Those who believe they are saving Indira Gandhi's daughter

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

- Robert F Kennedy

COMMENT | The disappearance of Pastor Koh and the kidnapping of Indira Gandhi’s daughter are manifestations of what is wrong with this country. I believe religious extremism is the existential threat facing our country.

However, I have focused my attention on personalities, rather than acknowledge the fundamental divide among the people in this country.

There is something dark bubbling beneath the surface. When I asked why the government is not interested in finding Indira’s daughter, I referenced a young friend in the state security apparatus - "Siapa nak (who will) believe that our boys cannot find this orang bodoh (idiot), tuan?” The police officer who said this may be young, but he has field experience in the Anti-Narcotics Division.

Attending the anti-ICERD rally, I was exposed to the other side of the Malaysian story, specifically the Indira Gandhi narrative. It was an education for me, because while many people welcomed me into their discussion, what I discovered was that for many people, rational discussion has no room in their worldview.

While rational people sympathise with Indira, there are many people out there who despise her. Despise her so-called “victimhood”. Despise the fact that she tenaciously goes against the system, which allows her to live in this country.

Reading comments on social media, you will discover that while most non-Malays view this kidnapping as a transgression against a mother, there are many Muslims who have no sympathy for Indira...

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