President Dilma’s Crucifixion, or “Dilma and the Cristo”
Gabriel C Banda
IN Brazil, Dilma Rousseff is on the cross. In the land of the graceful statue of Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer, there seems to be a crucifixion taking place.
A number of days have now passed since Easter 2016 happened in March, but the essential story of Easter and crucifixion of Jesus continues to be in our lives, throughout the year. Easter and crucifixion season are always happening near us and in our own lives. Easter has not ended. The Easter story never ends.
As President Dilma Vana Rousseff battles the forces calling for her impeachment, the world famous Cristo Redentor statue should be watching the scenes from Rio de Janeiro city, high on vantage point on the peak of Mount Corcovado.
Cristo Redentor shows that Jesus Christ was crucified but stands, having risen and ascended. In Resurrection, one has overcome challenges.
Crucifixion deals with an innocent person, a helper of others and humanity, being put to the cross and to destruction or death by forces and agents of evil. In that way, a good idea can be killed so that evil can triumph.
The accusers aim sharp swords at the shepherd. An accusation is cooked up. False witnesses, some coached, spring up. The bad do a lot in driving the crucifixion. And, of course, somewhere are the ones that benefit from the pieces of silver they are given for delivering the innocent good person.
The lead accusers may hold sins much bigger than the accusation they are making against an innocent person. The accusers glorify the bad persons and stain the good ones. They want to kill the good path by killing the good person. They want the bad activities to thrive.
There is some trial under a platform such as a court. It may even be in parliament. In the story of Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate, knowing the whole trial against Jesus was a scam, washed his hands. This was conscience and moral integrity at work.
He did not want to be known as one that had been involved in some trial of dubious charges that led to the death of some innocent person. Of course, the best he seemed to have been able to do for himself was to excuse himself rather than to disband and cancel the trial.
As a Shepherd is attacked, some of the sheep, fearful, scatter. Some persons stand by the innocent accused while others abandon them.
Some will support the accused but are afraid to come out in the open. Some will support according to what is safe for them to do in terms of time, energy, finance, resources, relations, and other factors.
A saint will sometimes turn up to be openly by your side, as former President Lula da Silva, Dilma’s predecessor, has done. Saint Lula, or Sao Lula we may call him.
For now, people “For” and “Against” Dilma are gathering in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro from all over Brazil. From the Centre, and from North and South, West and East, the people of Brazil are coming to Brasilia and Rio. They are from various backgrounds. They are from the Favelas, “slums,” while others are from mansions.
They want to be witnesses and be supporters of their cause as elected house Representatives vote on whether to take the case against Dilma forward or throw it out.
You can almost hear some shout “crucify her, crucify her!” The word “crucify” has been replaced by “impeach.” They want her out of the state palace at Palaco do Planalto.
You can almost hear the whip as they strike Dilma as she moves with the heavy cross. But with each “Crucify her!” there are many “leave her alone, leave her alone!”
While others call for Dilma to be punished, there are those who instead appreciate her work and service for Brazil. While her opponents are determined, Dilma also has some strong current flowing with her, many people calling for her to be left alone to continue at her presidential Palacio do Planalto residence. And there are those who may not support her work but still believe that she is under no genuine charges.
Even before the current protests, Dilma has been tolerant of protests and demonstrations in ways it would not happen in places like Turkey and the administration of Edorgan.
In Rio de Janeiro, high on Mount Corcovado, in the highlands of Rio de Janeiro, where years ago I visited, the Cristo Redentor figure is watching Brazil. Below, people are gathering from many parts of Brazil.
“Crucify her, crucify her!” some shout. From the Favelas and the mansions, they shout.
Yet from the Favelas and mansions, others shout for Dilma Rousseff to be left alone. She should be free.
And high above in Rio, the Cristo Redentor watches. You can almost hear the calm Cristo say, “Come, Dilma, find my strength,” and “Come Dilma, rise.”
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GCB, April 2016, LUSAKA