8 Jan 2017

Forgotten History

Title: The Malaysian Indian – Forgotten History of the Colonial Era: Sweat, Blood and Tears (A Pictorial Narrative)
Author: Janakey Raman Manickam
Publication Date: September 2016 (First Edition)
Thickness: 318 pages (3 cm) [Hardcover]
Publisher: Nationwide Human Development and Research Centre
Ready Stock: 0 copy (as on 2 February 2018)
My Price: RM90.00 + PosLaju RM10.00 = RM100.00 [Limited Stock] 

“I am neither an academician nor do I possess tertiary education. I am just an average Malaysian Indian who was part of the production cycle in the plantation sector.”

Thus writes Janakey Raman Manickam in the preface of his second book, The Malaysian Indian – Forgotten History of the Colonial Era: Sweat, Blood and Tears (A Pictorial Narrative) which was launched in October 2016.

I first met him in March 2011 – while the controversy of Interlok: Edisi Murid (2010) was still hot – to get a copy of The Malaysian Indian Dilemma: The Struggle and Agony of the Indian Community in Malaysia (2009).

Since I was unable to attend the launch on 9 October 2016 – as I was in Taiping for Temasya Bahasa: Penghayatan Bahasa dan Sastera – I met Janakey Raman in Klang on 7 January 2017 for a little chat; and to buy a few copies of his latest book.

It took him 17 years to do research on the Malaysian Indian social, economy, education and political issues before writing The Malaysian Indian Dilemma – first in Tamil, before it was translated into English.

After 5 years of further research, Janakey Raman wrote Forgotten History of the Colonial Era because, in his own words, “I am distressed to observe that the history of Malaysian Indians and their future advancement will not be recorded anywhere in this country.”

Janakey Raman underscored the fact that although the book is titled Malaysian Indian, he wrote the book for all Malaysians so that they could “read and understand each other’s culture and origins” (The Star Online, 9 October 2016).

“Another interesting historical fact that missed our attention (or deliberately ommited),” Janakey Raman writes in the introduction of his latest book, “is the date (circa) of the first arrival of Indians in the Malay Peninsula. It was generally thought (and taught at schools in modern day Malaysia) that the migration of Indians to Malaya only started during the Bristish occupation of this country.”

Topics highlighted in this book:

Hindu and Buddhist Influence in the Malay Archipelago
Raja Chola’s Influence in Kadaram (Kedah)
Melaka Sultanate and Islamisation of the Malay Archipelago
Melaka and Indian Settlements
Indian Migration Before and After the 1800s
Indian Labour Force in the Development of the Straits Settlements
The Forgotten Indian Participation in Nation Building
The Fall of the Might British and the Japanese Interlude
Indian National Army and Indian Political Awareness
The Slaughter House in Siam-Burma
The Road to Self-Determination & The Breach of Promise
State of Chaos
London Talks and the Independence of Malaya

According to Janakey Raman, this book is not available in bookstores. I have a few signed copies, and available only to those who are willing to spend RM100.00 (including PosLaju and processing/handling cost) for this gem of a book.

You might also be interested in The Malaysian Indian Dilemma (2012).

Note: You might be able to buy these books elsewhere for a cheaper price.