This is time for us to analyse what happened in Sri Lanka and learn lessons therefrom. The island nation of sparkling beaches, beautiful tea gardens and lush green hills was a pleasant destination for tourists from the whole world. The population composition is about 70 per cent Sinhalese speaking Buddhists, 15 per cent Tamil speaking Hindus, 8 per cent Tamil speaking Muslims and 7 per cent Christians. About 20 years back ruling parties started pampering of Buddhist majority and suppression of Tamil speaking Hindus. This resulted in a backlash and formation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Finally it was eliminated and the country had to suffer 25 to 30 thousand casualties and irreparable losses. The ruling dispensation moved forward on the path of authoritarianism supported by crony capitalism. A storm of aggressive Buddhist nationalism, nepotism and corruption was started. Former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and their allies adopted the policies of promoting majoritarian appeasement and anti-minoritarianism.
Sailing comfortably on the boat of majoritarian policies, P.M. Mahinda Rajapaksa won election after election, trouncing the opposition and making the country opposition-free. Just like BJP’s policies of Congress-mukt India and minority-free India. The Sri Lanka government neglected the economic well-being of people and with an iron hand suppressed the opposition and tormented and side-lined the minorities.
Later on, the Rajapaksa government adopted the self-destructive policy of banning the traditional method of cultivation and imposed organic cultivation. It produced disastrous results for the economy of the once prosperous country. China entered with its debt trap and the big, unnecessary Hambantota seaport was built with the so-called China aid. Afterwards it was leased to China for 99 years.
Ban on traditional methods of agriculture was just like India’s demonetisation in 2016 which caused at least two to three per cent depletion in our GDP, which was predicted by our former P.M. Manmohan Singh. Even now we are reaping the ill effects of that insane move. To provide a sense of self-aggrandisement to the intoxicated majority a big tower was built in Colombo. It is just like what our government did by spending Rs. 3000 crores on Unity Statue in Gujarat.
With elimination of opposition and adoption of suicidal and destructive policies and suppression of any dissent, the Lankan government faced a big economic crisis.
At present the once prosperous nation is passing through the worst existential crisis of internal revolt, street battles and economic destruction with no foreign reserves and $51 billion debt.
We in India also are adopting suicidal policies, one after another. We are following into the footsteps of our failed neighbour. If we do not give importance to consensus and reconciliation and continue to ride roughshod, we are bound to be in a very dangerous situation. Sri Lanka adopted the policy of divide and rule. We in India have adopted the similar policies. People are engaged in non-productive and controversial issues. Neck breaking inflation and all time high unemployment are ruining us and the rulers are asking the people to fight on Gyanvapi Masjid, Tejo Mahalya, changing of names and falsification of history. These things are destroying our country. There are thousands of lessons to be learnt from the failed state of Sri Lanka. We must adopt the policy of live and let live, cooperation and accommodation. Let conscious citizens, the Judiciary and our Government adopt the policies which are commensurate with our great country. Otherwise the promised achche din will never come and we may have to face a crisis of Sri Lankan dimension.