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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kick Start by Mahendra ~ Racism is truly well and alive in our land


Kick Start by Mahendra from W.H. Shinajii on Vimeo.


We often hear of the way many Indians living here in Malaysia end up as among the highest number of statistics involved in petty crime and making the bulk of the Malaysian prison population.


Just like the way, many prisoners in the USA are usually those who are of the Afro-American descent. 


Not that there are no other ethnicities caught in the vicious cycle of poverty and prejudice that often lands the unfortunates in resorting to a life of crime all over the world as a consequence of racial profiling and inborn animosity to those who are different both in race, skin color and religion.


I was born in the late 50s. Life for me in a Malay kampong back in East Jelutong, Penang Island was one that was easy and not problematic although we were poor and lived in a partitioned rented kampong house with an attap roof. We had no plumbing. 


Most of us were villagers sharing a common bath that was within walking distance. The toilets were the ones you would find in the old P.Ramlee black & white movies. Bucket latrines.


If one had a tummy ache and wanted to go do one's business and the latrine was occupied, imagine the problem of squirming in discomfort and calling out to whoever it was inside to quickly get the hell out? :P


We had a mixed population in our kampong. Malays, Indians and Chinese. Our landlord was a wily old Indian man. Mr.Olagoo. He owned many houses there which he rented out to us. 


He also had a banana plantation which was often raided by us kampong kids whenever we were out playing and felt hungry! Many a times we would be chased by him waving his walking stick and we would be dashing away helter skelter with the old shouting landlord in hot pursuit!


We called him 'Tata' which was 'Grandpa' in the Tamil language. I can still recall some of the names of his children. Nadaraja, Asogan, Rajeswari and Radha. I can't remember the name of his eldest son.


Rajes was around my age and she was a friend. I gave tuition to her younger sister Radha among other village kids. I was sought to help teach the neighbors kids back then when I was in my secondary schooling. Fees were RM10 a month. :P


Watching this video 'Kick Start by Mahendra' sort of triggered my memory banks as to the many times I have often watched Indians be ostracized by many of us simply because of the color of their skin and the way our society tends to discriminate against them?


As in this portrayal of a young man here who despite getting good results academically still faced endless rejections, letdowns and frustrations due to a climate of prejudice and racism.


Its obvious. Look at the classifieds and job adverts in our newspapers and online employment portals. Most of the advertisements would have that requirement. Preferably Bumiputera or Chinese. Unless its an Indian company where they would require Tamil speaking candidates.. and that would be a very rare occasion.


You wouldn't find that many job ads that specify that they are looking for Indians. So, I can understand the predicaments that many of our Malaysian Indians fellow citizens face daily in this often prejudiced world.


True, there are some weirdos out there who despite being given a chance in life would resort to betraying our trusts but if we are to be true to our gut feelings, who hasn't betrayed us?


Even those who are our own flesh and blood have often two-timed and sold us out! Whom can we really trust? It makes no difference at all as to who the hell they may be? 


Even our own family members can often turn out to be our worst enemies! It happens in real life. Not only in made for TV dramas and movies. There is a famous old Malay parable,' Harapkan pagar ; pagar makan padi!'


Meaning - trusting the fence and the fence ends up devouring the rice crop! I am sure that each and everyone of us has a similar story to tell. We are all susceptible to such a calamity and personal tragedy. 


I have suffered plenty of such betrayals and at this 50 plus age, I have come to be aware of not getting back-stabbed again not because of being wiser but due to a fear of not wanting to be played out for the umpteenth time!


You can call it experience or what the hell ever but its really not very pleasant getting betrayed over and over again by those whom we came to trust just because we thought that since they were family, we could depend or rely on them? Humbug!


One of my brothers had shared with me a saying of his 'When it comes to family, best way to keep relations with them is like eggs in a tray. Remain close to each other but maintain a barrier to keep us safe from not getting cracked up later!'



