The Descent Into a Kafkaesque World


The Descent Into a Kafkaesque World Photo courtesy of Artmajeur Sri Lanka will celebrate its 73rd independence anniversary on February 4 but for many years now, the day has become one to recount failures and the loss of achievements made during the colonial period. Sri Lanka became a British colony in 1815. During the 19th century there were five notable areas in which there were sweeping changes: the economy, the administrative structure, infrastructure, the railway and commercial activities with the outside world. Society was a stagnant one where social mobility was prevented by the caste system. That the son should follow the father’s employment was the basic principle on which society operated. Any transgression was punished. The poor were disciplined severely but landlords were exempt from punishment except in the case of treason. This situation of social immobility changed significantly with the opening of roads and the availability of jobs in town areas where there were new economic activities, trade and commercial opportunities and the chance to change traditional social positions….

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