Thursday, May 24, 2012

Intra-Indian racism - Presana is not alone!

The current euphoria on the intra-Indian racist comments by the infamous Presana Narayanan seems to be burning bigger as the days goes by. There seems to be no end in sight for now, at least for the coming week. I tried not to talk about it much as there's already enough blogs, Facebook hate-page and comments that can even make her ancestors come alive. But then, as much as I tried to avoid, it seems the topic just hits you on the face with so much of attention, media coverage, threats, 'marriage proposals' and police reports against her. Her disqualification from the beauty contests further fanned the fire of hate towards this "inarticulate" girl, cementing the fact that she is very wrong for calling fellow Indians with derogatory names and hurling online abuses towards the largest south Indian ethnic group in Malaysia. One should not ignore the Likes & supportive words from other like-minded people as this girl.

So I did some reading about her, and in 2009 she apparently did this:
Courtesy of :
To: All Malaysian Malayalees
I have comments and suggestions about this association and all Malayalees. There are few things that I need to say and hopefully most of you can take this, realize it and change for the better.
For our information and as we all know that Hindi is a national language for Indians (not only in India). In Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia & English is used for our daily routine. Malayalam is our Malayalee mother language.
As an Indian, we should fluent in Hindi language at least the basic. And the culture of Bollywood. As a Malayalee, we should maintain and modernize our culture (Such as Bollywood – modernized Indian culture). This is for the eye of global. What most people love to see and that is what we suppose to expose it.
I realize that many of our Malayalees are following “Tamil” culture and speaking in their language. That is why some of us who doesn’t know to speak “Tamil” are victims for the Tamil’s critics. Do not be surprise when they say “You are an Indian and must know how to speak in Tamil”. It always happens to me. In this case, they do not know what and who is Indian suppose to be. They thought us to be “Tamil” not as an Indian (actually). It’s their revenge, so that all Indians able to promote their language and culture since they are been rejected by the Malaysian society. They cause so many problems such as “Hindraf”, gangsters and more.
We Malayalees know that “Tamil” people are who and what are the problems will occur in future if we meet with them. They are not supposed to be allowed in our community and association. Even any of our matters. We can make a good partnership with those other Malaysians Race who is non-Tamils.
There are some Tamils in our association because the rules & regulations in our society are not strict enough to check every member’s identifications. This association is only and for only Malayalees. That is what we call All Malaysian “Malayalees” Association.
Every Indian race has their own association. For example; Punjabi / Telegu (Co-operate and good relationship among own community, maintain & modernized of culture & people). Take this an example to build our True Malayalees.
This is not a racism statement. But to protect our Malayalees name, culture, people and future. Hope for the best!
Thank you.
Presana Narayanan

First few paragraphs got me thinking she's actually naive, for believing that Hindi is actually the national language of India. She's oblivious to the fact that, neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a national language, a position supported by a High Court ruling. So, her call for all Indians should learn Hindi looks like a big joke to many. Then came the part of modernizing Indian culture with Bollywood?? I did laughed-out-out on this 'wonderful' suggestion of hers. In the remaining parts of her 'letter', she exhibited deep desire to hate Tamilans, for reason only known to her. She feels that Malayalees must at all cost avoid Tamils, showing that racism is embedded in her mind.

Fast forward to 2012, the anger and hate of Tamilians towards this one Presana erupted, only this time larger than ever!! Her comments about Tamils, her ranting about their culture, origin got the majority of online Tamils fuming was captured here, here and also here. In just a few days, she became the instant sensation of the nation's Tamil community. Well, bad publicity is still publicity for her, unfortunately things turned from bad to worse for her, like her pageant disqualification.

Enough about Presana (I can hear you saying this), I agree. Now lets look how we (actually) look at ourselves. Predominantly the Tamils don't try to show them as different from other south Indian migrants in Malaysia, at least I don't see them doing so. But there are (small) percentage, who vehemently distinguish themselves from being collectively labeled South Indians. When asked by other non-Indians if they are Indian, they will reply I'm Malayalee, Telugu, Gujarati, Roti, Chapati or Ceylonese, Taiwanese, Japanese Tofu etc. Even among the Tamils are there so many 'classes' and 'levels' (others may call this caste). Although not openly discussed, at some point of our life we would have encountered these, particularly if there's a marriage function.

A couple of years ago, I experienced this first hand. While attending the annual Soorasamharam event at the Scott Road Kandaswamy Temple (run by Ceylonese community), a group of 5-6 Tamil youths were standing and talking in front of me. 1 of them proudly proclaimed that he's a Ceylonese Tamil, speaking in his 'mother-tongue' English. He went on for a good few minutes, condemning the south Indian Tamils in Malaysia. According to his logic, the British exclusively went and head-hunted the 'high-grade' Ceylonese Tamils from Sri Lanka and brought them to Malaysia in a chartered Airbus A380 (1st-est class) to handle the south Indians!! He also claimed that Indians are brought here for coolie work while Ceylonese are only brought for government, high profile jobs. He swear that the Ceylonese speaks the purest form of Tamil while the Indians copied and corrupted Tamil language. All this was spoken in English, mind you. 

