George Town – Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof Dr P.Ramasamy has commented on the latest Tamil blockbuster movie Kabali. The following is the full text of Ramasamy’s comment as posted on his facebook page:-
“Over the last 60 years or so, so much has been written and spoken about the sad and miserable plight of the Indian community in Malaysia. In this respect, it is not that Malaysian Indians are not aware of their situation and don’t need to a commercial movie like Kabali to tell who their oppressors are and how they should move forward.
Kabali is work of fiction and scenes depicted in the movie bears no resemblance to reality. However, the popularity of the movie has been over exaggerated simply because the main actor is none other than Rajnikanth, a icon in the Tamil movie world. If so much money had not been spent in the production of the movie and Rajnikanth had not acted, the movie would have been dismissal failure.
Although it is work of fiction, the movie does make some feeble attempts to show that how Indians were treated in the past and how they are treated to day. Even the limited scenes about Malaysia found ready acceptance amongst the audience as they could relate to their everyday experience in the country.
Some of the MIC leaders were the first to watch the screening of the movie last week and I suppose secretly “enjoyed” the scenes that sought to depict in patches the everyday reality of the Malaysian Indian life.
It is strange that MIC leaders who have failed tragically to address the problems of the Indian community have to be reminded what needs to be done by watching a commercial movie like Kabali.
I doubt that the movie has any message to be channelled to the Indian community. It collapses 200 years of the community’s history into 150 minutes. Even the history is a bit distorted to give primacy to the commercial bent. There is no serious message, except to say that some of the practices of Indians are holding them back from progress.
If Indians are to depend on commercial movies for their re-awakening than this something sad for their future. The actor Rajnikanth might be a “super star” but in real life he has not done anything worthwhile for the Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu. But ironically, the money he makes and invests come from the poor Tamils in Tamil Nadu.
While some of the MIC leaders enjoyed the movie and perhaps they were reminded of the scenes of their utter failure in uplifting the community in economic, social and political terms. However, after having watched the movie and after the movie was depicted in negative terms in a Malay Daily for calling Indians an oppressed community, some MIC leaders demised Kabali as work of fiction.
More than this, one MIC leader went to the extent of praising the BN government for doing so much for Indians in terms of providing for Tamil schools, financial assistance for the economic uplifitment of the community and in other critical areas.
I suppose this leader was perhaps offended by some of the scenes that reminded himself of his failure in addressing the plight of the Indians and how the MIC has miserably failed in representing the community. Kabali would not have been shot in the country if the MIC and other political parties had performed their historic and contemporary role.
Yes, Kabali was fictional movie and its main thrust was to make handsome profits. However, what was different was the fact that the movie sought to depict, without going too deep into the subject matter, the obstacles that stand in the way of the progress of Indians. Yes, from this perspective it was a superficial movie, very entertaining, perhaps a slight eye-opener for those who have no knowledge of the community’s history and why its members are regarded as “third class” citizens.
Let us not make a “mountain” out of a “mole-hill”. Let us not read too much into the inner meanings of the motive behind the Kabali movie. Hundreds of Kabali like movies are not going to change the dire situation of Indians in the country. What Indians need is a major political transformation, transformation that would give hope and meaning for Indians who have been long discriminated and shunned in the country by the Umno led BN government.”