FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Political predators mistakenly called the Joint Opposition
Posted:May 16, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
When the carcass of our polity is sprawled across the landscape of the country, when the carcass is well beyond recognition, when its heart has stopped beating, its nerves ceased to twitch and its blood has hardened so much so that it’s no redder, but eerily crimson, we know that the predators have done the job. 
 
Fortunately we have not arrived at that burial ground as yet. The heart of Sri Lanka’s polity is still beating; its nervous system is intact and its blood still redder than ever. 
 
The Joint Opposition that is parading our streets and feeding a starving media with delusional tidbits of political character-assassination is made up of the Rajapaksa family and other Parliamentarians who contested the last General Elections on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ticket. They were the ones, who opposed Maithripala Sirisena’s Presidential bid on January 8, 2015. They were the ones who backed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid for an unprecedented third term Presidency.
 
What is the common tie between the Rajapaksas and these other political hoods, who have opted to stand behind Mahinda Rajapaksa and his blatantly deep corrupt practices? 
 
I have written about this before and have no hesitation in writing again and again, even to the utter boredom of the reader. They are the comrades-in-arms (Or more aptly, comrades-in-‘alms’) of the Rajapaksas when they had the coffer-keys. 
 
Make no mistake. It is all about the money. From power they got the keys to coffers and after that it was always money, money, money. 
 
With that money they entertained their friends; with that money they had unlimited luxuries; with that money they acquired cars and houses and girlfriends and boyfriends. All decipherable signs of moral decay were present; all tangible results of avarice were in evidence; all nuanced cryptograms of sloganeering were abundant. Yet, the majority in the country refused to see. They refused to look at them, for they did not want to see what lay beneath the veneer.
 
 
It is quite natural for any victim of any crime or misdemeanor to confront the truth. That is a human condition and we find that in abundance in everyday lives of many men and women. For what reason or excuse, I’m not qualified to reason out. Yet, its corrosive presence, one simply cannot dispute.  This is the gullibility political sharks of a yester-regime exploited to the hilt.
 
 
 The gullibility of the masses was shown when the Rajapaksas declared that they were ready to go to the ‘electric chair’ to safeguard the ‘honour’ of the brave soldiers, who fell on the battlefield. 
The phony patriotism of Rajapaksa and his henchmen is exposed as nothing but phony. But patriotism, if craftily sloganeered and presented as justifiable and gut-wrenching as the Rajapaksa cronies were capable of portraying, it is really dreadful. 
 
 
It has been recorded in many an international fora and has been debated whether the subject of patriotism defined in a narrow context of local politics is valid and whether that patriotism offers a blanket assurance of insulation from the international audience seeking justice and fairness to all people living in the world, as a majority or a minority. Such nuanced arguments are a way beyond these pathetic, uninformed merchants of corruption and nepotism.
 
 
The May Day show has understandably given Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts a false sense of hope; it has given them a massive ego-push that the crowd that gathered on the Galle Face Green came on their own volition. 
 
 
If one is offered a bottle of arrack and a packet of rice and curry and free transport, of course, who is going to refuse that on a national holiday? 
 
 
The enormous wealth that the last regime made via various deals is coming out now. 
In 1960 and 1970 the United National Party (UNP) managed to gather massive crowds for their May Day rallies. On both occasions the UNP lost at the elections. This delusional madness of the Rajapaksas and their supporters would eventually have its infectious effect claiming not only their immediate staff and cohorts, but will trickle down to the broad masses that rally around him and his failed policies of phony patriotism and groundless and unproven love for them.
 
Mahinda Rajapaksa has to realise the significance of one modern political dynamic. The social media is not something that could be kept under a carpet of secrecy; it need not have leadership; it need not have even to verify the accuracy of what they are alleged to reveal. 
 
But fortunately or unfortunately, the social media is a double-edged knife. Against a backdrop of darkening clouds of suspicion in some intimidation, abductions and killings of prominent journalists, who had both guts and craft to use their ‘power of the pen’ to attack the Rajapaksa regime and the then first family, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s malicious attempt at galvanising massive crowds on May Day celebrations looks hollow and barren.
 
When one sits down to analyse the current political tempests in Sri Lanka, after a defeat of a maligned regime (I used the word regime intentionally as the Rajapaksas portrayed themselves as a regime as against a Democratic Republic) whose alleged attempt at hoodwinking the masses with slogans such as electric chair, brave soldiers on the battlefield, etc. was thwarted by the voters in January, 2015, one has no option but to deduce that the Rajapaksas attempts are indeed malevolent and treacherous. 
 
They ruled the country for more than eighty four months. Never did a day pass without a member of the first family or their henchmen, in and outside Parliament, allegedly committing at least a white-collar felony. Such white-collar felonies are being investigated today and hopefully, for the relief on many a man and woman. 
 
 
These political swindlers simply do not realise that taking the voter for granted and treating him or her as a simpleton and sometimes as an idiot is a sin that has no equal. Condescending treatment of equals may be pardonable but if such conduct extends down to the average Siripala and Ran Menika in the rural hamlets, it is not only unpardonable, it is grossly repugnant and deplorable.
But who is there to tell the Rajapaksas? Certainly not the local politicians, nor the native henchmen. It had to come from a visiting Head of Government of our ‘big brother’, India. 
Prime Minister Modi did not come to occupy the highest seat in India’s polity by being naïve and uninformed. If Mahinda Rajapaksa refuses to learn any lesson from the alleged treatment extended to him by Narendra Modi, then he is beyond help. 
 
 
The May Day rally organised by the so-called Joint Opposition has already claimed two lives. For the organisers of the Joint Opposition this may not be a big ado. Yet, one must remember that those who died as a result of participating in the May Day rally also may be having sons, daughters, wives and parents. 
 
 
Sacrifices made for the sake of personalities around whom a cult is being built are indeed grave and more often than not, stupid. Yet our unequivocal sympathy goes out to them.
 
Sigmund Freud said that ‘no one who shares a delusion ever recognises it as such’. 
 
That is precisely what has happened to Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts. They do not seem to recognise the delusion; the delusion of a broad mass assent of a failed regime is lingering on and it is being intentionally promoted by them. 
 
Daily Mirror, May 17, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
read-more
Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhut
 
read-more
Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
read-more
Since the NDA government converted the ‘Look East’ Policy to the ‘Act East’ policy, there has been a greater sense of strategic engagement with the ASEAN, writes Gurjit Singh
 
read-more
The UN will be making contacts with Maldives leaders in response to the request by the opposition leaders for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to oversee the all-party talks proposed by that nation's President Abdulla Yameen, Guterres's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Friday.
 
read-more
Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
read-more

The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
read-more

Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “2022: The India We Seek”

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
Column-image

'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...

 
Column-image

Book: A Time of Madness; Author: Salman Rashid; Publisher: Aleph; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 127

 
Column-image

Book: Why I Am A Hindu; Author: Shashi Tharoor; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 302; Price: Rs 699