Two days ago, the first of Rabeeul Awwal was a very special day for me. For one thing, it was my birthday on the Hijri calendar. But setting that aside, it was also the Maldives’ National day - the day when our Dhivehi-Raaje was rescued from the domination and yoke of the Portuguese in the 16th century; and the triumph of our national religion Islam.
Given this backdrop, what is the significance of this to our life as a nation? To my mind, it is to remember the agony of subversion and to celebrate freedom. It is also a time for the young and youth to connect with the legacy of our past and the notion of a one-Maldives. But, regretfully, this day in 2012 was marred by other untoward emotions. The present internal turmoil on our pristine coral soil is something to reflect on and feel the lament. A nation of such social and religious harmony such as ours must reflect it on the ground also by our actions. Artificial divisions only bring about conflict. And we as Maldivians need to look at the bigger picture that harbors on common interest rather than on the individual interests that can never be bridged without the effort of listening, accepting, reflecting, and dialogue. Anger is never assuaged by anger as fire is never squelched by fire. There has to be a give and take that will neutralize the war of words and swelled egos. The welfare of the majority of those who don't have voice must be protected by those who have the voice. This is the meaning of stewardship in a democracy. It is not for the powerful to take the day. But the powerful to prove they have compassion to exercise the responsibility that comes with the power that was bequeathed to them by vote or wealth. We cannot let the adage "a nation deserves the leaders they get" get the better of our national sensibilities. May Allah Bless us all as Brothers and Sisters of a common nation and clear the haze that blinds our eyes.