The Sunday Leader

What’s Good For The Gander Is Not For The Goose

Morality seems to be prioritised by the government, let Menika add in the same breath, morality for you and her, the hoi poloi, while they are free to throw it in the wind and do as they desire.
Last night Menika was down on her knees sponging off tomato, potato and sundry such items from off the TV screen.  Dingiri watched in delight, with nary an offer of help. If you fling food at the TV, you do the cleaning was her loud unsaid message. And why pray did Meniks fling soup at the TV screen, a soup thickened by liquidizing its ingredients? Those multicoloured squares did her in; they blocked the kissing going on between Taylor and Ritch on screen. She did not miss much by missing the kissing but what took her goat and her restraint with it was the curtaining of the scene with a screen full of vari-colured squares. Pretty, but infuriating.
She remembered a sari she once had like the screen – squares in all colours of a pure Sri Lankan silk bought from Victory Silk Stores which drew eyes in her direction. Such squares on a material is one thing, having them covering the TV screen is quite another. As Meniks says, she did not mind missing the smooching, but she most definitely missed her freedom to watch what she felt inclined to. Who or what was this almighty body that decreed what she should watch and should not in a run-of-the-mill soap? She surmised it was His Maj since nothing is done, no decision taken, no rule set down unless by royal decree with the 18th in place.
Reasons for her crass indignation and inflammatory reaction? This was a late night show – Bold And Beautiful. So no children should be awake and watching this adult film. Disciplining kids is the duty of parents not of Big Bro. Watching a mite of kissing is so much less evil than watching all the unfairness on the road with regard to protests – blues can get away with near murder, especially if sleek Wanse is leading the rabble or Merve rousing it. But have a red or green horde appealing for mercy for the imprisoned man who planned and executed the defeat of the LTTE, even if orderly and peaceful, it is water cannoned, tear gassed and individuals mercilessly assaulted by police in full sight of the public and TV watching young ‘uns. Menika need not spell out the paradox.
The squares come on when two people, again in B&B, share a drink in the politest and most decent of ways. Squares! Squares! Sinhala teledramas have drunk thugs with raised sarongs and foul language spouting and they are allowed to be seen by all.
So censor, whoever you may be, please desist from inserting coloured squares the moment a wine glass is lifted or two people of opposite sex lean towards each other.
Menika suffered another shock but had no tomatoes to fling. Her innate sense told her the refusing salesman was not to blame; it was the puritanical powers that be. Menika was entertaining a beer drinker for a chat that evening, so with a reed bag containing two empties she negotiated the turnstile at Premasiri’s and extended the bottles and said, “Two of same, please.” She was subject to the proverbial brushing down by a mere feather when the salesman says: “No beer.” “Why ever not?”  “Orders no selling of beer and other drinks during the weekend.” That took Menika’s goat for a merry-go-round ride. This was even more absurd than banning hotels, shops et al selling alcoholic stuff on poya days.
The man who can stock up the previous day or Thursday stocks up, while the man who cannot crawls to the kassippu  seller  and damages his liver if not his gut first. Who is this order coming down from – the order not to sell spirituous stuff during weekends? Menika did not go elsewhere, neither did she check whether all shops do not sell this stuff on the weekends, but it did happen that she came away with empties unfilled from the store she patronizes, on the Saturday of her shopping.
We all know Kelaniya was made dry by force but that order of the pure and saintly Deputy Minister was rescinded. How dare he of all people order teetotalism, tying men to trees and transporting thugs in Kelaniya depot buses to cause mayhem. An alcoholic drink imbibed in congenial company or the privacy of one’s home is nothing, not one tot evil, compared to thuggery.
Morality in Sri Lanker! Menika spits on thee! All false, all fake and only for those who are under undemocratic rule. Those in power can watch pornography if they wish to, with a couple of women around a la Hefner, and drink all kinds laid out – Poya, Saturday, Sunday notwithstanding. The next they will ban is sex: sleeping with thy wife. They don’t take much note of sleeping with the underage.  Menika, poor spinster that she is, is unaffected by this probable rule, but it shows the depth of the rot that has set in, in the name of morality. And all the while many a MP Romeo gets along fine.
Menika does not disapprove of love between marrieds whose respective spouses have grown cold. But Menika spits on a man in heat who thinks he is God’s gift to women harassing a media girl; a Minister caught by wifey with his pants down dallying with a loose women in his office, mind you; and another being a slave to a sprinter and harassing her with driving round the Sports Ministry grounds as the girl practiced her sprint. The sauce story again!  Signs there are that very serious trouble is brewing.
University students are on the warpath. If they, en masse, get to protesting, then trouble in the country is presaged. Happened in many countries, mighty China included.  We had virginity tests being ordered at Sri Jayewardenapura University; Peradeniya students protested; marches were held to demand the release of students taken into custody; the office grounds of the Minister of Higher Education invaded by students and a VC poled. Wrong acts all; but needing careful consideration. The Inter University Students Union mentions more to come and those in authority blame it all on the JVP.
The JVP as a party, sounds and looks reformed; but the primary task of the government is to be just and fair. The students must be treated with the gloved hand and justice meted out, to be seen transparently. Wrong, their protest against the fee levying medical college, but they should be given the right to peaceful protest, not have the police attacking them. Treat them with great care is what the government should order, not bulldozing police action.
Did Menika hear right watching a news telecast on Wednesday night, peacefully with a G&T in one hand and the remote in the other to switch channels no sooner she sees particular mugs. She heard the Prez say that if officials and all people do not give of their best to the country, then they wrong God. A Buddhist talking of God! Gods’ in the plural perhaps, since Buddhists bargain with them, but the singular connotes the Almighty of the Christian and Islamic faiths. So an alarming conclusion is reached. The assumed station has climbed from kingship to godliness.

