Contemporary politics
Posted on October 31st, 2011

Dr.Tilak Fernando

The present volatile scenario in the world is conveying an important message universally that international politics are going to affect peoplesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ lives in the very near future to coincide with the prophesy of breaking out of a major war among some nations.

According to this prognostication the future will depend on politicians and rulers where only the virtuous ones will survive and rotten tyrants will get eliminated. Looking at contemporary world politics, particularly at the Middle Eastern countries, this becomes highly probable.

Why do conflicts surface and people begin to rebel against rulers categorising them as tyrants? After the French revolution, governance of the world has changed from the old fashioned Kingdoms to what people have chosen as democracies. Some academics believe that much sought after ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”democracyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”socialismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ has not worked.

Military supremacy

The analogy used to illustrate this is that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”people have got head and the feet mixed upƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ – meaning, allowing the feet to perform the tasks of the head and vice versa, which naturally has contributed to the present chaos in the world.

Dudley Senanayake

Muammar Gaddafi

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Politicians always come out with assurances and undertakings prior to elections and some tyrants come to power through military supremacy, all of them promising to serve the people. Depending on the level of service a politician renders after being elected to Parliament, he/she becomes a darling of the people or detested by the very people who elect him/her.

When politicians fail to deliver, the masses will begin to revolt as the level of peoplesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ tolerance tends to diminish. Naturally, in such circumstances, rulers can expect only rejection in many forms. The tragic end of President Gaddafi by rebels in Libya goes to show the dangers of the game politicians play in pledging to work for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”welfare of the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. The recent misdemeanour at Mulleriyawa between two rival politicians where one died and the other got bullets embedded inside his head goes to show to what extent our domestic politics have unceasingly stooped to.

Looking back over six decades one could not erase the name of Dudley Senanayake as a sincere politician who, as Prime Minister, resigned his post voluntarily and got re-elected thrice by his people, as opposed to the present Leader of the Opposition (same political party) who has been rejected by the people of this country over 14 times and a melodrama still continues within his party. Dudley Senanayake used an ordinary manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s car without any security. Of course, at that time there werenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t any terrorist threats in the country, but with the elimination of the LTTE and freedom to walk about at its peak some politicians still seem to claim that their lives are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”in dangerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and seek the services of security backups for nothing but ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”to delight their bloated egosƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢! SWRD Bandaranaike managed to leave only financial liabilities at the time of his assassination as a political legacy having tried his best to work for the people according to his conscience. Dr. N. M. Perera, who embraced a socialist ideology never wanted to bow down to dishonest politics which denied him the hot seat of Prime Minister.

Classic example

Wijeyananda Dahanayake set the divine example by travelling from Galle to Colombo by train to attend parliamentary sessions. He travelled on a third class ticket intermingling with other commuters.

When asked why he chose to so his answer had been apt: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Because there is no 4th class in the trainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚! Sri Lanka could be classified as the only country where the modern politician abuses his privileges exceedingly. Britain is a classic example to prove this point where politicians commute by British Rail, the Underground railways and some even riding bicycles. The thought process between the British and Sri Lankan politician are evidently different, for, they think they are representatives of the people whereas our elected officials seem to get the wrong idea that they are of a different breed altogether!

A remarkable feature of the majority of our bygone generation of politicians was that many entered the political arena out of their sheer patriotism and the yearning to work for the people. Besides, many of them were icons of wealthy families who died after spending all their fortunes on politics.

ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s very unfortunate that modern politics in Sri Lanka have diluted to become a thriving industry where thoughts of many hinge on possessing duty free vehicles, official residences and bodyguards only.

The reason for this could be ascribed to the fact that only a handful of them have such attributes of their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ancestorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, be it a local government member, Provincial Councilor or a Member of Parliament, a degree of vulgar affluence seems to affect them.

Oil and defence

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is well known for his simplicity. During an interview with Fox News (USA) Ahmadinejad was asked: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-When you look at the mirror in the morning what do you say to yourself?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ His answer was inspirational: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I see the person in the mirror and tell him, remember, you are no more than a small servant, ahead of you today is a heavy responsibility, and that is to serve the Iranian nation.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

One of his commandments to his Cabinet was to obtain an official declaration with an undertaking not to hoard wealth; that order went down the line to his relatives too to ensure that on the day a minister left office, it would be with dignity and all bank accounts including his relatives would remain an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”open bookƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ for public scrutiny.

Mahamoud Ahmadinejad in contemporary politics is regarded as administering one of the worldsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ foremost countries which is strategically, economically and politically important with regard to its oil and defence, who has not changed his lifestyle and does not take his salary either in the belief that all the wealth in Iran belongs to the nation and he is only the nationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s custodian.

One Response to “Contemporary politics”

  1. sarath Says:

    It is an excellent article. This articles captures true mentality of our politics not only by politicians but also by officials. For example, we get western AID to develop our nation. We import large number of vechiles for officials to implement these projects but these vechiles are generally used by officials for their own use. Corruption is our gift.

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