Democracy does not come from the government, from on high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for justice – Howard Zinn

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Howard Zinn, the distinguished American historian and professor emeritus in the political science department at Boston University, died on January 27, 2010 in California. He was 87. Zinn went on to become an activist in the people’s movements for civil rights, civil liberties and peace, and he wrote extensively about all of those things, among which is the most celebrated A People’s History of the United States. Below are excerpts from a commencement address that Zinn delivered on May 15, 2005 to students of Spelman College in Atlanta.

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The lesson of history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. The government may try to deceive the people, and the newspapers and television may do the same, but the truth has a way of coming out. The truth has a power greater than a hundred lies. I know you have practical things to do — to get jobs and get married and have children. You may become prosperous and be considered a success in the way our society defines success, by wealth and standing and prestige. But that is not enough for a good life.

Remember Tolstoy’s story, “The Death of Ivan Illych.” A man on his deathbed reflects on his life, how he has done everything right, obeyed the rules, become a judge, married, had children, and is looked upon as a success. Yet, in his last hours, he wonders why he feels a failure. After becoming a famous novelist, Tolstoy himself had decided that this was not enough, that he must speak out against the treatment of the Russian peasants, that he must write against war and militarism.

My hope is that whatever you do to make a good life for yourself — whether you become a teacher, or social worker, or business person, or lawyer, or poet, or scientist — you will devote part of your life to making this a better world for your children, for all children. My hope is that your generation will demand an end to war, that your generation will do something that has not yet been done in history and wipe out the national boundaries that separate us from other human beings on this earth.

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I learned something about democracy: that it does not come from the government, from on high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for justice. I learned about race. I learned something that any intelligent person realizes at a certain point — that race is a manufactured thing, an artificial thing, and while race does matter (as Cornel West has written), it only matters because certain people want it to matter, just as nationalism is something artificial. I learned that what really matters is that all of us — of whatever so-called race and so-called nationality — are human beings and should cherish one another.

Really profound words from a really profound individual.

Om Shanti

Naragan

Batu Caves: 4 Blind PKR mandores’ of Selangor MB peanuts politics of RM50,000.00.

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Just check the demeaneuor of the Selangor PKR EXCO mandore in white vashty (as we predicted) in Malaysiakini TV on 30/1/10 vis a vis his “prostrations” and “salutations” to his “Tuan” MB of Selangor. It only reminds us of the way the immediate past MIC Selangor EXCO mandore “prostrated” to his UMNO “Tuan” MB Selangor.

 

Giving out piecemeal handouts of RM50.000.00 to Tamil Schools and Hindu Temples is no real and permanent solution to the Indian problems in Selangor. By the stroke of his pen of the Selangor MB can grant land to all Hindu temples and crematoriums, Tamil Schools, squatters and Indian settlements in Selangor. It would not only offer a permanent solution but about half of the critical Indian problems in Selangor would be solved.

 

The Selangor “Tuan” MB has 100% powers to solve this Indian problem. But he would not do so. Because PKR, DAP and PAS think they may lose Malay votes so never mind the Indian suffering!. How then is he any different from previous UMNO regime under MB Khir Toyo.

 

To compound matters we now have four blind follower PKR Indian mandores in Selangor to implement PKR’s mandorism policies against the Selangor Indians in particular.

 

We are not even asking these four PKR Indian mandores to resign or even publicly ask their “Tuan” why state land is denied to all Hindu temples and crematoriums, all 98 Tamil Schools and Indian squatters and settlements.

 

All what we are asking for is for them to put an end to the 53 year old UMNO’s and now ably continued by PKR, DAP and PAS mandore policy using the MIC and to move on.

 

If you cannot help just, keep your MPs’ and Exco jobs by all means but we are not going to tolerate any forms of mandorism to further continue to cheat the Indians who have suffered enough for 53 long years. Especially through the conduit pipe of the three Tamil dailies.

