Thursday 24 January 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

24 January 2019
Sri Lanka’s Nine Nations

My University of  NSW friend Gwen rang me and shared with me her appreciation of Professor Hugh Mackay’s Gandhi Oration, delivered at the University of New South Wales. Professor Mackay shares as follows:

[One of Gandhi’s wisest contributions to this way of thinking was to urge us to acknowledge that when we find ourselves in conflict with someone’s ideas, it is the conflict itself that is our opponent – not each other. Gandhi’s so-called “passive resistance” – a term he himself rejected – was really about replacing the force of violence with the combined force of truth and compassion – what he called “soul force”. ]

In 2004 October I wrote the response to the published speech ‘The relevance of Ahimsa’  by Justice C. G. Weeramantry, former Vice President of the International Court of Justice. My response was published on 01 November 2004 – about which I came to know months later. On that day – Dr. Peter Vaux stated that I was like Gandhi: 

 [Dr. Peter Vaux – who was the senior Registrar of the psychiatric unit of Prince of Wales Hospital to which Magistrate Gilmour sent me  on 01 November 2004, wrote to the Courts – that the matter needed to be resolved legally and that I was mentally stable. Dr. Vaux said to Jodi who was interviewed as a family member – that I was like Gandhi.  During the interview I shared with Dr. Vaux my experience with Sathya Sai Baba and how the holy powder had materialized on my picture of  Him.  Dr. Vaux smiled and said he had knowledge of such materializations.  Dr. Vaux asked me also ‘So, what did you do when you went to see the Vice Chancellor? Just sat there and waited?’  I smiled and said I sat there and read the books I had taken with me.  To me at that time – this was the value of my work for the Hospital system when I was Revenue Manager of South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service.  It was because I had invested in that system by doing more than what I was getting paid for – that I was able to share as a common owner with Dr. Vaux who to me was also an owner and not mere employee. An owner is higher than an employer who is higher than an employee. At the UNSW – the Chancellors were owners but the Vice Chancellors were mere employers. An employee contributing more than is required by her/his position is likely to become an owner more quickly than an employer who does less than her/his duties.  Hence they were the ones who required my approval to enter the area that I was occupying as an owner in that University. ] Naan Australian – Chapter 25

To my mind, it was no coincidence that my contribution on Ahimsa as practiced by Gandhi was published on the day that Dr Vaux recognized the Gandhi in me. Truth is universal and hence whoever contributes to Truth in a particular pathway is able to comfortably invoke that Truth. Truth when manifested could be positive or negative to the person and the environment. Professor Mackay asked the question ‘I wonder what Gandhi would have made of Australia in 2017 – a place that many people who live here regard as the best country in the world.’ I did not have to wonder in 2004. I identified with the need to eliminate unjust subjective discrimination when I could not find a fellow Australian confirming my relationship with common Australian through whom I invested in Australian workplaces.  At these workplaces, I invested in workplace commonness with social cultures that had very little in common with my social culture. Often I used my soul power and recognized the need of the other – especially those senior to me by position and made my work ‘common’ so they could draw the value needed from it.  That was fine. But often beyond a point they ‘took’ the outcomes as theirs (only) and often ignored my contribution. This happened at the University of NSW also. Such forgetfulness leads to disorder of the mind. Truth renders perfect order to the mind.

I believe that I felt the deepest pain when those who did recognize my contribution and sang my praises in private  failed to demonstrate  consciousness of my contribution when they had ‘possession’ of my work-outputs – especially in development of democratic systems. I shared that pain because I cared.  The sweetness in voluntary-service was lost when I was being ‘told’ by the very persons who were my juniors by substance, holding apparently senior positions above me. But that is what happens when invisible ownership by one is taken as visible benefits by another.
Gwen highlighted, the commonness of my experience with that of Gandhi’s – narrated by Professor Mackay:

[You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.]

When one believes and when one cares – one feels pushed to act. That has been my experience. Hence act, I did. The ultimate reward is identifying with the wonderful power of our truth – which repeatedly confirms -  that genuine work is Always rewarded. To me therefore Gandhi came to the University of NSW and Australia through his heirs in Independence. Gandhi does not need to think about UNSW because he is part of it.

As per my culture – when we confirm that we are heirs of someone – we naturally live with them and they through our bodies. That is the ‘soul force’.

As an Independent  Sri Lankan do I identify with Gandhi value in the following?
[Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a statement on the constitutional reforms, said that the draft constitution seeks to weaken Parliament and immeasurably strengthen the provincial legislatures, and it will compromise the unitary character of the Constitution.] Daily Mirror article ‘Draft Constitution weakens Parliament and strengthens PCs: MR’

Sri Lankan Provincial legislatures happened due to the pain and suffering of Tamils who sought to confirm their right to self-governance. I believe that every person who governs her/himself as an individual and/or as a group such as family, work-institution  or community, naturally contributes to the nation that s/he considers to be home-nation. Self Governance confirms independence. 31 years have passed since  the 13th Amendment to the Constitution,  which gave birth to Provincial Legislatures. But without administrative powers delegated by Central Government they become  Separate nations governed by their belief and administration based on such belief only. Their powers of self governance would not be shared with any other unit that does not believe in them as a sovereign group / province. Hence the refusal to devolve power to elected Provincial Councils effectively has created  9 nations within Sri Lanka. Had Tamil been recognized as Equal official  language  - we would have had one nation, with internal power sharing. But with Sinhalese, followed by Buddhism being granted foremost status – in the Constitution, there is no basis through which one could recognize Equal status of those who use their own belief based pathways to realizing self-governance. Belief needs to be deep-rooted to support tall and wide trees. External laws are needed when belief is lacking in depth.

Provinces without delegated powers of national government – are self-governing, autonomous nations. Is that what Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa wants – making one wonder whether  his belief is lacking in depth? To the extent these provinces are self-governing – they would invoke Gandhi power time and time again to protect our investment in self-governance. I believe, I am one such heir who naturally shares at grassroots level which then invokes exponentially – not only from India but from Australia also. Likewise all those who realize self-governance in their new nations but continue to care and include their loved ones in Sri Lanka.  If power is not devolved – they bypass national government to share through their own beliefs. This would make such provinces more strongly global than national government.

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