Comment: When Humpty Dumpty falls

When a traffic policeman raises his hand, encased in neat white gloves, all traffic automatically comes to a halt.

Obedience is ingrained in us. We barely stop to think why. Had it been otherwise we would no doubt be in the middle of a perpetual traffic jam.

When a policeman raises his hand, it is not a simple gesture of someone lifting his hand. Behind the gesture lies the authority of the people, a functioning system, an elected government and the goodwill of the masses. The combined moral authority of the people are reflected in that simple gesture.

Today, life is no longer simple anymore. Until February 7, 2012, the Maldivian people lived with the assurance that their interests were represented by a government elected by the majority; that the people’s will was reflected in the way they were governed. Everything turned topsy-turvy on February 7, when President Nasheed resigned office and his Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik assumed the mantle of government.

The transition of power would not have caused ripples or raised eye-brows unless the very next day President Nasheed claimed that he had resigned under duress. His resignation had been forced.

In the light of President Nasheed’s statement and after a clear look at the events leading to his ‘resignation’, it wasn’t difficult to believe that indeed Nasheed’s resignation was coerced. What followed afterwards – the appointment of Nazim as the Defense Minister and Abdulla Riyaz as the Police Commissioner – removed any reservations to the contrary.

The security forces – comprising of the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) were instrumental in forcing the President’s resignation. All the circumstantial evidence combined with the data compiled by the media further confirmed Nasheed’s allegations.

All doubts were removed when former police sergeant and Acting Deputy Leader of the PPM, Umar Naseer – known to friends and foes alike as a weapon of mass destruction –  blatantly confirmed his active involvement in the overthrow of Nasheed’s government on national TV – “spilling the beans”, as CNN aptly defined it.

During his three years in office President Nasheed worked hard to deliver on his election pledges. He was a symbol of hope for the downtrodden masses whose cause he championed. For 30 years the Maldivian people had lived a hand-to-mouth existence, brutally repressed by the dictator Gayoom. According to the UN 42 percent of the people lived below the poverty line.

Given the role played by the security forces in ousting a vastly popular government, the police and the military have become villains overnight. When the policeman lifts his white-gloved hand he is no longer able to covey the moral authority to instill obedience amongst the masses.

Up until February 7, the military were looked up to by the people for their professionalism and generally enjoyed the respect of the population. Even the youth who sought a career in the armed services were proud to be a part of this elite corps. The military, as a rule, upheld high ethical standards.

Except for a few among the military high command and the police services, the security forces were uninvolved in the intrigue that brought down Nasheed’s government. There was little doubt that the top brass were bought; they had sold not only their souls but had betrayed the confidence and trust of their subordinates, the rank and file of the armed forces.

Those youth, who had pledged their lives to uphold the tenets of Islam and defend the country were being labeled ‘turncoats’, a title they did not deserve as they were as much in the dark as everyone else. The greed of a few commanders who defiled the military’s code of honor had put the stamp of betrayal on the entire armed forces.

The coup has had certain unforeseen influences on the public psyche too. The MDP, led by the ousted President Nasheed doubled in membership overnight. Quite suddenly, public involvement grew by leaps and bounds.

Consequently, civil disobedience has taken root in the public psyche. The security forces are openly scoffed at by the public – the label ‘rebel’, ‘turncoat’, now precedes any description of the police and the military.

Maldivians, as a rule, are apt to shy away from violence. Even under the present trying circumstances violence has yet to be a part of the equation. Even though there have been isolated incidents of violent behavior both on the part of the police and the public, violence is frowned upon by all parties concerned.

There is a very clear demarcation line between civil disobedience and civil war. Unlike Syria, Egypt or other Muslim States where the freedom movement has escalated into unbridled violence and civil war, the Maldives is unlikely to go the same route.

Even if the worst case scenario is considered – let’s say Waheed’s regime refuses to set an early election date – with the security forces unable to contain a public uprising and the use of force becomes mandatory, the decision is likely to result in the fall of the government.

A limited population ensures a close-knit society. Members of the security forces and the general public are bound by close family ties making it virtually impossible for any member of the security forces to implement a ‘shoot order’ even if President Waheed were dumb enough or desperate enough to issue such an order.

