This evening, I went with my daughter to her school’s Family Fun Time which was organized by the Parent Teacher Association of the school. As we went around the “carnival of sorts” I noticed police officers in uniform posted around entrances and some cadets from the Maldives National Cadet Corps who were around. My daughter also showed me some plainclothes police who had earphones and walkie talkies.
While visiting the stalls, I saw a group of teenage girls (from the school) talking to a teacher and complaining about a gang from another school who were bullying them and had physically assaulted them.
I came out into the quadriangle when my daughter had got herself into the game center. While there, I bumped into a friend and brought up the subject of all these uniformed police officers and plainclothes personnel. We discussed how it has become necessary in Male’ to have security in full force in any public event: a sign of complete disintegration of society as a community with values and self control.
After my friend left with his daughter, I noticed a small crowd forming opposite the stage where Sameeu was performing a show. A few minutes passed. I could see fingers pointed and people edging toward each other. Then the fists started flying around and there was a flying kick, and guys started running after each other. Uniformed police officers and could only catch one of them. The rest dispersed over the low boundary wall and others into the crowd. The one who got caught had a punched and bleeding mouth. He was actually the victim, in a sense.
That was just when my daughter came after her time at the game center. She wanted to have something in the canteen. I peruaded her to leave and to have something to eat somewher outside. She had several questions about what happened. I had not many answers.
I am strongly convinced that this chaotic state of life in Male’ is firstly due to its over congestion and yet the people who are in positions of power are not affected by it and therefore they don’t seem to be bothered. The need for creation of Hanimaale, Fonamaale, Thinamaale, Addumaale, and a maale for the Noonu, Baa, Lhaviyani region: is what will ease this tension and give some breathing space that would ease the social tension that is building up in Furamaale.
It is a concept that would have to be built into the new constitution that is being developed right now. How this country is governed will have to tally with the new realities of modern time. The twenty atoll concept is an old one that has to shed like all things old.