Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Dimension: 153cm x 214cm
In Collection of National Art Gallery
A curious buyer once asked a fisherman, why only one particular basket was not covered when there were lids on the rest. He smiled and said, Oh, don’t worry, these are Indian crabs, when one comes up, the other would pull it down!
This story has been used by motivators, wise cracks and some of our politicians and I grew up watching how it silently influenced the Indians. It has dampened many people and though it might sound like a joke, it is deeply seeded in Indian community that a common Indian would hesitate to give a job to his own kind.
But that was then and now we are changing. This exhibition itself is a proof!
I painted this to tell our society that the crabs have changed; and now they are only helping each other to go higher! The IT crab that is on the most top is probably the goal we are working towards.
The portrait is of an unsung hero who died for our race, yet forgotten and erased from the minds of our present Malaysians. The name is S.A. Ganapathy, the chairman of Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions who fought for the rights of the Indian workers before Malaysia’s independence and was hung by the British for trying to create awareness among the Malaysians then! I feel a leader who died for his people must be remembered and treated with respect and honour. We, Indians need an icon to look up to and to be inspired!