Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 09 May 2015
Sowing Autocracy and Expecting to Reap Democracy?
Sri Lankans are sharing experiences and ideas towards Parliamentary Elections. One such sharing included Island article ‘Let us get ready’ by Father J C Pieris of Galle. The article is largely in praise of the current leadership and condemning the previous one. But what about the voters themselves? Have we earned enough shareholdings to influence the government on continuous basis – through natural and invisible communications? The success of a democracy is felt through this natural communication of experiences and discoveries bottom-up to the Government. We often practice reverse autocracy and praise ourselves that we are democratic. Father Pieris highlights this as follows:
[I WILL NOT VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHO ALREADY HAS A RELATIVE OR A FAMILY MEMBER IN THE PRESIDENCY, THE PARLIAMENT OR THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.]
Families are usually subjective in their management. They carry on with old ways – and when the juniors think they do not need the seniors any more they ‘separate’. When this happens at family level – it spreads to Community level and onto National level. At national level when the separated units seek to show that they are better than their seniors/parents they are labeled ‘rebels’. But these ‘rebels’ did not appear all of a sudden at the national level. Their families groomed them consciously or subconsciously. How do we become Dictatorial at family level?
The three main political leaders concerned with the Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections are:
His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena
Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa
The Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe
Their ages are 63, 69 and 66 respectively. As per my knowledge, the official Retirement Age for Sri Lankan Public Officers is 55 for men and 50 for women with possible extensions of 5 years. All of the above three are above this maximum of 60. This is fine so long as they are NOT active in Administration but are sharing their wisdom in Governance through those positions. In other words they need to be Governance facilities that every citizen would access by genuinely seeking. When we are truly self-governing, we share that wisdom naturally with all seekers. We do not need to consciously and expressly connect to the other person.
Often when parents seek to be active in Administration even after their children get married – they groom rebellion or servitude.
In business one could travel parallel with juniors but in Professional Leadership the senior has to become governor once the junior is ready to be the Administrative leader. Many parts of Australian Public Service changed over to ‘Business-Unit’ approach in recognition of Equal partnership. The Central Administrative Unit – needed to become more a facility and therefore part of the Governing Councils. It needed to be the Spirit of Administrative Service. In some parts of Australian Public Service I managed to successfully complete the restructuring of MY SERVICES – by remaining within. At the University of New South Wales – I had to come outside to complete MY SERVICES. That was also my contribution to true Democracy in Australia. Given that I completed the experience through the Australian system – the value will naturally surface for governance purposes – as it did for the Bali 9 leaders also to elevate the value of their life to the higher level.
Once we provide service at governance level – the Power is always there for us. We would feel empowered by all other governors in that area – even though they may not be physically present there due to death of their body (time based absence) or due to place/position based distance. Without this value we would not be conducting Memorial Services nor celebrate Anniversaries. We would be merely trading as per the reality of our environment. The success of Memorial Service is identified with when we connect to those minds without needing to expressly communicate. Where we think we need express pathways we need Administration. As per the official standards set by the Sri Lankan Government - for the citizen – Mr. Rajapaksa who has demonstrated that he needs to be active and showing results to his followers – ought to have retired in 2005. But Mr. Rajapaksa became more active after he became President at that age of 60. Hence he became an example of ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ leadership.
Governance is the soul of Leadership. Our identification with the soul needs to happen at the highest possible level – so that the structures and systems established naturally through our conduct would serve long and wide. But where we discover that we cannot reliably expect just returns for our contributions – we need to record our side at that highest level and then complete the experience. The value recognized by us at that point of completion is the Truth of that system as discovered by us. Giving recognition to that limit – is also part of good governance. We then facilitate Truth known to us, above any Administrative system and are facilitated by Truth known to others. That is a natural sharing.
The Bali 9 tragedy of killing those who had paid their dues – is an outstanding example of lack of Governance value in leadership. Indonesia’s retirement age is listed as 58. With only 5 more years to reach that limit – one would expect Mr. Widodo to not need Political Promises to earn that position. A true governor would have given preference to Clemency over Physical punishment when s/he knew that the offender had transformed. Even if one Indonesian had felt that the offenders were no longer guilty – a true Indonesian Governor would have heard and delivered as per that citizen. It is the moral duty of every Governor to do so. Instead Politics was directly applied to kill lives.
That is bound to happen again and again when Politics is accepted as Governance by the citizen. We may not even vote expressly - but when we are true governors – our power would work through those positions – from either side. Then voting at election time is only a formality. Without self-governance at the level of the citizen – the vote is driven by likes and dislikes and becomes reverse autocracy.
We would be fooling ourselves if we sow autocracy and expect to reap democracy.