A couple of old news items that have gone viral on the internet, hit the writer’s mail box too, the other day based on Indian politics, which are very much congruent with the current Sri Lankan political culture. One incident reported by ANI/TW on 23 November 2017, described how a passenger, a female doctor named Dr. N. Nirala, at Imphal Airport shouting at the Indian Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, K.J. Alphons, due to her flight getting delayed as the VIP was late to arrive at the airport to catch the same scheduled flight (according to an ANI tweet that accompanied a video recording).
She was naturally distraught due to the delay in Minister’s inordinate delay in arriving at the airport, while the plane was held up by the airport authorities until the minister arrived! She had been waiting impatiently to catch a flight to reach Patna to attend a family funeral on time. The lambasting had taken place in the presence of a crowd at the airport asshe had become desperate to reach the funeral house in time. She was quoted as shouting at the Minister thus:
“The body is lying there, and it will degrade. I am a doctor; I know the body will degrade. It will smell, it is still at my home, I have to go”! When Minister Alphons, who was also Minister of Tourism, tried to pacify and reassure her, she had interrupted the Minister by insisting to have his assurance in “written form”!
The second incident is also a video that goes viral on the social media, though the actual audience or the place where it has taken place is not clear, but it appears to be during a TV discussion, where a female blasts Indian politics and politicians alike, with merciless accusations stating that in India “people are being brainwashed to think often about religion and peoples’ differences only;‘Muslims are violent, Christians want to convert, and Hindus want to take over”! She is seen questioning the panel as to who ingrains such nonsensical ideas into the general public’s mind and blames the politicians for such claptrap. “Have you ever heard a Politician or a Cabinet Minister talking about farmers’ problems or jobs,”she argues, and bluntly comes out with the question to a panel that becomes speechless. “ The Finance Minister and Economic Advisers, she says, are at loggerheads and making statements to each other, rather than picking up a phone to sort out their differences and problems, for the benefit of the people.”
When politicians come out with pseudo statements she wants the general public to think seriously and use their brains rationally and to realize that they are teaching hogwash. “Could anyone recapture of a decent conversation from a politician about the sufferings of the masses,” she questions and states that governments are supposed to supply with good education, a good health system, water and affordable food.
She further adds that “even the richest in India don’t have clean air, whilst the citizens have no clean water, no education, no health and no affordable food! She condemns all politicians who want to talk about religion and cast and emphasizes that politicians are not worried about people sweating out at work to pay taxes. One third of the population, she says, goes to bed without a proper meal, and it has to be the politicians business to solve such problems rather than spreading hate amongst the minds of the ordinary people.
Sri Lankan Perspective
In Sri Lanka, taxes do not matter to politicians as long as they are comfortable in their affairs, getting tax free car permits, duty free petrol and allowances of many a kind, as long as they are comfortable. Their main aim is to be egocentric and attempting to manipulate the masses with all kinds of bull, during every election time, in order to come to power. Some sections of their henchmen are engaged in brainwashing and confusing the innocent and untainted minds how to hate the other, either politically, racially or spiritually. They attempt to stimulate people in a certain way taking for granted that the ordinary citizens are stupid and mere idiots! But in real sense, today people have become much wiser, while politicians are getting exposed to the maximum limits of permissible limits.
What is applicable to India, as she put to the Indian panel on TV, is very much pertinent to Sri Lanka as well. People in this country too need to reject politicians’ balderdash and be able to say them that “my religion is not your businessand my race is not your problemor my religion does not concern you at all, and would you please mind your own business rather than trying to sell such ideas.”
A politician’spopularity or rejection by the very people who elect him or her to Parliament depends on his or her ability to justify the ‘sugar-coated’ promises he/she makes at general election platforms, bearing in mind that popularity, honesty, sincerity and simplicity are the basic ingredients required for a politician to survive.
With the amalgamation of two main political parties in Sri Lanka (UNP & SLFP), and the emergence of the new concept of ‘Yahapalanaya’, nearly three years ago, and the incumbent President, Maithripala Sirisena’s brainchild to work in unison as a single team for the benefit and progress of the nation is seen to exhibit evident hairline cracks that are, day after day, seen to become widened into major fissures. How strange is that the promises and undertakings pledged on election campaign platforms now appear to be confined to verbal diarrhoea, as millions of people in this country see on TV these days, but evidently seen as being constipated when it comes to action! The media in the meanwhile take the pun out of such inadequacies and go pal mal with exposures of many a kind of corrupt practices, in the Yahapalanaya regime, embracing nepotism. The two websites, which were banned only a few days ago go to show that there is hardly any difference between the Rajapaksa regime, which was labelled as corrupt and nepotistic, and the presentYahapalanaya regime in equal measure, which is repeatedly becoming exposed pathetically, under the very nose of the President
The current turbulent political situation in this Dharma Deepaappears to affect not only the citizens of this country but, the nature too has taken a rough stand as a way of punishment to those have deceived the masses with false promises, but sadly though, it is the poor, and the helpless are getting beaten from all sides.
In the bygone era, Sri Lankan Parliamentarians were gentlemen of prominence and promise, who hailed from respectable families. They were committed to work for the betterment of the nation with affection and dedication, despite having their individual political ideologies, but when it came to national issues, they forgot about their political differences and have stood firm as a team of true patriotic sons of the country.
One segment of the Yahapalanaya, which is the SLFP, is supposed to emulate their founding leader’s, (the late S.W.R.D Bandaranaike) policies. SWRD dedicated all his life in politics to fulfil his pledges to the people sincerely by selling all his lands, and finally mortgaging his residence at Rosemead Place, Colombo 7.
Wijeyananda Dahanayake came from an ordinary background but set a divine example to parliamentarians of future generations by commuting from Galle to Colombo in a CGR (Ceylon Government Railway) 3rd Class compartment mingling with the commuters, as opposed to the present politicians who are hell bent on having luxury limousines worth millions of rupees. Politics and politicians today have become two foul words in the general publics’ vocabulary as some of the present day parliamentarians are minus any such moral qualities of their ancestors, but a degree of vulgar affluence seems to affect them!
Sri Lankan politicians should take a lesson or two from the Singapore PM Lee’s speech on 18 May 2018 in Parliament, and also the latest and the new Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, who became the world’s oldest leader at the age of 92, how to run a country effectively.
Pic credit Ceylon Today