In our little Maldives politics has become an entertainment and a delightful pastime. And I am filled with remorse for I see the failings of a nation when the seriousness of these events transform into this type of a spectator event. Seeking leaders for our nation that will guide us to a moral future is I am sure the secret expectation of every Maldivian citizen. But for reasons of fear of reprisal or the ignorant followings of a system now steeped in identity politics akin to tribalism, only very few are able to vote their minds.
It is ironical that our warped sense of faith and attachment to our parties allows us without compunction to take bribes for our vote and yet seem also bound by a curious kind of morality that tells us that once a bribe is taken, a casting for our true calling would be tantamount to a lie. How inextricably we are tied to this web of lies that are spread by our parties! To the hapless and ignorant masses these deceptions of propaganda are indeed egregious social offences. If we want a true democracy the parties have a prime role to educate the public of their rights and responsibilities. It appears that the whole nation is coerced into a trance of the rhetoric of freedoms and rights of the individual with the complete absence of the responsibilities that should go along with it. Of course this can’t be otherwise because our parties are not political parties in the true sense. True outfits of this sort must have a sound social, political, or spiritual philosophy that drives and directs such groups. That would be what attracts the polity – to a just cause that is worth the sacrifice. In our Maldives there is none of that. No party has such a guiding ideal but merely big name individuals who desire to be nation’s president leading the group and the follower coterie being those who would love some nefarious benefit from these big guys when the time of being in power arrives. The next line of followers are those who merely like to be associated with the lead individual for purposes that are not even known to them; just some kind of a mesmerising aura enticing them – the thrill of being associated third and fourth hand. How starved must we be for adulation to be in such a ruck, or be in the blissful ignorance of leaders who they believe can do no wrong. The well known mob spirit is what guides them even if it maybe that they will have tears to shed when the dust settles. It’s the chance they take to be noticed and be counted.
In Maldives the political dust never settles for there is an election ready for the ballot all the time. And the preparations for it begins way in advance and the joy or resentment that follows lingers long after, so much so that one wonders when is the time for governance to happen. Perhaps not so repulsive is this state of limbo for the majority of our public who both yearn for constant entertainment in whatever form or the smell of some largesse that can be inveigled out of these diehard politicians who want to get the pole position to milk the ever present national cow; and this cow is getting fatter as our economy grows and the reap of MIRA expands. The argument always is that as the nation gets richer the trickle down will be greater; and the people still believe this outmoded economic theory.
For our politicians, getting to the top positions is very lucrative even if they have to dish out millions on the way, for then in their perch for five years it would be open house to line their pockets to their hearts delight as has been all along the past 10 years of democratic life in Maldives; if some other gang doesn’t topple them prematurely. So imagine such a nation. How can it ever hope to bring in peace? Yes, most of us citizens have the secret desire for peace in our mind. But it is hidden and covered up to such a great extent that our soul is suffocated, and our false self or ego (hawa-nafs) dominates. And it will take Allah’s miracle to get us out of this mess. When the Shaithan puts us on the path to avarice, greed and selfishness, only miracles can save us. But of course Allah doesn’t need us or this humanity for His omnipotence to be solvent. Even if we go to the dump which we eventually will if our divisive party politics continue in Maldives, Allah will recreate another group of beings to replace us. It is we who lose this world and the next. Yet we can’t lose our hope in the mercy of Allah. May he still give our Maldives another chance. Let us not be among those who would plead with Allah on the Day of judgement to give us another chance. And we know that would just not be possible.