18 August, 2022

Blog

What To Do With The Pearl, The Pigs & The Dogs, My Dear Citizens?

By Fr. Rashmi Madusanka Fernando

Since recently, I have been encountering people who seem to share one common feeling towards the current situation of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean – Sri Lanka. Among them are highly learned personnel, university professors, senior lecturers, administrators, teachers, religious leaders, social analysts, thinkers, friends and colleagues. All of them seem to be hinting quite overtly at one and the same thing: ‘This country is gone to the dogs. There is no way out. They ruin it and eat it up, the dirty pigs.’ It is this common opinion that reminds me of the proverb, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine” which has its origin from the Gospel of Mathew in the New Testament of the Bible, “Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…” (Mathew 7:6, KJV).

Even though such a gem of wisdom has been passed on to us since 2000 odd years, one could possibly argue that the truth of this wise saying is more justified today especially when it is seen against Sri Lanka in the current geo-political contextual backdrop, than whatever may have been its original cause in history. It is needless, however, to cite examples here to substantiate this claim for two reasons: Firstly, because they are being rigorously and vehemently exposed and analysed by the country’s popular media 24 X 7; secondly, because any such effort to replicate them here could and would definitely be looked at through coloured glasses as catering (kade yanawa) to some vested interest or other. For better or for worse, it is, in fact, the bitter truth that almost all the news providers in the country today, be it TV Channels, Print Media or Social Media, have their own agendas.

The points of this essay, therefore, are the following four assumptions which are taken for granted as factual. 1) There is a famous country known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. 2) It is thrown. 3) It is thrown to the pigs. 4)It is gone to the dogs. What shall we do, then? It is indeed the main purpose of this essay. What shall we do with Sri Lanka, the Peal of the Indian Ocean, thrown to the pigs and gone to the dogs? This is perhaps the question that practically every intelligent Sri Lankan living in this country or outside it is asking at this moment in history.

Answering this question needs an explanation and it could be done better by understanding the following scenario. One day a motivational speaker asks the audience the following question after showing them a five-thousand-rupee note. Who wants this? Understandably, all the hands show up. Then, for the second time, he crunches the note in his hand and asked the same question again. Who wants this note, now? Once again, all the hands show up as quickly as possible. Then, for the third time, he tramples the note under his foot and asks the same question once again. Now, who wants this note? Still, almost all the hands show up except for a few indecisive ones raised reluctantly halfway through. Then, for the last time, the speaker shreds the note into pieces and asks the same question again. Well, who wants it, now? All the hands which were very enthusiastic till that moment drop lifeless as the audience sinks back in their seats in dismay. While many start murmuring against the speaker, a courageous few vent their frustration out aloud spontaneously. Is it not the fate of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean thrown to the pigs and gone to the dogs at this moment in its history?

It is commonly known that pearls, as they are precious, should be given to those who know their worth and appreciate their beauty. By throwing them to the pigs instead, we not only devalue the pearls but we neither enhance the value of the pigs. For the pigs do not use them for the right purpose they are meant to be used for. However, there is something more here which we often miss as in the case of the five thousand rupee note of the motivational speaker. That is, no matter whether it is thrown to the pigs or trampled upon or muddied with dirt, the pearls always remain pearls until their pearliness is ruined and robbed. Imagine for a second; supposing actually you see a pearl thrown to the pigs. Do you not pick it up even if it happens to be in the dirtiest place of the piggery? Likewise, it should be kept in mind that no matter how precious are the pearls that are thrown to the pigs, the pigs always remain pigs. Think for a second again; if you find a pearl under the foot of a pig, do you carry that pig in your arms, pet it, and put it on your pillow? I am afraid, not! Rather, one would perhaps barbeque the pig to celebrate the joy of finding a pearl.

