ALSO BY

By Tamil Mani

Waytha, choosing between Ravana and Rama matters

The last few days have been really very sad times for Malaysian Hindus, and especially those who belong to or associate with Hindraf.

I am not referring to the purported betrayal of Indian Malaysians by P Waythamoorthy, the leader of Hindraf, for signing a MOU with BN, nor his willingness to work with BN, nor his subsequent call to Indian Malaysians to return BN to power with a two-thirds majority.

There are enough letters and comments from the cyber-world and right-thinking Malaysians to condemn his latest decision in his avowed bid to uplift the Indian community.

Specifically, I am referring to Waythamoorthy's defence of the MOU wherein he had said it is inconsequential whether Ravana or Rama rules the country.

This is what has me - and, I believe, many other Hindus - really peeved with Waythamoorthy.

In effect, what Waythamoorthy meant was this: "I don't care who - bad or good - rules the country for as long as I get what I want."

Self-centred and short-sighted, he is prepared to gamble away the long-term welfare and well-being of Indian Malaysians for short-term gains.

Whether his stance pays off is left to be seen in the near future.

To make matters worse, and in pursuit of political expediency, Waythamoorthy made a mockery of Hinduism by implying that any ruler in the likeness of Lord Rama is inconsequential to him as long as he has achieved his ends.

This, and to equate, compare, or relate Lord Rama to Ravana in the context of a questionable MOU, is a huge disservice - even sacrilegious - to all Hindus everywhere.

Maybe, a little lesson from our Hindu epics and scriptures will, hopefully, do Waythamoorthy some good.

Ravana was an asuran, a demon king whose rule of Lanka, though characterised by his concern for the welfare of his people, was marked by violence, cruelty and greed for power.

He also had hatred for those - including his own brothers - who advised him to mend his wayward ways.

This ten-headed monster became so powerful that even the demigods prayed to the Supreme for his ultimate destruction.

And, Ravana's death came at the hands of Lord Rama.

The Lord is the incarnate of the Supreme Soul who takes different forms every time there is unrighteousness in the world. And to right the ills and evils perpetrated by mankind and beasts.

Lord Rama took a human (and princely) form not only to kill Ravana, but to show mankind how life should be led according to Hindu scriptures.

Lord Rama is the symbol of chivalry and virtue.

In the words of the sage Swami Vivekananda, He is "the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king."

Now, for Waythamoorthy, to unfavourably cite the Lord's name in a mundane manner and context is the biggest travesty!

For sure, because of his unexpected and shocking U-turn, Waythamoorthy had to defend his decision against many critics, especially those who are also well aware of the plight and status of Indian Malaysians and have been working towards a practical solution.

For sure, he has a right to embrace any party whom he deems will be able to fulfill his goals of uplifting the Indian community, even if it means working with the devil.

But, to drag the name of the Lord in spurious circumstances is unforgivable!

Waythamoorthy undertook a "severe" fast recently, hoping to move the caretaker PM Najib or the PM-in-waiting Anwar to his cause.

Subsequently, he conveniently abandoned the fast when his unrealistic demands were not met by either party.

Then, when his hopelessly scaled-down blueprint was endorsed by Najib, he demeaned the Lord by dragging His name in a thoughtless manner.

With scant regard for the Lord, why then fast in the confines of a temple? Was this merely a big show of piety?

Waythamoorthy should have had his farce on the streets, in similar fashion to disgruntled politicians in India who put on a grandiose but pathetic display of fast to gain attention for personal gains.

Hindus of good nature who know their scriptures and follow them faithfully, aspire to reach the Lord through liberation from the vicious cycle of birth and death.

On the other hand, grossly passionate and ignorant Hindus do the opposite through greed, lust, and anger.

Some even go to temples and make rich offerings to the Lord or undertake severe penances merely to seek material wealth, fame and power.

Some carry out charities, or lead organisations purportedly for a noble cause, yet with expectations of some gain or reward in mind.

Whatever egocentric austerities and penances one does, he or she cannot fool the Lord when these are carried out under pretence!

Hindraf was (and still is to a certain extent) a good thing that awakened Indian Malaysians in particular and Malaysians in general.

But, when its leaders are overcome with obsessive passion, they make unreasonable demands and blurt out ill-conceived statements to defend their actions.

Ultimately, they lose themselves and their souls.

To Waythamoorthy's view of the insignificance of the Lord, only time will answer.

Till then, I hope the Lord will have mercy on his soul - whatever little is left of it.