Formation of new Indian party not in abstraction but based on realities

I RECENTLY suggested that Indians should form a new political party to provide effective and untainted representation to the community.

I need not reiterate why there is need for a new party that is independent and dignified. This was amplified in my few recent articles.

Veteran journalist Terence Netto while welcoming the idea of a new Indian party thinks that my idea might not be feasible on these grounds. Firstly, it would be impossible for any Indian party old or new to obtain the maximum support from Indians who have diverse political loyalties.

Thus, it would be a superhuman task to bring all Indians under one political umbrella.

Secondly, without political affiliation to the existing macro coalitions – namely, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) – it would be difficult or foolhardy for the new Indian party to take off given the blessings from one or the other coalition is vital.

I think Netto has raised some valid points on the need for a new Indian party. I quite agree that to mobilise the entire Indian community under one political umbrella will be a difficult task under the circumstances of divided political loyalties.

Yes, currently Indian support is divided among the PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties. Even if political support is divided, the point is that Indians are not making any headway under the existing political arrangements.

MIC’s deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan makes a turnout to rally the Indian community at a ‘ceramah’ in the run-up to the Pelangai state assembly by-election today (Oct 7)

‘Multi-racialism failed the Indians’

This is precisely the reason why Indians under the auspices of new effective leadership must think of an idea of an effective political vehicle to go beyond the present political confines.

Whether Indian support is divided between the multi-ethnical parties, both the political arrangements are not making any headway in terms of the progress of the Indian community.

These multi-ethnical parties might be aligned with PH or BN but have such an alignment borne fruit in terms of the progress of the community?

As I have previously emphasised, the existing multi-racial approach has lulled Indians into submission of the dominant communities more than anything else. In fact, multi-racialism failed Indians in the country.

I am not suggesting that the move to form an Indian party should take place in political vacuum.

Those who might be behind the move must first get the support of the community and second, seek a political affiliation with a political coalition that can offer not just empty promises but tangible benefits for Indians in the country especially the downtrodden segment.

In this context, there is nothing wrong for the new Indian party to seek affiliation with a political coalition provided the coalition has the best interests of the Indian community in mind.

There is no such thing that the new party getting the bulk of the support of Indians as this might not be possible. As long as the new party of its leadership can chart an Indian political course for Indians, support is a matter of time.

As Indians have been mobilised in the past, getting the support of Indians is not something impossible. Good leadership, tireless efforts and the principle of non-submission to the powers to be could set the party on political trajectory.

Needless to say, the party should not be averse in cooperating with PH or PN provided there is definitive Indian agenda on the part of these coalitions. There is no such thing as a blind and mechanical adherence.

Gone should be the days where Indians are misguided into thinking that their future rests with one or two leaders. – Oct 7, 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.

Main pic credit: UMNO Online

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