There is another aspect here we often tend to overlook. I believe a better understanding of it would definitely lead people towards certain progressive measures needed to be taken concerning two areas: Thorough cleansing of the pearls found in the piggery to re-establish their original beauty, and dealing with the pigs as pigs. It is important therefore to understand that neither the pearls nor the pigs change their nature from being pearls and pigs as the giving-up on them would result in them ceasing to be the pears and the pigs. What is needed therefore is to understand that none of them, neither the pearls nor the pigs, are the doers of the action of throwing. Rather, the decision lies on a responsible third party who has the democratic power to decide either to throw the pearls to the pigs or to make a necklace out of them; Or having the pearls found under the feet of the pigs, either to leave them there or to pick them up for through cleansing; Or having them found with the pigs, either to pet the beasts in the bedroom or to have them barbequed in the celebration of the pearls found. It is the same when it comes to the Pearl of the Indian Ocean – the mother nation of Sri Lanka.

Therefore, my dear citizens, unless we make our decision about the Pearl wisely, correctly and urgently, the Pearl risks being shifted from ‘thrown to the pigs’ to ‘gone to the dogs’. Either way, the Pearl will always remain a pearl but in a place where it does not belong, in the piggery or in the kennel.

*Fr. Rashmi Madusanka Fernando, SJ is a Jesuit Priest in the Society of Jesus, Sri Lanka, and the present director of Satyodaya Centre for Social Research and Encounter, 30, Pushpadana Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka. Contact: madurashferns@gmail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 11
    0

    “Among them are highly learned personnel, university professors, senior lecturers, administrators, teachers, religious leaders, social analysts, thinkers, friends and colleagues.”
    If uneducated opportunistic politicians can cheat the people with continued lies and touching their emotions to mislead people what is the point that we are having such high level of learned personnel, university professors, lecturers, administrators, teachers, researchers etc. in this country. It is sad that many of these personnels are part and partial of this problem in this country. Why cannot they stand for the truth? I don’t blame the people who are kept in dark for many years but we cannot forgive those highly learned personnel who also behave like politicians.

  • 8
    0

    Sri Lanka’s print and electronic media is controlled by the Rajapaksas, so much so, even the headlines are suggested by an immature, junior Rajapaksa.

  • 1
    0

    I know that the “Satyodaya Centre for Social Research and Encounter” represents a better section of the Roman Catholic Church, but all these adherents of religions have been guilty of ensuring that this country has gone “to the dogs”.
    .
    This country is now over-populated. What Rev. Malthus said two hundred years ago has happened, but not for the purposes that he ascribed. I know that Jesuist priests are celibate, but when will they start advising their adherents to not over-populate the World? Guys like Gnanasara are asking Buddhists to “multiply like rabbits” because he says that Muslims are doing that. Muslim men are preventing the reform of MMDA. So, it is true that they multiply somewhat faster than others, but not as fast as Islamophobes claim.
    .
    What do we get from the “other Catholic church”, which has 15,000 adherents, 1,000 priests, and wants to have five bishops. If you don’t believe those statistics, look at these two articles, and the comments, many by me using my real name:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/church-of-ceylon-anglican-democracy-choosing-the-best-to-be-put-over-us/
    .
    and this:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/christs-love-moves-the-world-to-solidarity-healing-reconciliation-unity/
    .
    Since answers are not forthcoming, I telephoned the author. He told me that he has not yet read the comments on his own articles!
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 0
      0

      SM,

      “start advising their adherents to not over-populate the World”

      Have you ever heard of “sex without bodies?”

      Old Codger is already practicing it ……. observe his interactions with the ladies!

      The man is very advanced for his years!! :))

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 3
    0

    Sri lanka had gone into the hands of ‘ political pigs, dogs, and rats, etc since 1972 from the formation of the Presidental system of governance. However, from the year 2019, the voters about 1.9 million who preferred Raja -pak- asses are responsible for their own making. Today no country including their best buddy China has lost trust in them; whilst Mr. Basil has miserably failed in his recent trip to India for financial help with 3 important Union ministers and couldn’t even be offered to meet the Prime Minister.

    • 0
      0

      Pon,
      “Today no country including their best buddy China has lost trust in them; “
      Please explain why this is bad. I am a bit slow sometimes.

      • 2
        0

        Old codger- The Chinese Gov’t that promised to establish three Electrical power Plants on 3 islands in the north had been dropped by them, maybe to avoid any problem from India or from the people living in the area. Further, 3 ships of fertilizer from Chinese companies are in dispute with Sri Lankan authorities. There are many like these.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.