We Reap What We Sow
The political fiasco unfolding before our eyes is almost reminiscent of a well enacted drama with elements of tragedy, comedy and random acts thrown in from time to time. From stinking nepotism, daylight robbery and blatant disregard for the poor people of this country (which is a majority), the wheel keeps turning down the road of destruction aided and abetted by the belief of many that a wolf in sheep’s clothing is better than a sheep.
Discipline. Clean roads. Military ruling everything. Method to the madness. Roaring economy. These were the great plus points touted by the short sighted idiots of this country. And majority are learned. Some are fervently singing the same Hosannas they did in 2019 because for them – food, shelter and income are a given. When you have never suffered discomfort in your life it is easy to dismiss the suffering of others. Empathy has never been the plus point of the privileged. And it’s showing in all its glorious colours these days.
Anyone who has ever taught or understood what discipline is, knows that it starts from home. And it flows from the top down. My father who served 20 years in the SL Army told me the same. And discipline is not about controlling people. That is control. Discipline starts from the mind. Focus and discipline are traits you learn in meditation and Buddhism. Control, fear and punishment are elements practiced by those who wish to suppress a people and their minds. Militarisation has never worked successfully because it is based on the fear and control aspects. Not on true discipline.
If Sri Lankans are to be ‘disciplined’, that practice has to start at home and the leaders of this great nation need to epitomize discipline. Appointing rogues to run the Central Bank, appointing friends and relatives to high ranking positions, handing over administration of a medical pandemic to the military – these are not the traits of discipline. When the top is corrupt, it flows to the bottom.
In the middle of a pandemic, there are plenty to take advantage of the situation. Sellers are undercutting their regular customers, drug addicts and opportunists are begging for food pretending to be poor and the government is increasing the prices of food, of imported items – including household essentials like fridges and fans. We live in the tropics – food spoils without refrigeration and we will boil to death without a fan.
While it is a great thought to believe that you can be self sufficient – it is only a donkey who has not set up the infrastructure to be self sufficient with industries coming in (these usually take decades) that believes they can do things overnight and with zero expertise. The organic fertilizer fiasco is one such example. No one in the world is 100% organic but Sri Lanka will achieve it. We have not discovered oil but if we do, we can save our debts. What utter poppy cock. Honestly, Sri Lankans have literacy but no critical thinking or intelligence.
But then again, why are we surprised? We are a people who believe that Ravana existed, that he flew a helicopter and visited every hill and cave this country beholds and that his chosen people are the people of Lanka and therefore that makes us some kind of chosen nation.
In this context, we have honestly got what we deserve. Many young and intelligent people will “never join politics” but we expect there to emerge some saviour like some phoenix from ashes. Point is – who? When our parents’ generation steered clear of politics, they did themselves a service but us, a disservice. When the civil service became the enclave of the politicians, they appointed their henchmen to carry out their thuggery. Today government service is sadly creaking under the weight of the political lackeys who have been put there to earn money through commissions and to cripple whatever honest to goodness method that exists.
This fiasco is on our parents’ generation and on us. Many will disagree – vehemently – but it is what it is. You can’t remove yourself from a system and then fault it for not running properly. We are after all a society – an ecosystem that needs to have the necessary checks and balances. Many will leave this country to find a fairer system in another land. But those of us who stay here – by choice or otherwise – we need to join the fray or continue to suffer at the hands of those who do.