Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bujang Valley & Malaysian Indians


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.....
- Comments

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for the explanation. There are Malays that tried to make things clear and gave legitimate sources of reference (not Wikipedia of course) but they were put down sensesly by some of these hardcore Indians (not being racist here but just mentioning the cultural background). It's hard to explain to them when they can't reason with us. All simply fired up by a short and wrong historical explanation in a Facebook status. What happen to the hundreds of historical books? Lazy to read perhaps..But thank you again for telling the truth from your part.

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  2. Thank you for the explanation. There are Malays that tried to make things clear and gave legitimate sources of reference (not Wikipedia of course) but they were put down sensesly by some of these hardcore Indians (not being racist here but just mentioning the cultural background). It's hard to explain to them when they can't reason with us. All simply fired up by a short and wrong historical explanation in a Facebook status. What happen to the hundreds of historical books? Lazy to read perhaps..But thank you again for telling the truth from your part.

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  3. I spoke the truth because I am among those Indians who know their roots very well. Only Indians with no proper record of their own roots will make false claims.

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  4. Could anyone shed light on what happened to the 'kingdom' that was in the Bujang valley? They seem to have vanished like the Aztecs of Guatemala; Vanquished? Destroyed? Tsunami? Or did they just become less productive? Yen is now one of the poorer districts in Malaysia.
    Agreed most Indians don't know their roots; same goes for Malaysians of all races. Many don't know their great grandparent's names. I am blessed to come from a community that has a 1,000 year old office in Pillayarpatti in Tamilnadu. My family tree on record stretches back to 1,000 years - about 20,000 population today. Every time someone from our families gets married anywhere around the world we inform the office and they include the male name on the 'tree'.
    There are references pertining to my ancestors' visits, at the Pillayarpatti library, to 'Kadaham' (Kedah) in ancient times. Such references to 'Kadaham' can also be found at the Chola Temple library in Tanjavur in Tamilnadu - a UNESCO World Heritage site. They are all written in Old Tamil, the kind found on inscriptions in almost all ancient temples in South-East Asia, including the Angkor Watt. But you are right - none of them actually settled down in the Bujang Valley.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm...Here is the thing, the kingdom in bujang valley never dissappear to begin with, it simply become Sultanate of Kedah after the ruler convert to islam and the capital shift from one district to another.in 13-14 centuries the port city of Sungai Batu(Bujang Valley) is still being use as a main port but soon abandon completely in later years after the emerging Sultanate of Malacca in the south.The reason it was abandon? simple, its gradually lost its prestige compare to other port.The indian and arab prefer to go to shining germ Malacca port compare to the old rusty port of Kedah Sultanate in Bujang Valley.Dont forget the downfall of Bujang valley is also because of the raid of Chola army in 11 centuries where a lot of kedahan Malay were brutally murder and their treasures were taken, not to mention chola army also tear down Bujang Valley and make it a barren land.That is the reason why the Kingdom "Dissappear" but in actuality the kingdom never dissappear its continue on until this day.Kedah,Kataha,Kadahram,and kalah, is the same name but different pronunciation depending on the race/people that came here.

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    2. Vanakam Subramax,

      "Agreed most Indians don't know their roots; same goes for Malaysians of all races. Many don't know their great grandparent's names. I am blessed to come from a community that has a 1,000 year old office in Pillayarpatti in Tamilnadu. My family tree on record stretches back to 1,000 years - about 20,000 population today. Every time someone from our families gets married anywhere around the world we inform the office and they include the male name on the 'tree'."

      I have heard about this before but I don't know which community it is. Mind telling me?

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