Thursday, 7 March 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

06 March 2019
Minority Power
Sri Lankan Prime Minister feeling 'at home' in Jaffna - the home of  Lankan Tamils
North Gate by Jetwing

In the system of Democracy, foremost Minority group  is  elevated to Equal status so that the Government would be made up of dual minds. As per my study, the mind at primary level, needs to ‘see’ to relate. In autocracy, there is only one mind and one outcome is produced by / through the leader. Janus is the ancient Roman god depicting this duality in Democracy:
[In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. ] Wikipedia
If Majority power is past – Minority power is future. As per the laws of nature, every manifestation has an equal and opposite. In autocracy, the two are separated by time but they the other side does happen. Hence the saying ‘time will tell’. In democracy, the other side is known simultaneously and hence the elevation of status for juniors so they would become equal and opposite. Where citizens are not as conscious of the common law, as they are of cultural laws, the majority rule applies on cultural basis. Thus the second largest cultural group is elevated to Equal status as majority to ‘show’ immediately the other side of a policy. It is the duty of a democratic opposition to manifest this independently and without interfering with the manifestations of the majority who in democracy have the first right to manifest an outcome as one group.
Without the participation of Minority, Majority would tend to live off the past (on time basis) and therefore deplete the structures of Traditions represented by our heritages. That is like living off our savings. The victims who usually are minorities, represent the weakened future. Hence in order to preserve our heritage, we need to be active in the present. Where the level of common faith is low, it is important to recognize diversity, in order to prevent such erosion to derive credit for unity.  
Separation of Powers is essential to prevent suppression of minorities where common faith in the whole is low. This week marks the first Anniversary of one of the manifestations that confirmed lack of Democratic power. The manifestation happened in Kandy, Sri Lanka, about a year ago. Wikipedia reports as follows:

[The Sri Lankan anti-Muslim riots were the series of religious riots targeting Muslims beginning in the Sri Lankan town of Ampara on 26 February 2018, and had started in Kandy District by 2 March until its end on 10 March 2018. Muslim citizensmosques and other properties were attacked by mobs of Sinhalese Buddhists, and mobs of Muslims attacked Buddhists Temples and Sinhalese citizens. The Government of Sri Lanka undertook a forceful crackdown on the rioting by imposing a state of emergency and deploying the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to assist the Police in the affected areas. The situation was brought under control by 9 March. Two fatalities and ten injuries were reported among Sinhalese, Muslims and Police. According to the police, forty five incidents of damage to houses and businesses have been reported, while four places of worship have been attacked. The police arrested 81 persons in connection with rioting]
Those who retaliated, be they Muslims or Sinhalese, confirmed lack of faith in the government and hence took the law into their own hands. The lower the investment in common government, the stronger  the urge to retaliate – taking an eye for an eye. The gun in the hands of a trained officer becomes a protective weapon whereas the same gun in the hands of an emotionally driven person desiring quick benefits – becomes destructive weapon. In its report headed ‘Kandy: The damage and the distrustGroundviews reported as follows, in this regard:
[In Akurana, bunting with the words ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ hangs inside a quiet home.
In Digana, newly built shops hurry to restock for weeks of festive shopping.
In Pallekele, kanji is being cooked over a wood fire, inside the room of a burned mosque.
Preparations for Eid are underway in these small towns, no more than 12 kilometres away from the busy city of Kandy. The district itself is home to a population of 1,369,899 people, of which 72.92% are Buddhist and 10.46% are Muslim. This year, the celebrations are muted in the wake of a series of violent attacks that took place in March.]

How can 11% be Equal to 73%?  To be truly equal, 11% would need  to have invested in at least 50% of the true value of the whole  or worked 6 times as much as the majority community at that place/electorate. It is easier to connect through common faith than to work harder as individuals. Towards this the heritage value unique to that place would be helpful, as heritages confirm Energy level sharing by transcending time. Those who retaliate in Kandy for the Ampara attacks are disrespectful of the system of Democracy – according to which each electorate is a sovereign unit. The local experience needs to be raised to the higher level in order to make it suitable to the application of Common Measures – usually represented by a Government. Where the government is weak due to heightened awareness of its majority power – it would tend to separate itself from minorities by culture, by producing more of what it is able to produce, without being conscious of the other side. Thus the equilibrium of unity is upset when minorities who believe in the whole are suppressed and their independence blocked. Even one member of minority believing in the whole has the power to reverse this. Hence Tamils became Equal Opposition in National Parliament – first in 1977 and more recently in 2015.

Some Tamils including in Northern Sri Lanka, were highly critical of the current government. I said to them that they were ‘forgetting’ that militants fought for their own rule and hence to that extent – we did not have the real right to drive common policy nor expect to derive benefits from the common pool. To my mind, I was better able to practice global culture in Jaffna under the new regime than was possible previously.  This, I find is also the case with most members of the Diaspora sharing their status with locals who naturally accept them as ‘seniors’. The big banner by IBC Tamil (The International Broadcasting Corporation for Tamils), in Jaffna town says – Let’s build bridges with global Tamils. To me it was no coincidence that we stayed at North Gate by Jetwing – at the same time as the Prime Minister who demonstrated inclusiveness not only of us but more importantly the tuk-tuk drivers at the Railway station, who represent the local working-class. One showed me with pride the selfie-picture he took of himself with the Prime Minister, the Hon Ranil Wickremesighe. That confirmed that time had healed. Inside the hotel, Ms Nilanthi – the front office manager demonstrated outstanding service in many aspects. I believe that such confirmation of practice of global standards is possible in Jaffna not only due to global minded Tamils but also due to those of us who believe in true and natural commonness.