Owl Opinions

Generosity or Folly? The Dansal Mentality

The past May saw many Vesak dansalas sprouting around the country. During a time when poverty and inflation has led most to not even have enough for one meal, the dansalas did provide relief – temporarily. This was heartening to see as many donated food and collaborated on the dansalas instead of spending on giant pandols and Vesak kudu.

However, it got me thinking about the notion of handing out breadcrumbs from the table. Many privileged are very generous during festivals, to beggars, at dansalas etc. Yet how many of these people would ensure a living wage to their staff, empowerment in terms of education and helping to change policies that govern their companies and the country? Precious few. The reason certain people are insanely wealthy is because at some point there has been some exploitation of people. And this is very much a feudal model. In the 21st century, with education, women’s rights and human rights advocacy, one would assume the feudal model is now no more. Which is possibly the farthest from the truth.

Within homes, office spaces, government and private sector, the feudal model perseveres in obscure and overt forms. It is almost perverse in some instances and in others, more insidious. The Master – Sir, Nona – Mahaththaya dynamic in all its subaltern glory plays out to the tunes of many with each playing their role. Yet this structure leaves very little room for true upward economic and social mobility. In a fair system, it should allow anyone of any upbringing to reach their pinnacle based on their merit and not their social status, caste, religion etc. Yet this is sadly not the case. The very people who run to their temples, churches & mosques will gladly undercut someone who they feel would threaten their status quo. Woe betide a “servant” ever sit at the table with the Walauwe Mahathththaya.

In this context, is the generosity of the privileged who have structured our society and governance according to a feudal model, truly philanthropic? Or are these mere crumbs fed to satiate the starving for a few moments in a given period of time?


Meet Lilanka
“what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
An eclectic personality with a penchant for creativity, Lilanka is an old soul who loves life, laughter and stepping off the beaten track. She finds joy in nature, travelling and venting her existential frustrations via her writing while calming her body with food and her soul with music. Her motto is – “what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
A collection of eclectic expressions from life according to Lilanka Botejue. From her creative outbursts and passionate views to her love for nature, food, music and archaeology, Owl Muses is an attempt to capture these moments in time.
Follow @ instagram