Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 21 March 2016
Turnbull Policies or Abbott Realities?
['It's very easy for me to campaign for the Turnbull government because the Turnbull government is running on the record of the Abbott government - and that makes me a very enthusiastic supporter. The Turnbull government is seeking election, fundamentally on the record of the Abbott government - stopping the boats, finalising the free trade agreements, our strong national security policy,' Mr Abbott said
Mr Turnbull said while there had been some continuity between his government and Mr Abbott's, there were also substantial differences.
'The bottom line is there is continuity and there is change, and there are many policies that have been announced and many initiatives that have been undertaken that were either not policies or not being pursued by Mr Abbott] he told the ABC
The above reminded me of the advice by the Registry Officer of the Federal Court of Australia – who suggested that I would be better off going to Industrial Relations Commission than to come to Federal Court on the basis of Racial Discrimination – including against former Prime Minister John Howard. Applying that rule here – at issue level the choice is between Mr. Turnbull’s proposed Industrial Relations law and Mr. Abbott’s ‘Stopping the Boats’ policy.
In my case then and now – the choice is latter – ‘Racial Discrimination & Stopping the Boats’. If on the other hand it had been Mr. Turnbull v Mr. Howard – then the choice would have been former. This is also the difference between whether one would vote for President Sirisena’s side or Prime Minister Ranil Wicremesinghe’s side in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, I would vote for the latter. As governors we vote for issues that need the support of Truth that would keep the balance needed for internal harmony.
In Australia, as a first generation migrant – I developed a true structure that future migrants could rely on – to successfully realize feelings for Australia. This needed me to publish the Truth I had discovered as an Australian at the workplace – the institutional environment where I was most exposed to denial of earned benefits on Equal footing and where I often accepted lower status as the less violent pathway. At other places I made up the loss through my own mind and forewent the status that was denied and expressed my Truth in support of the leader I most identified with. But at the University of New South Wales – I could not. Even though I was not conscious of it then, I now realize that it was my duty to establish the Truth at a place where law and order level was relatively lower than even the Public Service where there is more idle time than in the Private Sector. Majority in my immediate family are graduates of the University of NSW and hence the deeper feeling – so the next generation in our family inherits stronger values.
Recently a Community elder shared his feelings about Saint Yoga Swami through reminder about Saint Yoga Swami’s Memorial on 19 March – with the following message:
"Whatever work you have to do, do it well. That in itself is yoga." - Yogaswami
Another of Yogaswami’s great sayings is ‘Summa Iru’ / Be Still. During my battles at the University of New South Wales – our dear friend Sunthu sent me a message with ‘Summa Iru’ when I was about to write to a manager at the University. I stopped myself from expressing my support to that person who was part of the hierarchical system. Sunthu is a quiet devotee of Yogaswami and had not sent me any email prior to that. Hence I took it that Yogaswami himself was sending me the message through Sunthu as a messenger.
Yogaswami himself was an outstanding performer in his job as storekeeper under a British Manager. But Swami resigned and practiced yoga most of the time – actively by walking to the homes of poor to listen to their woes and to bless them and passively by sitting in one place. When the mind is still we are in Yoga. As a Spiritual leader – Swami’s status was raised above dignitaries – including foreigners. But Swami himself seems to have found Truth more to his liking than rules of work/industrial relations. The higher respect for Swami is not likely to have happened if Swami had remained in the position of storekeeper. Recently my Australian friend said that she likes to take up high positions if she can be in the governing board! Where it is not likely that we would be – we need to seek and find the place where we are assured of governorship – even if it is governance of One. Yoga Swami had hundreds of thousands to govern directly and exponentially indirectly. Values that spread naturally beyond time and place borders are exponential.
Now that I have gotten over the pain at the University of New South Wales, I am able to identify with the reason why I did not go up the path of Industrial Relations but instead traveled down the Racial Discrimination pathway. It was by resigning from that active work that I became a voluntary Governor of the University – one who has not set foot in the University after undertaking such as the bail condition to have myself released from custody. Both Governors of my time – Sir Anthony Mason and Dr John Yu – expressly demonstrated that they identified with my feelings. As I say in terms of Mothers – a good mother identifies with other good mothers. This is often the yardstick used by me during my service in Northern Sri Lanka where more and more young ladies are choosing to go out and work. I use that yardstick to prioritize use of my resources.
