Saturday, January 09, 2010

We are to be blamed

When I was in standard one there was a malay kid in class who had this habit of lifting gals skirts and looking underneath, he was the naughtiest boy in school. One day the kid tries it on me, and instead of crying I caught his hand in time and cried wolf to the teacher promptly getting him sent to the principle. Now the normal Hollywood story would tell you we both continued to live with a grudge against each other.

Instead my mom came into school the next day and we had a chat with the little rascal on his interesting ways, at the end of the conversations we shock hands and became friends and also managed to convince him peeking under gals skirts is a bad thing. While he stopped doing that he still continued to be the naughtiest boy in school with most people but we remained friends up to high school even though we weren’t classmates anymore. We’d bump into each other in school and go hey.

One Monday when I was 17 one of the school teachers got up in front of the assembly and announced that naughty friend of mine had died of denggi during the weekend. I wasn’t even over the shock when the malay teacher went on to say good riddance. This educated teacher of ours who is supposed to instil good values on us just hailed the death of a teenager. He was a misunderstood cheeky kid who was seeking attention, instead of reading an al-fatihah for him this educated lady celebrated his death.

As you know a very tragic thing happened yesterday, 3 churches were attacked by religious bigots in the guise of mat rempits (rowdy bikers) and everyone is criticising the hell out of their actions while feeling super self righteous about themselves.

I’m not racist, I would never do such a thing – it isn’t part of who I am – seems to be the words out of everyone’s mouth.

Now the core event that spurred the regretful actions formed from the issue of the usage of a word. It finally went to the court of law and just as 2010 arrived, a verdict allowing the usage of Allah by the herald was passed. Immediately thereafter a stay on the order was obtained and that sparked what I would say was a chain reaction that lead to the incident.

People can be classified into three groups Intellectuals, educated and the non-educated. While the third is pretty easy to define, let’s see what differentiates the intellectual to the educated. The educated comprises those with degrees, phds and such book educated certificates while the intellectuals are people who think before they talk, educate themselves before taking any action and know how to word their views so that the other 2 sectors can comprehend.

Now the educated are mostly made of middle class people who always complain and issue statements in their circles but never try to make a change. Finished with their mumbling they move on still holding a grudge to continue their everyday lives.

2 educated individuals started of two groups one supporting the usage of Allah and another criticising the usage on Facebook which sparked such varied actions by the rest of the educated lot. Ah the brilliance of Facebook, a social network in the guise of a psychological map of society. From a society that once watched their actions and words and kept their dark racists thoughts to themselves, Facebook has unleashed these bored souls on their truest thoughts.

Now we would no longer need to quote Mahatma’s words – Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are – the new age proverb would be - Show me your Facebook Profile and I will tell you who you are! Since I coined this I should get due recognition!

While on the surface these people preach equality of religion and race, the next thing you know they’re joining caste based groups, groups that make peachy statements condoning and teasing other races and religion and so on. What once used to be information shared with a select few are becoming facts known by all. We the educated ones are running a rampage on our 1 sided views oblivious to its implication. The only difference, we won’t be bothered with taking any action as we have lives to get back to. Just as my teacher had celebrated the death of a person while telling herself I didn’t do/ say anything wrong, we are as guilty.

Now the non educated fellow has nothing to lose, he listens to the news, to bits and pieces of conversation by the educated bunch, powered by the passion and his utter ignorance to the basis of his religion he coins a plan and executes it. He has nothing to lose and dying or being punished for an issue he is most passionate about is more important to him than anything else.

If we had intellectuals heading our religious sectors and the government, they would have laughed of this issue of a word and hailed the usage as a proclamation of Allah, that another religion has decided to use it. If that had happened everyone would have quietly stopped using the word so as not to seem praying to another religion.

Heck if it was left to me and another religion proclaimed shiva which in context means the supreme one as their religious word for god I’d be aesthetic for they haven’t figured out the full meaning of the word in Hinduism. Put together with Namah it forms the most sacred manthra in Hinduism which means

namaH - not mine; shivAya - belongs to shiva. It is negating the ahankAra (ego) and realizing everything to belong to Lord shiva.

Now while I would say this, the rest of the educated and non educated lot from my religion/ race would jump the guns on my absolute rudeness to their religion and race. Trust me I have been unindianised so many times its quite funny.

But if you take the lessons of history into account, other religions decided to stay of the word because it would mean they wouldn’t be able to reach the remaining groups who specifically worship one of our 100 000 gods. So they stuck to the word bagawan (hindi) or andavar/ iraiva (tamil) to specify god in their religious translations.

So who is to be blamed for this whole fiasco – WE. We instigated religious and race sentiments, we thought we were doing the world a favour and taking a stand when all we did was fuel the actions of the non educated who look up to us for guidance. If the educated thought it was right why should we think otherwise?

The country isn’t getting more racists/ intolerant, we’re just becoming more verbal and open about it. The incident of my school teacher happened 13 years ago. The only difference is the speed of the reaction. Our actions today are escalating the process of what would have taken months to happen to a matter of days.

“Eh bro kau tau tak ada satu group kat fb to yang menindas pengunaan allah dan ada beribu orang join”

“Hey bro there’s an fb group that is against the usage of allah with thousands of ppl joining”

Those COULD have been the simple words coined at a mamak (hawker) stall somewhere that sparked the whole fiasco. I’m sure you would have overheard a similar conversation once and I’m pretty sure the group on the other side of the issue is also having similar conversations. I actually saw comments suggesting people retaliate and burn down a mosque (like I said the educated can be a stupid lot). How long do you think it will take for one of their uneducated ones to do something as stupid?

FB may not be behind this fiasco but it has definetly played its part in escalating the issue.

If you asked me to join a group condemning the burning of the church I would (but depending on how it was worded), that was wrong – but taking sides on an issue that is stupidly being made huge by both sides – I have better things to do. Take responsibility of your actions, sit down and reflect on these groups you're joining at a click of a button.

You have a choice to be an intellectual or remain an educated person. So which one are you?

NOTE : like I said I am not on anyone's side but if you feel hurt coz you did join one of these groups or similar ones - then its time you reflected on your actions.
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Mizzsharon said...

The one great issue which is dividing us, the Malaysians apart, is religion. Its not culture, race nor language, etc.

Of course I'm angry. Who isn't? Condemning act like burning of churches and the killing of cows is acts by your "Non educated" and "Not so educated" group of people.

How to create social stability like that leh?

When there is one dominant group which feels threaten by every single issue that pops up and feels the need to retaliate and maintain status quo. Who's the one feeling threaten now?? Hm...

Just sharing =)

Visithra said...

so if one person eats shit the other should do the same in retaliation?

apparently so since now a surau has been attacked? so whats next harming people and then retaliating in the same way?

this is how wars begin - for the most trivial matters that could have been solved with inteligellence

My days(Gops) said...

hi visith, how are u ? long long time :) ..

comment for ur prev post.

btw, you've been to my home town trichy? howz it?

Visithra said...

gops : im gd - how are u - havent seen u around for a long time ;)

trichy was nice - ive been there before ;)