Monday, August 1, 2016

Attempt by Tamil Daily Malaysia Nanban To Justify Kabali as S.A Ganapathy

I am totally disgusted after reading an article published in Malaysia Nanban daily"Yaar Antha Kabali (Who was Kabali) on the 31st July 2016 which full of misleading information and misinterpretation of Malaysian history. The attempt to portray the character Kabali as S.A Ganapathy proves poor ethics in journalism practiced by the daily.  
Yaar Antha Kabali - Malaysia Nanban 31st July 2016

Even more disgusting when one article reported in Tamil Nadu that some upper caste chauvinists started to claim that the character Kabali was based on their own caste. Wherelse, Kabali's director Pa.Ranjith claimed that the movie based on Dalit's struggle in Malaysia.
(I refrained from naming any community/caste implicating to Ganapathy as Ganapathy did not claim to belong to any caste. Ganapathy's ideology was based on class struggle but not caste!)

In Namban's article, one incident in the movie which related to wage issue was referred as part of Ganapathy's struggle. This is a dire mistake. The editorial team referred the incident to "The Klang Strike 1941", without even realizing that Ganapathy was not involved in the strike!

Even though colonial records showed Ganapathy had been an active member of Malayan Communist Party (MCP) in 1939, but he did not involve in the Klang Strike 1941. The Klang Strike was staged under leadership of R.H Nathan and Y.K Menon of CIAM - Central Indian Association Malaya. The reason why Ganapathy did not involve in the Klang Strike was due to an "important issue" which effected almost all Indians migrants living in Malaya at that time- which I will reveal in my book. (Apologies for that!)

Beside that, there are some factual errors in the article:

1. It was mentioned that Malayan Communist Party - MCP was banned in 1947. In fact, MCP was only banned in 1948. There were representatives of MCP took part in public events organised by Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions in 1946 and 47.

2. The article mentioned that Ganapathy was member of Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA). No colonial document nor historians mentioned about this. Even Anthony Short (the author of In the Pursuit of Mountain Rats) who had a full access to many colonial confidential files did not mention that Ganapathy was part of MNLA. This is one of the reasons why Ganapathy was caught on Waterfall Estate and not in the jungles.

3. It was mentioned that Ganapathy was the person who informed Netaji on Japan's defeat in WW2. But this is yet to be proven. There could be other Ganapathy(s) in INA. Furthermore, Ganapathy was court martialed during his time in INA due to his communist links.

4. It was mentioned Nehru took personal interest in Ganapathy's case. But one would doubt this after having read the colonial documents that mentioned Indian High Commissioner to UK, V.K Krishna Menon only met with Lord Listowel to discuss about Ganapathy on the 3rd of May 1949 - one day before Ganapathy to be hanged. The telegram to save Ganapathy was sent from the UK Prime Minister Clement Atlee's office at 2015 hours (8.15pm GMT) which would received in Malaya around 4.15am. If the Indian leaders intended to save Ganapathy, they would have taken all possible measures in the earlier stage. After Ganapathy's execution, Periyar criticized the Indian leaders for their inertness and failed to act promptly.

5. The article also mentioned that The Straits Times editorial exerted pressure upon High Commissioner of Malaya Sir Edward Gent to take drastic action against strike organizers. This was taken directly from my blog. Of course, I have mentioned this in my blog referring to the ST editorial. But only those who have researched well in labours strike in Malaya would understand that it was not the editorial of ST who pressured Gent, but the United Planters Association of Malaya (UPAM) and the Rubber Growers Association (RGA) who lobbied a huge and expensive campaign to oust Gent from Malaya.

6. The article failed to mentioned Ganapathy's involvement in Hartal 1947. It failed to mention on his speech during a meeting in Ipoh on the 15th Oct 1947, which was published in full text in many newspapers at that time including The Singapore Free Press, Indian Daily Mail and The Malaya Tribune. The essence of the Ganapathy's struggle and his ideology reflected clearly in his speeches. I have extracted the speech in my blog

It was in deed a misleading article by Malaysia Namban - who have taken 98 percent from my blog and thank Wikipedia instead ( Wikipedia made many reference to my work).

I would seek the readers' judgement to dissect the article. Stop this insult - Ganapathy was not a gangster as portrayed through the character Kabali! Unlike Kabali, Ganapathy fought against the oppressive British capitalist regime in Malaya. Kabali, in other hand, blamed the Chinese and the Malays for the deplorable condition of the Indians in Malaysia!    

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