Any member of the security forces taking aim on a member of the public will in all probability find his colleague’s gun aimed at his own head. Who else but a madman will aim at a crowd, when the likelihood of shooting a brother, sister, cousin or a close relative is almost a dead certainty?

Civil disobedience, led by the MDP, is here to stay. The protests are gaining ground day by day; each day resulting in the increase in members on the streets. The cycle has taken on a natural life of its own and the pace is being set by the members arrested on a daily basis.

It is only a matter of time before push comes to shove. Waheed’s regime, tottering on the brink, is clearly headed up the creek without a paddle. For Waheed, there is but a single option. Like Humpty Dumpty, he can only fall.

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19 thoughts on “Comment: When Humpty Dumpty falls”

  1. @..."when the likelihood of shooting a brother, sister, cousin..."

    Powerful, powerful heart wrenching sentiment.

    Let's hope this beautiful sense of family love and unity, which you have described so eloquently, prevails over this hunger for power which is tearing apart the nation.

  2. "During his three years in office President Nasheed worked hard to deliver on his election pledges. He was a symbol of hope for the downtrodden masses whose cause he championed"

    Second sentence is absolutely right. He really was once upon a time the symbol of hope. he was the champion of our cause.

    Once he became the president he was sacificing the interest of the common man to please some greedy politicians like reeko moosa, maria di and co. He turned a blind eye to the corruption of his inner cirlce. He spent our resources on buying cheap members like balak Ali waheed.

  3. @rameez and other haters of democracy and dictatorship lovers (along with Abdulla Hameed boys too).

    This is an excellent article. Those who're directly or indirectly involved in the coup and brutality would always try to write against such truth with lies, just like themselves. These ppl are filled with evil of all sorts -lies, hatred, jealousy, animosity, brutality, tyranny, etc. They just can't accept it to see another person get elected but anyone of their evil allies such as Gayoom, Yamin, Tasmeen, Gasim, Hassan Saeed and any other with equal evilness, wickedness, greediness, viciousness and deceiving nature. These are the very characteristics we all see form these ppl and their boys like Mahloof, Riyaz Rasheed, Jabir, Seik Saheem, Seik Ilyas and lying comment-makers.

  4. MDP support doubled?

    What about the years of study that has led all observers to conclude that the Maldivian people are more pragmatic than idealistic?

    The same observations that have been proven by countless years of data proving that any stable government in power eventually receives the support of the people regardless of their democratic credentials?

    Then again this is a comment piece after all.

    Nasheed and his government had a hand in the duress that forced him to resign.

    First and foremost he was never elected with the majority support of the people. He was elected based on two key pledges;
    - That the political factions of Dr. Hassan Saeed and Qasim Ibrahim would share in his government; and,
    - That Nasheed would hold mid-term elections to clarify matters regarding the questionable platform upon which he came into power.

  5. Firstly, this is poorly written bland propoganda filled with tired, clichéd phrases. God has cursed you with ineloquence and foolishness.

    Secondly, Humpty Dumpty is a stupid children's tale told by idiots and infidels.

    It doesn't even function very well as an analogy to supplement your point.

    Nasheed's demise was ordained by God, for all good things are a result of his divine will and boundless mercy.

    Cease your fingers at once, MalDeviant, and write no more lest you blaspheme even more than you already have.

  6. Captures the pulse of the nation beautifully.very well written, , Ali Rasheed. Thank you

  7. Thaathu,
    ha ha what analogy. "They just can’t accept it to see another person get elected but anyone of their evil allies such as Gayoom, Yamin, Tasmeen, Gasim, Hassan Saeed and any other with equal evilness, wickedness, greediness, viciousness and deceiving nature."

    So anyone who is not aligned to Anni is eviv, wicked, greedy.....ok. looks like you are one very impartial lady. ha ha

  8. What is really frightening is that some of the people who are most likely to benefit from a government based with humane principles, are unable to see this. The regime and the greedy cling-ons are only interested in one thing. They are not interested in ordinary folk like you Ramzee. Nasheed was and is not God, he is not perfect But his governemnet is the only one that has shown any interest in the well being of the majority of the population. It is people like you who keep the regime in power. Think. Change your mind. It is not about Nasheed, it is about what a good government (not a perfect government- as there is no such thing) should be and people's right to decide what they want. Excellent artice I thought and well done. We need to keep expressing these views, if not this too will be taken away from us.

