Sunday afternoon I was in my regular coffee house for a quick bite and a hot milo. There were a couple of anti-Jumhooree Party activists who were gathered around two tables. The topic of discussion was the upcoming presidential elections. Their joy was calling names and filth at Gasim Ibrahim. I wondered to myself, I may not promote or campaign for him in the upcoming presidential elections, but he deserved better for his generosity to the ordinary folk of this country. Some even went to the extent of saying that his recent wealth was created from a World Bank loan which conditioned him to give social welfare assistance, and asked around for people who did not receive any.
My my! We Maldivians are practising for the month of Ramazan! My cafe colleagues also believe that Islam is their religion and would rise to any occassion to defend it – not practise it!
I was reminded of the gist of what Human Rights Commission Chief Saleem said in an interview two days ago, on TVM. He said that there can be no democracy without human rights, and the sum total of human rights was respect for other humans. He did say that democratic culture was a set of values inculcated in people over a long period of time, not an overnight phenomenon. How true I thought! Our champions of democracy were behaving like uncivilized barbarians!