A Hindu activist speaks at a rally for the PAS, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party. An opposition party, the PAS gained support from Indians and Chinese, most of whom are not Muslims, after the Nov. 25 violent crackdown on the Indian protest in Kuala Lumpur organized by HINDRAF.
I traveled to Malaysia in January of 2008 to photograph in the large Indian community there, mostly Tamils whose ancestors were bonded laborers brought from India by the British to work in rubber plantations.
Malaysia's Indian community has undergone significant political transformation in the past year, starting with a protest in Kuala Lumpur on November 25, 2007, that drew tens of thousands of Indians -- and the wrath of the Malaysian government, who deployed water cannons and tear gas. The protest was organized by HINDRAF, the Hindu Rights Action Force, a group which has recently been banned.
Here are some links about the issues affecting the Malaysian Indian community, some of which I have contributed to or which present my pictures.
Here is my collection of resources on the SAJA Forum about the Nov. 25, 2007 protest and the run up to the March 8, 2008 election. Human rights lawyer Anil Kalhan at the SAJA Forum provides resources about the recent banning of HINDRAF. V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, my traveling companion in Malaysia, has a post at Sepia Mutiny about the release of some of the HINDRAF detainees on the occasion of Deepavali. In that thread, I have a long explainer about HINDRAF and political Hinduism in Malaysia.
Sugi and I covered some of these issues on the ground in Malaysia and Singapore in January 2008 for Sepia Mutiny. Here are links:
Guest Blogging from Singapore & Malaysia
Singapore Days, Part I
"There are protests everywhere": Singapore Days, Part II
Malaysian Protest Theater
Photos: Indians in Malaysia
A Spot of Teh
Malaysia's Indian Challenger