One of the many things that happened after the 7th of February 2012 was the emergence of a lot of “political” groups on the social network of Facebook. One such group that popped up was entitled “Colorless” which started promoting peace, harmony and the concept of engaging in dialog with each other, to set aside our differences and work towards the betterment of this country. A noble concept don’t you think?
Being the pessimist that I am at certain moments, I found the concept of being “colorless” and “neutral” when evidence of police brutality towards unarmed civilians on the 8th of February showed Maldivians just how barbaric a society this can become in the face of injustice. Yes, it is an injustice to all of us, not just those who support MDP and its policies, the way in which the first democratically elected leader of this country was brought down from power by mutinying forces within the Police and the Military. And in my opinion promoting peace and harmony when society is rife with injustice is like throwing a spoonful of water to put out a raging fire. Varied are the views on how the incidents actually unfolded, main reason being the contradicting versions of the events that began to surface as the days passed.
The rage that grew to life deep inside of me after seeing the utter disrespect that the law enforcement officials showed towards peaceful protesters that day just multiplied by tenfold upon the government staying silent on the atrocities committed by the very people whose oath demands from them to serve and protect the public. Couple it together with my frustration at how the people were cheated out of their basic rights to democracy, the right to vote and the right to elect the leader in power, and how the authoritative bodies remained silent as if in a deep state of coma, I just didn’t see any point in promoting the concept of unicorns running around in a field of flowers while the sun shines down, where everything is just merry and the people are high on Prozac so that they don’t see anything wrong or any injustice in the way the “new” government came into power.
And then there is the hypocritical media of this country, a place where the concept of free, fair and unbiased reporting is a myth rather than a fact. While the same TV channels that for the past 2 years had spread half-truths, hate speech and propaganda to incite loathing towards Nasheed’s administration all of a sudden changed tune to promote peace and love between the people, admonishing the society to come together to support the leader in power because that is what the religion preaches us just got me madder. To top it all off, the airing of videos of the great “sacrifices” that the armed forces had made for the betterment of this country? Insert an eye rolling session here. Total and utter shame!
So somehow I managed to voice out my frustrations on the said group and well, I did get well meant advice from group members, similar in nature to the concept of the “road map” towards peace that Dr. Waheed seems to be dabbling with these days. My take on the pointlessness of peace when there is no justice, when the judiciary remains in the clutches of the corrupted and most elite businessmen of this country disappeared into a million other posts that promoted love, peace, harmony and the care bear stuff that I just couldn’t take in. My post on the current “state” of the country’s media received the following feedback. Since I was so passionate on the issue, I could create a separate group on the issue and advocate for it. Hocus Pocus!
And then, there are those friends and acquaintances, who hide behind the concept of being “neutral” and wears the “I’m not a member of any political party” banner so proudly that they might as well have the slogan tattooed on their foreheads. I too am not part of any political party. But I have enough brain cells left (even after countless attempts by the previous regime to brainwash them into submission) to be able to read, observe and then make up my own mind about what I see, hear and feel. I know how to separate right from wrong and what took place on February 7th and 8th of this year was just plain wrong!
Does being neutral and “colorless” mean that you don’t see with your own eyes? Hear with your own ears? Think with your own brain? Does it mean that you remain unfeeling even at the face of thousands of peaceful protesters being dismantled by the force of pepper spray and batons, the way they handled the ex-President who had just “resigned” the day before? Does it make you unable to see the hypocrisy behind the most famous tourism resort owner of this country alleging to “save” a religion that he “mocks” by reaping profits off of selling the very items that are considered as prohibited in our religion? Don’t you just find it ironic that the pamphlet that was created by Dr. Hassan Saeed and Dr. Jameel hypothesised on a lot of aspects rather than providing us with the facts as to why they seem to have arrived at the conclusion that Nasheed is trying to drive away the religion everyone seems to cling on to even if praying 5 times a day is a thing that most Maldivians treat rather casually? What makes you say that people who were beaten up badly and some of who were knifed in places deserved what they got if you think of yourself as a true Muslim? What makes you mock those who cry out at the injustice of what took place and still label yourself as being neutral and colorless?
If being colorless, odorless, tasteless and neutral means being deaf, dumb and blind and turning my back on every injustice that is done to the people of this country, I would rather remain labeled as a “colored” person. I would rather go down fighting for what I believe in, standing up for the rights that we deserve as per the constitution of this country rather than staying silent, as silence in the face of injustice is just another way of saying yes, I agree with the atrocities that are being committed and I find nothing wrong in what happened. And for me, that can never become the accepted norm.
As Ronald Reagan once said, “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” Long live people’s power. Long live democracy!