Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm Sorry, Presana Narayanan....

..but I just cannot excuse you for all those things you "uttered" about Tamils. Because, the truth is, there is no excuse for those derogatory remarks you made in a public domain for all to see.

You are an Indian of Malayalee extraction/descent, as you have said.
 In Malaysia, the Indian community is made up of  Tamils, Malayalees, Sikhs and Telegus.
 I am aware that there have always been some kind of stereotyping or prejudices among them which have been in existence since time immemorial but are not so obvious in Malaysia. Perhaps these prejudices have dissipated over time. But if they do exist, I can say that this is so typical of or within any community or ethnic group. It is very human. A human weakness, if you may.
But these prejudices must never be allowed to rear their ugly head and get out of control.  At least I know that most Malaysians make it their business not to let that happen.

We thank God that we all have learnt to embrace each other's differences and celebrate diversity. Oh, I do hate to sound like an advertisement, but you know what I mean.  We are all anak Malaysia.


So, Presana. After all the hoopla and hullaballoo that you caused among the Tamil community following your insensitive remarks -- not to mention the backlash from the beauty and model search contests in which you were a finalist,   you are repentant.

 You have apologized.

Here's the thing, Presana. When I first heard of your "story" and the rantings in your FB status update, I thought you were either a very young girl or a very old lady.

 A young girl might not be exposed enough or an old lady might have been living a sheltered life with all those prejudices inside her. I thought, okay-lah, this Presana person probably doesn't know any better -- a kind of denial on my part that there are people like that. Also,  my own prejudice at work.

Rupa-rupa-nya, saudari berusia 31 tahun., sudah bekerja dan seorang jelitawan. Adoi! Sudah dewasa..

You have explained why you said what you said in tarring all Tamils with the same brush as those unsavoury characters you mentioned.

But I read your remarks. You sounded very clear-headed and very confident. Very sure. I also read your police report.

So, you know, you should have expected the equally rash responses. Some were vicious, of course. You unleashed all the anger in people. Not everyone can be nice at the receiving end. And those police reports against you. Ouch!

Enough anger in some to want to hurt you, right? That is terrible, right?

I'm not going to judge you (although, initially, I must have and I apologize for that) but I hope, dear Presana, that you have learnt a very very valuable lesson. You may still harbour those prejudices -- that's your right, really. You don't have to like Tamils. And they don't have to like you. But neither of you sure as hell can call those names on each other.

 People make mistakes. people are not perfect. We are but mere mortals and no one is infallible. But...it takes nothing not to vent that kind of anger.

Stay cool.

Peace, sister.

19 comments:

bruno said...

Nuraina,maybe this lady came from another planet and has been out of touch with the civilised world.If that is the case then we have to excuse her for such an unruly behaviour.Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nuraina,
Well written! very nicely put!
cheers!

-FunkFatherBulat-

Anonymous said...

well said

mae said...

My experience, a Malayalee socialise nicely with Tamilians but when they are with Malays they belittle the Tamilians.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

bruno: i wsa utterly shocked by her remarks about Tamils. At the same time, I think i know where she was coming from. But she was deeply misguided by her anger at some Tamils that formed her prejudice. However, she has made references to her grandfather treating Tamils the way they should be treated. That was scary. Like the KKK...you know...I shiver and quiver when people speak of "treating people the right way"...

I hope she has realized her foolish thinking. I hope it has nothing to do with the way she was raised -- her upbringing..

I know stereotyping and prejudices...we all are guilty of a little of that....but not in a dangerous or alarming way...

still, presana was unbelievable...makes me think that an Indian of Tamil descent must have hurt her in a real bad way...but that would be pure speculation on my part...

Have a nice day!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mae: hmmm...really? is that a fact?

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

i don't know whether Presana is alone in her viewing the Indian community as Tamil, Malayalee, telegu< Benggali, Punjabi etcc or it is normal for Indians to see themselves in the different groups.

Ananth said...

Nicely written .. where is the like button? :) Cheers ..

Selwam said...