Although he didn't even complete his primary schooling way back then in the early 50's and went to work in the shipping line, my brother Mohamad Kassim is very worldly wise and was a source of inspiration for me in my early childhood.

Back to the topic. Indians here in Malaysia are often victimized just because of their ethnicity. I for one do not differentiate between race or religion. There are many nasty people out there from amongst our own ilk but who are at times even nastier than the Devil himself!

We have to accept this fact. We are all Malaysians no matter what our ethnic background or faith is?

We are all the sons and daughters of this land but we do have to accept the status quo as to who each of us individually are? 

We can talk about being fair and free as to this and that in our hearts and minds but the minute we come face to face with the way real society works, we realize that for all the ideals and aspirations we often strive for, this materialistic society will slap us hard and awaken us out of our state of fallacy!


Even amongst our own kind, we see certain levels of preferential treatment being put to practice. How can we expect the multi faithed, multi ethnic, multi this and that society to treat us fair and square?


Real life doesn't do that. For all the so called socialist Utopian rhetoric we often come up against every now and then from those who advocate freedom for all, same standards this and that in their never ending causes and struggles all over the world, there will still remain a discriminating inner circle or clique that only certain privileged ones will enjoy at the expense of the masses.


Even communist countries have that barrier between the ruling politburo and the masses. The rulers enjoy their perks and benefits of leading the revolution whilst the peasants suffer and scrounge for their daily bread!


Life my dear fellow Malaysians is just not what we would like it to be. As long as there is the Sun and the Moon and even in the Hereafter, there will still be differences between us. 


We will go to either Hell or Heaven depending on our Book of Deeds and whether The Supreme Lord of us all is willing to forgive us of our prejudices here on Earth and overlook our transgresses?


Wallahu 'alam. Only Allah Knows.


This is a good video. I like the clarity of its message. Society often does that to the Malaysians of Indian origin. I am not saying that all Malaysian Indians suffer the fate of the character shown here but most ordinary Indians who are out there do face discrimination and bias on an almost daily level.


It can drive them nuts and push them into doing what they do not really want! Who in their right mind would want to do bad? Nobody!


Its situations and circumstances that forces every Ahmad, Ah Seng or Samy out there to resort to crime and other unsavory choices in life. 


That's why its important for those who are in power to be just to everyone under their rule. 


The minute they discriminate against any particular community in our society, they set off a chain of reactions that will trigger a catastrophe of events and situations such as being portrayed here which will eventually come full circle and bite them in their pompous ass! 


In our Islamic faith, on the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter, the leaders and rulers will be the very first ones to be questioned about the way they handled their affairs here on Earth?


Not a jot will go out of question, query and inspection. 


So, to be safe, the rulers must be accountable for each and every rule or policy that they make so as not to end up in the roaring Hellfire's that Allah Azza Wa Jalla has prepared for those who are unjust and cruel to their subjects!


I am not in a position to advice the Indians of Malaysia. Yet as a fellow citizen and brother to all humans for we are the Children of our Father, the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam, we must strive to improve our lot.


There are many outstanding Indians out there who despite the bias and prejudice that has set in our country, have still managed to succeed against all odds and made their mark in our society!


This video seems to suggest that just because the main character was unjustly treated by prejudiced members of our society, he has no other choice but to resort to crime and thievery to make his living.


I don't buy that!


No one ought to conclude such a preposterous thinking and go into crime. Crime has an ultimate end. The way things work in real life, no matter how much fortune one can make clandestinely and sort of enjoy the perks of such material gains, deep down in one's heart and mind, there will still linger a sense of despair.


A gut feeling knowing that what one consumes and enjoys illegally at the expense of others, it will still be haram in whatever religious understanding or teachings that one follows if one is to be truly sincere to oneself?


Malaysian Indians do not have to end up in crime. Believe in yourself and strive to improve your lot as best as you can!


May justice prevail here in our land and those who are in power take into consideration the extreme conditions that forces some of our unfortunate members of the Malaysian society in general in resorting to crime to make their ends meet.


Ameen.

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