As I go to school everyday, holding my mother’s hand, I used to read a poster on the wall. “We Need You to Build a Better Democracy.” I was too small to understand it, yet I read it a lot.
2015, almost 20 years later, Maldives is changed. The democracy that I only knew even to read by looking at it is a part of our everyday life. Elections, decentralised governance, elected president, elected members of parliament, independent judiciary and independent civil service has become noticeable pillars of the democracy of this nation.
2004 was the turning point in Maldives, and 4 years later, for the first time a multi party election was held.
5 years later, today, Mr. Yamin, a brother of former President Maumoon who served 30 years in office is the president. Former president is in jail, the government has clear majority in parliament and the government they say is stronger a government than ever before in nation.
Some at a point of utter helplessness that they feel democracy in Maldives is doomed.
Today, there are many, who fears of the true democracy in nation. The very disturbing accuses of government links to the gangs, influences on the judiciary and hard-line decision against the anti government actions are getting more clear and aloud. Some at a point of utter helplessness that they feel democracy in Maldives is doomed.
I will say its not the end. You did not do a mistake to toil to bring democracy to the country. We did a take huge steps in the path to democracy. A ruler other than President Maumoon, we never thought of. Pure water and sewerage in our little islands other than the “blessed” capital was not on our worst dreams even. Today we shout for cutting down subsidies. Trust me, our forefathers never imagined even to utter a word against any government decisions. Wait, did you forgot that government has a proper pension scheme and a health insurance system.
Democracy is not just about protests, Indeed it is more about knowledge, education and freedom of expression. Democracy is brought by minds via votes. Well, these are exactly the things that any dictatorship would prefer to stay away. Today or tomorrows government might be keen to move towards autocracy than democracy. Yet, I still believe the light of social media, a generation that once tasted democracy, and the thirst to retain that democracy will be more stronger than the darkness of autocracy. It may take a while, yet, democracy was not a mistake, and it will flourish in this nation.