By Ayathuray Rajasingam –
Time to realize the message of Bhagavad Gita
The message of Bhagavad Gita extends to the area of promoting good governance and sustainable development. Even Buddhism is indebted to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Gita stresses the concept of duty and its significance for good leadership. Duty needs to be done without attachment and without any discriminations whatsoever and for those who do their duty without attachment will attain the supreme goal. It is the steady state of governance which will promote a lasting peace in any country.
Good governance denotes the ability to manage one’s anger which should not be allowed to gain control over an individual. According to Gita, complete delusion arises from anger and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence will be lost and when intelligence is lost, one falls down. The control of anger is a vital aspect of human relations. Prince Duryodhana was shown in Maha Bharath as emotionally blackmailing Karna to engage in unrighteousness and followed an unsteady state of governance. This is what is happening in Sri Lanka today.
Sri Lanka political leaders always want to be in the forefront whenever there is a conference on the subject of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, but when it comes to practice, they completely ignore its teachings and focus on misleading the public on various pretexts, especially engaged in emotional blackmailing which leads to unsteady state of governance. The appointment of Karuna Amman as a Minister, who was earlier involved in the bombing at Daladawa Maligawa, shooting of innocent Policemen and later seen in various clubs with women, is one of the cases in point. Now the protection given to the BBS leader, Gnanassara Thero for being in possession of an automatic firearm is another case to expose the unsteady state of governance by President Rajapaksa. The BBS is been utilized as an emotional blackmailing of the ethnic communities which reflects the uncultured behavior of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his siblings. Political leaders in countries where pluralism is practiced have yet to learn a lot from Federal countries like Canada. In Federal countries there are different decision-makers with different constituencies and democratic claims of equal strength with a steady state of governance. Should there be any conflicts, Judicial Review is seen as the best practical solution for settling disputes about Federalism. Political leaders in those countries are discouraged to engage in emotional blackmailing of the minority communities. In Federal countries democracy cannot appear to be a tyranny of the majority community. This is why Federalism is seen as a pathway to a strong democracy and for a lasting peace.
The messages of Bhagavad Gita are in compliance with the unique features of Federalism. The unique feature of Federalism is that it offers representation to different populations which have different aspirations and follow different cultures. But it appears that the government under President Rajapaksa has been overlooking these differences and adopt policies which cater to the majority for which the BBS is still been utilized in an uncultured manner, which is evident when he is unable to conquer his egoistic attitude and unable to use his intelligence. President Rajapaksa failed to realize that Provincial government are in a better position to understand their problems and offer unique solutions for them. This would have been the outcome of the 13th Amendment had it been implemented in its true perspective. This does not in any way amount to separation.
It is also painful to watch that the Central Government failed to realize that Federalism has the force of promoting inclusive development to Provinces and assuring proportional and fair representation for both the Tamil and Muslim communities in future governments and other decision-making organs of the country. In the Northern Province in Sri Lanka some unscrupulous ruling politicians ignore the aspirations of the people in the Northern Province and appropriate their resources in an undemocratic manner. This is where tyranny of the majority community is undemocratically is forced upon the minority Tamils. Here is a case when the Chief Minister desired to fulfill the needs of the people, his powers had been suspended through the Judiciary which have been squeezed because of the enormous powers of the Executive. This is where the Rajapaksa’s unsteady policy is exposed demonstrating that he is not interested in finding a lasting peace, but to keep the country under tension which cannot go on forever. Had the powers of the Chief Minister been not suspended, there would have been due consideration to local needs, tastes and opinion while formulating policies. Similarly, had there been Federal government, Courts would have intervened to show that Federalism is an expansion of democracy which is one step further than the democracy in a Unitary government. At present, the Central Government is engaged in emotional blackmailing of the minority communities through extremist groups like the BBS in contravention of the religious teachings to defeat the call for Federalism and to protect the interests of the President which are detrimental to the country.
Moreover, President Rajapaksa has failed to realize the message of the 13th Amendment that giving more powers to the Provinces, gives more control over their own affairs in their Provinces and protects them against the predatory politics of the Centre. Every Province has political, social and economic problems peculiar to the Province itself. It is the Provincial government representatives who are in a better position to understand these problems and offer unique solutions for them. As such there is no reason for the Central Government to delay the implementation of the 13th Amendment. If this is implemented, there will be unity among the Provinces when the Provinces have an annual General Conference among the Chief Ministers. Even the Provincial administrative machineries can have a conference and discuss ways and means to develop their respective Provinces. The 13th Amendment will provide the oppressed minority Tamils a legal and political structure to preserve their own culture and identity and will prevent the dismemberment of a country. This is the way to establish a confident building measure among the people. One ponders whether President Rajapaksa is adapting a policy of divide and rule with the view to defeat the purpose of the 13th Amendment and shatter the relationship of trust of the Tamils and even of the oppressed Sinhalese.
After the defeat of the LTTE, the Sinhalese are brainwashed into thinking that only President Rajapaksa can save and protect them and Buddhism. They are informed that any support given to the opposition by the West will end up in surrendering their sovereignty which is absolutely false and without any foundation. To achieve this purpose, Rajapaksa’s regime has adopted a policy of divide and rule among the communities and created a fear psychosis among the people through the creation of monster group like the BBS. But it is unfortunate that many Sinhalese are unaware that Rajapaksa is following a malignant economic policy, the result of which has seen earning foreign exchanges through Middle-East employment, where Sinhalese and Muslim girls are treated as slaves and sometimes executed in Kangaroo style without a fair trial. The execution of Rizana was a case in point. Sri Lankan ruling politicians have completely forgotten that mental instability is a step that leads to unsteady state of governance. Even Lord Buddha may be worried over such uncultured way of emotionally blackmailing the ethnic communities through the BBS. It is time for Sri Lankan politicians to realize that that service to human without any discriminations whatsoever is service to God.
When corrupt politicians enjoy power positions, people have lack of knowledge of their cruelty and absurdity. The manner of appointing the Parliamentary Select Committee and their behavior in relation to the impeachment of the Chief Justice Dr.(Mrs) Shirani Bandaranayake is a clear evidence that corrupt politicians took all forms of obnoxious decisions and made all manner of stupendous policies and made democracy a mockery. They failed to realize the message of Bhagavad Gita. Perhaps this may be one of the reason why Sri Lanka banned some websites for exposing the truth.
According to Bhagavad Gita any ruler who administers justice and protects the people without any discrimination whatsoever will be considered of divine quality. Merely paying homage to Lord Venkateswarar at Tiruppathy or participating in Poojas at Hindu temples will not make sense of possessing divine quality. If a ruler is to be considered as one with divine quality, then any ordinary citizen expects President Rajapaksa and his siblings abide by the message of Bhagavad Gita in renouncing the negative thoughts, renouncing inequality and promote equality, renouncing indiscipline and dishonesty, renouncing selfish desires and exercise selfless service and renouncing arrogance and ignorance. It is in Federalism such divine qualities of a person can be cultivated and righteousness (Dharma) can be restored.