DEMOCRACY BUTTRESSED BY RECTITUDE | Daily News

DEMOCRACY BUTTRESSED BY RECTITUDE

All gifts, the gift of Truth excels;
All tastes, the taste of Truth excels
All joys, the joy of Truth excels.

(The Dhammapada 24.21)

Truth will make you free. (Jesus Christ in the Gospel according to St. John Ch. 8 v 32)

Truth is compatibility of knowledge to reality. When genuine seekers search for truth they find it. Things knowable come to be known; the existential state of reality is perceived; the true state of affairs is seen. Change towards the better becomes possible.

For Sri Lanka to subsist as a vibrant democratic state, the community of the people through its public servants led by the legislators and the statesmen should be the ‘carriers’ of the State. Serious legislators should have a social philosophy, a philosophy of government, an understanding of anthropology, human relationships and of law. Many of the elected representatives rather than having serious ideas of government and public administration and the law, seem to have ideas of enhancing their privileges, advantages and means of illicit gains uppermost in their heads. The people actually see in the august place a preponderance of uneducated and defectively educated selfish scoundrels who not having succeeded in a decent profession have made their way into party politics and exploited it through shady means to make easy money in a big way.

When the corrupt become rulers they turn the offices and institutions of the State, meant for good administration and service, into sources of plunder for private gain. They break the backbone of the democratic State by their corruption. Politicians who indulge in such exercises show their desire to climb and cling to power at any cost, even sowing communalism and bigotry and doing any mean thing and conducting themselves in the most unbecoming manner ill-fitting any legislator. Thus they display their hidden intellectual debility, their incapacity to fathom the yearnings of the people for the common good and their lack of true commitment to the whole nation due to their prioritizing self-interest and nepotism, even while flying national flags on their vehicles and residences. The lousy fellows who bastardize citizenship and do not know behaviour appropriate to the Chamber of the highest legislature do not have the capacity for rectitude to uphold democracy.

MEDIA THAT MISINFORM

The people normally come to know of the state of affairs of the country through the accepted norm of today, the mass media of communications: newspapers, radio and television and internet. Many people uncritically accept all that is presented to them through these media. So the scheming and manipulative politicians publish and propagate the biased news and stories favourable to them. Some of their newspapers and television channels actually misinform and communicate only what they like the people to accept and believe. The politicians wishing to show that they are very competent always try to show how their projected plans will bear fruit in the future and benefit the people and even eradicate poverty.

As elections approach they also grandly declare that once they come to power a cleaner, a more satisfactory and a more people friendly administration will be in operation. They promise that all the agents of corruption, all evil doers who made their critics disappear, who killed journalists in broad day light, in high security zones at that, who planned and violently ended the lives of rivals to look as if they met with unfortunate accidents, will be thoroughly investigated and those guilty of crimes will be detected, brought before the law and dealt with.

The promise of ending corruption and freeing the people from its bondage is so attractive that even the corrupt fellows who have been ousted from power, with the prospect of coming elections, pledge to end all bribery and corruption and use the pledge as a handy gimmick. The hidden truth is that they are cleverly covering up the mega corruption they indulged in by focusing on the suspected corrupt deals of the current rulers.

COURAGEOUS TRUE JOURNALISTS

In this context, the people’s real friends and upholders of democracy are the investigative journalists who reveal the truth of the politicians manufacturing lies to distract the people to cover up their vicious undemocratic plans.

The investigative journalists underline that all politicians and public servants in administration are accountable to the people, that there should be transparency in important transactions. They emphasize that the established right procedures should be followed and in everything justice should be done. As upright journalists are a threat to corrupt politicians, they are hounded, persecuted and even assassinated. Politicians and their henchmen are at the bottom of these crimes.

The citizens of Sri Lanka need to become knowledgeable, discerning, perceptive and astute in discovering the true state of affairs. They need to read the narratives of journalists who report on current affairs truthfully. These journalists display a thirst for justice and provoke unbiased, rational thinking while some newspapers uncritically promote a chauvinist party line or politicians of even unsavoury repute. People should be conscientious and civically responsible to get rid of loquacious marauders who pose as nationalists and patriots.

POLITICS MINUS SINCERITY AND TRUTH

Corrupt politicians try to pose also as defenders of religion when religion could be defended only by those who uphold religion by their faithful adherence and ways of truth, justice, loving kindness and fraternal relationship. As the Buddha has very clearly said, ‘By deeds one is a Brahman. By deeds one an outcast. (Vasala Sutta). By that norm, most of our politicians are repulsively very low caste fellows because of their insincerity, dishonesty and thievery. They should be scorned, spurned and banished from politics. Many politicians on the national stage today are in the bondage and slavery of wrong doing, corruption and crime. To be corrupt and degenerate is to be flawed and untrue.

Politicians too like the rest of human beings should respond to the call of truth, recover the dignity of authentic human beings and be liberated of falsehood, of wrong doing, of cruelty, dishonesty, wickedness and corruption and become persons of graciousness and virtue. That is to live sincerely, be true and free. Though many politicians may not be sincere and truthful, they like to pose as very virtuous people.

Though ethnicity may have given rise to peoplehood, today several ethnic communities living in and belonging to a distinct territory could go to form a distinct people as a national family and be a united nation. Ethnic homogeneity is not required for a people with claims to a common territory to be a community and a nation. Of course the sense of common aspirations, sharing of visions and future hopes, camaraderie in activating them, certainly promotes solidarity and unity as a nation. This needs to be recognized, cultivated and safe-guarded especially in a Constitution.

Self-denials, renunciations and even dying for the sake of others are sacrifices made in fraternal solidarity.

They become energy and power expended to build good relations, cohesion and harmony needed to advance in development and progress in community.

Vigorous, dynamic and meaningful politics concerns itself with these values. Many politicians are indeed bankrupt not only politically but are also in genuine social commitment due to their penurious intellectual capacity and lack of a sense of obligation to be authentic, civically responsible, human and fraternal. It is up to the citizens to choose the true and honest men and women to be their elected representatives and forthwith discard the dishonest, untrue, unjust and corrupt scamps in the political arena. 


 

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