This is a response to an open letter addressed to Endhimariyambu.
Thank you for the open letter. I always welcome polite discussion and I take this letter as something I can reflect upon.
I do read comments from people – including the critical comments – when posted on my blogs, and I try to read the comments on twitter, but I don’t follow every tweet. I write under the belief that people will either agree or disagree with what I write and I cannot please everyone. I’ve not seen the twitter comments you mentioned in your letter and even if I had seen them I still would not change the way I write or the way I see the situation in the Maldives. This is my blog and, as you have written, I too write how I interpret the situation. We all have different views and in a democracy, as you know, we are allowed to have different opinions.
Regarding the criticism about the ‘Police or protester: still the ordinary man’ post, all I want to say is that before you become a voter, political participant or policeman, you are first an individual, a human being, an ordinary man. By ‘ordinary man’ I meant the ordinary Maldivian, regardless of their background, uniform or party. I hope most readers got the gist of the term and the article. I don’t think anyone is confused about what a policeman or protester is, or what their roles have been in the recent events, but my article was simply asking people to see beyond the exterior uniforms of each other (be they the uniform of the police, or the protestor), acknowledging that beneath every uniform is an ordinary person.
In response to some of the comments you have mentioned -it is a deeply misguided view to think that ‘every political party’s raison d’être is to grab and hold power’. They are there to serve the people not fight over power. You and I empower political parties/politicians/councilors/leaders so that they can serve our best interests. I am aware that unfortunately this is not the case in the Maldives, but it should be! Their mandate has become to fight and hold onto power, but that does not make it right!
One of the comments you quoted suggests I’m trying to associate all that is bad with the current situation with MDP. This is not the case. However, my blog posts are written very much in the context of the immediate events and I do find MDPians embroiled in violence in many instances. You cannot tell me that they are always the victims of violence. By saying this, I am in no way excluding others from the responsibility of causing violence in the country, including the police and other political parties. Saying all of that, MDP as a political party ‘serving the people’ should take responsibility for any of their supporters who go out in the name of MDP and incite violence, as should anyone else.
If what I write is influencing anyone then it’s great. I have not called for anything negative and have only called for peace, non-violence and negotiation. As I said before, when you criticize you have to name some. Within this democracy that we both aspire to achieve, people should be able to take opposing views and deal with criticism, so I thank you for your open letter.
The overthrow of Nasheed, the increase in violence, political polarization – the root causes of these are many. I do tend not to dwell too much on the root causes in every post because I want to address some of the immediate problems we are facing. I do agree that the many root causes of the coup and violence in the Maldives need to be addressed and I will take note of this.
I respect your view that you see what is going on as a class struggle and probably a class war but neither I nor you can determine this. All of this is subjective interpretation. I’m not blind or deaf to the fact that there are hundreds that go out to protest every night so there is clearly a loud voice that needs to be listened to. My posts are not intended to be used against those that are protesting for their democratic rights, but merely to inform that there are two sides to every story.
I think we both want the same thing – an election which hopefully brings a resolution to the conflict. We just have different ways of approaching the same problem.
Ps: If you are a friend of mine, why didn’t you approach me directly? We could have had very interesting conversations!