I don't really understand what is the fuss about the novel Interlok. It seems that the Indian community in Malaysia is not very happy with the use of the word pariah in the novel. They are demanding the government to withdraw the novel which is used as a literary text for form five students. They believe that the novel would inculcate a racist view among the young Malaysians. Some of the Hindu extremist have even burnt the books to show their dissatisfactions with the book. Some of these Indians also used the Thaipusam day to degrade the Prime Minister by demonstrating against the use of the the novel.
I believe that most of these Indians have not read the novel. They only demonstrated based on what their leaders say. May be some of them get paid to demonstrate.
The novel itself was written more than 30 years ago by Abdullah Husain and it depicted the actual life of Malaysians at that particular time. At that time that word was used quite regularly and the readers of the novel understand the context that it is used. If the Indian community felt that the word pariah ought to be deleted than out of consistency they should also demand that the word be taken out from our own dictionaries.
It is just a trivial matter that is manipulated by opportunistic politicians that are out of ideas. These politicians are really bankrupt of ideas but wanting to stay relevant. The government should not be held ransom by the politicians and it should stand firm.