Indians in this country are diverse. They are of different ethnicity, religion, language, colour, creed and so on. Generally, they are divided into northern Indians and southern Indians. The northern Indians are Punjabis, Sindhis, Gujeratis, Bengalis and the southern Indians are Malayalees, Telugus, Tamils and so forth. Indians are Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others.
In this country, the Tamil Hindus form at least 80 percent of the Indian population and they are the ones that make up the majority of the MIC and PPP. Their home state is Chennai (Madras) and they speak the Tamil language.
Now, to get to the crux of the matter.
Tamils were brought into this country as labourers as opposed to the Sri Lankan Tamils (Ceylonese) who were brought into this country to serve their British masters in offices. From the very beginning, there was disparity of income and status between the two segments. The Sri Lankan Tamils grew to prominence and cultivated huge pieces of land via hardwork and shrewdness. The Tamils remained as they were.
However, slowly but surely, many Tamil parents decided that the only way around the colonisation was to ensure that their children received the best possible education and henceforth sent their children to government schools in the cities. From there, the Tamils began to make a recovery and the likes of P Uthayakumar, P Waythamoorthy and M Manoharan emerged.
To curtail the rise of the Tamils and others, the government introduced the NEP with the original intention of helping poor Malays and other poor Malaysians. The noble idea has since been diverted and twisted to enrich some of the already-rich Malays. Today, the Tamils make up the ever-growing underclass and are found in estates and prisons. The city Tamils live in slums, the minority Tamils live in relative comfort and the even smaller minority like S Samy Vellu, M Kayveas and S Nallakarrupan live in luxury.
Hindraf was set up with the noble intention of fighting for the underclass Tamils. Rightfully, they have recognised the need for it as the Malaysian government has taken an open but obscure stand on this matter. The lawyers that represent Hindraf have the necessary education, foresight and clout to propel the Tamils forward in this country. MIC can no longer be relied on to champion the rights of the Tamils.
MIC was a potent force during and after independence but of late, it has become impotent (for want of a better word). Tunku Abdul Rahman, Hussein Onn, Abdul Razak and Mohamad Mahathir set the tone but Abdullah Badawi and Khairy Jamaluddin has made it a reality that the underclass remain an underclass as long as Umno remains in power.
Can Hindraf succeed? The timing and support seems to suggest it. Last but not least, good luck and God bless Hindraf.