Ranga Kalugampitiya, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, dated 20 July 2015, where the title runs ‘Rāvanā & Sinhala Buddhism: A Strained Relationship Ridden With Contradictions”…. The version here being embellished with Editorial highlighting.
Rāvanā, one of the principal characters in the Rāmāyana, emerges as a villain in the mainstream (Hindu) understandings of the text. Given the important position that Rāmā (Rāvanā’s opponent), who is believed to be a manifestation of Viśnu, occupies in the Hindu religious tradition, Rāvanā becomes a symbol of evil in those readings of the text.
Nevertheless, the conceptualizations of Rāvanā within the context of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism point to alternative perspectives on the character. One such perspective that has emerged in the post-2009 Sri Lankan context shows a tendency to idealize Rāvanā as a national hero. The present paper argues that the relationship between Rāvanā and Sinhala Buddhism that this conceptualization suggests is ridden with certain contradictions that Sinhala Buddhist nationalism fails to address successfully. Continue reading
Filed under art & allure bewitching, atrocities, cultural transmission, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, Saivism, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real
Michael Roberts ** … a reprint of an article published in South Asia, Vol. XIX, Special Issue, (1996), pp. 205-220. with the title “Teaching Lessons, Re mo ving Evil: Strands of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice
Expressions of Sinhala nationalism since the mid-nineteenth century, as one might expect, have been varied and multi-faceted. In this essay, I highlight a thread of moral puritanism which has not only been powerfully inscribed into the pogroms espoused in the period 1880s to 1910s, but also within the altered context of the 1950s-1980s.
Borella Junction, Colombo, 24.25 July 1983
A Hindu mob waiting to defend their own from Muslims in Bhagalpur –before becoming a marauding band seeking retribution — in a pattern also seen in 1915 in Sri Lanka during the anti-Moor pogrom
Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, female empowerment, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power sharing, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, women in ethnic conflcits
Niranjan Selvadurai, … a poem composed within a context derived from a personal experience in the streets Colombo, on Monday 25 July 1983
Pic at Borella Junction 24 July 1983 –taken by Chnadragupta Amarasinghe **
May we pass brother?
But are you one of us!
Or someone other?
Roving eyes survey thus Continue reading
Filed under accountability, atrocities, discrimination, economic processes, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power sharing, reconciliation, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry