“Society means a community of ideas. Without shared ideas on politics, morals, and ethics no society can exit.” -Jonathan Sacks
The underlying crisis in Myanmar is far more than political. It is as well racial and communal problem that acquires intellectual attention of men. As we all know, a nation is composed of a variety of groups. The state has failed to look at the state as a whole composed of states and divisions. It fails to recognize the identity of each ethnic group residing in different parts of the country. The majority group is denying the individual rights of the minority tribal men, women and children alike across the country. Let’s agree to this without any further argument because it has been crystal clear if we take a proper look at the history and the present.
This isn’t a superficial problem that can be solved politically by the state alone. Jonathan gave us an insight about it this way,
“Not everything in our shared life is political. Not everything is a conflict of interests, a struggle for power. There are convenantal relationships, such as love, loyalty, friendship and trust. There is such a thing as society, and it is not identical with politics.”
The mentality of superiority is seemingly what has been motivating the government, mainly occupied by Burmese individuals. Monarchy has prospered in the history of Burma and it’s influence is immense and vital. The Burma great history of kings and queens has made the Burmese Generals believe they are the right hires of the throne that no other tribe deserves to sit on. That tribal people were never royal. If this is what is going on, the prosperity of the nation as a whole is severely threatened and endangered. I have personally heard from a number of my friends who unfortunately happened to be Burmese that tribe people, like me, were always complaining of being victims of one thing or another. For that, here I am yelling to the world that we are actually the victims being denied all our rights to exist as part of the nation. Rights to take part in serving the country in all governmental departments whatsoever. A very precise and living example is that the Burmese husband (military captain) of my aunt was never promoted for he married her who is sadly a Kachin. I am aware as well that ‘politic of victimhood’, where everyone claims what they want as victims and go violent if not provided, is not healthy at all. However, a voice must be launched to the whole world if something unjust is taking place in us.
A nation is free when the state and society communicate ; a dialogue which must take place. And for the sake of all, allow me to remind again that in Myanmar different tribes are settling as Myanmars. How could someone form a government without recognizing the rights and identity of every individual residing in the nation? When a nation loses faith in its citizens, citizens find other identities. They turn inward or they get totally out of it. In most cases,they form closed circles where they can freely breath and be recognized. A sense of belonging to the nation as a whole is completely lost. The nation is broken into pieces. Rebellions all over the nation and the state has lost it’s control over it. Civil wars occur because the state tries to oppress by raging wars against the rebels ; the closed tribal groups seeking for autonomous states. The tragedy right now is as clear as I am writing this.
The reason that breaks Europe apart is not identical to the reason why Myanmar is broken. The moral, ethical, political and economic structures seem to bring Europe down in the name of freedom. Capitalism sets the world on fire with consumers-mentality. Products enslave individuals by making them believe that a person’s life is complete if he buys and updates all his gadgets, clothes and food. This is what is going on in the West, US and some parts of the world. It is hard to make comparisons in every aspects. Yet it is striking to know what is making our own country miserable too. Let me get to the point.
As I have said, the worm which is eating up our flesh is different from that of the West. In terms of keeping and exercising morality, Myanmar, I bet, doesn’t seem to have any problem at all. Sex, marriage, food and social life are not so much politicized. Ancient values narrated by the elders are still appreciated and exercised. The society over all is even called a conservative one. Everyone seems to be shy to talk about sex, though I am aware that improvements must be introduced in this regard. Homosexuality is not encouraged out here (although homosexual issue is still debatable under the realm of moral relativism). Morality is superb! And at some point, I don’t even want democracy to be the form of the future government. I am just being humorous here. What then is the problem that tears us apart? Humility seems to be the one. The government is bearing too much of pride. Personally, I don’t even know distinctively what really is making them so hard to get down to the situation and sort it out with people it is having problem with. Nationalism, patriotism or classicism? None of them seems to answer me. I have no idea which one is their philosophy behind all this misery. What I know is that this country is having more than political problem and as I have said above, not everything is political.
Tribal people are just guests in their own house. Multiculturalism is taking place in us with it’s utmost negative effects. It is a long journey I believe, yet a road to construct and walk on. wisdom is essential and humility must be a way to communicate each other. The government must learn to accommodate each and every of her family member in her house before everyone scatters away. If not adopting children, hospitality as least will do a great deal of good.
Long live Myanmar!