1 Comment for “What’s Good For The Gander Is Not For The Goose”

  1. Life is good but the right attitude makes life better. An attitude is a person’s choice. A correct positive attitude sees an opportunity based on truth and not on emotions. But a wrong attitude sees a crisis in everything and it pulls down a person and a nation.

    Attitude develops or damages relationships between individuals and groups of people.

    When relationship becomes deep and intimate, it develops into friendships. Friends have openness, dignity, respect and honour for each other out of love. There is a remarkable union emerging from the brightness of such a relationship; freed from selfishness, greed and abuse.

    JVP complained a few weeks ago about the attitude of the government of Sri Lanka(GOSL) and last week, Mahinda Rajapakse asked people to show a positive attitude.

    The rescue mission of 33 miners in Chile a few weeks ago, remarkably displayed the good attitudes of openness, dignity, respect and honour shown by the government of Chile to its citizens, in a time of desperation.

    But the war that ended in SL in 2009, was a disgraceful display of the cruel attitude of the Sinhalese as a group of people to a group of about 500,000 Tamils in desperation.

    At a time of desperation, the UN, NGO’s, ICRC, Britain, Norway and the USA were snubbed away from Tamil Eelam(TE) by the GOSL, with false excuses, to prevent Tamil victims having access to needed help to save their lives.

    Ego struck, self centred and arrogant attitude of the GOSL, instead of being broadly citizen conscious as in Chile, was open and obvious. A bloody war, war crimes and genocide resulted from this evil attitude.

    To bring cure to this wrong attitude; acknowlegement, openness and positive actions are primary necessities, instead of cover up, denial and propaganda.

    Truth and justice are essentials for reconciliation. GOSL refuses to reveal the truth and grant justice to Tamils. Surely, GOSL cannot reconcile with Tamils with its present attitude: a reason why it refused to admit the shortcomings in LLRC, expressed with absolute precision by AI, HRW and ICG.

    Is it worth trying something without principles and convictions? No. Is it worth spending time over things one cannot change for the better? No. Will the GOSL ever be able to end strife, conflict, turmoil and uproar without grace to face the truth? No.

    Obviously, the present attitude of the GOSL on Tamil matters is detrimental to reconciliation and development of both SL and TE in the island, and it is a lesson to learnt by the rest of the world.

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