The other day, the taxpayers or the general public who pay our legislators their salaries and sponsor other perks witnessed another very brilliant parliamentary session on which way the people who voted them to power should get intoxicated. In speaking for the well-being of the people, not a single honourable member of the parliament seemed to play second fiddle to any one of his colleagues and it is a singular honour to the people of this paradise island.
Yet, in the golden age of the parliament when we were craving to learn some good English, the veteran speakers in their numerous parliamentary debates, they spoke in English. The die is cast. The present generation is deprived of the golden opportunity of gathering some good words, proverbs, special terms and idioms into their vocabulary from the Hansard. Therefore, very often I teach the children who come to learn some good English from its back numbers.
The present generation is deprived of the golden opportunity of gathering some good words, proverbs, special terms and idioms into their vocabulary from the Hansard.
The Yahapalanaya cauldron is getting heated because the ministers around the president from time to time put so many dreadful things into the cauldron,
The current parliament is a debacle in many a sense, a flop. Again, the die is cast. The latest debate on how to intoxicate the public in a mild manner was very interesting to me. The proposed drinks were beer and wine. An excellent idea! But where ‘Dutch courage’ is concerned, there are things to ponder, the writer opines.
When the debate was going on, my copy of the Collections of Shakespeare was lying on the stool in my parlour smiling at me. As I am blindly an anglophile, I always refer to Shakespeare for inspiration. A critical perusal of the parliamentary life for the last few years of yahapalanaya or good governance prompts me to give vent to my ideas from a literary angle. I once again remind our dear president to ‘Bear the cross and have faith’. I bow my head with great respect to our great bard and playwright William Shakespeare[1564-1616], May his tribe increase! For leaving us great sayings for any situation in the human society.
The famous ‘Cauldron Scene’ comes in the 1st scene of the 4th act in Macbeth. In my random thinking, I have always thought that the yahapalanaya has come to the boiling level. It was a brand new idea of a government for me when I heard it for the first time. I discussed among our circle of friends and I myself made a separate study into it and got onto the yahapalanaya bandwagon for a change. Now it is discernible not only to me, but also to most of the people that there is not much of a difference between the old chinthanaya and yahapalanaya. ‘Apata puthe magak nethe’.
The huge number of pages in the national newspapers full of black arts deeds advertisements performed by kattadiyas and Buddhist monks without the knowledge of the chief prelates bear ample testimony for the blind beliefs and the ignorance of the general public.
The cauldron in ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare was a large round container for cooking in, usually supported over a fire, and used especially in the past. After murdering the righteous king Duncan, Macbeth, his general, became king, but he had to live in constant fear. The period was full of superstitious beliefs and he relied on them. In order to face ‘The slain king’ Duncan’s sons Donaldbain and Malcolm left no stone unturned and at last met the witches who prophesied his kingship. Macbeth was a man with the human milk of kindness. It is evident in the play that he was made a villain by his queen. In the same way, in almost all the democracies ministers are made villains by their wives that is for them to be ministers’ wives and for their children to be future ministers, That is the name of this game. It was reported in the national press and the electronic media that in an undeveloped region in Sri Lanka something similar to the cauldron method is practiced even today. In V. Vijayatunga’s ‘Grass for my feet’ this method of getting things done by supernatural powers is called ‘Black Arts’. I wonder whether it was successful or not, but it had wide publicity.
The huge number of pages in the national newspapers full of black arts deeds advertisements performed by kattadiyas and Buddhist monks without the knowledge of the chief prelates bear ample testimony for the blind beliefs and the ignorance of the general public. In these nefarious activities, innocent young girls are raped by cupids and most of them end up in prison cells. This trend has to be arrested for the good of the country.
If the government increases the price of hot drinks like ordinary arrack and indirectly force them to drink beer and wine, it may have adverse repurcussions
My aim of this article is to make the public aware of the status quo of the cabinet behaviour in the light of the ancient black arts of England. At the helm of the political crisis Macbeth declared that he would fight as a bear tied to a stake. In the Elizabethan England, the hounds were used to kill a bear tied to a stake. This cruelty to the animal was enjoyed by the people. On the political landscape in our country today, the situation seems the same. The Yahapalanaya cauldron is getting heated because the ministers around the president from time to time put so many dreadful things into the cauldron, the latest to be is beer and wine by the minister concerned. Into the witches’ cauldron, the following things were put.
While the cauldron is boiling at great heat the witches go round it singing as given in the play
- Round about the cauldron go;
- In the poisoned entrails throw -
The following things were thrown
- Toad under cold stone, Swelter’d venom
- Fillet of a fenny snake
- Eye of newt and toe of frog
- Wool of bat and tongue of dog
- Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting
- Lizard’s leg and howler’s wing
When all these things are added, the cauldron boils to the desired level. This is done according to the play
- For a charm of powerful trouble
- Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.’
In the same way, our cabinet ministers from time to time throw what is in their hands into the Yahapalanaya cauldron. The latest is a few drops of beer and wine and it has started boiling.
The writer spent several nights in the vicinity of certain liquor bars to garner authentic details for this opinion writing like Charles Dickens spent a lot of nights under the bridge of Thames to write about the gravity of prostitution. Our great poet William Blake did the same thing to see how the women in the wake of the industrial revolution sell their body to earn a living. Even though the ministers do not know, because of their high living, beer is not matching to the addicted body system of the workers. The situation is pathetic. If the government increases the price of hot drinks like ordinary arrack and indirectly force them to drink beer and wine, it may have adverse repurcussions.
The average labourer after his day’s work has a skinful at the liquor bar. He is ignorant about the harmful after effects. The situation is pathetic. If his addicted hot drink is not available to him at his price, he will go to the moonshine. Illicit liquor sales will soar. Wine and beer are labeled as women’s drinks. The hard core tipplers are in an inescapable vicious circle. In order to boost the beer and wine business with hidden agendas, the government should never translate these suggestions into action.
Even the modern teachers who are regarded as angels of morality prefer to have hot drinks with a high percentage of alcohol to have a kick. Most of the public and private sector employees go home on all fours almost daily. In ‘The Village by the Sea’ the award winning writer Anita Desai discusses this problem in detail. She explains in her peculiar literary parlance how a little village was ruined by liquor. I humbly think that the legislators should step into their parliamentary library at least once a week and read some good books regarding these subjects.
The average labourer after his day’s work has a skinful at the liquor bar. He is ignorant about the harmful after effects
The writer with his little understanding of the ground reality would like to propose to the government to give more and more educational opportunities to the children of the selected hard core drunkards, with the long term objective of making them able to swim in the upward mobility of society. It is discernible that most of the parents give up the habit of drinking liquor when their off-spring become responsible citizens of the country.
‘A penny for your thoughts’