25 July 2010

Independence day............where are we?

Tomorrow, we mark the 45th Independence Day of our beloved nation. Let me wish every Maldivian, a very happy Independence Day, 2010.

As we mark our 45th Independence Day, there are two questions that comes to my mind.

1. Is 26th July our Independence Day?
2. Are we independent?

The first question, I have already discussed why I have the question in my mind, in an article I wrote on 4th August 2008.

The second question is are we independent?
Back in the era of colonialism, if a nation is not under a colonial power, we say the country is independent. Today, however, those days passed. We are in 21st century. If then, there is no single reason to say that the definition and the meaning of independence should be as it was before. Today, a nation could be real independent, if she can have the sustainability and ability to govern the nation, its people and its problems. Today, we say freedom of people, human rights, media etc... are also pillars of a free nation, without which it is almost impossible to say we are independent.

Just answer few questions about your nation on her Independence Day.

Do we have enough of food production in our country for the people for a week?
Do we have the strength to stand up with our own economy and manage it, without day to day police of external powers?
Do we have the so called individual freedom?
Do we really and honestly feel free to talk openly on national and social issues, without the threat of been pointed fingers at us?
Do we have the guarantee that tonight the government will not have a mass crack down on the opposition? Or
Do we have the guarantee that even in the next moment, the opposition will not try to bring down the legally elected government?

In simple terms, are we really independent as a nation of this 21st century, or are we more of a name sake independent country. To be very honest, these are questions that disturbs me. Today, as we try to celebrate our Independence day, I see my nation too busy with the power struggles at the cost of the whole nations stake. Every where we see, laws been disobeyed, responsibilities been ignored and rights been misused. If then, I wonder where our future could lead us.

Tomorrow, we will see, beautiful poems been read, wonderful speeches been given, and , and reports on TVs and radios that give us goosebumps. Yet, what we will see on the other day seems to be so different. Tomorrow we will happily celebrate our Independence Day, the other day we will sadly see ourselves, still in the slavery of, hate, divisions anger and frustrations. On this Independence Day, I hope for a better day to my nation.

04 July 2010

Digesting The Dirty Politics.....

Last Tuesday, we saw the sudden resignation of the whole cabinet of Maldives leaving President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed and his vice Dr. Mohamed Waheedh Hassan Manik alone in the cabinet. Many says it is a planned media stunt. I don't care. What disturbs me is, why did this happen? What went so wrong? Why did the country move a step backwards in our process to reach a matured democratic nation?

The MDP stand:
The MDP or the present government says that the Parliament has failed to act in the interest of the nation and are trying to implement a selfish agenda, thus forcing the cabinet to resign. They say there is the dirty acts of corruption and bribery among some members of Parliament, specially some opposition members. Mr. Gasim Ibrahim (one of the richest man in the nation) the Jomhuree Party President, Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyom, the People's Alliance president( a half brother of former president Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) who also is said to be having a huge wealth are said to be the masterminds of this scandal case. They say some of the Parliament members are purposefully trying to bring a government to a halt and trying to topple the legally elected democratic government. At least the former Tourism minister Dr. Ali Sawaadh puts it as, the "Majlis hijacked the government".

DRP stand:
The DRP and the other opposition parties are loud and clear in their stand. They say they act in the interest of the people and are trying to protect the nation and its wealth that government is trying hard to sell or use in wasteful manners. They claim that the government has failed and the sudden resignation of the cabinet is an evidence. Moreover the arrest of Mr. Gasim and Mr. Yameen, according to the opposition shows the autocracy of the government who came to power with the promise of taking the nation to "An another Maldives", where we live as a developed and democratic nation. Opposition points the finger at government MPs as the bribers and says the government tried to threaten them, yet has done nothing other than threatening the own survival of the government. The opposition now questions the future of Mr. Nasheed government which now has no minsters, and new ministers can only be approved from the Parliament where opposition enjoys the majority.

This is the scenario of our nation today. Why did this happen?

1. Government:
- The government so far has not well delivered any of the 5 major promises of MDP in the past one and half year. This could be a stunt to bring the attention of people away from the real issues.
- The government believes they face too much of 'disturbances' from Parliament. This could be a warning to stop it, or even a desperate act to end the so called disturbances by getting the majority of Parliament.
- Or think positive!! This could be a genuine act of government to stop corruption and bribery.
- Thinking of the worst case, the government really failed to operate as a government and now things went upside down.

2. Parliament:
- Was corruption and bribery involved in Parliament? Honestly, I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.
- The Parliament has failed to operate in the best interest of the people. They more operate in the best interest of the parties. At least, as a free citizen of this nation, and as someone who have a habit of watching the Parliament sittings often, that is what I believe.

3. The opposition:
- They have done a good job to make the government answerable.
- I am afraid they went too far in Parliament. Many believes the legislative power has crossed the borders at times and got into the borders of executive powers.
- The opposition I found has acted more like a rejecting group than an opposition party. I hardly see anything that opposition thinks government did well. So, rule is, if its from government, reject it!

With all these, I see few things people can do. Join one of the two sides and start shouting. Stay quiet and watch. Nothing more!!

Now, be it, the government, the opposition members, the Parliament as a whole, or whatever, somewhere things has gone really wrong. Some bad boys out there are playing a game which is to much for our nation. As someone, who thinks of the nation, and someone who hopes to see this nation in a better shape, just one thing comes to my mind.

This is democracy! In democracy, all powers begins and ends with the citizens. If then, this is high time we start thinking of using our strongest power in the best way. At least next time....Are you happy, with the VOTE you gave in the last elections? The presidential and the parliamentary elections!!! If not, learn from the mistake, and make a better decision next time, not for the sake of your pockets and party, but for this nation. Your beloved nation. The nation that your forefathers gave you yesterday. The nation that your children needs tommorow.