Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Ever wonder how certain personalities or characters sometimes exhibit such an uncanny resemblance to one another? After this past week, I couldn’t help but see the striking similarities between Samy Vellu and this KK Eswaran character.

Of course it’s obvious that Samy has had a far more, shall we say, visible shelf life than this KK Eswaran. And while Samy is still vying for an extension of his grip on the reigns of the MIC, this Eswaran chap seems to also find himself perched on a branch of the Indian Malaysian establishment tree. Ironically (but maybe not), both also happen to feature in some of the rather eventful news stories of the past few day. Well, I suppose even as big as they may be in their own minds, neither one could overshadow the various news stories centred on the apparent murder of A. Kugan. Nevertheless, these two characters did manage to make the news – albeit, as I see it, for all the wrong reasons.

Certainly we’ve become accustomed to such a reality in the case of the long-standing specimen of Samy. But what a treat it has been of late to also have KK Eswaran make a splash in the news through his predictable and transparently self-serving buttering up of the BN regime coupled with an understandably shallow and bizarre tirade against the perspectives of some who don’t necessarily share his rosy infatuation with the BN.

It has been a real treat indeed to see these “prominent leaders” of the Indian BN establishment sounding so desperate and hard-up in trying to talk up BN’s image, while from all indications, the average Indian voter seems to have become not only more sceptical but even disillusioned with this brand of Indians and, time and again, the hollow words of the BN.

Well, to focus on the news stories associated with these characters for a moment, I really got a big chuckle from a comment I read on Malaysiakini’s Vox Populi written by Yuvan regarding the MIC’s probe against Samy’s prospective challenger for the post of president: “I am surprised that the probe lasted 30 minutes! It should have been over in just three minutes!” Yuvan went on to very observantly state, “As long as Samy Vellu behaves like a ‘warlord' and continues to live in a dream world (thinking that he still has the support of the Indian Malaysian community), MIC and its future is doomed.” Amen.

With respect to the disciplinary probe on Muthupalaniappan, the MIC’s Vadiveloo had this too say: “Whatever he (Muthupalaniappan) says is not the gospel truth.” This, of course, is in stark contrast to whatever Vadiveloo’s leader Samy has to say; surely in the latter case, whatever the MIC leader himself spews out must certainly be the ‘gospel truth.’

Indeed, that's what makes Samy truly magical!

Well, I’m sure like the other foot-soldiers of Samy, Vadiveloo must be ever so thrilled that Samy is likely to be unopposed when he stands for re-election as party president later this year. Well, not that being contested by Muthu would have necessarily threatened Samy’s prospects for being “duly elected” again, but just imagine what a resounding victory this will be for Samy! It's like having Najib “elected” unopposed as UMNO president in March! This can only be viewed one way, right? Much like how Robert Mugabe has been repeatedly “elected” leader of his party in Zimbabwe!

And regarding our other character, this KK Eswaran fellow, well, as I have noted elsewhere, this individual made about as much sense in his rant as there is credibility in the post-mortem that claimed the cause the death of Kugan was “liquid in his lungs.

Having already noted why this KK fellow makes no sense in his claim that “taking to the streets” is supposedly not “our way,” let me make one more observation about his absurd remarks. Let’s be very clear that to criticise UMNO/BN failures has no bearing and does not reflect on ones patriotism and love for the country. This should of course be rather self-evident, as I’m sure it is to us, whom Najib refers calls the “matured voters.” And unlike them, let us exhibit our superior judgment and not look upon these BN sympathisers like KK as lacking in patriotism even though they’re more misguided than ever. While people like him may not be able to see the distinction between being critical of a flawed regime and being unpatriotic, we certainly are “matured” enough to know. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we sit by and tolerate, and not scrutinise the gobbledegook spewed by these characters.

The reality surrounding Kugan’s death is another vivid reminder of how such characters have failed us. Apologists for the regime, they only know how to repeat hollow rhetoric which ultimately fails those who need help the most. It was Kugan’s family’s persistence and the public outcry that has prompted the BN regime and the brass of the police to probe this matter. And it is highly plausible that we will never know how many other Kugan like cases there have already been. Much like the bodies in mass graves of certain military juntas in Latin America or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, we have so many deaths of people in police custody and have yet to see a serious independent and trustworthy public inquiry into the matter.

Like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, we are reminded again just how impressive a pair of characters the BN has at its disposal to supposedly prop up support for itself among the Indians.

Too bad for these Tweedledum and Tweedledee like characters (and the BN); the more they try to play up UMNO/BN’s ability to be even-handed, fair and competent, the more they alienate the Indian public. Is it any wonder?

G. Krishnan