By Khin Maung Oo
In our Myanmar calendar, we have had two gloomy and disgraceful days. The first one took place on 19th July, 1947 when our national leader and architect of Myanmar Independence Bogyoke Aung San and colleagues were assassinated by a power mad national traitor and a group of thugs. We have been mournfully holding the “Martyrs’ Day,” annually, in commemoration of our fallen leaders. The second one happened on 7th July 1962. In 1962, students staged a protest against the military coup of General Ne Win, and due to the suppression of the military dictator students were killed in a massacre, so this day has been known as Seventh July.
These days, articles and poems on Bogyoke and martyrs as well as excerpts from Bogyoke’s historic speeches occupy the pages of our dailies and periodicals almost every day. Much as these have been heard more than 60 times, our desire to read these never ceased. Especially, I think Bogyoke’s speeches or rather words that came out of his mouth are of great strength. Utopia is an imaginary paradise, but we will reach our hoped-for federal democratic union sooner rather than later if we abide by and practice in accordance with Bogyoke’s speeches. Bogyoke always spoke out only what he could do himself, never asking others to do what he could not.
This year, we have a chance to read more excerpts from his speeches more than in previous years, as if a thirsty person diving into a lake. Here I would like to point out one, among them. It was the excerpt from Bogyoke Aung San’s speech addressed at the All Workers’ Union and dinner party in Natmauk, on 25th March 1947.
Bogyoke said, “You are required to distinguish politics from discipline. Nothing will work without discipline. If someone wants to violate a discipline, he must be well convinced of what kind of punishment he deservedly will have as a consequence. Try your best to have an order changed, by keeping discipline. Abide by disciplines before having it changed. This is the difference between politics and discipline.”
As said by Aristotle, all of us being political animals are responsible to take part in politics, that is, to bring about the well-being of our society. In doing so, we, being social animals with the power of speech and moral reasoning, should not act out of judgment, that is, we need to abide by rules, laws or disciplines. Trying our best to have an order changed is our cause, and to accomplish our cause, we must abide by discipline.
To sum it up, Bogyoke’s speech is pointing out that we need to distinguish between Politics and Discipline in striving to achieve our national causes.
By Khin Maung Oo