Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 08 Aug 2015
Globalism the Opportunity Cost of Nationalism
I took the Yarl-Devi (Jaffna Lady) from Jaffna to Colombo. I thanked former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for restoring the Railway Services between Jaffna and Colombo. Most train seats are fairly well booked in advance and to my mind, this meant that Tamils were not economically that badly off. I was able to secure a seat in the Observation Car – the most expensive section of Yarl-Devi.
I went to Jaffna Railway station to book my seat and was disappointed that I could not get a seat in the Inter-City express. Hence the decision to go by Yarl-Devi. At the station itself there were two queues and I joined the shorter one. I waited for the lady in the longer queue to be served. When it was my turn the officer asked me to join the queue. I was genuinely mistaken that there were two queues and grudgingly I joined the longer queue. I usually do not like to break queues but if there seems to be shorter one – I do tend to join that. Obviously this time around it was a mistake. But by waiting in the shorter one, I happened to hear the lady in the longer queue inquire about the Observation Car. To me THAT was the real value that invited me to join the shorter queue which indeed was not an official queue. But the value was good. The Observation Car was quite spacious and I could exercise my feet and prevent them from swelling up. On my way from Colombo to Jaffna even though I bought the most expensive ticket on that train I suffered due to lack of leg-space and also due to lack of help with my baggage when the train reached Jaffna. It was as if Jaffna Lady was influencing me to travel with her. To some this may seem a mere coincidence and my thinking to be in the order of superstition. But given that I was in ‘Service mode’ – making ‘ownership’ contribution at the higher level in Northern Sri Lanka, it was belief based outcome. Later when I actually boarded the train – I noticed many being sent to the General First Class Cars. I concluded that if not for that queue-break I also would have travelled the less comfortable way. The Goddess of Communication seemed to have blessed me.
In Global systems one is required to be Objective in one’s approach. If one is able to invoke the powers / intelligence needed by one and residing in a Service Provider – both official and/or unofficial – then that person who so invokes is Global for that issue. I concluded that I was Global in the issue of Communication. I write practically every day because I believe that it would help someone somewhere. Truth is the basis of such power and Truth is Universal.
When the auto-rickshaw taxi-driver heard about my difficulty he said he could have gotten me a seat with Rs 200 extra. I just said I was happy with Yarl-Devi even though it took about 3 hours more than the Inter-City Express. To me it was my return karma for not paying two porters at Chennai Railway Station in 1997. They promised us seats by jumping into the arriving train and ‘catching’ seats. I firmly declined and waited in the queue. Little did I know that that queue system was largely symbolic for the first part only. The police officers meant to regulate the queue, left after that point and then everyone rushed to ‘catch’ the seats. My husband managed to get into the train but I was so upset that I just froze. Param urged me to get in and I eventually managed to get in. I stood standing for a while and then a gentleman urged others to make room for me. I sat down and started writing a letter to the General Manager of Indian Railways. Little did I know that the Indian system worked more in Belief than on Intellectual Administration. My husband stood most of the way to our destination – Madurai where we were seeking to get the Blessings of Mother Madurai Meenatchi. I kept the letter in my bag to be posted later but somehow it went missing! I felt that my adherence to the official system in India is included in the positive karma of me getting seats on Yarl-Devi and travelling comfortably.
On the morning of travel, our auto-rickshaw driver loaded my baggage and placed them on the overhead racks. Later – a Tamil guy said the larger one of them might fall down for the movement of the train. I asked him to help me bring it down and he said he would wait and see. I was still anxious and asked the Sinhalese officer who helped me wind up the window. The Sinhalese officer quietly helped me bring the larger piece down. To me this meant that a Sinhalese officer was more global than a Tamil civilian. To me it was no coincidence that I was helped by this Officer. During times of heavy checking by armed officers, I usually had strong expectations in my mind for the officers to do their duty. I now realize that because I am duty driven in my jobs / positions – I am able to invoke the officer in the person on the other side.
