Monday, December 10, 2007

On this Malaysia Thing.

Hi,

Yes, I am aware of the problems faced there, and frankly I am extremely reluctant to get mixed up in this. If you start in Malaysia you will have to eventually follow that stream to KSA itself because conditions there for Indians even Muslims are pretty bad - far worse than Malaysia. I have absolutely no intention of going down that path.

In very very brutal plain speak - there are many marginalised Indians in India I would rather spend money on.

As Sri Raman has already indicated, we can't get mixed up in this without damaging our relationship with the Malaysian leadership, and absolutely honestly, no one I know wants to do that. The Malays and us go back a long way, and I am not going to push that aside. Heck, when the Taliban were in power and that whole drama happened in Kandahar, I was against doing anything that damaged our ties with them and that affected India way way more directly.

I accept Ashok Malik's contention that the Malaysian leadership is trying to send the Indian government a message with its statements in this matter. However I would await a more nuanced reading of the message before rushing to make suggestions about what to do here.

There has been immense friction between Malaysia and the US in recent times. The footage provided by western media services to these events tells me an entirely different story. Do I really believe that these services suddenly give a crap about the marginalised Indian origin people in Malaysia? No I don't.

The HINDRAF's high profile media campaign brings forth memories of a colour revolution.

My instinct is to give this a wide berth.

And the DCH and their pied pipers need to give this a rest.

8 Comments:

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Nitin Pai said...

Maverick

Fully agree. We had quite an interesting discussion on my blog on this; and I'm posting the link here.

But I'm beginning to think that the Hindraf leaders are engaging in rhetoric without regard to long-term consequences. Irresponsibility on their part will undermine their cause; not so much in India, but in Malaysia, where it really matters.

 
At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Alok_N said...

just curious ... did Malaysian government comment on Babri Masjid, either directly or in some international forum? ... if not, then the policy of non-interference has been established ...

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous alok_n said...

I see on the DF that everyone is patting each other on the back because Arun Shourie has a brainwave of flooding Nepal ...

I tell you, the only positive out of this nuke deal tamasha is that everyone in India earned a PhD in Energy Physics in less than one year ... :)

sadly, after all this hot air is spent, folks will still be firing up their diesel generators ...

by the way, Maverick, you did not comment on the energy equation, nay irony, of how in India it takes diesel to transport diesel ...

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember all those voices demanding the RG Govt to send our armada to Fiji? Even the last coup saw people asking for Indian "intervention" in Fiji... :D
Malaysia OTOH is a bit more complicated scenario, the religion angle that's being highlighted makes it a bit difficult for the GoI to comment (or not to comment). BTW, I wonder what an NDA Govt with Loh Purush/Vikas Purush etc would have done....

I may be wrong, but didn't the Tamil Elam Movement begin in a somewhat similar manner. It stayed pretty non-violent till '75 when Prabhakaran (himself?) shot the Mayor. Malaysia sure ain't no Sri Lanka; PIOs are not concentrated in any pocket-burrough (with own dialect/accent/customs), India is far far away and they are quite tied into trade-commerce and small businesses.... the level of systematic Govt repression/discrimination that we saw in SL is absent in Malaysia. Still there are uncomfortable similarities...... for starters, the attitude of the "sons of the soil" and the entrenched religious establishment towards the PIO.

BTW, what was the GoI response when Indians were hounded in Uganda? I don't remember that one... too far away for us, no?

-Anand K
PS: I used to comment as T.W. (The Wanderer, my blog handle).

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Nitin,

It is true that Indian's feel strongly for their brothers and sisters abroad, but everything we try to do in Malaysia risks damaging our relations with the government.

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Alok,

This diesel thing is extremely worrying.

I don't know if the Malaysians officially commented on the Babri Masjid demolition, though I recall that the condemnation of the riots that followed was universal.

Anand K,

Proximity is an issue ofcourse, and yes you are right, there was no official response to the Uganda situation, however assistance was provided where requested. Needless to say we sympathised with the refugees.

Ashok Malik's point is well made, the Malaysian government is sending us a message via this behaviour, but what exactly is the message?

Similarly Malay discomfort with the narrow versions of Islam exported from KSA is well documented.

Supporting the aspirations of native Malaysians against their own government is beyond GoI's scope of action. The only scenario in which the GoI will enter into Malay internal affairs is if there is a direct request by the Malaysian government for specific assistance.

We in India have a great deal of experience working with affirmative action programs, with federalised power structures - we practically invented the only working examples of this kind of action in the world.

I am sure GoI would be happy to share its expertise with their Malay counterparts in this matter.

 
At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi M,
One may be feeding to conspiracy theories but it may be worth exploring.
1) Is USA any way involved in the Malay crisi? What will they benefit by creating a crisis for the Indians?

2) One must also note the proximity of Malaysia to Malacca straits. US wanted us to patrol these straits on there behalf.

3) One must also note the divergent views of Ashok Malik & B.Raman.

4)Is Malaysian govt. trying to tell via the local indians to lay off malacca straits.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

The way the media has handled it seems to be very similar to the treatment given to colour revolutions.

Generally speaking, arranging air time on a major western network is an expensive proposition. It requires the use of either significant amounts of monetary leverage or serious social leverage. I find it hard to imagine how a group of marginalised malaysians could arrange for that sort of thing.

Perhaps this is a conspiracy or perhaps I am simply too jaded by recent performances in the land next door but one wonders whether similar forces are at work?

I see very little divergence between what Sri. Raman and Ashok Malik have written.

Our approach to the Malaya straits has been one of cooperation. It is unlikely that we have stepped on anyone's toes there - we have joint patrolling and there has been no signs of friction. In any case there are a vast number of fora where the Malaysians could simply have told us their concerns about the straits and our presence there. To my knowledge no such communication has been forthcoming.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that our Malay friends find themselves in an holy confluence of Chinese, the Americans and the Saudi influences and need help to navigate very choppy waters. That said the exact nature of Malay desires escapes me.

 

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