They were demonstrating against the Education Ministry's decision to make Interlok a compulsory reading material for form five students taking the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams, this year onwards.
Police moved in and arrested Manogaran and Arjunan around noon, when the former addressed those gathered and urged the Indian community to unite against the introduction of the literature component in the Bahasa Malaysia subject.
Both Manogaran and Arjunan were taken to the Gombak district police headquarters.
They were released at about 2.40pm after their statements were taken.
Earlier in his speech, Arjunan called for the complete scrapping of the textbook as required reading as opposed to mixing parts of it.
“We don't want our government or the education ministry to merely modify a book that is a major problem to the Indian community. The book contains many problems and raises moral issues,” said Arjunan, reading from a statement.
“The Indian community wants Interlok done away with, but why is the government headstrong in this matter? It's our belief that the government wants to portray the community in an ill-manner,” he said.
Arjunan vowed to continue holding strikes until the novel was withdrawn from secondary school syllabus.
Civil society groups representing the Chinese and Indian communities had launched a firestorm of protests against the government for endorsing the novel, which they said disparaged the minority communities and urged for it to be withdrawn.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, however, insisted that the novel will be retained pending amendments to its contents.
seals: Thank GOD Tunku is not alive to see this .....