Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

New Indian political party to be formed to take over HINDRAF - malaysiakini

Malaysian Insider's report:

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 - Plans are afoot for a new political party to tap the support of working class Indians for the outlawed Hindraf movement.

Malaysian Indians from across the political divide and who have been at each other's throats recently have taken their differences to Chennai where a three-day Indian Diaspora Conference starts tomorrow.

While the MIC, DAP and PKR teams are expected to stick to their usual “at each other” script, the real new development there is the exploratory talks to be chaired by Hndraf chairman P. Waythamoorty that will take place on the sidelines of the conference, to form a new Indian political party.

Waythamoorty and his brother, Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar, who is being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), had decided during a “discussion” on Dec 30 that the best way to move forward theirs and Hindraf's agenda is to set up a new Indian political party that can consolidate the gains of the Nov 25, 2007 protest and maximize the political awakening of the Tamil working class masses.

They feel that the Hindraf movement has been “hijacked” by the opposition political parties including even PAS through its network of PAS Indian Clubs, and that the awakened Indian voice has become fragmented and submerged by the Malay agenda in PKR and the Islamic agenda of PAS.

They also feel that the DAP is too much of a Chinese party to adequately represent Indian interests and that the party's Indian leaders had also rode the Hindraf wave and benefitted hugely but had not pressed the DAP and by extension the Pakatan Rakyat to alleviate the pressing problems faced by the Indian community.

Hindraf insiders said Waythamoorty's next important task, besides getting a new Indian party moving, is to free the movement's leaders, especially Uthayakumar, from Kamunting.

He is even lobbying Sonia Gandhi, the real power behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to help intervene on his behalf to free his brother.

It is no secret that Uthayakumar and Waythamoorty have had a huge falling out with other Hindraf leaders in ISA detention, accusing some of them of being Special Branch agents.

His relationship with DAP's M. Manogaran is also on the rocks, insiders said, adding Uthayakumar wants to “break free from the others and save Hindraf before it is to late.”

While there are no signs as yet from the government over the release of the five, the decision to form a new Indian party would have a significant impact on Indian politics.

A lot however depends on whether Waythamoorty is able to win over PKR Indian leaders like S. Manikavasagam and some DAP Indian leaders to the idea of a new party.

It would be an uphill task, especially with DAP Indian leaders like Dr P. Ramasamy and M.Kulasegaran, who are loyal not only to the party but also to DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

They are unlikely to break away.

But the same cannot be said of PKR Indian leaders like Kapar MP Manikavasagam who are more amenable to forming a new Indian party especially when such a move is ego-satisfying, glamorous and gives high status among Tamils.

These leaders are also close to Uthayakumar and see him as their political and ideological guru.

There are already talks that a hidden hand is behind the move to form a new Indian party to wean away Hindraf supporters from Pakatan Rakyat and especially PKR.

There is strong emotional attachment for the Hindraf Five among working class Indians who see them as individuals who took great personal risks to champion their cause.

They also feel that the five sacrificed themselves for them and that it was time to pay back in kind. If Uthayakumar forms a new Indian party it is likely he will win strong support from the Tamil masses.

Such a party, if it takes off, would have a major impact on Indian support for Pakatan Rakyat, the MIC and even the BN.

“We think that the time is right for Hindraf to come together into a political party and negotiate with both the Pakatan and BN governments for better benefits for Indians,” said a Hindraf leader now in Chennai.

“We are awakened and we must forge our own political path and not beg from either the BN or the Pakatan for help,” he said. “We are a significant minority and both sides need us and want us and that gives us bargaining powers.”

“We should use this opportunity to better ourselves,” he said

Malaysiakini's report when out.