Victory or ruination?

“History is written by the victors”, the above quote by Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister and one of the leaders who was responsible in rescuing the world from “annihilation” during the Second World War, makes us uncertain whether we have  been taught the real and authentic history of the world.

Accordingly the massacres and the devastation said to have inflicted by the axis forces comprising Germany, Italy  and Japan are condemned as despicable crimes and the same kind of indiscriminate and brutal slaughters and killings carried on by the allied forces comprising Britain, America, France and their colonies are praised and regarded as acts of salvation and heroism.

In other words Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin are heroes whereas Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo are despicable villains who due to their deranged mental conditions  used militarism to bring havoc and ruination to the Mother Earth.

This attitude was questioned by Indian justice Radha Binod Pal, who sat on the tribunal judging Japanese military leaders after the War. In his dissenting judgement, he asked why the Allies were not held equally culpable in acts such as strategic bombing of civilian targets, including the nuclear attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

In this context the words “Hitler” and “military” are taboo and should be used to deliver condemnation and insult. In addition it is inappropriate even to say “act like a Hitler and bring a situation to normalcy.”

In accordance with the victor’s history, the erudite monk who addressed the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse at the alms giving to mark his birthday should not have used these blasphemous words “Hitler” and “Military” to request GR to rescue the country from impending ruination brought about by the present regime. 

However, perusing  this well-respected Buddhist monk's whole statement, it is clear that he actually meant to request GR to help in navigating the Nation unto the correct path in whatever way is suitable, even acting like a Hitler. His words were not a call to exterminate the populace .

What we can gather from the violent, passionate reactions  these words provoked  is that either the Yahapalana  clique is having nightmares about the impending defeat at the hands of the people, or that some self-appointed political analysts  expecting new appointments and perks seem to be getting jittery and have allied themselves with some jittery NGO-driven nincompoops fearing the loss of almost everything they had gained from helping the Yahapalana regime in 2015.

The reactions also reflect how the Yahapalana conspirators have distorted the utterance to their advantage, using it as a desperate smokescreen to cover up their failures during the past three and half year period. It may also be said that either they don’t understand the Sinhala language sufficiently to comprehend the nuance of the prelate's words (which is understandable) or they want to hide their understanding, sinisterly, due to the fact that admitting to understanding the nuance may be an ungainly hindrance to their false livelihood.

Although the victors of the World War Two have portrayed Hitler as the Devil incarnate, he did develop Germany, which had been economically and politically victimized by the victors of the First World War (Treaty of Versailles). This has been stated by none other than Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, a country ravaged by Hitler's invasion. Lukashenko, who has gone on record as saying his country had still not recovered from the dictatorship of the Germans, nevertheless said that "Germany was raised from ruins thanks to firm authority and not everything connected with that well-known figure Hitler was bad."

Winston Churchill himself wrote in 1935 that "One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."

So it seems that the Venerable monk is in the same company as the British wartime leader who fought Hitler! It is doubtful that any of the Ven monk's detractors would accuse Old Winston of supporting the excesses of the Nazis, so why are they using a different yardstick for the non-White?

What the monk said on that day could be expressed differently, as a question:

 By Vijaya Ariyarathna

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