‘If two people agree on everything and anything, one person is doing the thinking’
To those of the new generations not familiar with Spanish writer Don Miguel Cervantes’s delightful book Don Quixote, Sancho Panza is a fictional hero who goes around the country fighting imaginary threats on a donkey along with his master Don Quixote such as tilting at windmills. Watching a TV talk show recently we were reminded of Sancho Panza when a Sri Lankan doctor threatened to stage a youth revolution like the Second JVP fiasco. Our Sri Lankan Sancho Panza was demanding that the government abolishes SAITM. These medicos are apparently under the delusion that they with some government employed doctors are strong enough to topple a government freely elected by 6.2 million people countrywide!
The medicos protest is just one of innumerable misguided threats being harnessed by a faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – defeated in two elections – and is being deployed by the defeated former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seize power once again.
The medicos are in a group of disgruntled activists who have opposed – overtly and covertly – all major proposals made by the government such as: Amendment of the Constitution, moves to settle the billion dollar debts incurred by the Rajapaksa government on the monumental stupidities in Hambantota such as the harbour and airports sans ships and planes; investigating innumerable corrupt acts during the 9 year Rajapaksa regime and calling the legal prosecution of culprits as ‘witch hunting’. Railway locomotive drivers and Guards, bus drivers and guards and privately owned company bus drivers are unanimous in their informed opinion about the clinical training required for medical students and are backed to the hilt by all anti-government, pro-Rajapaksa trade unions.
Dividing the country
These daily countrywide protests during the past two and a half years have resulted in a deeply divided country despite ‘patriots’ of every political colouration standing on their heads and proclaiming that they would not permit such a division. It is the cry bellowed by these patriots while proposals for new Constitution for Sri Lanka are in the making. The paradox is that by this ‘patriotic endeavour’ to preserve the ‘unity and integrity’ etc, of the country, they are causing a permanent division through the majority of the Sri Lankan people – the Sinhalese.
Unlike before, the divisive threat is not a result on racial or religious demands, but is engineered by a power-hungry group in an attempt to seize power using naïve and gullible organisations.
Vibrant or strangled democracy
It could be said that that the daily protests against the government by opposition forces taking to the streets is a sign of a vibrant democracy. Such a view may be accepted by naive citizens not be acquainted with the working of mature democracies. A democratic opposition cannot be an Opposition that strives to block every move made by an elected government and paralyse the country for the gain of a few political leaders. A democratic opposition cannot threaten to topple a government by illegal means such as by staging a youth insurrection if a trade union demand is not granted. Medical doctors or Doctors of Philosophy (PhDs) are not immune from the laws of the land but are vulnerable for any breach of the law as an ordinary citizen or a MP without a GCE-O certificate. They can be held responsible as much as youth of the North, East or South if they threaten to topple a government with an insurrection, however impotent, innocuous or humorous the threats may appear to be.
An important fact about this disparate assortment of characters ranging from PhDs, medical practitioners, private bus operators, railway guards and drivers, nurses and their guiding lights some Buddhist monks, university students and politicians in political wilderness is that they agree on everything and anything that is aimed at bringing the government down.
What is the binding force of this unity in diversity and adversity? What’s the fount of their wisdom, their Oracle? Academic and political demagogues hectoring them claim that their demands are perfectly logical and rational.
In this context this particular definition of logic will be food for thought: Logic is the art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with ones imagination, prejudices and desires. The imagination prejudices and desires of these demagogues are all too obvious. But are these the same of the hoi polloi backing them in street demonstrations?
What makes this diverse group express unanimity and commitment on a vast array of disparate issues? How or why do these vociferous activists agree on: Investigations conducted into ten years of Rajapaksa nepotism as witch hunting; mortgaging the country for billions of dollars on loans the country can’t afford as ‘development’; antagonising powerful foreign nations as well as the United Nations with their sheer arrogance; expenditure of billions for monuments on immortality; denial of killing and terrorising of journalists during the White Van era. Space does not permit recording all other achievements during the golden age of the Rajapaksas.
This query brings home the old truism: If two people agree on all thoughts expressed on anything and everything only one person is doing the thinking.
That One Person need not be named. Doctors of Philosophy, doctors of Medicine, all other doctors who have a sure cure for all the social ills in their pockets are well aware of the demagoguery but visions of crumbs falling off the table if their time comes is hard to resist.