Bujang Valley is an ancient archeological site in the northern Malaysian state of Kedah. It contains archeological evidence and structures that shows the ancient Hindu-Buddhist heritage of the state. The temples are known as chandi.
Recently, a not so smart developer demolished a particular chandi believed to be 1200-1300 years old (8th century AD). Suddenly many self proclaimed Indian champions of Bujang Valley became very agitated. MIC and Hindu Sangam became very upset. Indians of Facebook were busy condemning the government for their inaction.
All because some Indians claimed that INDIAN HERITAGE was destroyed. Because these champions thought their grandfathers and great grandfathers built it.
The chandis were built even before the time of Rajaraja Chola or his son Rajendra Chola. Rajendra Chola attacked ancient Kedah in 11th century AD. That is a few hundred years after the chandis were built. Furthermore, he sent a military expedition but neither he nor his father personally participated in it.
But our beloved hardcore Indians thinks that Rajendra Chola came here, ate Nasi Lemak bungkus and left.
I was hurt too when I read the news. Not because of any Indian taglines but simply because I love to dwell in history. Furthermore, Malaysian government should preserve the history of this land. Malaysia was after all a Hindu-Buddhist domain before the arrival of Islam. The Hindu-Buddhist past of this land must never be erased.
The ancient Malays, I mean the ancestors of the real Malays, not the Melayu Celup or Constitutional Malays, were the ones who built these chandis. They would have gained the knowledge from the Indians. After all, didn't they learn religion from the Indians? Didn't they use their language? Didn't they use their writing scripts?
You see, we Indians of Malaysia have a problem. We think that anything linked with Hinduism must have been created by our direct ancestors. It is true that Hinduism was introduced to Southeast Asia by the people of India. But that does not mean every single chandi was built by them.
Some of the ancient Indians who came here would have intermarried with some hot local Malay girls in wet sarong and lived happily ever after. Their descendants would have just remained here and became ancestors of some of the locals.
These ancient Indians who settled down here and their descendants are not the direct ancestors of the present day Malaysian Indians.
We have been here for probably around 200 years only. Anything beyond that goes back to India. We can still trace our roots to some village in India but none of us can trace a continuous lineage that lived here for 2000 years.
The oldest community to live here among the present day Malaysian Indians are the Malacca Chetties. They are Tamils of the merchant Chetti caste. They came here during the Malacca empire era and lived here since then. They did not go back to India. Some would have intermarried the locals (again hot girl in wet sarong) but they didn't end up loosing their 'Chettiness' for the last 500 years.
But your grandfather and my grandfather settled down here during British rule. Although their ancestors would have traveled here earlier, they never stayed permanently. So how can we claim that our direct ancestors were the ones who built and lived along the chandis in Kedah???
Because if it was our ancestors who built it and lived here permanently, we would have been a 'rojak Malay' by now and not a Tamil speaking Hindu Malaysian Indian.
I am sorry to say this but it looks like most of you Malaysian Indians don't seem to know your own roots. You don't know which caste you belong to, you don't even know the name of your ancestral village in India, then why on earth simply say things which are not true?
A person who knows his roots very well will know the caste and village his taata and paati came from. He will not simply lay claims to a heritage which was built by another race.
To make the problem worst, the modern Malaysian Malays are not speaking up to defend what their ancestors built. This is because their ancestors were not Muslims like them. Their ancestors were Hindus and Buddhist.
So the general Malay public which has been coated with Arabic culture does not seem to give a damn about their own Hindu-Buddhist heritage in this land. They keep speaking about heritage which is Islamic and forget about their pre-Islamic glorious past.
Again, I am only referring to the pure Malays, not any Malay wannabe like the not so honorable Ridhuan Tee Abdullah who has roots in China.
The Malays should learn from their cousins in Indonesia. Despite being the most populous Muslim country in the world, Indonesia accepts and preserves the Hindu-Buddhist past of the country. They don't live in denial.
And to my fellow Malaysian Indians, I think for as long as you don't know your own roots, you should not even bother opening your mouth about other ancient heritage.
You cannot take care of your own heritage, why make so much of noise for something which was never yours?
End of tantrum.....