Wickramasinghes’ trilogy

Regarded as one of the important landmarks of Sri Lankan literature, the famous and epoch-making trilogy ( Gamperaliya, Yuganthaya and Kaliyugaya) of Martin Wickramasinghe—considered  one of Sri Lanka’s greatest writers—no doubt made a tremendous impact on Sinhala fiction. 

This captivating trilogy portrays, both analytically  and dramatically, the overwhelming sociological transformation that occurred after the exit of the colonial invaders, the change that took place in the lifestyles of the village and how that change affected the lives of the characters emigrating from the village to the towns. Especially, it evinces how the colonial “masters” created a set of "Brown Sahibs" or, as we would put it more cuttingly in the vernacular, Kalu Suddhas.

With the assimilation of western  ideological concepts through so-called English education, the innocence that prevailed amongst the villagers became corrupted, the village elite being transformed into a class of money-minded monsters. These characters, in other words, became a set of Kalu Suddhas who dominated society. Martin Wickramasinghe’s trilogy portrays well this societal change, which lay at its heart.

Incidently the English translation of Martin Wickramasinghe’s Gamperaliya w as  named “Uprooted”, which is ideal an ideal description for the sociological phenomenon that came as a consequence of the deracinated thinking created by the colonialists to turn villagers into robotic Kalu Suddhas. In an ideological equivalent of the infamous military “search and destroy" process,  innocent village characters  who lived in  a harmonious environment were uprooted and transformed into rootless entrepreneurs who would sell even their own mother to gain economic success.

The Kalu Suddha subaltern elite described so accurately in Martin Wickramasinghe’s Gamperaliya  and other sociological fiction, have now initiated another trilogy of their own. The first episode of this latest political trilogy was inaugurated with much fanfare and it showed  the  sense of desperation that these initiators were experiencing: one could almost hear the dialogue among the principal actors: “There is no time to waste we’ll have to do something to gain the confidence of the voters else we ‘ll be thrown into the history’s dustbin.” 

This may be the desperation that inspired these initiators to create a duplicate “Gamperaliya”  that will result in the “uprooting” of  the sons of the soil and also transform them into mindless money-making robots who can be exploited to do some of the dirty work of these unpatriotic cabals of the West and their local stooges.

This very same so-called phenomenal change was initiated by the regime that came into power in 1977 and the result was the dawn of an era where the concept of Money became the motivating factor. The idea of selling the family silver came into being due to this CHANGE. It was the end of family values, our culture, heritage, history, literature and even ourselves. We became a brain-washed nation. 

With the coming of the liberal economic  thinking that has become the governing factor of these antiques of the 1977 regime, many “Gamperaliyas” can occur in the future and would be the end of our Mother Country. 

However, Marx said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce. The inheritors of the mantle of the 1977 regime have the same intent, but their implementation of the plans drawn up overseas is so incompetent that the tragedy is covered up by the  comic antics of these clowns. Yet for all the impotent, amateurish, clumsy fumblings of the Kalu Suddha regime, there is no disguising the ultimate, evil outcome.

Already several gullible youths have been selected  to receive money to initiate  businesses that could  be used later  to “uproot” the rest of the innocent village folk and transform the village into just an extension of the closest town. The creation of "megapolises" will be achieved in this manner. Forget about culture,heritage, literature etc!  Just live for the present and be happy! Ultimately  this result can be expected from the machinations of these stooges of the western liberal economic philosophy who are advocating these subtle sociological changes.

When we observe our history we can distinctly see the ideological social change that impacted our lives after the year 1505. The invasion of the Portuguese started this rot that we still encounter in the present sociological environment. Gamperaliya portr ayed only the change that took place in the village, but the present “Peraliya” will be the foundation laying occasion for the destruction of the traditional values that had been closely guarded by the village folk for ages.

After the "Gamperaliya" (the uprooting) What?

It will be the "Yuganthaya"—the end of an era, an era respectfully protected by Buddhist monks, village elders etc  and  an era that was the pedestal upon which our long-standing  civilization stood for ages. Hence after the Gamperaliya the next devastating episode we’ll  have to experience is the Yuganthaya!

Next will be the “Kaliyugaya” as the great novelist predicted: it will be the “Age of destruction”. In other words  it will be the advent of the point of no return.

A recent "birthday party" at a 7-star hotel was the harbinger of what is to come, as in an extravagant recreation of a decadent Roman orgy, young women displayed their pubic hair to win iPhones and couples deported themselves in lewd "dances" to win flights to Singapore. A fitting exhibit of the decadent Kalu Suddha regime.

At this decisive moment the million “Dollar”($) question  that has to be asked is “Are we going to allow this self-destructive effort initiated by a set of whacko, self-serving  and  (frankly) indecent Western stooges or are we going to resist it with much determination?

The only hope we have at present  is  the understanding  that “the masses are no asses".

By Vijaya Ariyarathne

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