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.