24 December 2013

Santa deliberates on the distribution of goodies

Kids are easy.  Uncomplicated.  Direct.  They know exactly what they want and even if they go overboard at times, they quickly adapt to reality.  Politicians are the worst. They not only want heaven on earth, but will grumble and pout when expectations are not met.  
The other trouble with politicians is that each one has a distinct wish list.  Kids on the other hand seem to have insider info; most of them are keyed into what’s chic in the market at any given time.  Come Christmas, I can whittle it down to a dozen items for each age category and plan production accordingly. There’s less wastage with kids.  

I’ve tried hard to please all politicians.  After several centuries I decided that it’s impossible.  No, I am not going to cross off all politicians from beneficiary list.  Politicians are also human, they also have desires.  And I have my policy too: ‘Don’t miss out on anyone’.  But I am human too (no one ever says I am ‘god’) and there’s only so much I can do.  So this time I came up with a package deal.  Instead of gifting individual politicians I thought I will give something to the parties they belong to.  What follows is my Sri Lankan list.

I’ve considered the rise, fall, rise, fall, rise and fall of that party over the last 49 years.  I find that they are strong on words and weak when it comes to numbers; high on emotion, low on reason.  A quick recap of recent history would make things clear.  The JVP backed Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. Indeed, had it not been for the JVP’s support, which included a solid propaganda machine of foot soldiers to canvass votes and multiple and efficient teams to put up posters, Ranil Wickremesinghe may have even won.  The JVP didn’t realize that the day after the election, the winner would call the shots. 

The JVP could have brought down the Government during Budget 2009, i.e. in November 2008.  Missed opportunity.  Then there was the blunder of brinkmanship over local government elections.  The JVP was offered a chance to secure control of 25 local government authorities.  The JVP demanded 40.  The JVP lost even the single one it had, that’s Tissamaharama. 

This year I will give them two things: a CD which gives simple step-by-step instruction that will enable the party to improve math skills.  After they learn that 2 plus 2 equals 4, they will graduate to doing complex sums and unravel complicated equations.  I will give them also a reason-package that will elevate the party above ‘semblance’.  It would gradually learn to be more circumspect when entering coalitions.  More respect.  Less clown-like. That’s the JVP I want to see. 

Almost everyone wants Ranil Wickremesinghe out.  I checked.  Yes, he is a stumbling block, certainly, but I detected a more serious problem: infighting.  Now it goes without saying that politicians are ambitious and arrogant.  Almost every politician has an exaggerated sense of self-worth; each thinks that he/she is the best leader that the party and the country can have.  If I fed such sentiments, it would be curtains for that party.  So I decided to drop in all the humility I can spare with the most arrogant getting the biggest share.  One person gets nothing.  Imtiyaz Bakeer Markar.  Actually, I am not even sure if he is still a member of the UNP, but one of the things I will deliver to Sirikotha is the wisdom to invite and convince him to take over the leadership of the Leadership Council – don’t worry, I’ll be giving Karu the few grains of humility he might need to make way. 

I am planning to give this party a dictionary.  It’s a special dictionary.  It won’t contain all the words in the English language.  It will have just a few.  Like reconciliation, intransigence, grievance, aspiration, and resignation.  The words will come not just with pronunciation and meaning but also elaborations and example so they will be fully acquainted with nuance when they next utter the words.  I will also add a quantity of self-reflection because this will allow them to determine which words describe the party best, ‘intransigence’ for example.  A third gift: how to clap hands.   The objective in the last instance is to instill in the party the meaning of the saying ‘you can’t clap with a single hand’. 

Eyes.  That’s what I will give this party.  The party needs eyes to see constituency and not possible cabinet portfolios.  It also needs eyes to see their feet so they can learn to stand on them instead of tagging to garment-end of the party in power.  That should do.

I believe that the best gift I can give these two parties is a mind.  I mean, most times they are in two minds and in politics it is best not to be schizophrenic. 

A tiny bit of wisdom would do wonders for this party, I thought.  So the DNA gets is Christmas gift early.  It’s just a single line that the party leader, given his military history, would immediately understand:  One man is not a front.

The young boys and girls in this party need to read.  They badly need to read the works of Karl Marx to begin with.  Not Just Marx, but Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci and all ‘Marxists’ who came thereafter, right up to the post-Marxists and post-modernist. Of course, there’s a shortcut, but I doubt that they can unburden themselves from the drivel they picked by in their JVP days.  Yes, they would probably have to go through all of the above before they realize that if they read something of the Buddha Vacana, they could have spared themselves a lot of trouble.

The Left
This includes the various ragtag outfits associated more with leader than with any cogent ideology or political program.  There’s DEW, there’s Tissa Vitharana, there’s Siritunga, Bahu and Wije Dias.   They need one thing.  A life. 

Nothing.  That’s punishment for taking what was not theirs and acting as though they did the dispossessed a favor.