20 November 2014

Why did MDP failed?

MDP without a doubt was one main reason for the multi party democracy that we see in this country. It is very difficult for me as a person to believe that this system would have come to us just like that without the kind of pressure that MDP or rather its members put on then the government. Where is MDP now? Why were they defeated not just in presidential election, but rather all the last 3 elections?

Here are various things I feel that went wrong within their system, especially during the 3 years in power.
Before that, let me make it clear. Some would argue that government was toppled by a coup. Coup or Not, is not what interests me here. The hard to accept fact remains and will always remain that, if one tries a coup and it goes well, surely that success would be the result of some wrong things on the other side too.  With this assumption I will move ahead and will try to focus on areas where they had control.

1Civil Service Pay- A deduction of civil servants salary was, I believe wholeheartedly taken as an honest and reasonable economic measure by majority of civil servant.  However, it was wrong and unacceptable to prolong the decision. Especially once the courts ruled out that the decision should not be prolonged any more, it was just an own goal by government.  Well, Rule is rule and has to be abided, no matter which possession in government you hold. Failing to do it, lead to unwanted and avoidable hate towards MDP and its leadership. Especially among several civil servants, who were already getting comparatively low pay.

  Playing with faith- At times even I use to ask myself if we are a 100% Muslim country. Yet, trust me, we are easy going people in this country, and we quiet often really hate to face some of the truths. It may be true that there are some who openly challenges or rather mocks some concepts of Islam or some are out there who claims to be atheists. However, WE, we I mean, the general Maldivians do not want our leaders to speak out against our long time beliefs and values.  The Eye Camp with Israel doctors, the absence from a vote for Palestine in UN assembly, the attempt to make Dhivehi and Islam as optional subjects in higher secondary education are noticeable blunders or rather acts of MDP government, that many including MDP members stood against. Indeed each of them led to a chance for then the opposition to create more hate or rather doubts towards MDP among oppositions. Also many MDP members within the party had to look down simply because they were not happy with these acts. Some of the monuments of SAARC summit added to this. Even in this case, it was wrong for government to refuse to remove them, once their very Islamic Minister said it is against the religion to keep it.

3 Failing to empower the councils. The golden opportunity MDP got was the introduction of Island/ City and Atoll councils. This was the first time in history of the country that the decision making power was granted outside capital Male’. The government should have made sure that this power was given properly to the councils. Had they been given some more autonomy and resource to gain economic benefits, I am sure the support would have increase at an unprecedented rate. An island for every city or atoll council and the aid and support to attract some investments to guaranteed long term income to council would sure have resulted in them getting ever stronger. However, even in the councils with full MDP power, they continued to remain as, ‘servants’ of government rather than implementers of policies.

4  The activists out of control. True. Activists are the grassroots power of any political party. At least that is the system in Maldives.  However, when the activist who was a room attendant in a resort or a tour guide in air port becomes a policy maker or a fisherman becomes a CEO in a government company, it is where things go wrong. Let me tell you one thing. I am not trying to let down the professions I mentioned above. My point is that jobs should be given on the basis of quality and not on the basis of how noisy your members are in the party activities.

Low support of security forces. At last, but not the least, MDP failed to gain the full support of the security forces in the nation. Well. It is obvious that it is difficult to gain it, after all your dealing with an era post 30years rule.  However, it is possible. This is how at least one described, “Listen man. We were been dealt with the same situation for more than months. Every day, every night, we were been told how bad government was doing. Religious scholars kept telling us that it is our duty to stand against government. And that it is not allowed to follow MDP government orders. We were like indoctrinated with this thinking. I bet many of us. We were Muslims first. And How could you assume that those preaches by scholars and those statements that MDP was anti Islamic will not affect us? It will and it did. Now why didn’t you guys (the government and MDP) showed the opposite side to us?  Why MDP didn’t repeatedly and more loudly kept saying that they were trying to brainwash? Why did you fail to carry our counselling sessions to the organisation regularly to bring back us to the track you wanted?” This is part of an hour long conversation between me and some of those who saw the event unfolding within the security forces. I guess I should stop in there for this point.

Well, that was too long a post. Yet, I tried my best to give a fare judgement to the topic I have taken.  I wait to see the party system in Maldives grow as an effective, productive and economically viable system, with respect to our values and norms. I hope democracy and rule of law ever last in my lovely nation. And I hope MDP members have enough a tolerance to see someone saying see you failed in this area and you got to fix it if you want success. 


17 November 2014

Four observations.

One factor that changed humans and brought up to a higher level is the ability to communicate things that comes to our mind. We communicate each other for so many reasons. One such communication is the official meetings that we see today. Today my focus is toward the meetings. Indeed, some observations that I made. Most of the meetings that I attended recently, I made 4 common observations.

