By Nishthar Idroos –
As a student of Marketing I have been pretty impressed at cost-effective Marketing solutions afforded by social media to burgeoning entrepreneurs, social reformers, political opportunists and those alike. For good or for worse online platforms have had the ability to trigger tremendous reach within short periods of time. Social media doubtless playing the role of a catalyst in revolutionizing the information age. How could a theme as “esoteric” as “Sinha le” reach vast audiences across nations and continents sans Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube?
When you are settled in a distant land it’s very rare you get intimate, detailed updates of happenings in Sri Lanka. Uncle Mohideen came on Skype from the blues. Last I met the elderly gentleman couple of decades ago as a teenager, he was a close friend of the family. It was a very emotional re-union. We discussed many things as you would imagine. It included his grand-daughter’s wedding to the absolute madness in Sri Lanka’s accident prone roads. Without prior warning Uncle Mohideen brought my attention to a supposed nationwide blood donation gathering momentum in Sri Lanka.
The elderly septuagenarian went into minute detail. He said the campaign was supported by extensive propaganda. Uncle Mohideen by the way did not speak or read any Sinhala. He was referring to the plethora of three wheelers and other vehicles carrying the now famous “Sinha Le” sticker. He told me even Simon Ayya a three wheel owner in the neighborhood whose services the family sought daily to accomplish routine errands and chores had a sticker prominently displayed on his vehicle. Of late the affable Simon Ayya much to Uncle Mohideen’s chagrin had got a trifle indifferent.
I had to clarify matters to Uncle Mohideen. I told him it was not a blood donation. “Then what” he interjected. I told him it’s complicated and cannot to summed up in a couple of sentences. In short I told him, those involved did not know what they were doing. I told, it was remote control politicking – the unorthodox kind. Had nothing whatsoever to do with any blood or its donation. Uncle Mohideen was understandably perplexed “Why would you say that son” he interjected for the second time.
I clarified the matter further. I told these were ignorant and desperate strategies of a defeated, discredited, depraved, depleted and despondent group indefatigably employed to grab political power whenever an opportunity affords. They for sure will leave no stone unturned to ensure rift, division, confusion and pandemonium.
The buffoonery of Sinha le can only resonate with racists and those with similar predispositions. These are tactics of those who have lost every conceivable moral modus to realign and reintegrate with the people. Pride in unjustified and vacuous exceptionalism is downright ignorance. It only brings out the wrath in people. A course of action that’s assured of an expeditious political decline and oblivion. No amount of inscribed verbiage on their epitaphs will be able to obliterate the scoundrel they actually were.
True nationalism is sincerely addressing matters that actually matter to people. Issues that are directly connected to their wellbeing of people and sustainability of their aspirations. The male lion is indeed a lazy creature and it’s the lionesses that does everything.
I could see from a vantage point thousands of miles away and have a better grasp than those living closer. This mischievous campaign though well organized and funded are led by desperate people. Most prominently the yeoman services provided by a young MP strategically donning the expedient national attire. A darling of the segment he represents. The guy’s wardrobe strictly binary, either black or white. Don’t ask me the appalling levels he stoops to exhibit egregious demagoguery.
If ever someone ever needed blood it was these guys, their cohorts and their extremist sponsors. They surely have more than one reason to flush toxicity from their systems and reload with fresh ones. The ‘Sinha le’ campaign initially launched as a sticker campaign gathered momentum in social media platforms and had become virtually ubiquitous. Its chief architects doubtless trouble makers supportive of extremists’ elements like the Bodu Bala Sena and their financiers.
During the height of the raucous days of BBS militancy, when different shades of orange festooned city landscapes and rendered untold havoc. When Mahinda Rajapakse was at the helm pontificating chintanaya with aplomb. One issue that grabbed my attention and deeply etched my psyche was a bold proposal made by the most respected Gnanasara Thero. His proposal was for male Sinhala Buddhists to have atleast five wives in the backdrop of perceived disproportionate breeding of minorities.
In all honesty I consider this move pragathasheeli or immensely progressive. I truly value the perspicacity of the distinguished Thero. This is a brilliant idea atleast the only sensible to date from the Thero to effect something substantively meaningful. This is decisive thinking and doing something truly beneficial to the Sinhala race. Let’s face it, at the core of this very cacophonous campaign is an ill-founded fear that Sri Lanka would cease to be a majority Buddhist country in the future. A perceived demographic threat that has to be addressed sooner than later.
