If he continues to be adamant he will perish, even though there be no one to destroy him
A King, with none to censure him, bereft of Ministers who can rebuke him, will perish even though there be no one to destroy him. This is a quote from Thirukkural written in the form of couplets (two line poems) is an ethical treatise espousing various aspects of life. It is considered as the magnum opus of Tamil literature and culture with the highest and purest expressions of human thought.
Thirukkural has three major parts. The first part (38 chapters) deals with Aram (Virtue), the moral value of human life. The second part (70 chapters) is on Porul (Wealth), the socio economic values of men in a civilized society. The final part (25 chapters) is on Kamam or Inbam (Love) is about ethical living in private life.
The above quote is from Chapter 45 under the heading “Securing friendship of great men.” I was reminded of this quote when I read in the papers that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had berated senior SLFP Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Sripala de Silva at a recent cabinet meeting over a statement the latter made to the media. Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva told the media that mega development projects would not suffice to win votes. The President expressed his disgust over such remarks by a senior member of the Cabinet and a SLFP stalwart. Boiling with anger, he told the Minister that he should not have made such remarks. A crest fallen Mr. de Silva did not have the guts to defend his statement, instead sheepishly offered the typical excuse that his remarks had been misinterpreted. (Daily Mirror – April 05, 2014)
In a parliamentary system of government the Prime Minister will not dare rebuke a Minister since he is only the first among equals in the cabinet. The situation is different under a presidential system. Mahinda Rajapaksa has developed a penchant to criticise Ministers in the presence of other Ministers. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem is another victim of Rajapaksa’s tongue lashing over the presentation of a petition handed over Ms Navaneetham Pillay complaining about the demolition of mosques by Sinhala – Buddhist extremists.
An analysis of the Western and Southern Provincial council results shows even to the un-initiative that the ruling party has lost votes and seats compared to the elections held 5 years ago in 2009. The percentage votes have also dropped, but an arrogant and self-conceited Mahinda Rajapaksa is refusing to read the writing on the wall. Such arrogance will lead to self-destruction, if not self-defeat – even though there will be no one to destroy him.
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