 

Confucius once said that a thousand mile journey begins with a single step. If the “Tuan” Selangor MB, Anwar Ibrahim, Kapitan Lim Guan Eng and Hadi Awang deliberately refuses to permanently solve even this aforesaid Indian state land problem which is 100%  within their powers just because they may lose Malay votes then the Indians cannot expect PKR, DAP or PAS to address the scores of the other critical Indian problems.

 

Where do we go from here then? Self help. The Indian Political empowerment:- http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/books/TheWayForwardEnglishversion.pdf

 

 

The people side of the Hindraf Panthal at Thaipusam in Penang

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One little boy was brought to our attention in our Panthal that he had lost his mum in the din of things. Gokulan as he told us, was in Std four, but still little. He looked bewildered when I first set eyes on him, but soon after we had contacted his father using the handphone number Gokulan gave us, he settled down with a little more confidence, to wait for his father to come and pick him up. His father showed up about an hour later and he told us how grateful he was. My response to him was that we do not need to be thanked , what we were doing on the larger plane as Hindraf made it our duty to take care of every little aspect of the future we were all struggling for – his son included. Of course when Gokuklan left with his father, I could see expression of innocent gratitude in his eyes. These little things sometimes seem to evoke within me great passions and as I get older my emotions often overtake me.

 

Then there was Mariappen whom I have talked about in my other earlier writing, a whole family. Mariappen, his wife, and three sons, denied of their first and fundamental  right as citizens of this country, showed up at the Panthal. They were all so surprised to see me there as much as I was surprised to see Mariappen show so much responsibility by bringing his whole family for Thaipusam to Penang from Kulim. He smelled of stale alcohol and I looked suspiciously at him as I do everytime I find him in a similar state. But he vehemently denied and he said it was last night’s. I told him, if  he gave up his drinking and  at the next Thaipusam he carried a Kavadi I would dance for his Kavadi, something I have never done in my entire life. You should have seen the look on his face and on his wife’s eyes when I said that. Again it is these little things like this that makes my life so meaningful.

 

There were so many little eventful things that happened today. I am so happy today. A small team of highly committed Hindraf team in Penang – put together such a wonderful exhibition for the people, to tell them that Hindraf was well and  kicking and we were moving on to become the Human Rights Party of Malaysia, to lead them on.

 

They did such a wonderful job with a minimum of resources. They get nothing back personally from any of this, they only get many hours of additional work, maybe tension with their spouses – in one case Annathurai even had his wife and little daughter involved in the work of inviting the people on the streets to visit the exhibition that the others in the team had prepared for them. All of this gives me an exhilarating feeling, even though the organizing team was small, they were highly effective and so  committed.

 

Every little thing we do has to do with people, if we believe in  people, we will all be surprised at what little people can do. Hindraf stands for the little people,  and watch out what we little people will do for this country. We just had one political Tsunami, watch out for the next.

Photos: Batu Caves Thaipusam ” HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi Special Chariot Procession “

 

Print 30/1/2010, 6pm. HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi Special Chariot Procession accompanied with milk offerings & Kavadi’s  to Lord Muruga with conjunction of the auspicious Thaipusam Festival together with the fulfillment of the HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi 18 points demands and the save return of HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi’s Chairman, Mr Waythamoorthy to Malaysia .

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UMNO’s Wayang Kulit at Thaipusam, Batu Caves to fish for Indian votes

UMNO’s Wayang Kulit at Thaipusam, Batu Caves to fish for Indian votes without lifting a finger. No longer possible after 25th November 2007 HINDRAF Rally.

 

All 3 Tamil dailies, The Star, NST headlines and also in Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia this morning and the radio and TV stations carried the wayang kulit best pictures and coverage of Najib at Batu Caves Thaipusam festival under the Home Ministry’s directions. How desperate?

 

But why didn’t Najib get to the point and announce land for all Hindu temples and crematoriums and Tamil Schools all in one go as opposed to the piecemeal peanut and wayang kulit paper politics announcements they make.

 

But just see the pictures below and watch the free ride Najib is trying to get and his attempt in trying to fish for Indian votes.

 

P.Uthayakumar

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