Listening to the Politics of the Deaf

Lucien Rajakarunanayake (A thought provoking analytical super satire worth reading)

This being World Hearing Day, a team of hearing researchers was studying the different levels of hearing in politics, especially on subjects that were of interest to the people after what was called the Rainbow Revolution of January 8, 2015

Corruption was an obvious topic of interest. So that was the first topic raised with the nearest politician, from the government. What do you think of the fight against corruption, was the question.

Fight against what, was the first response.article_image

Against corruption.

Never heard of it…there is no such fight…we fight each other, but not corruption.

But what about the promise you gave to fight and eradicate corruption?

That was for the people, the voters, to hear. It was not meant for us politicians.

Do you say that you do not hear of corruption today, on either side of the political divide?

To tell you the truth, we don’t listen to it. We are not bothered about it.

In fact, there are many among us who would like to see it spread even wider than it was at the time of the Rainbow Revolution.

What about nepotism, was the next question.

Well, we don’t call it nepotism…we look at is at family support. We see it as part of our political culture.

You mean you don’t hear anything about nepotism?

We never hear that word. What we do is supporting our own families – our brothers and sisters, and our relatives too. We get them the best jobs. We tell them to earn the best commissions. That is what politics, especially politics in government is about.

But didn’t you oppose the nepotism of the previous government?

What nonsense. We were also part of that government or at least most of us were. We did not oppose the family support of that government. The problem was that our families did not benefit enough, it only went to one big family…that was our problem… please know that we have never heard about nepotism. That is a dirty word you are using for supporting one’s family – you may call it family bandyism. We never want to hear about nepotism.

What about waste of public funds?

Did you say ‘waste”?

Yes, waste – of public funds.

Believe me, we have never heard of that.

Never heard of it?

Yes, never heard it. What we do is spend public funds that way we like to.

That may not be how others, or the public, would like it spent. Bad luck.

They elected us to do the spending…We spend huge amounts, and see that some of it comes our way too. That is expenditure for political profit. It must never be considered waste – another word that we never want to hear.

What about bribery…have you heard of bribery?

Why should we hear about bribery…it is the same as corruption. What you call bribery is the also another aspect of the stuff of political profit.

We consider what you call bribery as Executive Profit or Administrative Profit. There are times we may even call it Judicial Profit.. Don’t you see that all of these are better words than bribery. It fact, we have never heard of bribery, and don’t ever want to hear that word.

Have you heard of theft in governance?

Can you tell me how there can be a government without what you call theft?

You mean theft is an aspect of government?

We don’t call it theft, or don’t ever hear it as theft. It is what we consider as the profitability of governance.

But didn’t you, including your leaders, oppose theft in government, when the other side was in power?

That is the past. In fact, we did not oppose their theft…you are wrong…what we opposed was our not getting those profits of governance. We get those profits now…from Treasury bonds to vehicle assemblies, to the profits of the rice milling mafia…You may call it theft… We see it is the very substance of government, for those holding office.

You mean you don’t hear about theft?

Never, ever.

The Hearing Researchers had learnt a great deal more than they ever expected to on this World Hearing Day. They decided that their report would recommend that new hearing aids be developed to make politicians in Sri Lanka actually hear the stuff corruption and all that goes with it as part of corrupt governance… more than two years after the Rainbow Revolution.