At a time when plenty of dramas are directed for the benefit of the theatre-enthusiasts in the capital, there are other dramas scripted and acted out for the sheer benefit of the individuals who appear in them. These are for those who cannot afford to buy theatre-tickets. Though one does not always have a choice over the stories, they are accurate portrayals of bitter realities and indigestible incongruities.
Such was the drama that succeeded the alleged assault by a minister’s son and Co. In the latest turn of events, in an affidavit filed in court, the army major who was injured during a clash at a hotel in the heart of Colombo said the Minister's son and his friends were not involved in the brawl.
His change of tune hardly comes as a surprise, given the magnitude of power the other party wields. Commenting on this improvement, the UNP in Parliament said there was a possibility that the army officer had been compelled to withdraw the complaint under duress.
While letting justice take its due course, one cannot entirely rule out the possibility pointed out by the Opposition. The man in a uniform has been the symbol of pride for 21 million people, who witnessed their unbending dedication and perseverance during the dark period of war. It was the members of the security forces, not the politicians in their glass palaces who fought death in the frontlines. Thus, if one of their kind was subject to such treatment at the hands of a politician’s son, it is no less than a blatant insult to the army, that was dubbed the best in the world.
Given the history of the influential father who has been the government’s device of mass-distraction, one may not be surprised if he has rubbed off some of his distraction skills on the son. Like the kingship that goes from one generation to the other, these cheap theatrics may also be part of their political inheritance. Yet, under no circumstance should it be that, heroes who defeated the ruthless terrorists in a three-decade battle are portrayed as helpless damsels or jokers in the post-war political farces.
People, who have been spectators of these plays, will realize that even though the lines and characters change with time; the script remains the same. The villains become guardians and heroes become jokers. The entertainment ends where impunity begins.
True enough, until proven guilty everyone is innocent. Even proven guilty, the privileged guilty could remain innocent. And that is the tragedy of all these comedies.