As expected, Thursday’s events at the Majlis divided opinion. On one side you have the colourless and the coup leaders stating that MDP MPs behaved like monkeys. On the other, you have thousands of protestors celebrating them as heroes. On which side do I stand? With the thousands that peacefully protested on the streets of course.
It didn’t happen without warning. MDP’s Parliamentary Group announced on Wednesday, 29th February that they would not permit an illegitimate leader to address the Parliament, and they didn’t. Did people really expect a simple, polite walkout? Surely as ‘unique’ a coup as this one, deserves as unique a response? So, they shouted, they danced, they held up ‘baaqee’ signs, they physically blocked entrances, they sat on tables and they got beaten up by MNDF’s SPG officers, and in one instance by Mahloof. Worse than engineering and legitimising a coup d’etat? Worse than the brutal beating of protestors on the 7th, 8th of February? Worse than the lack of condemnation over police brutality from Dr. Waheed, the so called life long supporter of democracy and human rights? Absolutely not.
What is it that riles up the colourless and coup leaders so much about the mobilisation of people on the street? Why is that an armed mutiny of a few hundred MPS and MNDF officers can be so easily condoned but a dancing MP is so easily condemned? The colourless bang on about peaceful dialogue, due process and alignment with the constitution. Do they not realise that the right to assembly is guaranteed by the constitution? That, that very constitution came about as a result of the combination of mobilisation of people AND dialogue?
The real crux of the matter may not be that they are squeamish over the behaviour of MPs, but the fact they find it more convenient to criticise real people who care enough to come out on the street, who face riot police and coup leaders and who tell the so ‘called government’ what they think, rather than hiding behind the jargon of etiquette. Or they really don’t realise, unlike many others the severity of the current crisis. Maybe they don’t feel scared, as I do, when they see a MPS/MNDF uniform, they are able to overlook police brutality and they are able to justify a coup as Anni’s just rewards for his dealings with Abdulla Gaazee. Quite simply, they don’t miss the freedoms that 3 years of democratic rule allowed us, because they took it for granted.
There is a reason for protests. It is to show the Abbas Adhil Rizaas and the KDs, and the Jangiya Nazim’s and the international community that it is not just Anni, not just Ibu at the all party talks and not just MDP MPs, calling for an election, but thousands of people. Call the MDP MPs shameless, call the protestors disruptive, call it what you want, but also have the nerve to call a coup a coup. Condemn violent protestors, but also have the courage to condemn police violence. 7th February’s mutiny was shameless. 8th and 9th February’s brutality was despicable. Worse, is over 24 days of military government legitimised by a puppet dictator and his ‘educated’ supporters.