Malaysians protesting against Manipur violence accuse Indian High Commission of double standards

The Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, accepted the protest memorandum against Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks on eradicating Sanatana Dharma but refused to send a representation to accept the protest memorandum on Manipur violence, the protestors have alleged.

THE Socialist Party of Malaysia has expressed concern over the government of India’s inaction against the violence in Manipur, which continues unabated for the fifth straight month.

Reportedly, the violence in Manipur began after the Manipur High Court directed the inclusion of the Meitei community as a Scheduled Tribe. 

This quickly escalated tension between the ethnic minority Kuki-Zos and the majority Meitei population, most of whom are Hindu.

As of July 30, 181 people have been killed, more than 300 have been wounded and about 54,488 people have been displaced.

Commentators have compared the situation to a “civil war”.

Founded in 1998, the Socialist Party of Malaysia bats for workers rights in Malaysia and a move away from big Western powers worldwide. It has a sizable presence among the ethnic South Asian minorities in Malaysia.

About the memorandum

On September 10, the Socialist Party of Malaysia along with other 19 civil society organisations held a protest in front of the Indian High Commission’s office in Kuala Lampur, expressing their deep concerns and condemnation of escalating violence in Manipur.

The Socialist Party and other organisations had prepared a protest memorandum in which they expressed outrage over the weaponisation of sexual violence and the failure of the law and order machinery to prevent the escalation of ethnic tensions.

The organisations expressed concerns over the Indian government’s passive response to the Manipur violence, which according to the Socialist Party of Malaysia compounds the suffering of the affected population.

In the protest memorandum, the organisations urged the Indian government to take immediate steps to de-escalate tension, to stop sexual violence, and ensure a law and order situation in the state.

The memorandum also stated that strict action must be taken against those responsible for creating turmoil in Manipur and that the government should provide support to affected communities.

Double standards

In a statement, the Socialist Party of Malaysia asserted that the Indian High Commission refused to send any representatives to accept the protest memorandum on Manipur violence.

The statement contrasts this behaviour with the act of sending an officer to receive protest memorandums against Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark on Sanatana Dharma a few days earlier.

The statement states: “The Indian high commission acted as if they were representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Malaysia. The Indian high commission should maintain a neutral political position and actively provide a space for discourse involving all kinds of ideas and views.”

As per the statement, the Socialist Party of Malaysia claimed that the act of declining to send a representative sends a message that the Indian high commission does not consider the issues of human rights as a priority or worthy of deserving their attention.

Diplomatic channels, such as accepting memorandums or engaging with concerned parties, provide opportunities for constructive communication and problem-solving. By refusing to engage with the memorandum and the concerns raised by these groups, the high commission is essentially avoiding a dialogue on the issue,” the statement averred. 

This inaction indicates a lack of involvement or interest in addressing the grievances related to Manipur violence,” the statement concludes.

The Leaflet