Comments Made on the Society in the Poem Big Match 1983 by Yasmine Goonerathne

The Poem big match raises a number of critical comments with regard to the communal crisis plunged in 1983 creating a dark mark on the body of Sri Lankan soil. It creates a cinematic portrayal of how the activities of people lead to a such unfortunate incident and their behavior in front of a communal problem.

The poet seems critical toward the behavior of social bodies like rulers, media and the religion amid of a crisis. The metaphorical newspaper headlines like: “flash point in paradise,” “Racial pot boils over” seem not create the real picture which prevails in the society. The title also suggestive of the irony created in a title which can give different meaning apart from the real message. The people who govern the society do not hear what intellectual tell about the root of the problem. Poet seems critical toward the real cause which is introduced as “treacherous politics”. Further, the poet shows how the legal officers look away in front of the injustice created upon helpless group of people. “Blood on kakhi uniforms” is suggestive that the protectors have taken part of the villain role too. 
Inhumanity above religion and race have created the people like savages according to the poem. A man is getting attacked “beneath a Bo-tree” suggests that people have lost their real sense of religion due to their mind is polluted by the poison of racism. The image created about the society which has no religion or law is like a jungle which govern the wild power.

The nature of power which is corrupted results innocents getting victimized. A normal intellectual citizen who has no weapon in his hand but books tries to give away his life knowing his vulnerability before the wild force plunged upon him. This is a universal reality that the innocent getting suffered in crisis situations.  

Poet passes critical comments in a satirical tone to express the depth of the problem. Although, the poem is written in simple language the effect created about a society without law and rule is not pleasant at all. The gravity of the result is shown in the line “Sri Lanka burns alive” suggests that not only the victims but a whole society suffered during the horrifying events happened in 1983.

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