning. In addition, it had also caused various other disciplinary problems such as theft, fighting, and dissemination of material information that may negatively influence behavior among students. If there are students who fail to comply with this regulation, the telephone can be taken by the school and will be handed back to the parents or guardians. The school as a disciplinary authority is given the power to enforce this prohibition. However, in terms of enforcement, the school cannot arbitrarily make up the inspection may affect the dignity and rights of a pupil.

Issues that occurred in SMK Ayer Tawar, Manjung, Perak on 11 October 2010 are relates to the three girls who are suspected of using cell phones on the back of the school girls toilet room. These girls were suspected to have refused to comply with the ban based on their action of frequent visit to toilets. Principal of the school had instructed the Chief of Discipline (women) to make inspections, including “body search”. The inspection process was witnessed by Senior Assistant of Student Affairs (women). In this regard;

  1. All three students were given counselling and advice for disobeying a direction by the school for any examination if requested and always obey the school rules;
  2. School disciplinary authority also was reprimanded for taking action that may be affecting the dignity and rights of a student;
  3. School principal in a meeting with the parents of pupils on the October 15, 2010 at the Police Station Ayer Tawar had apologized to the parents of pupils concerned.

 

History subject in Malaysia has turned into BTN indoctrination and myth

January 3, 2011

The public allegation of two history book authors that the secondary school history textbooks are being used to promote ketuanan Melayu (Malay lordship over other Malaysians) and UMNO indoctrination is well known and understood by Malaysians for a long time. Malaysians who do not agree have developed empathy and apathy towards the governance of education by the UMNO led BN government.  Those who do not learn from history will be condemned by it said a great man. UMNO perverts have degraded and distorted history so much, that this subject has lost all its sanctity and relevance to Malaysian students themselves. The purpose of studying history is to learn from the past as to how the present society and civilization came about. This knowledge helps the present generation to understand the undercurrent that underlies the change process. It enables community leaders and decision makers make decisions that are relevant and resolve conflicts. A distorted history is no use to anybody except the UMNO fundamentalists who are on the war path to destroy the Malaysian nation.

After 53 years of independence, UMNO is still not at peace with history and that it wants to change the history to glorify and amplify their role in history. Looks like the UMNO wallahs are laying the seed of desolation and dissolution of Malay society in particular and Malaysia in general. Distortions and lies cannot stand the test of time. Truth has to be reliable, universal and natural to be accepted by all.Unfortunately these UMNO wallahs who have no regard for truth, will decide the contents of the history subject. Looks frightening isn’t it?

There are Malaysians who feel that nothing can be changed politically and that the way forward is to migrate to another country. Malaysia has lost many able, skilled and talented minds. The deputy minister in Prime Minister’s office Datuk K. Devamany said that about 734,000 Malaysians left the country since 2000 to work abroad. But Devamany refuse to accept that the racial marginalizations by UMNO wallahs are the root cause of Malaysians migrating abroad.   More Malaysians will leave if this is the way our education system is micro managed by UMNO racists. Efforts to set up Talent Corporation with 30 million allocated, will go down the drain and wasted.

History which is distorted and perverted will not interest students and teaching becomes a nightmare to history teachers. Historian Pearl Buck said that if you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. History itself may suffer from inherent distortions and together with UMNO’s prejudice and adulteration students will learn the history which is a myth. On Oct 23, Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that History will be made a must-pass subject for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia from 2013. The ministry will also introduce a revised SPM History curriculum in 2017, for in that year those who begin Form One in 2013 would have reached Form Five. Fresh elements to be incorporated when the History syllabus begins its new cycle are ‘patriotism’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘the constitution’, which by extension implicate the so-called social contract. History subject will be used as vehicle for BTN indoctrination and islamization starting from Form one itself. Looks like every other nation progressing except Malaysia.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan

29/12/2010