I appreciate more deeply why Lord Krishna said to Prince Arjuna to do his duty – including to fight against his own granduncle Bhismar– who was the Commander of the Opposition forces and his guru Thronar – also a lead fighter on the other side. Lord Krishna said Bhismar & Thronar would expect that of Arjuna. When we are emotional / physically driven – we influence those who are physically close to us and those who are physically like us. This was the power that the Rajapaksas had over Tamil Tigers. They both relied strongly on their armed power. The problem with that is that the side with stronger consciousness of majority power would influence the other when the other is off-guard.
Administration and/or Truth renders the minority side additional power to prevent this influence of look-alikes/emotions. Those who have facilitated migrants, develop such resistance through practice of Equal Opportunity principles.
There was a young Indian Tamil couple in the seats in front of mine. They looked very modern and ‘global’. But gradually I noticed that the guy was resting his bare feet on the seat across the isle to which he shifted when no one seemed to have booked those seats. In addition I found the couple not picking up their own rubbish but rather left it on the floor of the train. When we arrived in Colombo – they disembarked without cleaning up their area. I concluded that they were not global and that they were using Sri Lankan system for their own selfish interest. As is my way, the way of a good little Australian, I stored all my rubbish in my backpack and took my rubbish with me.
Then there was this Sinhalese family who got in at Anuradhapura – the station south of which is considered largely to be Sinhalese territory by the emotionally driven. The ‘talk’ among educated Tamils during war-times was that when they were at Universities in Colombo & Kandy and took the Yarl-Devi from South to North, after Anuradhapura Tamils felt ‘free’ to spread themselves across the seats vacated by Sinhalese. This time we were travelling from North to South. This Sinhalese family of six completed the picture by moving from seat to seat. One child was asked to sit next to mine – which I took as having been one of their allocated seats. But given that the child looked miserable – his father beckoned him to go to another seat and the father occupied the seat next to mine. Nothing wrong with that. But from time to time the father would move forward and leave his backpack on the seat – while he occupied another seat. This ‘double-seating’ one official and the other through confidence of assumed ‘rights’ is a subset of the National picture – leading to ethnic conflict when Tamils who were strong in Administration demanded their due rights as per the Official System of Democracy with its built in powers of Equity/Equal Opportunity. The family got off at Gampaha Station – the electorate of the former president’s brother who is in trouble now over breaches of financial administration. When the elected leader is weak – the electorate gets infected by that weakness and the only ones protected are those who have strong Administration order of the brain and/or are driven by Truth.
When disembarking at my destination – Colombo Fort - the usual porters were nowhere to be seen. This meant I had to wheel my baggage to the door, get off the train and take the baggage down to the platform. Sri Lankans of multi-ethnicities just pushed my baggage to a side and went about their own disembarkation. But a White guy – said to me ‘Here let me do that for you’ and he wheeled the bigger bag to the door. I felt deeply appreciative and then even as I was going to bring the baggage down – the guy said ‘I’ll do that for you’ and so saying he lifted the bigger bag off the train on to the platform. To me he was part of my Global family and a stronger power than any other ethnic power on that train.
It is voting time in Sri Lanka and the outcome would tell us whether Sri Lankans have invested in Global Powers or whether they seek to ‘stay’ local through claims of Sinhala Nationalism and Tamil Nationalism. Globalism is the Opportunity Cost of Nationalism. When a country is divided to claim Nationalism through majority in a particular territory – it is separatism – whether done by Sinhalese or Tamils. Neither side subjective supporters would travel the global path. Either side that interferes with the other’s Belief – would damage its own investment in independence/sovereignty. Hence instead of falsely claiming Nationalism – it is better to use the structured path of Administration for which one needs to have the leadership of a strong investor in Administration. Those who believe in such a person would naturally follow in that person – with that person’s Truth being the source of their law.