So I tapped this complete stranger Ceylonese on his back and asked: are you a Tamil, he said he's Ceylonese, I asked again are you a Tamilan, he said yes. I asked him, why aren't you speaking in the 'purest form of Ceylonese Tamil'? He equipped he can't speak Tamil, not even the corrupted version of south India's. Then I started my 'V8 2.4L' Tamil engine in full view of his friends and others present, I told him my ancestors are from south India and I'm proud of that, even if you claim they are coolies. I'm also very proud of my Tamil people's heritage in Malaysia, speaking and upholding Tamil all our life. Finally, I have a place in India that I proudly call Tamil Nadu, and I can go and live at this place if I wanted at anytime of my life. I challenged him to return to his Ceylon and live with his 'high-grade' people. I told him, living in 'luxury' in Malaysia won't show you the suffering of your people in Sri Lanka, go down there and see, live, help those folks. I also told him, collectively the south Indian diaspora around the world have been collecting funds and rendering assistance to these displaced people in Sri Lanka, perhaps doing more than the 'original Ceylonese' like you. In conclusion, stop this 'excreta' of south Indians are lower class people than Ceylonese and go learn to live your life as human without labels. After all we are all from the same sub-continent called India!! All these were spoken in (copied & corrupted version) Tamil. The complete stranger didn't say a word. I continued to enjoy the event.

As we can see, even among the Tamils there are divisions of castes, levels, dialects, village, states, nations in between. I don't see that as a problem, until my community is 'trampled' by our own kind like above. We did saw the uprising of Tamils all over Malaysia condemning Presana for calling us 'P', did we do enough when Interlok did the same, in a bigger grander scale? Did we start a bigger movement to pressure the defiant group insisting to use the book as standard text in public school? Remember, there was once suggested that Tamil to be made compulsory for all Indians in public school like?? You can imagine how the other (fanatic portion of) Indian ethnics will protest this move, claiming Tamil is not their native language. 

The only saving fact is, in a group of Tamils, we have not reached a point where we distinguish ourselves openly by our self-inflicted divisions. We are divided, that's the fact. Once in a while, it gets front-paged like in Presana's case. I have to thank her for bringing together so many south Indian's, in one voice. Vanakkam, Vaalgha Tamil Valargha Tamilan!! வாழ்க தமிழ் வளர்க தமிழர்!!

[views here are my own experience and opinion, accept or reject at your own will]


  1. Nice article, especially your personal experience, but try NOT writing in Tamil, can or not? :)

    Really enjoyed the Kandhasamy koyil experience and understand now why you are not supportive of Tamil Eelam.

    Anyway, silly individuals will always be there. Best ignore them.

    Hindi national language of India and also Malaysia... kah kah kah

  2. thanks sir. encourage me to write more in Tamil, so I can improve my spellings ;)

    1. Sashiez......Bravo served the person his own medicine. Since when English become mother tongue for SLT in Malaysia.SLT (Sri Langkan Tamils).

      I really don't and can't understand the mentality of some SLT in this country. Yeah I agrees that the Brit's brought them into Malaya to work in Government sectors and clerks in plantations due to their education background in English. That was a century ago. Now the Indians generally and many Tamils specifically are educated. So this small group of SLT please come back to reality. You all talking as you all still far more educated then the rest. How many of you are in Universities especially in Public U which is hard to get in. Yeah,most of you are educated in overseas but you all talking as you are graduated from Oxford, Harvard, Yale, MIT or any of the IVY leagues Universities. Majority of you are graduated from a lower categories of universities which not even ranked as top 500 . So my dear SLT brothers and sisters please don't disgrace our forefathers. It doesn't matter whether you are SLT, INT (India Nadu Tamilians), MLT (Malaysian Tamilian).....end of the day we all Tamilians. If we can't help each other it doesn't matter but don't disgrace our root. Hope we don't end up like some Tamils in certain countries like Mauritius, South Africa where the Tamils there can't speak our mother tongue. Please wake up.

  3. You improve by reading more, not by writing more... :)
    what is வால்ழ? :(

  4. alamak, silap bin malap. sorry வாழ்க

  5. The rantings of a silly, sick Malayalee girl has caused an uproar among the Indian Malaysians including non-Tamils. Yet it is very disappointing to see some racist comments about Malayalees in general. Comments urging Malayalee women to be raped! 2 wrongs don't make a right, ppl. I sincerely hope this rage is not going to get out of hand where innocent ppl are hurt. Women who resemble Presanna may face scorn.
    Lastly, do you really expect a Malayalee, Telugu, Gujarati etc to say yes when you ask if they are Tamil? Please do not confuse Indian and Tamil. We are all Indians but we are not all Tamils. Peace.

    1. Anonymous,

      Sorry, it should be Indian instead of Tamil. I've changed the sentence to reflect the message. Thank you for pointing it out.

  6. No problem. There is so much I wish I could point out. But I am only part of a minority. My voice would not be heard. Thanks for listening, bro. Have a nice day! :)

  7. i learn some good thing from reading tis articles .... some from presana issue our Indians all being together... thats i feel so happy n unity was there .. .we all must look for good things also...nalla samuthayaiythai uruvakuvom....nila minu

  8. I did wrote something one the issue. but I look at it totally from different angle. This one particular post put me in hot bowl. Those who don't really understand what i try to deliver accuse me with many things and upload my pic on presanna's hate page. not forgetting those 'kidos' blast my family and myself with 'fluent' tamil vulgar words...

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