24 October 2014

Why Wiggy missed a train

Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran is a former judge.  A man of words.  An educated man who commands respect.  A civilized man, some would say. 

A lot has been written about him.  He has his cheering squad and he has his detractors.  When he entered politics some of the gloss of vocation, ancestry and education was bound to be lost.  Hobnobbing with those who not too long ago genuflected before a common thug was certainly not flattering.  Learning Tiger-speak at the cost of high flown oratory that rose above war, warrior and identity made it worse.  But a man lives with the choices he makes. 

C.V. Wigneswaran lives.  He eats.  He drinks, walks, talks and sleeps.  He might still be a voracious reader.  At any rate, he thinks.  He reflects.  In a parallel universe he would share his thoughts.  These are gleanings from what could be called “Wiggy’s Thought Transcripts”.

I am a former judge of the Supreme Court.  I am not a thug.  I am doing my best to do the right thing by my community, the Tamils of Sri Lanka.  I am new to politics but old enough to know that we never get to work in ideal conditions.  I knew all along that I would have to talk to and work with people who I would be reluctant to call my friends.  I just wanted to do the best.  It is not easy.

Just the other day, the Yal Devi arrived in Jaffna after many decades.  How lovely it must have been to see a train chugging its way to the Jaffna Railway Station.  I would have dearly loved to have been there.  The Yal Devi was such an integral part of the lives of Tamils in the Peninsula.  It connected. It facilitated trade.  It took us to all the rest of the island and brought those other provinces back to us. 

I know who put a stop to all that.  I know who detonated the tracks. I know who derailed the Yal Devi.  I know that ironically those who murdered that particular queen did it in the very name of the Tamil people.  I never understood the logic though.   A nose was chopped off to spite the face.  All other body parts suffered and were disfigured. 

Now we have the opportunity to get everything back in place. We’ve got the nose.  We can look good again.  I get the feeling that the Yal Devi’s return will prove to be the gel that unites all our communities once again and that it will take us to reconciliation and beyond. 
I missed this historic moment.  People may wonder why.  Here’s the story.

Lord Ganesh has 108 names.  Each name has a particular meaning which speaks to attributes associated with Lord Ganesh.  One of the names is Vigneswaran.  The meaning is ‘Lord of Obstacles’.  Lord Ganesh removes obstacles.  I am a victim of the name I was given by my parents.  Some of my new found associates (I would hesitate naturally to call them ‘friends’) are not exactly endowed with intellect.  They came and told me that I have to live up to my name.
I was elated.  Finally, I thought, they were giving me a free hand. Finally, I could push aside the revenge-intent, the inferior complexes and most of all the rank idiocy.  How naïve of me, I was forced to conclude.  The morons thought that as per the meaning of my name, my task was to obstruct, to post as many obstacles as possible in the way of anything and everything that they thought was detrimental to the ‘Tamil Cause.’ ‘Even if it meant cutting noses, derailing trains, abducting children, holding hundreds of thousands of people hostage,’ I thought to myself but said nothing.

I swallowed my better judgment.  I pandered to the whims of those who more than anyone else has given my community a bad name.  I didn’t blow up a train.  I couldn’t even if I wanted to.  I didn’t cut off my nose. I missed the bus. Sorry, train. 

Secretly, though, I am happy that my people rejoiced.  I am sad that my absence was hardly noticed by them, but still I am happy that a historic error of judgment has been rectified.  I couldn’t help thinking that it is Mahinda Rajapaksa who deserves to be called ‘Wigneswaran’ or ‘Lord of Obstacles’ as per the true meaning of the name.  He is clearing up a lot of things.  Our minds included.