There was a comment by someone on one of my recent posts titled "Future of the Maldives: blurry?". The person mentioned the now famous magic number "27", which is used handsomely by the political opposition to refer to the time in office held so far by our beloved President Gayyoom. Now, this 27 year thing everyone shoots off so easily really pisses me off. I would challenge anyone who does this and for good reason too.

Truth of the matter is, it is not only under current ruler that we have suffered. Moreover, it would be unfair to blame the current state of our society entirely upon one person however easy it is. I admit, the boss has to take most of the responsibility, however the blame falls on each of us too. Every citizen is to be criticized for letting it run this far. I recently snapped at a government employee with a high status job. Like everyone these days, he was whining about how pathetic our society has become and how this is to be blamed on one person. I firmly, with gritted teeth, told him to shut up and look to himself. As a member of the older generation he has failed to take stand in his time and in doing so helped pass a society escalating towards self-annihilation. As a member respected in society he has failed to use his influence to better the lives of the people. As a person educated and with resources, he has failed to do his duty to the country and to the rest of us less fortunate. How dare he go whining on and on? This situation wouldn't have come about if it was snipped in the bud before it got out of control. But then, that is bringing in the ?if"s which is quite pointless now...

Maldivian people were under a larger suppressive force under the dictatorship of Nasir. To name one, the Thinadhoo incident where innocent unarmed civilians were SHOT, where children and pregnant women were FORCED to flee to the cold lagoon at dawn are part of more serious atrocities committed then. I have listened to recounts of the event by surviving Thinadhoo people of the time and each time I cannot believe this is an event that took place on such a scale and in such recent times. I have no choice but to listen to them in utter amazement and share their anger that lingers on. Such events in our history have silently been swept under the carpet, to be forgotten. Moreover, thanks to the "richness" of our literature and "effectiveness" of our educational and media institutions, few of the younger generation are aware of these dark times even in our recent history. (If anyone of you have personally experienced this or have close family who did, do feel free to share the experience with the rest of us. I for one, would be interested in hearing more about it.)

Maldives really sickens me at times. Our ancestry begins with pirates, prostitutes and criminals who either settled here or were banished here. Our history has been forged - dark times and the cruelty of people and rulers hidden and locked away in the unmanifest, for heaven forbid that our history have anything but heroics and bravery. Fantasy and magic have been introduced to full the void. The list goes on...

So please, do away with the twenty-seven. Let us all work toward the Utopian Idealistic Society we all dream of. :-P


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