Yesterday evening my wife, daughter and her aunt and I were standing in the opposite corner of TV Maldives main gate waiting to flag down a taxi after a visit to the clinic – Imperial Medical Center, nearby.
As we were there hoping to flag down one of the taxi passing by, after several unsuccessful attempts, I finally saw one that was coming our way without a passenger in it. As I raised my hand to flag down the taxi, a motorbike came and stopped right in front of me. At that moment, a young man in his twenties came staggering just next to us. He was accompanied by two other friends of his.
There was a hurried exchange between the two friends of the young man and the person on the motorbike, and the young man climbed on the back of the motorbike. It was at that moment he stared at me and my daughter, less than two meters away, pointed his fingers at us and asked what we were staring at. He then said that he would cut us up for staring at him.
At that moment his two friends said something and the guy driving the motorbike hurried and backed to the street and went with the young man. He was heavily drunk. His two friends stayed.
I looked backed to look at my wife who was just behind us, who had touched my shoulder and was asking me to go to the other side of the road to take a taxi. It was then that I saw what had saved us from a life and death moment. There were about eight policeman in dark blue who had stopped in a vehicle and were unloading some road barriers from it. They did not notice or did not take note of the events unfolding in front of them.
It was a very scary moment. Any thought that the young people who rule the streets feel threatening to them can end up in very dire consequences to the victim. Those who break the law have full rights accorded to them under the Constitution and legal protection. They have the best of lawyers to protect them, and the system is geared to give them maximum freedom to practice their desires of life in anyway they wish.
The streets are safe to a certain extent in the day. But on most occasions in the evening just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for a wrong reason to one of the young men who rule the streets of Male’ can be a moment of life and death. Three consecutive governments since the August Constitution in 2008, has failed to combat the horror in the streets of Male’, because it is in their favor to maintain the fear thereof. It will continue to be so.