29 October 2021
One Hindu Law?
[State Minister of Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman says he is disappointed with the One Country One Law Presidential Task Force as there is a lack of Tamil representation.
“Disappointed with the Presidential Task Force on ‘One country, One law’ concept as there is not one individual chosen for the Committee who would represent the interests of the vast Tamil population in Sri Lanka,” he expressed via a tweet.] The Morning article headed ‘Thondaman points out lack of Tamil representation in One Country One Law Task Force’
Given that the taskforce is headed by anti-Muslim activist one is entitled to conclude that the recommendations would tend to be Buddhist law. Mr Thondaman represents Hill country Tamils who by visible culture are more connected to India’s Tamil Nadu than any other sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Would this therefore lead to formation of Equal Opposition on religious basis – led by Hindus who are officially Tamils?
As per the Fundamental Rights section of the current Constitution:
[10. 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.
14. (1) Every citizen is entitled to – (e) the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;]
Article 9 places the Responsibility to the State, of assuring the practice of their own religions as guaranteed by the above articles:
[9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e)]
As per the laws of Sovereignty, the above article divides the nation into two equal parts. Romans depicted this through the two faces of Janus – one facing the past and the other the future – both bound together at the back; ‘Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace.’ Wikipedia
If a Muslim practice closely linked to the religion is abolished, this would be in breach of the fundamental rights of Muslims. Likewise, if Hindu or Christian practices are abolished by the changes. Easter Bombings happened due to failure of the Government to protect the rights of Non-Buddhists. The new government, by failing to find the truth and sharing it – has already contributed to negligence of its duty in assuring us of the ‘freedom’ to practice our religious beliefs.
In an ethnically divided society, visible separations are essential – so we would not become each other’s opposition at the lower levels. These are the levels that interpret as per their likes and dislikes if there is no rule to state otherwise. That is how the JVP uprising in South followed by the LTTE uprising in North happened. As per feedback regarding the recent problems in North on the basis of caste was the influence of Marxism that the LTTE promoted, which resulted in dilution of religion based beliefs inherited from our ancestors. I have highlighted in my response below, this problem as follows
‘But the problem there was lack of belief in local ancestors who were largely local.’ The full text is as follows:
[Thank you Chandran for this wonderful sharing. As highlighted by you, the varna system, as the system of caste was known then – had its separations. To my mind, this facilitated learning from humans within a sovereign structure. The basic component of that system is belief. When we have belief, we inherit the structure as Energy. Hence the Hindu philosophy that we take only the Punniyam and Paavam / Virtue and Sin into our future. Belief helps us to inherit this from our ancestors. With such Energy – we would comfortably function and demonstrate exemplary conduct and outcomes that confirm expansion on time basis – as if our ancestors are supervising and supporting us. Any weakness is ‘confidentially’ rectified. This is the Subjective system.
We switched to democracy due to gradual loss of faith in our elders and the need for multiculturalism. This required us to be Transparent and ‘what happened’ became everybody’s business / responsibility. Hence Swami who validated the Varna system as it then existed, said there is only One Caste – the Caste of Humanity. As per Democracy we are common to all and that which we produce is also owned in common in every sovereign unit. Hence we are ‘free’ to separate when we are independent.
As per my intelligence, junior castes in Vaddukoddai area separated and in many such villages they occupied lands owned by temples. In Thunaivi, a large part was Adaikalam Thottam Kanthaswami Temple property. Eventually due to our example – the tenants were facilitated to own their plots through due processes.
The problem happens when they go into each others’ areas. In senior castes it is the women who continue to expressly ‘show’ caste based separation. The reason is that most of them receive dowry through which they elevated their status after marriage. This is based on Thesawalamai Customary structure – to ensure that the woman did not think she was less than her husband . The men who went out and worked gradually lost consciousness of caste. Marxism also facilitated this. But the problem there was lack of belief in local ancestors who were largely local. You may have heard of Mr Karthigesan who was known as Communist Karthigesan who taught English at Jaffna Hindu College and who contested at Nallur. He is of Vaddukoddai origin and is related to my husband. He genuinely contributed strongly to elimination of caste. He is highly respected in Vaddukoddai – including by my husband’s family.
The parallel in the Junior caste are the youth who due to separation enjoy more ‘freedom’ than their fathers. Hence the recent surge of caste based conflict. This, like the Covid has exponential powers due to it being resurrected from the grave by the current generation. Like the Covid, we need to learn to live with the remains of the caste system.]
If we switch to Buddhist law only – then no member of the government has the moral authority to pray visibly at Hindu shrines – including at Kathirgamam, Nallur and all Sai Baba centres. I leant in Vavuniya in 2009 that Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa paid his respects to Swami Sai Baba before proceeding to the camps.
When majority try to ‘possess’ separation happens naturally. This is likely to invoke another war – as indicated by the Jaffna problems. With time the natural law of Sri Lanka could be Hindu law which facilitates all – as demonstrated by Swami Sai Baba. That is the way of Dharma
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