  9. Beautiful, powerful and eloquent.

    When this Humpty Dumpty falls; I wonder if there would be anybody who will come to put him together again!

  10. @tsk tsk

    How about writing with facts instead of spin? You will sleep better.

    As I recall, Nasheed kept the promises he made in the agreements. As you can see below, he distributed key political positions in government to all the parties that supported him in the second round of the Presidential Election.

    This was the cabinet of 2008, 14 in all, 5 to the MDP and 9 to other parties.

    1.Tourism, Arts and Culture
    Jumhooree Party -Adhalath Party Alliance Dr Sawadh

    2.Attorney General
    Jumhooree PartyAdhalath Party Alliance
    Dhiyaan Saeed

    3.Home Affairs
    Jumhooree Party/ Adhalath Party Alliance Gasim Ibrahim

    4.Islamic Affairs
    Jumhooree Party/Adhalath Party Alliance Dr Abdul Majeed Bari

    5.Civil aviation and Communication
    Dhivehi Qaumee Party Dr Jameel

    6. Foreign Affairs
    Dhivehi Qaumee Party Dr Shaheed

    7.Economic Development
    Qaumee Ithihaadh Mohamed Rasheed

    8. Education
    Qaumee Ithihaadh Dr Mustahfa Luthfy

    9.Ministry of Human Resource,
    Social Liberal Party Youth and Sports Hassan Latheef

    10.Housing, Transport &Environment
    MDP Mohamed Aslam

    11. Defense
    MDP Ameen Faisal

    12.Agriculture and Fisheries
    MDP Dr Didi

    13.Health and Family
    MDP Dr Aminath Jameel

    14.Finance and Treasury
    MDP Ali Hashim

    Only four of the 8 cabinet ministers from the other parties left government. (Gasim , Dhiyana, Jameel and Rasheed). The others continued to work with President Nasheed.

    It doesn’t take a political scientist to see where the conflict was.

    The coup was never about the programmes of President Nasheed that are being shut down since he was removed from office by our militia. These are just smokes screens designed to disguise what this is all really about. Business Profit Tax, Decentralisation, Redistribution of wealth favoured by President Nasheed.

  11. typo Grateful if you could correct following

    9 cabinet ministers instead of 8
    3rd para from bottom

  12. How long did that arrangement remain?

    Why did Sawad, Mustafa Lutfy et. al. later join the MDP?

    How many Ministers were mysteriously dismissed from their positions?

    How many shuffles and reshuffles take place?

    Why was Jennifer Latheef, a known MDP activist, heading a group of people claiming to be an NGO by the name of Noor in calls to oust Qasim because he apparently "did not know the law"? Did Qasim leave or was he forced to? Where is Noor now? What do they do for society?

  13. @tsk tsk THAT is an excellent question. I have sometimes wondered? When I used to read about Maldivian politics, the names of Jennifer Lufthee and her Father came up all of the time, they were right in the thick of everything anti-Maumoon.

    Yet, they have just dissapeared off the radar, very mysterious HUH? I often wonder if Anni was forced to make some fairly compromising promises before Maumoon and company agreed to allowing elections???? I then wonder if sidelining some of the more radical forces in the MDP MAY have been one of the imposed conditions?????

    It is more than probable that I am wrong, of course, but, one wonders about what dark thing really happen in the corridors of power, maybe we would be shocked?

  14. Cleverly penned. But Nasheed brought about his own fall. He forgot that there were a large number of highly western educated young people who could have been given more authoritative and consultative jobs as technocrats in his administration. He failed to do that. Polarisation should not have enmerged. But it did. Nasheed's eagerness to hang onto power absolutely corrupted him. Cronisym brought a lot of discontent. He was blinded by lowly educated politicians who were more akin to hardcore activists. They got what they wanted from Nasheed. They accumulated the national wealth. They were awarded immense projects that brought them millions, and left the nation stranded. Nasheed has paid for all these actions...heavily. Now he is back where he belongs...the road!


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