Nuraina, this presana really made me mad by her comments. I wrote a lengthy comment in my FB but decided not to post that, simply because i didnt wana do the same mistake as hers. Yes there are few ethnic groups between Indians, and all of us have our complaints at each other. But as you have pointed out, it exists everywhere. Even tamils have certain opinion on telugus, malayalees and sikhs, but all that purely on perception. So you just cannot blow your top with that kind of perception. Presana in her so-called apology had mentioned two incidents that made her to post those comments. I can relate more than that to complain about telugus, malayalees and sikhs whom i have known, but is that fair to them? Is presana so ignorant to perceive all tamils in that way? As you said, she was very clear and firm in uttering those comments, that is why exactly the tamils find very difficult to forgive her. Does she think the anti pages will disappear the next day? Never. And im saying her statement as "so-called apology" as it never sounds like a sincere one. And it came out through an excusive news report (which not a wide-read paper, unfortunately). But the damage was done at social media which open to the whole world. If she is really sincere, she must come out to openly to apologise. Till then, she will be haunted by her own deeds.

An Indian said...

Wow, as a Non-Indian, you have spoken your mind very prudently and not to mention, maturedly (I don't know how old you are). Well said, fellow sister!

Azure SKye said...

I am a Malayalee.

However, I never knew I was Malayalee or Indian as a kid. I never knew how to tell people aprt by their race/ colour of their skin.

My parents made sure we treated people based on their insides- their heart, their soul.


I have had bad experiences with some Tamils. I don't speak their language, we speak English at home.

My friends consists of mostly non-Indians, only because I dont speak Tamil. Even then, these people still have things to say about every bloody thing.

I dont understand their ways- I have heard things being said by some of the idiotic, childish boys :'She thinks she's so pretty because she's fair skinned la'. - all because I pay no attention to their cat-calls & them.

There are more. I just don't care. You know why? They're just ridiculous.

But, not everyone is like this. I have close friends who are of Tamils origin. They're great- smart, funny, super fun to be with.

Honestly I just don't care. I know who my friends are.

What Presana did was not right. Not everyone behaves the way she's said they do. It's ridiculous to judge people like that, unless they have personally deliberately hurt you.

Azure SKye said...

It is normal for most Indians to view themselves as 'Telugu', Tamil etc etc.

I never knew I was Malaylee until I was 19. Never knew there was a difference.

Anonymous said...

Indira: Hi Nuraina. Honestly speaking.. i have never seen those people around me grouped as Tamil, Malayalee, Telegu, Benggali, Punjabi etcc. I come from a family mixed with Tamils, Malayalees and Telegu, Ceylonese , Chinese all through marriages and i have no time to separate any one of them. They are people. That's all.
It suprises me how can one being born and bred in Malaysia, can simply take some much time in turning out to be a racist. It certainly doesn't help or benefit anyone.
Thank You.
Have a nice day.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Selwam: actually, when i found out about presana and then read her postings/updates, i was quite sad. i couldn't believe that someone like her, raised in malaysia -- felt such prejudice against tamils.

i know who she is angry with -- some good-for-nothing tamils who harassed her. but they don't represent all tamils.

there are always bad apples.

i mean, people hate mat rempits. i hate them too. there have been times, i just want to knock them down.
most mat rempits are malays. but not all malays are rempits.
if someone were like presana, then can u imagine what would be said of malays?

i hope she has wisened up. really, she's already 31...not a kid.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

azure: absolutely..

indira: my sentiments exactly.

hak55 said...

Indians insulting Indians, it's rare but it does happen but the more common happening now and is the most worrying are Malays insulting Malays in this country and this has been going on for far too long.

The government is also seen to take sides and this is what that is actually worrying me!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

hak55: let's hope it doesn't get any worse...

Anonymous said...

wow, just reading abt this incident today.
You know, everyone is so bent up with the indian girl's doing. What about the indian guy at the cybercafe? why did no one bother to check the cctv or the cybercafe logs and punish the guy so that it will be a lesson for all harasser?
im not saying what she did was right. im just saying we are fighting for the wrong things.. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I just came across this article. I'd like to share that I know a Malayalee person who is like Presana. She is a parent at my child's school. What is shocking is is criticizes Tamils only when she is in the company of a non-Tamil. I was shocked when she told me about how she is raising her sons not to socialize with Tamils and she will never accept a Tamil daughter in law. Me being a liberal, was dumb founded to hear it.