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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hazards of development

Knowledge is created or constructed due to Avijja, based on the Chinthanaya and relative to the sense organs, mind and the culture of the people, in terms of concepts, theories etc.  One who “knows” through prathyaksha, and not with concepts and theories, that whole knowledge, not just that of “self” as the “Arhaths” do, is due to avijja, “knows” everything. In my view it is in that sense “Buddha” was “sarvanna” (who knew everything). Since we are not even “Arhaths” we go on constructing knowledge but unfortunately the “educated” can only imitate forgetting absorption and other means of creating knowledge. The absorption of western knowledge within our chinthanaya and culture when necessary is not excluded but what harms us is imitation. Though western science has been taught in Sri Lanka for more than one hundred and fifty years we have not been able to produce a single western scientist who is worth his salt.

We do not live in isolation as pundits very often remind us, but what we have to remind the pundits is that by imitating western knowledge that includes knowledge of development we will only find ourselves to be mere slaves of the west often bringing misery to the people. The recent problems that have arisen due to imitating western development without absorbing into our culture should open the eyes of the not so educated general public. It is unlikely that the educated will ever understand this problem as they are in a deep slumber as a result of taking “knowledge pills” exported by the western countries.

The CKDu (Chronic Kidney Disease unidentified etiology) remains unidentified as far as western science and western medicine are concerned, and the patients continue to die in order to maintain the hegemony of western knowledge. It is said that hundred kidneys will be transplanted this year (2014) but that is going to be a small percentage of the patients even if this number of kidneys would be donated by the public. The government has decided to increase funds to deal with this problem, but without any creative absorption of knowledge by the western “scientists” and medical doctors, it is very unlikely that we could expect any positive outcome. The public funds if not returned to the treasury at the end of the year would most probably be spent on importing high tech equipments and very expensive filters of water bringing in additional income to the parties with vested interests. However, the WHO in their so called report according to a spokesperson in the ministry of health, but a paper published by four individuals, two attached to the ministry of health as very high officials, and the other two attached to the WHO, in an open accessible journal, like all the western scientists and medical personnel are not in a position to identify the cause of the Chronic Kidney Disease. Ironically the paper does not indentify so called drinking water as a cause of the disease.

The Kidney Disease has become a fertile ground for western scientists and others who are after instant publicity to come out with their pet theories on the cause of the problem. It appears that the GMOA led by its President is also in the picture portraying the image of saviours of patients. The president who does not understand any epistemology or even western “morals” come out in media as a person in search of “guna’ in addition to “nena” in western medicine. What he does not understand is that there is no “guna” dissociated from “nena” and western medicine is neither with “guna” or “nena” more correctly “guna nena” when viewed relative to Sinhala culture. Though the western “scientists” are not prepared to accept it the group at Kelaniya identified arsenic found in agrochemicals as the cause of the disease together with hard water contaminated with Magnesium and Sodium salts, and Arsenic “friendly” soil found in the affected areas. They also said that Cadmium in a vacuum is not the cause though it acts as a catalyst. Cadmium alone is not sufficient to cause the disease. Now the western scientists and the western medics, being the imitators they are, are not prepared to accept the “findings” of the Kelaniya group. If they accept it then in order to eradicate the disease the government would be instructed to go back to Sinhala govikama giving up agriculture based on agrochemicals gradually. The western science does not act in a vacuum, and it is bound with the interests of the Judaic Christian culture.  

Western science and medicine together with western technology are created in Greek Judaic Christian Chinthanaya relative to the western Judaic Christian culture. They are not dissociated from capitalism and the multinational companies, and western science, medicine and technology serve the multinationals in the final analysis. The multinationals cannot do away with agrochemical based agriculture and western scientists will find many reasons to tell us that the cause of the so called CKDu cannot be identified, may be with the present state of knowledge. In western medicine there are so many criteria that have to be satisfied in order to conclude that something is a causative factor of a disease, and it would not be difficult for a group to say in the case of a particular candidate the criteria are not satisfied and hence it cannot be concluded as the cause of the particular disease. The multinationals will depend on some report, paper or finding or what not by a “reputed” scientist or a group of scientists and claim that agrochemicals are not the cause of the disease. Since knowledge is controlled by the westerners, under the hegemony of western science the poor Kidney patients will continue to die.

What is interesting is that though no group or individual other than the Kelaniya group has pointed its finger towards hard water (kivul jalaya) there are interested parties who are all out to import filters to be installed in the affected areas. I would not be surprised if soon a “reputed” team comes out with the startling new finding that hard water is one of the causes of the disease. That is the way western Judaic Christian culture works. The parties with vested interests would ignore the claim by the Kelaniya group that arsenic is the main cause but cling to the “finding” that hard water is a cause of the disease. We would even see the prospect of the same company importing agrochemicals as well as the filters.  

The Kidney Disease, which we call the Chronic Agrochemical Kidney Disease (CAKD) is the result of imitating the western development and is a fall out of the “green revolution”. The UNP introduced the “green revolution” but the present generation of leaders in both the UNP and the SLFP do not seem to remember that. The present UNP leaders give the impression that the present government is responsible for the CAKD but the government spokespersons are not in a position to reply as they also work with the multinationals.

We witness a similar phenomenon in respect of powdered milk. Though there are reports of powdered milk imported by some companies, contaminated with poisonous substances there are western “scientists” to issue certificates to the effect that the very same powdered milk is devoid any such substances. These speak volumes for the “objectivity” of western science and powdered milk will continue to be imported. It is not my intention to publicize drinking of milk as this again is an imported concept. I would not go into detail but suffice is to say that the Sinhalas were a milk eating (kiri kema) nation, in the form of mee kiri (curd) etc. The Sinhalas drank “kenda” and not milk but we were taken away from that habit by the English with degrading remarks such as “ada kenda beelada aawey” (are you after drinking kenda today). Instead of imitating milk or consuming powdered milk the government should cultivate a habit of drinking “kenda” among the people. In the case of CAKD there are Sinhala physicians who are capable of curing the disease, and if the government spends a fraction of the funds allocated to western medicine to organize veda gedera (clinics) in the areas affected with the disease and divert the “govi mahathun” from agrochemical based agriculture to Sinhala govikama the CAKD could be eradicated.

Nalin De Silva