IT IS within the democratic rights of Indians to form a political party or non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the matter to advance their rights.
It is a truism to state that the Indian community has been miserably left out in the mainstream of development.
As I have remarked earlier, forming an organisation to represent Indians is one thing but to provide an effective, honest and responsible representation is another thing. Many political parties were formed in the past but only one has some relevance.
This is none other than the MIC which is considered one of the oldest political parties in the country.
MIC has some relevance but has come to be overshadowed by multi-racial representation provided by Pakatan Harapan (PH), DAP and PKR.
However, Indian representation in PH leaves much to be desired for especially when the genuine demands of the community have been drowned in the chorus of empty multi-racialism that invariably benefits the dominant communities.
As witnessed in the last six state elections and two by-elections in Johor, the Indian desertion of PH is slowly but surely gaining momentum.
The empty slogan of multi-racialism has meant that the general and specific demands associated with Indian identity questions are being ignored.
Purely independent party
In the coming elections in the country, more and more Indians are going to move away from the unity government. Whether they are going to embrace the alternative Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition remains to be seen.
The lack of an Indian agenda on the part of PN might be troubling for Indians. Within the leadership ranks of the PN there is a growing realisation that Indians must be brought within their embrace through a political party.
Although some Indians have identified with the PN, the membership whether direct or indirect through a political party has not actualised.
The need to form an Indian party or a political outfit is also felt within the ranks of PH Indian supporters. Indirectly, it an admission that existing political parties such as the DAP, PKR, MIC and others have failed Indians in the country.
The call for meeting of the Indian NGOs in Klang tomorrow (Oct 6) is an indication that the formation of new party is in the works. I understand that the individuals behind the move have some links with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
It could even be said that the meeting has the blessing of Anwar. While a new Indian party could result from the meeting, there are no indications to suggest that the new party would be independent of PH coalition.
If this is so, then the question of effective representation looms high. How can an Indian party that seeks to represent Indians to address their myriad problems still functions within the orbit of the empty multi-racialism of PH.
How will this new party ostensibly formed to take Indians to greater heights get out of the quagmire of subservience and dependence on PH or its brand of empty multi-racialism?
For Indians to attain a certain degree of decency and self-respect, effort must be made in the direction of independence. Only an independent Indian political party can chart a course for Indians in the country.
No Indian party can serve the community by having a close nexus with either the PH or PN.
It is for Indians to decide whether they want to go along with PH or PN. The support is not automatic. Support will be predicated on the basis of what these alternatives coalitions have to offer to Indians.
Indians might be a numerically small but significant enough to have say in their future well-being and welfare. – Oct 6, 2023
Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the former DAP state assemblyman for Perai. He is also the former deputy chief minister of Penang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.