Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Multi-racial Acceptance is a two-way street.

The very term 'Racial tolerance' is one that I do not agree with. 'Tolerance' means 'to put up with'. In my view, you only 'put up' with problems or discomforts. I don't see living together in a country with other races as a discomfort or a problem, and I'd hate for others to view living with me or my community in that light.

I would prefer using the term 'multi-racial acceptance'. We accept one another as fellow Malaysian. We live side by side with acceptance of the ways of one another. Or at the very least, that would be the ideal scenario.

That said, reading an article in today's NST disturbed me. Last Monday night, there was a Bharatanatyam performance in Taman Budaya, in Ipoh. Having attended countless bharatanaytam performances, and accompanying my sister to many of her dance performances, I know a thing or two about this art. I definitely know the importance the dancers place to the worship of Lord Nadarajah before beginning their show. It's a very simple pooja, sometimes just a mere offering of flowers, but one deep in meaning and importance.

On Monday's event however, the owners of the venue, the state Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Department, refused to allow this integral part of the performance. Adding insult to injury, they actually showed their 'tolerance' by 'allowing' the prayer ritual to be done backstage, 'to respect the sensitivities of the audience, who also comprised Chinese and Malays'.

Come on! I have attended thousands of fuctions where a 'doa selamat' is said. Is that any different from this? If I went as far as to claim that the 'doa selamat' does not 'respect the sensitivities' of others, would I not be public enemy No. 1? But no, that is not what I have been brought up to say. Because I, ACCEPT the way of others around me. I for one, believe that God is one, and all religions lead to Him.

Sometimes, one cannot help feeling that even if the majority of Malaysians can rise above the trivialities of race and religion, there will always be the one government employee, stuck in the past, who throws the wrench in the works.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

shut up lah u n ur mic stuffs..makkal sakthi.......

S.Murugesan said...

Dear Mr Premnath,

Congratulations on setting up your own blog. Your views on Multi-racial Acceptance is refreshing and encouraging. We must learn to speak up and put accros our ideas constructively. Please don't be discouraged my anonymous comments that asks us to shut up. March on brother!

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Premnath Agamutu said...

Thank you bro.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me. :)

E.Venkates Rao said...

Hi Bro,

I really appreciate your courage and YES no words should stop us working for our agenda to UNITE our Indians.
I'll be more thn glad to see our indian brothers joining together or furnishing with positive ideas to work on this rather then just commentings by words which does not bring any positive result.



-Venkates Rao-