Social media in Sri Lanka is dominated by an overuse of unfunny memes and political hatred. The entire nation hates our politicians. Some worship their leader and justify whatever he does and hates the other, some looks objectively and that anyway leads to hating all politicians, so basically everyone on social media hates politicians, probably elsewhere as well, I wouldn’t be the right person to comment on that, because I’m not the weird going out and meeting people type of person.
During the recent atrocities here at home and elsewhere some folks were inviting the perpetrators to our parliament, others wants the little parliament island to be overrun by the diyawanna lake, succumb to an earthquake, such is the hatred the citizens have towards their leaders. Now, let’s get one thing straight, I don’t wish any sort or physical harm on the parliament, because if it comes to that, the tax payers of the nation, including me, will have to bear the cost of rebuilding it, and I don’t think we can afford any more “nation building”.
But the question is, if we so passionately hate these gentle men and women (our politicians, just to avoid any confusion), who the devil voted them in? I don’t recall having an occupy diyawanna campaign and the protesters staying there indefinitely, and literally some of them have stayed indefinitely, they even remember the birth of time it self (while on the topic, 10% of the MPs would be over 70 years of age by the time 2020 elections will be held and only 3% will be below 35 years of age). Somebody must have voted, surely! Could it be that the six million patriots on Facebook who roots towards the destruction of the parliament and it’s occupants didn’t vote? About 15 million Sri Lankans (over 18 years of age) were eligible to vote during the last election and about 12.5 million cast their votes, out of which a little over 200000 were rejected votes, if we round it up to 250000 for good measures, we still have 12.25 million voters left. Which leaves out around 8.75 million Sri Lankans who didn’t vote and also might be below 18 years. So maybe the good folks on Facebook belongs to this segment who didn’t vote or maybe some of them voted and now regrets it. I’ll let you figure it out.
Now the problem, one might argue, these “leaders” have been in power so long they no longer hear the voice of the commoners. But there are some new comers each election as well, why aren’t they trying to disrupt the status quo? well some of them are just taking over from their parents, others just follow the drift. But again, Why? Why doesn’t anyone wants to fight the forces of corruption? There is a reason for it and you might not like it.
Have you seen how orderly our citizens are in a queue? Every person who jumps the queue is not a politician. That gallant knight on public transport holding on to the nether regions of a damsel and causing her distress is not a politician. The valiant charioteer of who decide when and where to stop and which side of the road to drive on is not a politician. The clever merchant who decide to bend the law and pay much less than required amount of tax is not a politician. The Eco-warrior who decides to clean his neighborhood and dump the garbage on the road or in front of someone else’s property is not a politician. Every single person who decides that rules don’t apply to them because they are in a hurry, or because it doesn’t tickle their fancy to obey a certain rule or simply because they believe they were born from the head of an omnipotent being, are not all politicians.
The society we live in is deteriorating, it’s becoming more loose and chaotic by the day. Politicians are a product of this society. Before they were politicians, they were citizens like us. They grew up around us. They were part of the social circles we belong to, the difference is, what ever reminisce of the worn out net, which law has become now, doesn’t apply to them anymore. There is no one watching over them anymore. Who watches the watchmen, eh? Tell me, have you not bought something over the internet and expected it to be tax free? When it was taxed have you not tired to get it cleared at a lower rate? I’m sure most of us have. The difference between what we do and they (our leaders) do, is only differentiated by the scale of the misdeed, nothing more, nothing less.
We blame everything on our politicians, but maybe, just maybe, that’s not where the actual problem is. It’s us, It’s our inability to accept our flaws is the root cause of the problem. If we can’t recognize the harm we’ve done and try to make those 225 individuals that we voted in the scapegoat for all our issues, we are not getting out of this hell hole. We need to start changing our ways, like Mr. Jackson said, we need to start with the person (to avoid any concerns to anyone) in the mirror. By blaming the politicians for everything and continuing to follow our flawed ways, we are treating the specimen and not the patient. We can’t expect an omelet made of rotten eggs to taste good, now can we?