13 August 2022
NOT RACE BUT CASTE
I read Victor Ivan’s book ‘Revolt In The Temple’ at a Buddhist friend’s place. Was that coincidence or divine influence? How does one know the difference? I seek to accept Sir Albert Einstein’s saying – ‘Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.’ Hence nothing is coincidence.
That anonymous influence was already within me – not through Buddhism or Hinduism, but through elimination of Caste. I learnt through Victor’s book, at a home where also caste discrimination had been eliminated, that the Sinhalese community also had used caste-based discrimination at community level. In my case, even though I did not know it consciously at that time, it was around our family temple that the confirmation was recognized by me, albeit subconsciously. The temple is at the cusp of Senior /farmer caste village of Sangarathai and Junior / Toddy-tapper caste village of Thunaivi. I lived mostly with the latter as one of them – using their measures of rights and wrongs. That completion, I believe, became my divine power, leading me to share my discovery that the LTTE was not driven by race but caste. This is confirmed by why their killing of Tamil Politicians and also explains why they hijacked the Black July mandate as theirs, even though Colombo was not their ‘home’. Truth sows perfect balance from all angles. Truth also eliminates the dividing walls of separation to render wholesome ownership – in this instance of the Tamil Community. Hence given that I did not personally experience race-based discrimination in Colombo, I was quite comfortable in the home of my Sinhala-Buddhist friend, where I felt the urge to read to Victor’s book.
In that book, Victor shared with us, his wisdom in caste. He confirms his reasoning through his article headed ‘Dismissing Ranil’ at https://www.ft.lk/columns/Dismissing-Ranil/4-738580 through the final paragraph as follows:
[The extent of progress that Sri Lanka could achieve by building the Sri Lankan nation alone, thereby denying the recognition accorded to feudalistic caste system and ensuring equal human dignity and equal rights to all ethnic, religious, sexual, cultural and social groups, is enormous. ]
In his article, Victor analyses Ranil’s promotion to Presidency as follows:
[In this exercise, Ranil received not only the support of a large number of parliamentarians of the Pohottuwa, the ruling party, but also that of a considerable number of opposition members as well. However, there are various criticisms about his election. One such criticism is that the manner in which he was appointed the president is not ethical though it is in conformity with the Constitution.]
Ethics of a group would be as per the belief of a group. The laws in a constitution often include theories based on other people’s beliefs. When a group is vertically arranged as ‘senior’ and ‘juniors’ / as government and citizens, but as per belief they do not trust each other, they start separating. Caste, which was work based became an inappropriate measure, due to democracy which needs Equal status to self-sufficient groups of diverse cultures. In Northern Sri Lanka, the ethics of Toddy-tapper group is vastly different to that of Farmer-group. Likewise, if there are more members from Warrior-caste than from Farmer-caste, in National Parliament, then the former would naturally override the latter. That would have contributed to the call for Rajapaksas to step down – the economic downturn being an outer common reason. Likewise, Ranil’s family is known to be of ‘Ruling Class ’ would have been grouped with Rajapaksa family when it came to caste. In reality, those who accepted money or status – for their vote and those who paid money for the vote, would have lowered their ‘class’ from governing group to trading group. For practical purposes – the Constitution is the bible through which ethics is commonly assessed.
More interestingly, the internal separations within the Sinhalese began stronger after 2009, when the common opposition – Tamil community was made ‘junior’ instead of Equal and Opposite. Discrimination became ‘internal’ with warrior caste dominating the show of power.
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