Friday, May 09, 2008
167] Raja Petra: A Bohemian Rhapsody
Raja Petra: a bohemian rhapsody
A Tribute to a republican of virtue
Dr. Azly Rahman
"Is this a real life.. is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide.... no escape from reality
Open your eyes... look up to the skies and see...I'm just a poor boy.. I need no sympathy.. because I'm easy come.. easy go...
-- Freddy Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody
There is so much sadness in our nation as we bemoan the imprisonment of a voice of conscience manifested in this individual called Raja Petra Kamaruddin.
There is so much anger in our consciousness as we wonder what justice denied can do to us as we see the rot in our cultural values and political lives -- right in front of our eyes, feasted through the media.
Raja Petra is seeking deep in his inner self and journeying deep into the archeology of his consciousness and into the history of his self and his ancestors, seeking solace and guidance in what next to be done in this world in which the self argues and revolts against systems of oppression. His psyche and the journey of his soul perhaps bring him to a hill in Melaka some several centuries ago -- a place where the legendary philosopher-king and the Bugis warrior stood on a hill riddled with bullets from the advancing Dutch colonials. Raja Haji died standing.
Raja Petra is a gifted human being who is showing us what Henry David Thoreau, the American transcendentalist, spoke about "civil disobedience. He is what the philosopher Karl Jaspers reminded us of the urge to disobey and ideology that has become corrupt to the core and has employed the state apparatuses to silence those who speak truth to power.
Raja Petra is what Che Guevara means to Malaysians, a gung-ho revolutioner whose interest in motorcycles helped him craft his own hugely successful "motorcycle diaries" and helped him symbolize and embody the free-wheeling spirit of Americanism of the "Easy Rider era".
Raja Petra is the symbol of the yearning in us to break free and to let out these "screams of consciousness" so that we may learn to understand better what actually is the problem with this nation that needs therapy as a consequence of its obsession with law and order it creates and it destroys. It is the Brahma-Shiva-Vishnu of politics that we are seeing at play in the cosmic cycle, this karma of Malaysian politics that is meeting its end of the yuga as consequences to the production of many duryodanas (Durjanas) in the process of birth and rebirth.
Raja Petra is a Bugis warrior who installs kings and umpires and players in this game of politics we all are asked to play for fifty years. He make us conscious of the complexities of power relations, the roles of individuals in installing ideologies, the power of institutions in designing "inscriptions that alienate people" and helps us understand the nature of Malaysia's interlocking directorates -- of who owns what and what are the consequences of these.
Raja Petra is a commander-in-chief of a movement that exists in cyberspace and orchestrates the powerful dialogues that send shivers to the spines of those who cheats in this political game.
Raja Petra has shown us what jihad means and how we must carry on this revolution to its final destiny -- a republic of virtue in which philosophy reigns supreme over ideology, whatever the ideology may be.
Raja Petra will be out soon, to carry on the revolution in the consciousness of men and women -- a perpetual revolution that forces us to look at ourselves as historical beings and wonder "what have we done to make this country as it is in which justice is denied, delayed, and dictated by the few."
But there will always be Divine Justice, if one believes in the power of the Divine -- in a Just God and God of Mercy and Compassionate who works in mysterious ways and one who works through the agency called human beings -- that will make things end well, even if all is not well in the beginning of things.
"Man proposes God disposes", many have said. In us all, in the humiliation wrought upon this human being called Raja Petra and in the imprisonment of this voice of conscience, lies the mystery of revelation of justice. We shall see what lies ahead. We must, however continue to become makers of history -- to protest either silently or out loud either in solitude or with others in pomp and pageantry, protest we must as we are essentially human beings born free with natural rights endowed by the Creator. Borrowing Rousseau, we believe that "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains..."
Protest we must. Investigate we must too. Demands we will orchestrate in order to have corrupt men and women, powers abusers amongst us, and swindling robber-barons amidst us to be brought to justice in the court of law that shall be governed by the people, through the will of the rakyat.
The rakyat awaits your homecoming, a candlelight vigil will adorn the street in front of the prison-industrial complex built by those who designed architecture of structural-violence, unseen by the naked eyes of the rakyat. Like the candles that await Sita Devi and like the candle-lights that bathes Jelaluddin Rumi, the light from the rakyat soothes and calms your bruised spirit in their patient wait for your freedom.
A grandchild of that Bugis warrior prince, a philosopher-ruler, better that many a prince Machiavelli pays tribute to-- you are a voice of conscience and you shall be free. Free at last.. free at last...
Welcome back to the bosom of society. This is your bohemian rhapsody.
Welcome back, Saudara RPK.
This is my humble gift to thee. May these words renew your spirit.