Friday 10 January 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

10 January  2020


It feels right to say that we get the government we deserve. I myself have written that from time to time. Today I read it again in the following concluding passage in the Daily Mirror article ‘Understanding an apolitical president’ by Ravi Nagahawatte:
[Those who oppose President Rajapaksa must remind themselves of a saying by Joseph de Maistre ‘Every nation gets the government it deserves’.  ]
Maistre did not say every Country. He said every Nation. One who sees country does not see nation and v.v. One who recognises nation would not ‘see’ government in particular form. Like living in the Present such person is self-governing. This is presented about Maistre’s mind by Wikipedia as follows:

[Maistre regarded monarchy as both a divinely sanctioned institution and as the only stable form of government……
According to Maistre, any attempt to justify government on rational grounds will only lead to unresolvable arguments about the legitimacy and expediency of any existing government and that this in turn will lead to violence and chaos. As a result, Maistre argued that the legitimacy of government must be based on compelling, but non-rational grounds which its subjects must not be allowed to question. Maistre went on to argue that authority in politics should derive from religion and that in Europe this religious authority must ultimately lie with the Pope.]

Obviously, the form of government that Maistre had in mind was vertical in structure and not elected by the People but rather Monarchical – as in religious governance. But the current President was elected by the People as provided for in the Constitution. As per Article 3 of this Constitution:

[In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.]

According to Democracy, a government’s power is limited to the Sovereignty of the People. Hence Government has the mandate of the People as expressed through the franchise. This gives the Government ‘form’. But the power to work that form is derived from the Government’s own belief in the People. That belief is confirmed through acknowledgement of someone who sees the side of the primary level picture that the government does not see.

Together they confirm the Democratic limit of the total. Using Maistre’s philosophy – within this limit – there ought to be no room for any member of the Government  of the Public to use rational grounds to criticise or justify such decisions.

The Hindu parallel of Monarchical order  is  Matha, Pitha, Guru,  Theivam / Mother, Father Guru and God. In mother’s world – there can be no rational arguments by a beneficiary of her services. Likewise in father’s world. When we start learning from beyond our family – those from whom we learn and those who teach us become our Gurus. When we become self governing – our god within becomes our Leader.  This god is our conscience to which we give various forms as per our experiences.

Article 10 of the Sri Lankan Constitution states our right to ‘hold’ that form as follows:

(Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.)

Article 14 (1) (a) provides for the expression of such thoughts as follows:

14 (1) Every citizen is entitled to – (a) the freedom of speech and expression including publication.

The author of the above mentioned article states:

[Right now the only lawmaker who is opposing President Rajapaksa is former Army Commander and present parliamentarian Sarath Fonseka. The latter is displeased that the president has made comments amounting to racial remarks (that the government can be formed without the minorities) and also because he cancelled a guard of honour which was traditionally part of the ceremonial opening of the parliament session. For the record the president had also said that he rejected ‘the role played by minorities as kingmakers’]

Whether Majority like it or not – even One member of a minority community who believes in her/his local area which is included by law as being part of Sri Lanka – becomes a natural member of the King-making group. It takes time – as does Truth in most instances – but it happens through a network of such believers in their home areas which is recognized by law as Sri Lanka. THIS is democratic power through governance power of electorates. That was how Mr Sirisena became President in 2015 – not because minorities believed in him but because minorities rejected the Rajapaksas whom they saw as the makers of their  war-pain to civilians.

The power of the minorities is proportionate to the depth of their belief in their local area. This power is diluted when they rationalize locally and/or when they enforce their outcomes beyond the boundaries of their belief. When they do – they confirm lack of belief.

Majority likewise – confirm lack of belief in themselves when they directly  rationalise the outcomes delivered by the group elected by them. The form of any dissent/disagreement  needs to be through the Opposition and where this is not accessible – it needs to be to the power above the government which in most instances is God Almighty.

Yes, we do get the government  we deserve which takes various forms from Mother to Almighty God in our mind. Those who vote for outcomes – would get a government that ‘tells’ them what to do. Those driven by their belief would walk away / separate when they are not able to derive outcomes as per their belief based expectations and / or as per merit using common measure. When they do so the apparent leader responsible loses power through lack of  self-confidence  to work the whole. That was how the British walked away from India due to Gandhi limiting his enjoyment of power to the Indian with lowest status. The rest happens automatically through Universal power of Truth.

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