11 February 2015

Spare us the sliced-bread nightmares Ravi

The 'rot' hasn't got as far as Paan-Paan but it might, horror of horrors!
Kolombians are a distinct people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. They have things to say.  A lot of things to say.  The entire country can learn from them. This is the sixteenth in a series published in 'The Nation' under the title 'Notes of an Unrepentant Kolombian'.  Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

I am upset. Again.  I was euphoric when Ranil appointed a right royal cabinet.  Well, not all ‘royal’ but he had more than what people call ‘critical mass’.  More than enough to make sure our interests are well served.  I was thrilled when I saw that Royalists were now in control of all the key economic posts.  Ranil as Minister of Economic Development, Ravi as Finance Minister, Arjuna Mahendran as Governor of the Central Bank, Eran and Harsh as back up, what more could a Kolombian ask for, I thought.

Then comes this monumental blunder by Ravi.  He reduced the price of bread.  Ok, I am not one of those stupid Kolombians who would want all non-Kolombians to drop dead so this island not only belongs to us but is also peopled by us.  We need the yakkos to do the menial jobs.  More than that, we need them for contrast.  It is because they exist that we appear different and superior.  No, I don’t want them dead.  I don’t want them starved either, because an emaciated set of yakkos won’t be able to grow vegetables, build roads, pave the walkways (yes, that’s important to us), sweep the streets, pick up the garbage, drive our cars and wait on our friends when we throw parties.  I want them and I want them alive.

Ravi probably meant well.  He’s probably reversing that mad conspiracy by the Rajapaksas to strengthen the rice economy.  He probably knows that rice to the yakkos is what coca cola and hamburgers are for Americans.  You wreck food culture and you murder heritage, destroy heritage and you kill the will to fight.  Lower the price of bread and you help the North American wheat farmer and destroy the yakkos; two birds with one stone and all.    And now he wants to destroy the yakko potato farmers too by importing cheap potatoes from India.  He’s got it all covered, this boy.

So, in theory, lowering the price of bread sounds well…sound, but there are many ways of keeping a population alive than offering bread cheap.   There’s a down side that Ravi seems to have missed.  Sudat Pasqual, who calls himself the Incompetent Authority on Irreverent, Irrelevant, Irresponsible Breaking News in his usual obnoxious manner has hit the nail on the head in a short note titled ‘III Sliced Bread News’:
“After hearing that the government has raised the salaries of public sector workers by Rs.5,000 a month and also reduced the price of sliced bread, residents of Colombo 7 have filed a grievance with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka complaining that their snobby, uppish and superficial lifestyles are under siege by these mean spirited and communistic policies. The complaint further stated that all the village baiyyas and their children will now be able to afford sliced bread and the children of Colombo 7 will no longer be able to snicker at their pol roti chomping schoolmates during recess. Bloody cruel and definitely unusual it said.”

I don’t give a damn about those rice-eating yakkos.  None of us Kolombians do.  I need them. We all need them, in fact, and for reasons stated above.  But there’s a bottom line.  THEY CANNOT BE LIKE US! 

Our children must grow up knowing they are different from the yakkos and taking pride in that difference.  If ‘difference’ is erased from their mental make-up they won’t know how to keep distance, how to treat yakkos and how to ensure the sustainable development of Kolombianness which is based on the idea of difference.  If we stop seeing yakkos as some lower order species we cannot look down our noses at them.  Looking down the nose is central to Kolombianness. 

Ravi has to get that into his head. 

Other articles in this series: