The Sunday Leader

Elucidation Through Effigy Expression

The way of the political inadequates to undermine the adequates, a Tamil curse

By Victor Karunairajan

Two effigies took prominence recently in Sri Lanka. While the intended message from one that was hung in the south was a clear expression about the US stand on human rights in Sri Lanka, the other that was displayed in the north had confusing dimensions, conflicting contentions, even conspiratorial characteristics that do not auger well for the Tamils. Call it a kind of demented demonstration that was rather pathetic.
There are no qualms about Barack Obama’s effigy. At one time or other, US presidents do get this treatment. An occupational hazard of the office they hold, and that could be anywhere in the world.
The effigy that was displayed in the Jaffna University premises expresses another view, an interesting reflection of a revealing nature on the basis on which politics is practised in the north. So short of ideas, it is either ping or pong and any idea in conflict with that of the dominant individual has to be reacted to as that of the Extreme Devil, Kodumbavi. This ping-pong politics has devastated the Tamils and wiped out the voice of reason in favour of militant inadequates who would rather use the weapon of perpetual silence. In other words, political power stays in the wrong hands and the community is too tame and timid to challenge it.
The effigy that was hung in Jaffna was expressed as that of the TNA   Member of Parliament M. A. Sumanthiran, a new voice of hope for the Tamils in particular and the nation as a whole, whose political stand has the maturity that is lacking in many who have served in parliament for considerable periods of time. Special effort was made to garb the effigy in a manner to show that he does not belong to us. There was certainly mischief intended.
If you want to be a leader of the Tamils, do you have to employ methods of dominance even resorting to bigotry skirting on socio-religious stratifications of discrimination to hit the bull’s eye of the intended aim?
Should everyone else be a traitor? This is what the liberationists who advocated armed struggle did and  overwhelmed the adequates which eventually led to political devastation of the Tamil regions. Can this be accepted in a democratic system? Obviously not!
The Tamil political plague has been the damning of the adequates, the voice of reason and vision by the inadequates who are determined to achieve power and clout for themselves at any cost. Now who would want to take a cowardly stand against Mr. Sumanthiran?
An experienced Tamil political analyst in Canada feels that this could be the work of forces that support the government in the north perhaps a kind of Trojan Horse proxy.  But it is also wise for the leader of the TNA to keep a watch on his team and achieve a sound and strong consensus at least on the key issues his party takes up on behalf of the Tamils.
Six decades of irresponsible politics that hardly reflected the grass roots needs of the Tamils have done incredible damage to us. Standing up for rights is one matter and that is legitimate but trying to beat the adequate front runners and those who take a responsible stand by the inadequates is quite another and in such a situation, who is the hero and who is the traitor?
When effigies that are hung are indeed those of the legitimate heroes, a society that applauds the effigy hangers is in deep trouble.
This is the lesson, from what whoever has done expressing a Kodumbavi demonstration, that of the Extreme devil, at the Jaffna University premises.

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