Health and wealth of defeat in politics


"Sri Lanka is moving with speed to establish a new tradition in democratic governance, in the post-election race for power. One is not certain whether advanced democratic societies will accept this, but who cares, if Nisha Desai Biswal, who is said to echo Obama thinking, does not see this as affecting democratic progress."

"What are you talking about?" I asked Prof. Yahapaalaratne, who is working on new trends in good governance, with South Asian origins.

"If you want to know, it is about backdoor entry to power in yahapaalanaya or good governance" he said.

"Come on, how can backdoor entry be considered good for anything?"

"That may be what you think. But the promoters of good governance can’t seem to do without backdoor entry; it is not only the backdoor they support, but the choice of the defeated, too," he said.

"I don’t believe this is possible, after the Silent Revolution of January 8, and defeat of the power of purchase politics we saw on August 17".

"What you saw were the election results. That is confined to figures, totals, and party standings. They have nothing to do with the stuff of those who won or lost, especially those who lost."’

"Have you got good evidence and material support that backs this theory?"

"Come, I’ll show you the evidence," he said, which surprised me. He opened the door to a large room behind his office. It was full of those defeated on August 17, who had agreed to be subjects for his study, and his advice on how defeat could lead to success and power. "Just ask them," he said, giving me an open house.

The first person I spoke to gave his name as Palamu Paraajitha. I asked him what he hoped to get after defeat in the polls.

"I want health, yes health," he said.

"Then why not go to a medical doctor, instead of coming to this professor of politics," I asked.

"It’s very simple. Health brings wealth…that is my goal."

"So why not invest in a business, you must have profited before defeat?"I asked.

"The only investment I know of is in politics… that I what kept me healthy and wealthy for the last decade. I must get that back. I can’t let this defeat take my wealth away."

The next person I spoke to was Mamath Paraajitha, who promptly said his need was also wealth…and plenty of it. "I spent so much for the election…I must get all that back and much more. It must be five years of wealth, which comes with power. This is what we have learned in politics."

Before I could question another person, there was a loud cry of "Wealth, wealth…we want wealth…" from all present. I heard one of them shout, "Our health is wealth." There were also calls of "Power, power…we want the wealth of power".

"But don’t you accept defeat...your own defeat or that of your party or alliance?" I had to shout out my question.

It was Novan Paraajitha who spoke. "We accept defeat at the polls. We don’t accept defeat in the race for power…defeat alone puts us ahead in the race. It is only those who ran in the race, to win or lose, who must be considered…not outsiders who had no courage to be in the race"

"Are you all confident of winning in this new race?"

"Of course, of course…we shall win" was the chorus of response.

"But how are you so sure?"

Novan Paraajitha was quick to respond. "My horoscope says so"

"My planet is in the winning House," said another.

"Haven’t you heard of the bigger one whose planet sent him crashing down to defeat?" I asked.

"That is the astrologer’s fault...not the fault of the planets. We believe in the blessings of the planets." said Palamu Paraajitha,

"Is it only the planets that will help you?"

"No, no…there is also the call of power," said Mamath Paraajitha. "We are needed to ensure the power of those who won in the polls. That is how our horoscopes help us. We are the most needed today."

"Have you thought of your portfolios in power?"

"We have our ideas," said Novan Paraajitha. "We will match them with the ideas of those already in power. We will get much, if not all."

Another voice said, "We all have daily rituals in temples, devales, kovils, churches and wayside shrines, too. That gives us more strength. You will soon see the power of defeat. We will soon be the shining symbols of yahapaalanaya," he said.

"Do you doubt my new theory anymore?" asked Prof. Yahapaalaratne. "Backdoor entry, with the glow of defeat, is fast emerging as the path to good governance, in electoral democracy. I must get back to my new thesis," he said.

I realized that the power of defeat is certainly showing even more strength than that of victory. There will soon be a new chapter on good governance via the defeated, corrupt and crooked, I thought. It was time to move to my club for a drink to think this over.

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