We Need to Build, Not Tear Apart – Reflections Post 21st April 2019
The fear psychosis that started on 21st April still continues. Coz there seems to be no end to the extent of the extremist ideology and how it has insidiously woven itself into the tapestry of Sri Lanka. In the midst of this we have more things being discovered every day. And the explanations given are rubbish. People are scared, angry and want answers. Which is understandable. Those who were empathetic are now slowly getting angry because there are no explanations and there seems to be no end to this madness. And our leadership has failed to provide any reassurance or words of guidance in the midst of this mayhem. There only seems to be a consistent suppression of social media which is like putting a plaster on a bleeding artery.
If truth be told, we have all fallen into the trap of living in our own world, our own bubble where we have surrounded ourselves with like minded people. Religion and ethnicity may be interwoven into the Colombo middle and upper classes but not to the general public as a whole. If you take the whole country we have all sidled into our own pockets. Even in Colombo there are enough and more insular pockets. People who hang out only with their own. And so you become tunnel visioned in how you view the others coz you don’t know them. You never bothered to find out about them coz there was no need. Unless someone in your family married someone from “another” group. Be it religion, ethnicity, social class etc. And when a crisis like this strikes, the differences are highlighted to a stark level and our ignorance is blatantly displayed in all we say and do. In addition, the media does nothing to quell these fears and only fuels them some more along with ruthless politicians with their nefarious agendas. Your ignorance and fear have become the weapon now. And we are being manipulated. Daily. And we don’t even realise it. Under the guise of national security we would agree to anything. Even if it means cutting the hand that feeds us coz the “unknown terror” out there is far more terrifying than the truth we know. We would overlook the bonds forged over centuries and decades in fear of the “unknown” terrorist lurking in our midst. And this is what terrorism does.
More than the acts of terror it perpetuates the fear of terror and it is crippling us every day. Each time we turn around and want to lash out in anger remember who perpetuates this terror. It’s not the communities. It’s the vassal lords sitting in their seats of power with their smirks and their agendas. We are the pawns. We are merely the fodder for the crocodiles. Who we trusted to protect us have failed us. And we are being used as the buffers in this ‘war on terror’. Try to look beyond. At the bigger picture. And understand that the more we give in, the more we will suffer. These are times we need to exercise great self control. To not let the urge for rash action to take over. The only thing we must do as rash action is to vote wisely next time. Not to take out the ginger and bring in the chillies.