Some do not turn up for the meeting though invited.
Now, let us look from the side of the person who invited us. He might have made so many preparations, just for us. He would have sure sacrificed many other things on his daily schedule just for us. And we ignore? How rude will I be to you, had you been the one who invited me? So, if your invited for a meeting, and your unable to attend, surely it will be nice for the both sides just to communicate that your unable to attend.

Some turn up late.
Better late than never, people say. Yes. Maybe! But then, even if you turn up late, let’s not forget we were been invited for a particular time. Will it not be nice if we try just a little more to make it on time. Seriously, that will help both the sides. You’re happy you won’t miss anything important. And the one who invited is happy that they didn't have to worry that you may not turn up.

Some forgets that they were invited.
That is the only reason that comes to my mind. In many meetings, I have seen some among the audience repeatedly talking, chatting etc. Well, for a valid reason someone may need to attend a call or text even if in a meeting. Yet, I don’t think that will last for hours that we spend in the meeting. Moreover, I am sure we do not attend meeting just to have a good chat with the one sitting next to us. Surely, its irritating when you keep commenting about every single word the speaker says!

Some are story tellers.
It happens that in some meetings, for some of us, once we start giving our speech, we forget to stop. Well, there are people who are real busy. There are some who might have attended the meeting just because they respect your invitation though they were not well. Respect them. Trust me, taking hours in your speech and people at the end of your speech thinking that you just gave 4 or 5 simple messages it crazy. We need to respect the audience and make it short. No two hour long stories please.

For us, as an individual, each of this may be something quite simple. Yet, as a whole society, this is something that will have a huge impact, if each of us takes our responsibility. Well, I am reminding these to myself too. How I wish, I will be able to attend a meeting without the above mentioned issues. How nice will it be. 

Image: http://research.gigaom.com/topic/social/

14 November 2014

Republic Day 2014 and my thoughts.

Two days back, we celebrated the republic day of our country.

Well, we had 2 phases of this. One when President Mohamed Amin Didi became the first and the only president of the first republic and second when President Ibrahim Nasir became the first president of the second republic.

It maybe a bit late, yet let me wish you all greetings, on the occasion of our Republic Day.
As we celebrate a republic day, surely that will be one day in life of a nation, that the citizens seriously thinks about their nation.  
What went right and what didn’t go so well? Well, let me share three major things I feel we have achieved.

1-      After 10 long years, I heard that now the government is ready to say “DONE”. Yes done with giving shelter to the 2004 tsunami victims. I really believe it was a big mistake that we failed to give shelter to our brothers and sisters for one whole decade. Well, as a nation, we did everything else, so there is no excuse to leave some children of this nation as refugees for ten long years. Fine. Now that it is over, that surely is a good achievement.  Thank you Presidents: Mr.  Maumoon, Mr. Nasheed, Mr. Waheed and Mr. Yameen.

2-      For me, 2012 February will be marked as the second darkest day. Sure 3rd Nov 1988 was the worst day the 2nd republic ever had. I am glad that the nation after long struggles within, against all odds reached a peaceful day. Now that there is a stable elected government, that peace is there within me a son of the nation. This was a good achievement. 

3-      Unlimited health insurance is another milestone that we have achieved. Thank You President Yameen and his team for reforming Aasandha to make it a near full fledged insurance coverage. Let me not forget the famous 65+ senior citizen allowance too. These were achievements that we have made in our nation.  I just hope it goes in a sustainable and economically sound manner.
 These are 3 major achievements we have reached in 2014. It might have started a year or even a decade back. Yet, it was this year that showed us the completion.

Where there is good, there will also be the other side of the story.
As a nation, we still have failed to deal with the 3 major cases. Three things we need to end, or we may end up in a worst place than we now are.

1-      Drugs and gangs. Drug surely has been the biggest issue the youth has faced. It is this drug that has led to gangs. If we do not want to see the gang fights and murders, we must stop drug getting through our doors.  I hear about sniffer dogs, I hear about high security systems at the entrances to country. Yet I am yet to see the issue of drugs getting lower.

2-      Equality and freedom are two axis in life of humans for which so many wars were fought.  We in Maldives still lack the equality. People complain that in Maldives it is very easy to take some to justice whereas even you go to hell and back still you see some never faces justice.  The huge disparity in pay for the people is another big issues that may lead to loss of peace and harmony among people. It will be wrong and crazy to think that just because you have power, people will be afraid to speak out. Don’t forget this is 21st century. I don’t know where and how it will begin. But I am pretty sure that we must address this issue soon before things goes out of hand.

3-      Just few days back I read an article on haveeru daily. The worst nightmare it was for me. The estimated number of Maldivians fighting in the civil war in Iraq and Syria estimated to reach 100. Mr President!! This is an alarming sign of what this nation may come across tomorrow. The government and the Maldives National Defence Force needs to stop the spread of extremist thinking in the county. We so far failed in this as a nation. At least speak out to say what was done to stop it. People are worried of this development.

These are things that comes to my mind as we celebrates our republic day. End of the day, it is my nation too.