As a matter of fact even our new and energetic Minister in charge of Megapolis was once a mobile and well-tuned statistician trotting the globe and openly lamenting to the Sri Lankan diaspora in eloquent Sinhala the supposed pitiable predicament. Some even speak of the Jihadi terrorist threat .i.e. courageous duelers galloping on black stallions, brandishing diabolical weapons and chanting “Allahu Akbar” decapitating and proselytizing as they march through.
Regardless of the merit of these absurd claims, it’s my contention we must support whatever proposal the majority race considers useful to swell their numbers. It’s my contention the proposal for polygyny be considered favorably. I don’t see any reason why anyone would have to raise any objections.
Let’s give our majority brethren an opportunity. If the parliament can initiate a debate and get this ratified the Sinhala Buddhist, atleast those clamoring could immediately embrace plurality and immediately get on with the act to swell numbers. Such a strategy would no doubt prove immensely tangible over cosmetic and vacuous mobile displays of meaningless slogans gathering dust on pollution ridden roofs of three wheelers imported from India.
Whist getting on the bandwagon of procreation those Lion blood folks should also not lose sight of the already high rate of mortality arising from smoking and drinking in Sri Lanka. It pays to remain consistent in everything one does. They must work for a total ban on anything that’s proven to be debilitating in terms of injury. Almost six million people die from tobacco use and 2.5 million from harmful use of alcohol each year worldwide. The rate in Sri Lanka is particularly high. As someone said Sri Lanka is no longer the granary of the east but a brewery for the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco is expected to kill 7.5 million people worldwide by 2020. Alcohol-related deaths account for 3.8 percent of all deaths worldwide.
Additionally those with supposed lion blood must also urge the government to consider imposing a total ban on allowing Sri Lankan females to work as domestic helpers in the Middle East. Men don’t get pregnant. The lion blood folks will certainly have to preserve and protect their women to accomplish the task they were created and in the healthiest manner possible. The social impact of women leaving the family is indeed huge. Its true remittances from Sri Lankan expatriates working overseas forms a major part of the country’s economy and now reaching around $10bn but choices will have to be made regardless of the consequences..
Globally there is this alarming political shift to the right. Sri Lanka has many a capable politician with distinct qualification to be contributing agents to this pernicious shift. Donald Trump in the United States, Marine Le Pen in France are two notorious protagonists who are working hard to spread the tentacles of fear and hate for parochial political exploits. Stephan Harper of Canada and Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka had their fair share. Not forgetting Pauline Hanson and John Howard of Australia. The infamous Geert Wilders of the Netherlands another shinning heart throb with extreme potential.
Germany’s former foreign minister and vice chancellor Joschka Fischer said in one of his recent contributions “Like any extreme nationalism, the current one relies heavily on identity politics the realm of fundamentalism, not reasoned debate. As a result, its discourse takes an obsessive turn — usually sooner rather than later — in the direction of ethno-nationalism, racism and religious war.
The rise of extreme nationalism and fascism in the 1930s is usually explained in terms of the outcome of WWI, which killed millions of people and filled the heads of millions more with militaristic notions. The war also ruined Europe’s economy, leading to a global economic crisis and mass unemployment. Destitution, poverty, and misery primed publics for toxic politics”
Present day Spain was under the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate from 711 until 1492. The Crusaders joined the holy war to destroy Muslims and Islam. Their chief objective was to kill Muslims whom Pope Urban II described as “an accursed race” When the carnage was over there wasn’t an even a single person to make the “Adan” the Muslim call for prayer. This wasn’t the case when Muslims of utmost honesty and integrity came to this resplendent island of Sri Lanka for trade and married our Sinhala mothers. Remember “APITH SINHA LE”
*Writer is a Canadian citizen of Sri Lankan descent. He is a freelance journalist with a keen interest in PRIME – Politics, Religion, Islam, Marketing and Economics. He is a Graduate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK. Also holds a MBA from Vinayaka Missions Foundation University India. He is a committed lifelong learner.