Friday, May 15, 2009

Cockroaches Too Are…’Still Here’

Samy Vellu has apparently opined that while other ‘Indian-based parties’ have come and then ‘fizzled out,’ it is the MIC that ‘is still here.’

Of course on one level, the reference about the longevity of the MIC is nothing more than self-evident. And when one has had a monopoly and iron-fisted grip on a people, longevity, as apparent as it might seem, is frankly not that impressive. Indeed, mere longevity itself often becomes a source of much dislike. Well, at least it really doesn’t do much for me. After all, one of the main hallmarks of dictators is their longevity and inability to see their own irrelevance. Think of a dictator – any one, and I am sure most people who have been subjected to endure the dictator would submit that the dictatorial machinery certainly overstayed its welcome.

Actually, reading what Samy has to say about the MIC’s longevity got me thinking. Haven’t cockroaches also been around for a very, very long time? Now, I’m no expert but I would bet you a nice meal at McCurry Restaurant that these pests have a very impressive record of longevity. [Hey, I’m referring to the cockroaches, la. I know, you thought I was referring to the MIC, no?]

Interestingly, notice that we invest so much on a day-to-day basis to get rid of these pests, don’t we? But no matter what we do, they keep coming back. In fact, they just never seem to go away, la! I don’t know about you, but I have a very low tolerance level for these creatures. Some people claim these pests actually do have some redeeming value. As I said, I’m no expert about their relevance, but you’re not going to impress me no matter how well you dress them up, so to speak.

Yes, other creatures have come along and some have even ‘fizzled out.’ It should be obvious but I’ll remind you anyway that not all things that seem to last are necessarily desirable or even liked. To this, let me just also add that conversely, not all good things and good people last indefinitely. It is another obvious fact that lots of good things and good people have come along, but for some reason or another, have not lasted. I’m sure you can think of many examples that would affirm my observation about this.

So while Samy may be inclined to be self-congratulatory, I for one am not impressed by the apparent longevity of the MIC. In fact, I’m more than ever convinced what we’re witnessing is a very rattled and directionless MIC incapable of connecting with its target constituency. Why? Well, isn’t it obvious? You’ve got Central Working Committee members of the MIC trying to publicly woo prominent Indians to join its ranks. Talk about a desperate move – yes, transparently desperate, if I ever saw one. Let me put it this way: When you’re sinking, you try to draw on the strength of others, and their prowess and ability, to rescue you, don’t you?

And is it any wonder that those public figures in the Indian community who seem to command the respect and deference of the public do not want anything to do with the MIC? Probably, like yours truly, they too are not impressed by the MIC’s relative longevity. That is because we appreciate the fact that what is important is not mere longevity.

Indeed, we all know that unfortunately, many things with very limited ability, to say the least, can nevertheless be a pest for quite some time.

G. Krishnan