Lessons from the 12th.General Elections

Listen to the people or be perished

The recently concluded general elections had humbled the ruling BN and brought it to its senses. The main cause of its losses was its arrogance that had led to its refusing to listen to the pleas of the people. The cries for change were obvious but the government refused to heed them. It underestimated the intelligence, maturity and power of the people. It failed to realize the people are getting more and more literate by the day.

It had an iron grip on the main print and electronic media but underestimated the powerful influence of the alternate media – the internet. It failed to realize that the people cannot be hoodwinked by a media that over-glorified its rule and ran down the opposition.

There seems to be a very close parallel between the BN government and our Church in the way they handle the day to day running. The Church was overjoyed at the victory of the opposition as it was critical of the BN government’s policy of discrimination, abuse of power and denial of basic human rights especially to the minorities.Unfortunately the Church seems to have a similar attitude towards its people when it comes to caring for them.

A few questions need to be reflected upon by our Church authorities in the light of the political tsunami that swept though our country because of “Makkal Sakthi”. Are they truly aware of the plight of the masses? Do they have the humility to go down to lend a hand to the poor, oppressed and marginalized? Do they listen, consult and dialogue with the people on important projects? Are they transparent and accountable with their financial dealings? In short do they practice what they preach?

An ordinary man on the street is unable to ever reach up to our clergy and lay leaders? Many of them fear to do so due to the barrier of elitism surrounding the Church hierarchy. Some may argue that the Church is a spiritual institution not a political organization. Being a spiritual body based on the teachings of Christ it should be more so tailored to be with the masses not the elite.

The main ingredient in any human organization is to listen to its members. History has shown that all regimes that are drunk with power and refuse to listen to the people will one day perish.

It is sad that our Church that is so rich in rituals seems to be losing its obligation to instill the basic human values in its members.How can we be good Christians when we are not good humans?

Dr.Chris Anthony

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