The nutty world of gods in politics

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The nut heads are at it again. With all their talk about the increasing unpopularity of the “yahapalanaya” government, the Joint Opposition, if they are joined about anything, it is a certainty that their aims could not be achieved without the help of the Gods. It is a sad mistrust in the political wisdom of the people, that they seek divine help in whatever campaign they have to defeat the government.

But what is more important is their thinking about God or any deities.

If a God cannot give ear to prayers chanted individually or in communion, whether in kovils or any other shrines of worship, to the plea for the defeat or removal of this government, what makes them think that the dashing of 100,000 coconuts would bring this divine intervention?

If it is God they seek to address or make a plea to, who does not listen to prayers, combined with the lighting of oil lamps, burning of joss sticks and incense, and even the chants of “kapuralas” or priests, what gives them hope that the dashing of coconuts would cause the divine intervention?

In case the god or deities they seek help from are as deaf as not to hear their political prayers and incantations, would it not be possible to make a wakeup call with the dashing of just one coconut, or let’s say even ten nuts?

It is a strange god indeed that needs to be woken up for action with the sound and waste of 100,000 coconuts being dashed in all parts of this country, (possibly not in the North and East), beginning from the Seenigama Devalaya in the South.

The usual teaching to the people about deities is that they always give ear to the pains, sorrows and woes of the people, and there are many stories in our literature, especially the Jataka tales, of even the great one Maha Brahma, being moved by the prayers or problems of individuals.

This is obviously not the literature that members of this Joint Opposition are familiar with. If they are Buddhists, they are also not unaware of the Buddha’s own teaching about not seeking the help of any deities for the solution of human problems. But that is by the way in this age of the Bodu Bala Sena and the rising distortions of Buddhism.

What the people are promised in this massive “pol gahana keliya” – nut breaking game – is the widespread worship of deities, to achieve the goals of an opposition that claims to speak for the people, and perform blind rituals on their behalf. They don’t seem to understand that depending so much on the deities, is in fact moving away from the feelings of the people, whether it is to get rid of the government, or bring some special blessings on who may become their new leader, possibly a Rajapaksa touched by the hand of a divinity.

The Joint Opposition that speaks so much about the new economic hardships of the people, are obviously unaware of how this dashing of 100,000 coconuts, part of our daily diet, would do to raise the price of the nut which is a must in the meals of our people. They are also unaware or deaf and blind, just as the deities they try to please, of the disease that is affecting the coconut trees in the South of the country, where the crop has greatly declined.

If deities are as powerful as the Joint Opposition tries to make us believe, it would be better if they dash just one nut, if that is how to make Gods active, and ask for divine intervention to cure our land of the coconut disease, with the promise of dashing ten nuts in every major kovil or devale in each district, if there is a real cure, and raise in our coconut crop.

If it is believed that deities can be so active in response to coconut dashing, one wonders why no one thought of the launching a countrywide, daily coconut dashing campaign, to get the God or Gods to defeat the LTTE terrorists; which would have saved the lives and limbs of so many of our troops, and war heroes, and saved all the blood, sweat and tears that were shed in that brutal conflict?

If the Gods can be really woken up, wherever they are resting, deaf and blind to our woes, with the dashing of coconuts, why not tell the heath authorities to stop all other action and take to coconut dashing at every health centre in the country, to stop the spread of dengue fever, and also prevent the new Zika epidemic that impacts on unborn babies from coming anywhere near Sri Lanka?

There was a time when most of our Opposition was made up of people known for their rational thinking, and an interest in modern day progress. The biggest irony of this new call for coconut dashing is that it is led by Dinesh Gunawardena, a son of Philip Gunewardena, the leading Marxist in the battle against colonial rule, who never called for any coconut dashing to get the British colonial rulers to leave. There was no coconut dashed cry of “Leave for God’s sake” to end colonial rule in this country, the 68th anniversary of which was celebrated this week.

There seems to be no doubt that the Joint Opposition is well and truly nuts today, and getting deeper into their nutty oblivion of reality at a cost of 100,000 dashed coconuts or even more. How much can a country suffer such nuts in or out of Parliament, and how much must we be fooled to believe in the power of deities influenced by dashing nuts?

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