WHy should the government even talk to anybody who demands the controversial literature novel "Interlok" be withdrawn as a school text book. Who are these people who want the book withdrawn. Earlier it was for the word "Pariah" in the novel to be rescinded now they want the whole book thrown out. In an issue there are aggrieved parties. In thus interlok issue the party directly concerned are the pariahs. So the pariahs please stand up and take the matter to the government. Why are non-pariahs making a lot of noise. They are not pariahs, though they are Indians, so why are they in the forefront of discussions with the government. The authorities should tell them to go get the real parties concerned and not talk to intermediaries. If the late MG Pandithan,the man who was kicked out by former mic president samy velly from the party for posing a threat to his leadership,was around he would have have proudly represented the pariahs. Now the only one who comes close to officially identifying himself with the cast is the leader of the namavars, datuk vyran t.raj. The millionaire is for now the leader of namavar, a loosely formed movement which prefers to be refereed by the newly-coined term rather then pariahs.
But he too seems little interested in a seemingly useless issue which serves no practical purpose. The reason why other Indians of different casts are interested in getting the word dropped and the book banned is that they are afraid that the other races knowing very little about Indian cast system might lump them all together and refer to them as pariah, regardless of whether one is a Gounder, Chettiar, Deva, Senegalese, Malayalees or even Indian Muslims. FOr non-Indians an Indian is an Indian whether one is a Brahmmin, Panakote, or any of the Indian ethnic groups.
The Interlok novel became controversial after Indian groups, including MIC, claimed that the author had portrayed the community in a negative light, especially with the use of the term “pariah”.
Following this, the education ministry agreed to amend the book, and an eight-member panel was set up to make recommendations.