Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

HINDRAF banned but not out - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

The federal government ban on Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) may pave the way for disgruntled ethnic Indians into championing their cause through political platforms.

The ban has resulted in Hindraf’s key leaders mulling how the movement and its 100,000 followers could play a role in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

It has been suggested that Hindraf followers can join either DAP, PAS or PKR en bloc or form a separate political entity and join Pakatan as equal partners.

These suggestions were made during a meeting last week of some 100 Hindraf coordinators from across the country to discuss the post-ban scenerio.

It was agreed in principle during the meeting that the movement now needed a stronger platform to continue their struggle and air their grievances.

Hindraf state coordinators are now gathering feedback from grassroots on the issue.

Although Hindraf followers are not completely satisfied with the performance of Pakatan elected representatives in handling problems faced by the Indian community, the coalition is still favoured against the Barisan Nasional.

“Pakatan is the lesser evil than BN,” one Hindraf leader told Malaysiakini.

Pakatan not perfect

Penang Hindraf deputy coordinator Sanjeeviramah Subramani noted that some Indian elected representatives in Pakatan-ruled states of Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor have failed to live up to expectations.

"Penang reps fared the worst compared with others and some have even backstabbed and badmouthed Hindraf after riding on the Makkal Sakti wave to success in the last general election.

"Nonetheless, Hindraf needs a platform to champion its cause and the current ideal solution is to join a vibrant political front like Pakatan," he said.

Should Hindraf supporters join forces with Pakatan, the movement would still be guided by its 18-point memorandum submitted to the government last year.

Hindraf, which was never a registered body, was banned by the Home Minister early last month after its activists paid a visit to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house.

The ban was seen by Hindraf supporters as a form of revenge by the BN after the movement was widely credited to have triggered a revolt against the coalition during the March 8 general election.

Watha: Ban futile

It is believed that the majority of Hindraf supporters would prefer to form a new political party and join Pakatan, but they fear that a registration process would be hampered by the Barisan government.

By joining en bloc in a single Pakatan coalition, Hindraf supporters are also hoping to break up Indian-based parties such as MIC, PPP and IPF by wooing their members.

p waythamoorthyIn his email to Malaysiakini, Hindraf London-based leader P Waythamoorthy said the organisation cannot be stifled with a mere ban.

He warned that Hindraf would follow the Hindu universal laws on darma, karma and reincarnation to re-emerge as a forceful movement for Indians and Malaysians in general.

"Hindraf would soon emerge in a new body, a much energized and energetic human rights force which would lead us to greater democratic heights.

"The government can ban Hindraf, but not the Makkal Sakti fervour," said the Waytha Moorthy who is in self-imposed exile in London following a government crackdown on Hindraf in December last year -