Sunday, November 9, 2008

Learning from History

By Farooq Mohamed Hassan

They say history repeats itself. I hope it doesn't. Even as I write this short article, I know people are queuing up to take Maumoon to court. More than 30 years ago, the then President Ibrahim Nasir had to banish Maumoon for using religion to incite violence against the state, and of course his government.

What has transpired in the past 10 days or so following the presidential election results of October 2008 may seem trivial, but portentous in reality. First, the attempt to delay the announcement of the election results, then a court order for the President-elect to appear in court, followed by a wave of promotions, contract signings, handshakes, and oh yes! – the Bill Ms. Aneesa submitted to the Majlis. This carefully orchestrated melodrama showcased Maumoon's true egocentric character more than anything else. I for one, thought that as soon as the election dust settles, Maumoon's babbling would fade away and his erratic behavior would also grind to a halt. But they didn't.

Surprised? No. What else can one expect from a man who for the past 30 years led a government in which the rhetoric and stagecraft of planning often took the place of real planning, other than acting like the stereotypical old-fashioned godfather that he once used to be, and continue to play his old pranks, repeating his fork-tongued pledges, giving promotions to his cronies and signing huge and lucrative contracts that he would never be able to implement?

But mind you, all this is not going to be without a price. Aware and mindful of the growing public resentment over Maumoon's arrogance in the face of defeat, MDP leadership appeared to have finally decided that it cannot shy away from its responsibility and simply sit and do nothing. Last Friday night, MDP's Chairperson, Ms. Maria Ahmed Didi 'fired' what appeared to be the first 'warning shot' over Maumoon's head. It was a reminder that his every move is being watched carefully. Speaking to the huge audience gathered at the artificial beach area to mark the MDP-Iththihaadhu's election victory, Ms. Maria was sharp and blunt. She delivered a strong and powerful message to the out-going president. She warned Maumoon not to take advantage of the goodwill and patience of the victors. She also warned him that the victors are fully aware of the motives behind his irresponsible and unjustifiable behavior and actions, and that the victors are not unmindful of those actions.

Observing these events from Xiamen, PRC, it appears to me that Maumoon is pathetically out of touch with reality. How else can you explain his irrational behavior?

I just wonder would it not be better for Maumoon to devise a sound and effective exit strategy: stop displaying his disdain and arrogance towards the victors, show a bit of good-will, and cooperate more fully with the incoming government. Unfortunately, in spite of the olive branch Mr. Nasheed has extended to Maumoon, he seems reluctant to take it. Former President Ibrahim Nasir offered him several such olive branches before he took action against Maumoon. Maumoon seems not to have learned any lesson. Unlike president Nasir and president Maumoon, president Nasheed would have no control or influence over the affairs of the judiciary and the Majlis. And so, Maumoon must understand that what is at stake for him this time around is indeed much higher.

Finally, whatever Maumoon or his sympathizers may think of what appears in the print media, one thing is certain: History will be harsh in its judgments of Maumoon and his administration. What Maumoon and his supporters should concern themselves about is not so much to find out whether history repeats itself but to learn from history before it is too late.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." –George Santayana

[Faarooq Mohamed Hassan is a former shadow cabinet member of MDP and is also the Deputy Director General of the Environment Research Center.]


Anonymous said...

Clever attempt to divert public attention from the MDP's disastrous cabinet appointment.Who is Maria to talk about Maumoon's arrogance and corruption?
She is in fact like Zaki who used to be part of Maumoon's government and also one of the beneficiaries of FPID booty

Anonymous said...

Maumoon is too shy to really accept the result. Although he said that he accepts the results while with Anni, he is finding hard to accept reality, but, sooner or later he is bound to be smitten by the world aroudn him, the real world, far far away from his world in a coccoon.
Maumoon is not a great man. He will not be remembered in history as the leader who brought democratic reforms. He will be remembered as a dictator who had to relinquish power due to the uprising of the Maldivian people.
He will be remembered as brining hardship to Maldivians especially poor islanders, when he could have cared for them like no other.

Anonymous said...

It has sort of become a fashion to throw barbs at Maumoon especially by those who benefited a lot from his regime but fell out of favour due to various reasons.However it should not be forgotten that many in this coalition are nothing but ''wolves in sheeps clothing'' waiting and scheming to grab more and more.One person who stands out is obviously Anni.He never showed a double face.He was never a beneficiary of Qayoom in any big way and has always critisized the outgoing regime and galvanised a credible opposition.Sadly the same thing cannot be said of Maria( a big beneficiary of FPID scam and even got elected to parliament courtesy qayoom becos when she contested the election few people in Kaafu Atoll wanted to elect her),Qasim,Hassan Saeed,Shaheed ,Jabir, ADK Nashid etcc etccc.All big time beneficiaries of Qayoom.Anni is not a big fool either and will bewell aware of their selfish intentions but ''Politics offcoarse makes strange bed fellows'' and this drama is set to continue for some time to come

Anonymous said...

Greed are of many types.Some want to chase money just for the sake of it.Other want to buy more lands.Other want to chase women.Others just want to be in some 'active' mode.Some others also get immense pleasure if lot of people are dependent on them.

So Anni choosing not to live in Theemuge is not an indicator of his sincerity.

Anonymous said...

How can we learn anything from history.

Schools dont teach Maldivian History. Everything is so secretive under Gayoom and all the past presidents.

Anonymous said...

Was Farooq ever been in love with Nasreena?

Anonymous said...

"... from Xiamen, PRC, it appears to me that Maumoon is pathetically out of touch with reality," is an understatement. Maumoon surely is very much in touch with reality. It is corrupt people like you who are not. You think that this nation has forgotten about the corruption for which people like Zaki, Mariya and yourself will have to be tried. Your hands are not clean Man!

Anonymous said...

Whatever Qayoom did he obviously was not known as a failed ''out of touch with reality'' business man who got so bankrupt that he had to sell half of his wifes property in Male to save face and escape jail.However when one becomes a big writer and write so much people some times dont know the capability of these people who are many times miserably failed individuals themselves.However our polititians and some writers are unmindful of the dirt accumulated in their own backyards and what colossal failures they themselves are.One shining example is a well known( at least for posture and big mouth)political leader who failed to garner even as much votes as the cancelled votes in the last election but again started to give smart ass comments with a renewed vigour.Perhaps all these strange political phenomena will occur only in our own Maldives.Divehinnah veethee fakhruverivama:)

Anonymous said...

Actually the reason why one scholar became a 'politician' is because he could not marry Nasreena.Forgot his name

Anonymous said...
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Friend_of_zahheer&faroog said...
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kudahuvadhoomeehe said...
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Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

2 comments invloving one Mr. Zaheer have been blocked becasue they were very personal and have no relation whatsoever with the topic under discussion.

Anonymous said...

“Telling the truth to people who misunderstand you is generally promoting a falsehood, isn't it?” But to the one who gets caught in this falsehood...
“What YOU perceive, your observations, feelings, interpretations, are all YOUR truth. Your truth is important. Yet it is not THE Truth.”
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we all make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.”
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

*a collection of quotes which i think is rather related to the current situation in Maldives.
“The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.”