Had I continued at the University of New South Wales, I would have ‘waited’ for the Administrators above me to be democratic. By discovering the Truth and manifesting It despite the pain and loss – I believe I upheld the true structure that I had developed as a first generation migrant from the Indian Subcontinent. In a few years, with more and more Asians migrating to Australia for economic purposes – and the larger migrant communities here to support them - the struggle would not be as strong as it was for my generation. But from time to time there would be some to whom human values and ‘ownership’ would be more important than ‘money’ and status from outside. By registering my Truth – I was leaving my heritage for them. The University of New South Wales was going global both ways – importing foreign Vice Chancellors from the West and students from the East. It needed its own Truth to have a stable mind. It is the core duty of any University to seek and find the Truth. That is when its roots are stable. Hence I brought out my experience and got listed as a Pariah for expecting practice of Equal Opportunity. That is the parallel reality of ‘Boat People’ being listed as lesser refugees than those who fly into Australia. Migrants who claim that there is no racial discrimination at the Australian workplace are the parallels of ‘flying refugees’. They are more likely to vote for Mr. Turnbull in an election than for Mr.Abbott.
This does not mean that Mr. Abbott is a racist and Mr. Turnbull is humane. As per my interactions, as individuals both are caring. But when the brain is active – cleverness often overtakes human values. As highlighted in the Tamil movie Dhoni which we watched together as a family – not all children are good in Maths and Science and indeed academically outstanding. Often parents who grew up in the Indian Subcontinent – living in Western culture tend to push their children to become like them or worse better than them. It was disappointing to note that along these lines, during the current festival at Sydney Murugan Temple also – children were being promoted to ‘perform’ during spiritual ceremonies. Children who are natural like Saint Sambandar was as a child – would add to the spirituality of that place. Those who are not – become distractions. Temples need to be places where Truth is shared.
Likewise, Politics to be healthy – needs to be based on Truth rather than ‘marks’ for performance. Truth keeps the mind of a person still so that the manifestations of Natural combinations would happen. Once I resigned from the University of NSW – the two main persons – the Finance Director and the Deputy Vice Chancellor who left out investigating the Finance Director against whom I had complained – got into trouble through an Australian groomed staff. Some in the Australian Tamil Community thought that I was that staff. In terms of Spirit – yes, my Truth was also a force that challenged through local staff. It is to balance these Spirits – so they are positive – that we need to vote – sometimes for the less smart leader but one who has more time for the lesser people – as was the case with Mr. Abbott when he added his status to the Bali 9 leaders – sons of migrant families. Not many ‘smart performers’ from the two migrant communities were visible during those shows of support. But Australian leaders like Mr. Abbott compensated. In turn some of us are working in Northern Sri Lanka through community sharing to ‘stop the boats’ and to go to Australia with dignity as students – paying money by borrowing from their relatives who have migrated due to war or to find their own ‘Australia’ in Sri Lanka – through institutions such as ours – the Australian Tamil Management Service.
As I learnt through the Caste system - Racial discrimination is not always bad. Where there is a healthy alternate system to manage hierarchical power – one needs to eliminate race based or caste based discrimination. If the old system is removed without that healthier alternative – reverse discrimination starts happening. When we clever ones with lower status are active – we produce more and more opportunities towards this. Hence the need to resign from active paid work and into service work where one accepts only voluntary submissions – be it in money form or status form.
Why would I vote for Mr. Wickeremesinghe in Sri Lanka? - because the educational pathway is my heritage from my parents and ancestors along the time based hierarchical pathway. Sri Lankans – especially Tamils in areas seriously weakened by emigration of professionals need structures through which they could hope and expect to be like I was when I left Sri Lanka – a Professional. Without such real leadership – some are sending their children for extra tuition from year 1 and others, like Aborigines, are resigning themselves to the opportunities they ‘see’ – which may seem narrow to us but to them it is the limit that would motivate them. It’s not different to Aboriginal ‘lifestyle’ choices that Mr. Abbott referred to when he thought he was ‘free’.
If we vote for issues we are governors and our vote is of global value. If we vote for the individual – our vote is local and we would be limited to the mean of such local values.