Wednesday, March 31, 2010

According to the Hindu Sangam president S. Ganesan, 48% of prisoners in the 24 prison nationwide are Indians, while the Director General of Home Ministry, Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam is on record saying that 36,000 prisoners in jails across the country. This would mean that some 17,280 of the prison inmates are Indians. In fact, it becomes even more disturbing, when N.V Subbarow, the education officer of Consumer Association of Penang education officer recently revealed that Indian girls are now involved in murder and robbery cases.

All these must be alarming statistics, for a community which forms 7% of the total Malaysian population. It has now become all too common to read in the newspapers of Indian youths being charged or being sentenced for heavy crimes like murder, hijacking and gang fights. Even, the law journals are now enriched and replete with case laws involving Indians, something unheard of in the decades of old.

Many have blamed the high incidence of Indians being involved in crime is due to the marginalization of Indians as a direct consequence of discriminatory national policies, inappropriate distribution of opportunities and wealth and other social causes. To a certain extent it is true. But, that is no excuse for Indians to become a dysfunctional community.

My observation as a lawyer, makes me conclude that many Indians take to crime because most of them do not have or lack the necessary education and qualifications which in turn precludes them from possible opportunities.

In truth, Indians do have a choice. Instead, Indians wallow in self pity blaming the society, the system, political parties and the government for their predicament. That is similar to African Americans lamenting and blaming their social ills and backwardness because of their 400 years of slavery.

What Indians ought to do is to emulate the Jews who despite all the suffering, persecution and discrimination could rise above all and be successful. Closer home, we have the Chinese as a shining example, who despite all the obstacles, hardships and adversities could in a generation or two progress and uplift themselves. For both these races, they recognized that education was their redemption. Jewish and Chinese parents recognized that if they wanted to improve and progress there were no other alternative but education and were prepared to make enormous personal sacrifices and often without seeking help or handouts just to educate their children.

Here we have Indian fathers throwing away good money sitting and drinking alcohol in the coffee shop while complaining about inequality and injustice, without realizing he is actually sacrificing his children’s education by indirectly financing the future education of the coffee shop owners’ children. At home, at night, while the Chinese school children are doing their homework and studying, in many Indian homes, mothers’ and their children are happily glued for hours on Astro. What hope then for Indians? Perhaps, it is the parents who are preparing the children on a road to crime.

Indians must realize that Indians world over be it in Africa, Middle East, United Kingdom, United States and Australia are doing well. Many Indians, could do well especially in these countries is because of education, which opened the window of opportunities which was not available to them in their home country. With education and appropriate qualification, you are a citizen of the world and armed with education and the appropriate qualification, somewhere elsewhere you may find the opportunity.

Unless Indians are not prepared to recognize that key to change is education and they are not prepared to make the paradigm shift, they will be stuck in a quagmire of their own making. Then, they have no one to blame but only themselves.

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