If substantive changes to the lives of ordinary peoople are unlikely, what does it matter who heads the MIC; why give the impression that changing the top leadership will change anything substantial for the Indian community, asks Rani Rasiah.
Are the MIC’s troubles that of the Indian community? Or is it irrelevant who is in the leadership of the party?
Whether Samy Vellu once again breaks his oft-made promise of relinquishing his post in September 2011, or keeps it and makes way at last for someone else, will it really have any bearing on the community the MIC claims to represent?
- What changes can the Indian community expect to see if there is a change in the leadership of the MIC?
- Will the more than a century old exploitation of the plantation community cease, and plantation workers be justly paid a wage reflective of their labour?
- Will the multitude of homeless slum dwellers be offered subsidised housing so that they can have a secure roof over their heads?
- Will factory workers and workers in general be allowed to work and earn a decent wage in eight hours to enable them to acquire the basic necessities of life, and spend time with their family and community?
- Will there be sincere measures to address the root cause of the problems of the legions of angry Indian youth created by existing policies, instead of criminalising and incarcerating them?
- Etc, etc, ad infinitum ad nauseum.
If these changes are unlikely, what does it matter who heads the MIC? Why give the impression that changing the top leadership will change anything substantial for the Indian community?
Why use the Indian community to justify the quest for self-preservation and interest?
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So Samy Vellu or not, changes can only be cosmetic. Emotive issues will be played up to boost personal popularity. The cause of places of worship, vernacular schools and culture will be championed passionately minus any element of education that should go with it.
Meanwhile the real bearers of these traditions – as opposed to the political hypocrites in the MIC – will continue to lead stunted lives, neglected and marginalised by the development policies of the BN.
Rani Rasiah, an Aliran member, is a coordinator of the Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit).
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