Rahul Says A Mouthful
Jaffna students were forced to sing the National Anthem in Sinhala. Subheadline in a December 28th daily. Some kids of Vembadi Girls’ School and Jaffna Central College were selected to sing the National Anthem at the Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna in celebration of some day or another (Meniks has lost count of these days of celebration) in the presence of the Prime Minister. On a sudden order they had to sing in Sinhala.
The Cabinet decision to have only one version of the anthem, and that the Sinhala version Menika swears, was the result of a peaking of pique. The Prez had just returned from London with metaphorical egg on his august face and was angry with the LTTE diaspora. Justified. Totally unjustified to force the singing of the nat anthem in Sinhala by non-Sinhalese nationals. Sure the Prez’s bigoted advisors whispered in his aggrieved ear to gain Brownie points: ‘Teach the Tamil beggars a lesson!’ Is this reconciliation and giving the minorities a feeling they belong? Oops, Meniks made a faux pas there. No minority or majority races in Sri Lanker, only patriots and traitors. T
hus spake His Highness at Independence celebrations two years ago. Some of the advisers to H H are traitors for sure in the guise of patriots since they act treasonably to the motherland. So abracadabra zu zu! a new rule was passed to order everyone to sing the nat anthem in Sinhala. We need to appreciate the words, renew their meaning when we sing it. How on earth can a Tamil child with no knowledge of Sinhala, sing the nat anthem as it should be sung, with feeling and loyalty? They will sing it now in protest and anger. For goodness sake why be so very petty — I mean, the Cabinet and the government. Hopeless hope that sense will prevail and the nat anthem sung in Sinhala and Tamil, alternate verses, with if possible at least the chorus in English. That would be a sure sign of unity.
Wonder what Wanse is planning to do to protest Rahul Gandhi’s pronouncement that the Tamil IDPs are not being looked after well enough. A thovil netuma of thugs at the gates of the Indian High Commission or an attempt to teach that scion of a genuinely near royal family a lesson? Remember that Rahul is a man concerned about the poor of India; visits rural areas traveling by train with no armed escorts and is clean. Still slim too. Meniks can vouch for this. She traveled with a group of pals in the shatabdi from Lucknow to Delhi and found this handsome man walking along the platform with just four others beside and behind him, definitely not all secret service guards. Maybe one but the others he was chatting to.
Meniks walked beside him a couple of yards full of praise and wonder, an inch or two above ground. His life sure is not completely safe but he abhors defense escorts, we are told, and travels with the hoi polloi, eating what they offer him. So after saying the Indian national anthem is in Hindi following a blundering faux pas at a lit festival, will the said Wanse who assumes the graces of knowing-it-all denigrate Rahul who has no scandals targeting him by questioning his parentage? Typical of W to descend to the pits.
Some say this and some say that, but Menika is sure there is much left undone as per the northern IDPs. The Family loyalists say Basil and Namal, working together or competing against each other are house building at a rate and road constructing and infrastructure laying in Vavuniya and further North. Others say the poor homeless are still homeless and if Jaffna is bustling it is due to the nature of the Jaffna Tamil – cork-like as disasters strike.
Meniks shyly admits she always had a soft corner for the Yalpanam guy whether thalathel or Colombo sophisticate. When oft she on her couch doth lie, her mind wanders — not to daffodils but to Jaffna boys she’s known and gazed at or had them come behind her with decorum and decency. She liked their darker skin, their accent and their sincerity. But woe was hers, none came so far as to propose marriage to her! She has to add here that none came to merely have a good time either. They were too decent for that, and she a young innocent who believed babies were bought in hospitals and kissing too, too dangerous.
Scanning through last Sunday’s Leader, Menika had a near heart attack. Recovering, she wrote her resignation from spilling the beans in this column. Why so, you will ask. Well page 17 proclaimed: “I will take care of the media like my child.” Thus pronounced loud and clear for all to hear Dr. Dutu. Menika added her own bit to this “and take care of media persons like my wife,” and shivered and shook. Hence the resignation from penning this column. And then Menika looked again and found it was a statement the said doctor (of Philosophy? Alternate medicine? Kindness and Justice?) had made a couple of months ago as he started his flirtation with the Media Ministry as its Deputy. Thank the Lord, Menika intoned, we are not in danger of being looked after. She tore her letter of resignation to the Editor, lolled back in her couch, quaffed a quaff and continued peacefully reading the paper, until Dingiri hollered the postman and garbage man and candlestick maker were all at the door demanding gratuity payment in lieu of New Year.
Thank goodness for small mercies. The word jealousy has gone out of the government lexicon. The same page referred to, had this headline: GSP+ was withdrawn out of jealousy. Basil Rajapaksa says Western nations jealous of Sri Lanka’s success.
We spoke of one being jealous of another in school as giddy headed young’uns. Later this word was too puerile except when certain wives were guilty of this emotion vis-à-vis their spouses. Menika knows this well since she realised after a catfight or two that hubbies are sacrosanct and should not be smiled at, spoken with, sat next to. See how the right hand neighbour’s hubby is getting more and more cross-eyed being ordered never to allow a squint or a glance of his escape leftwards. The article was getting more and more laughable. I am sure we laughed when we first saw it with a huge blush of embarrassment and now re-reading that bit of an interview of the past year, we can laugh again.
The Senior Presidential Advisor explained that most Western nations have failed in many aspects, including the economy and are unable to fathom how Sri Lanka managed to end a 30 year war, reduce unemployment, increase reserves, increase remittances and record strong economic growth. Menika rolled around laughing like a demented hyena. She had replies to the question of fathoming how. War won due to Fonseka in large measure; reduce unemployment from one high statistic to a still high figure; remittances at the expense of more maids death sentenced, nail driven, tortured; econ growth – CB’s satisfying statistics.
So as we proudly march to the second decade of the 21st century and to being the ‘miracle of Asia,’ making even Eastern countries jealous of us, Menika feels fatigued of all this glory. She sobers down (from laughing) and aims at losing her sobriety in some other way. So it’s the best of good wishes for 2011 to you and you and you!