It was a great sage who said thousands of years ago, but valid for all times “I prayed and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing. Compared with wisdom, all gold is a pinch of sand and beside her silver ranks as mud. I loved her more than health or beauty. In her company all good things come to me, at her hands riches not to be numbered.”
To rule and occupy seats of authority, one needs to tap into the spirit of wisdom that goes beyond the realms of earthly knowledge. Earthly knowledge which is generally to do with concern and pursuit of wealth and egoistic power for oneself. Those who go along that path discover disappointment and disillusionment. The terrible danger and fear moreover, is that those holding such power irresponsibly could drag all the people of a nation into disaster and oblivion. Under the Third Reich, Hitler holding dictatorial power and yet popular, created mayhem, not only for his people but the whole world. Those who spoke with wisdom to correct the hands holding the sceptre and throne of his were got rid of.
There has been placed in the hands of those holding the reins of democracy in our country the need to rule and guide with wisdom. The country could be unwittingly moving into the throes of a major conflagration, taking our country backwards. It is important that the Executive and the Legislature take their responsibilities seriously. They must not pursue personal interests or have hidden agendas and need to stop the confrontational course with the Judiciary, which is seen by many as the last bastion of democracy in Sri Lanka today. The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary must safeguard the interests and rights of the ordinary citizen of this land. Each has to respect and uphold the other’s function. Transparency, honesty and integrity would safeguard the smooth functioning of governance, that’s so vital for a vibrant democracy. Violence, hypocrisy and dishonesty would reveal signs of a social and political cancer setting in among any of those governing bodies.
It would be the height of stupidity and foolishness for one to not be accountable for what is given in custody. Being responsible and answerable for what we are caretakers of is a basic tenet of civic consciousness and obligation. There is the controversial Divi Neguma Bill that seeks to give a licence to do what one wants and no questions could be asked on what is done with the colossal amount of tax payers money.
Let’s not forget we may fool the people with grandiose projects sometimes, but our secret intentions and selfish ambitions are known to the law of cause and effect, and consequences thus have to be borne.