I’ve held back from saying anything over the matter since so many other people have already covered the matter quite extensively. So I’ll make the admission, there might nothing new in the lines below.
However when a state incarcerates people – fathers, sons, voters, taxpayers – for their political beliefs, then the rest must rise and say no! And it does not matter how many times you will say it. We’ll just tire those who hold the keys and make them let them out, just to shut us up.
Martin Niemuller’s poem brings out the utter desolation of inaction. Niemuller was a pastor who opposed Hitler despite supporting him before. He spent years in prison under the Nazi party:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.
And that is the stark truth.
The scared bully
The bully in the playground never beats up all the kids at one go. The bully relies on fear and the symbolic beating one child will place fear in the rest. So the example of resistance/rebellion is not repeated.
The Umno bully is no different. They have ruled a country with no need for widespread force, just sporadic and heinous force. The days of scaring everyone is ending, and as most bullies react – they are scared stiff.
Like Macbeth waiting for his nemeses to come from the forests to end his rule, or as Hitler and Eva Braun sat in lavish settings in their bunker waiting for the bombing to cease so to infantrymen can cross over and arrest them, those in the PWTC are worried sick.
The Hindraf 5 were key at the start of the series of critical events that have resulted us with this present cliffhanger with a government dangling from a precipice of their own making.
They were collateral damage, a gamble in December to see if the tide will fall back to the sea with arrests. Eight months later they still lie in wait for freedom. The injustice is unending.
I said back in November that the shoddy way the police forces treated the protesters on Nov 25 at the Hindraf rally would most certainly comeback and haunt the BN government. The Malaysiakini reports don’t cover enough the inhumanity of the police. They charged and beat them because the protesters have been seen as a collective, just dark south Indians. And since beating dravidians is a common police SOP they just discharged their strength with little restraint.
And the protesters took the beating and held their ground.
If foreign correspondent were close enough they would say, the determined civil disobedience is rare to be seen.
Despite the restrain the Home Minister arrested the leaders under the ISA. Security, links with terrorists and violence were catchwords in the allegations, but eight months later – none have come true.
So it is time to let them out. Let them out!
T Vasantha Kumar