Religious Intervention on Literature

Sri Lanka is one of the most religious countries in the world. 70% of Sri Lankans say that they are Buddhists. and Buddhism has an influence on most aspects of society in one way or another. It’s undeniable that the Literature of the country, on the other hand, has shaped by the Buddhist ideologies. Even the latest Literary works depict that influence. This has been good for society so far as it helped to define the moral values of it.

Within some 400 years as a colony of European countries, Sri Lankan culture had changed a lot. This includes how people write and even think. After merging with western cultures people started to think and write outside the religious and traditional contexts.

This change of thinking should have had a negative impact on the Buddhist authority over Literature. People started to criticize and question religion. on the other hand, Buddhism as a questionable religion they had the chance to face the criticism. However, a majority of the monk community generally had a resistance to the criticism an questioning. This conflict has developed over time

The Buddhist community was not ready to face the questions and still not today. They think that questioning their religion is a sin and should be avoided. This is kind of true for most religions but in the case of Buddhism here, the Basic teachings of the religion allow questions but the monks have developed the mindset of the masses to fear to reason and to believe that what they say is the ultimate truth.

This conflict has gain attention again after a few incidents in recent times. One was the resistance to the book “Budunge Rasthiyaduwa”. this book could trigger the Buddhist community that the author and the publisher had to witness enormous pressure from society. after reading the book I could not find anything insults anything related to Buddhism. The only reason for the pressure was the name of the book.

Most recently an author was arrested and remanded for writing a short story. This is a disgusting act against the freedom of expression. Even though that the writing contained references to religion, having to sleep in a cell for writing something is just terribly bad thing to happen in a civilized society.

The close-minded Buddhists who hate the freedom of expression, who try hard to protect their thousand years old and now lost legacy are teaming up just to destroy the freedom of the people. and they hate other religions also. That’s a sad irony that the “representatives” of such a peaceful and reasonable religion hate freedom and criticism

I think as a society Sri Lankans should stand against this suppression And the Template should understand and be within its limits now. Let the art be and if you want to stand against some art, use art, not hatred and suppression!.

Copyright 2019 Shanaka Rusith