The Situation in Palestine

Michael Walker and the British communist commentator Ash Sarkar discuss Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza in terms of Western geopolitical interests. They deconstruct the blatant media bias in covering the conflict, which they set in the context of Israel’s ongoing settler colonialism and apartheid. The critique is centered on Omar Badder’s analysis and questioning of the entry point for Western media reporting, which is as follows –

  1. Status quo: occupation/ apartheid is violence against Palestinians
  2. Then Israel escalates through evictions/beatings/ shootings
  3. Then some Palestinians respond w/violence.
  4. Then Israel “responds” w/massacres

“If you start reporting at #3. you are misleading your audience”

New Superstar

Mammooty + Rajinikanth | CM Kerela + CM Tamil Nadu

In the sixteenth State legislative assembly elections of Tamil Nadu held on the 6th April 2021, the DMK won the majority of seats and its president M K Stalin, son of previous Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M. Karunanithi, will reportedly be sworn-in as the Chief Minister on May 7.

When Superstar Rajinikanth dropped out of of Tamil Nadu politics in December 2020 on the basis of ill health, he was in effect, acknowledging the impossibility of religious politics in Tamil Nadu. It seems that neither his spiritual politics nor the BJP’s Hindutva, for which he was allegedly a proxy, had a chance of victory in the political milieu of the South.

In the meme pictured above, Rajinikanth’s visage in a still form the Mani Ratnam film Thalapathy has been replaced by that of MK Stalin. This meme also presents Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in the place of Mammooty, who plays Rajinikanth’s friend in the 1991 film.

Both the Dravidian MK Stalin and the Communist Pinarayi Vijayan are avowed atheists.


Bunuh Keling


According to Yahoo News A Ganapathy died in hospital on April 18 2021 from injuries allegedly sustained while in police custody. He was arrested on Feb 24 in connection with investigations into his brother who is wanted by the police. He was released and admitted to Selayang Hospital on March 8th. Ganapathy was an Malaysian Indian trader who had earned his living selling cow’s milk. He leaves behind two children aged five and seven. This is the latest in an ongoing series of such incidents in Malaysia wherein Indians have died amidst allegations of police brutality and custodial killing.

Annie Dorol notes, in an article in Living that, while the government acknowledges that 284 detainees have died while in police custody between 2000 and 2016 (more current statistic being unavailable), news portal MalaysiaKini and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) found that custodial deaths are under-reported, with only 1 in 4 deaths actually publicized. Further, ethnic Indians, who make up less than 7% of Malaysia’s population, account for almost a quarter (23%) of officially reported deaths in police custody. However, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), estimates that the actual figure could be as high as 55%.

There is a Malay expression that pits the threat of an ‘Indian’ against that of a ‘snake.’ In its most extreme form, it goes like this, “kalau bertemu ular dengan keling, bunuh keling dulu”. Sadly, it seems that more and more snakes are getting away ….

Keling Pariah 4

Pa. Ranjith is the director I admire the most in mainstream Tamil Cinema. His ability to infuse this commercial medium with the messaging of an ascendant Dalit consciousness, as he did in Kabali and Kaala, while maintaining box-office success, is astounding. Ranjith is a fearless activist and provocateur. Ranjith hails from a cheri (ghetto) in Karalapakkam, Tamil Nadu and, according to wikipedia, he is from the Paraiyar community.

Pariah has become a slur and a derisive word in English and in Malay and Indians get upset and enraged when they hear this word. Why? Well, this name comes from the cast order that is Indian and Hindu. Attitudes towards it reflect the worst racial prejudice that is innate to Indian culture. The Pariyar are a community that is categorized as outside of the Brahmanical social order. While I deplore the use of the name of this community as a slur in English and Malay, I suggest that it is more important that Indians stop flinching when they hear this word, as that reaction comes from their own racist impulse.

Keling Pariah 3


Although the Paraiyan community serves various important functions in Tamil village society, their name is associated with the lowest of the low in village life – the stray dog. I have personally heard the phrase ‘para naieh’ or ‘lowly stray dog’ used in my childhood. Edgar Thurston lists some Tamil proverbs that refer to Paraiyans —

(1) If a Paraiyan boils rice, will it not reach God? meaning God will notice all piety, even that of a lowly Paraiyan.

(2) When a Paraiya woman eats betel, her ten fingers will be daubed with lime, meaning the Paraiya woman is a slut.

(3) Though a Paraiya woman’s child be put to school, it will still say Ayyē, where Ayyē is vulgar for Aiyar or Sir.

(4) The palmyra palm has no shadow: the Paraiyan has no regard for seemliness, meaning the Paraiya has ne decorum.

(5) The gourd flower and the Paraiyan’s song have no savour, sadly the Paraiyans use this saying themsleves.

(6) Though seventy years of age, a Paraiyan will only do what he is compelled, perhaps infantilizing the Paraiyan.

(7) You may believe a Paraiyan, even in ten ways; you cannot believe a Brāhman, using the Parayian as the low mark.

(8) Is the sepoy who massacred a thousand horse now living in disgrace with the dogs of the parachēri? the Paraiyan settlement as a place of shame.

(9) Paraiyan’s talk is half-talk., perhaps a reference to Paraiya uncouthness.

(10) Like Paraiya and Brāhman, meaning a vast chasm of difference.

(11) Not even a Paraiyan will plough on a full moon day, perhaps a reference to the unclean or unholy aspect of the Paraiyan.

(12) Parachēri manure gives a better yield than any other manure, referring to the lowliness and the exploitation of the Paraiyan.

(13) The drum is beaten at weddings, and also at funerals, meaning a double-dealing unreliable character.

(14) The harvest of the Paraiya never comes home, meaning wastefulness or perhaps irresponsibility?

Before the Malaysian Indian community reacts to the pejorative connotations of the word Keling in Malay language and idiomatic expressions, we should look at our own prejudices and racism towards our own Tamil brothers and sisters.