Remembering November 3, 1988 coup de’etat and dying for one’s own country.

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how passionately I hate them! Albert Einstein, The world as I see it.

On third November 1988 a Srilankan terrorist group led by Lutfi sailed to Male’ by a ship and attacked our country. They entered Male’ from the jetty area and headed toward the Headquarter. Adam was standing at the main gate guarding the entrance. In the Jumhooree Maidaan, where Maldivian flag was waving high, they confronted with Maldivan army. The battle lasted until Indian army arrives and defeat the terrorists and restored order.

In this conflict several Maldivians got injured. Looking at the score board, 19 National Security Service men were killed from Maldivian side. Indian army captured all the rebels. A year later India transferred the captured rebels to Maldives for trial. Gayyoom with his young blood boiling, passed death sentence right on the spot. As pressure from India increase, he changed the sentence to life imprisonment.

Adam, who was guarding the gate suffered the worst misfortune but he became the hero of the day. Gayyoom praised him for dying for our country, the whole nation bow, a building was named after him which is standing on the left side of Jumhooree Maidan. The police is using it today.

There are songs written about dying for one’s own country. There are speeches, books, and also there are people who are willing to do so. When you join the army, it is one of the requirement. I wonder whether it is written in their job description. Even if it’s not, during any form of threat to the nation, they are the ones who will be called upon, putting their life facing the enemy weapons. They are expected to save the land from whatever enemy.

Every person is born on a land. We are attached to it just like we are attached to our parents. Through an emotional connection. It is not accidental, rather it is a planned work. we are indoctrinated. From a very young age we are told to love our nation. We hear songs, moral stories and speeches about this love. As we hear this repeatedly in our ten years of useless schooling it sticks in us. It mix with our blood and wrap around our bones. Finally, just like a product that goes out from factory according to certain specification, we also become a product that is created by meeting certain conditions and ready to be shipped when ever needed. This product, which is us, are sent to the front line while commanders sit in an AC room holding a cup of Ye’ Ye’ coffee and giving commands.

Saving the Land, more accurately, saving the mother land sounds somewhat confusing. When an enemy attack Male’ or Fuvahmulah, do they attack the land? Did those rebels who came shooting in Male’ on November 3 called ‘Please move aside we just want to shoot the land’? If that is the case, Gayyoom could have ask them to go to football stadium.

Even if the rebel took over the country on that day, the land would remain land. It will not convert into liquid lava and suck everything on the surface. The rebel’s were not interested in the land. They were interested in the government. Are they enemy of the land? You may say yes or no, but they are not after it. Their target aims at dethroning Gayyoom. In every coup or terrorist attack, their aim direct toward destroying the government. They always attack the government and the government defends itself with it’s army.

It is the government who sells the idea of dying for one’s own country. People don’t buy it the way they did years ago. No one joins the military for the love of their country. They do it for the pay. Even if you pick the person with highest morals and takes off his pay, his morals would drop right away. It is the money that glue morals to a person. I don’t mean that people today don’t buy this idea. What I mean is that they buy it just like they buy a product from shop. With money.

Before dying for the land, one should also consider that not all lands are created equal. The land of Fuvahmulah is less valuable than the land of hulhumale. Hulhumale land is less valuable than Male’. All the lands in Maldives is less valuable than with Colombo. This comparison is based on in terms of money. We could also look in terms of resources. From the land of fuvahmulah we get coconuts, the soil is rich, we could produce some vegitation. We get sunlight, air is fresh, we get water from ground and from rain. There are sands on the shore. There is natural beauty. When we look for resources in Male’ we find fewer natural resources. The air is polluted, water is salty and so on. If we compare whole maldives to Colombo, they have oil, coconut, gem stone, diamond, copper, coal, sunlight, fresh air, rich soil, iron, and many more. Every person before speaking about dying about their country should consider above facts before making his choice.

Choosing to end one’s life for the sake of a land is a moral and emotional decision. We are not willing to sacrifice for just any land. It is programmed in our biology that we must protect our family and children. Through this programming and the desire to protect our family and children we choose to protect the land. If a person do not have this connection related to the land, he no longer wish to die for the land. it becomes just another land for him.

Humans are physically weaker than most of the other animals in the animal kingdom. Therefore our ancestors formed groups and lived together. They knew that a group is stronger than any individual alone. This group became essential for their survival. As the group gets bigger, a tribe is formed. We see this in uncivilised nations such as Yemen or Somalia. These tribes are not attached to a land, though a land is necessary for their protection. As the tribe gets bigger, it’s leaders come to realise the importance of land. From this stage they begin to indoctrinate the love of land. They begin to fight for the cause of land. What truly they are fighting for is not the land, it is for their family.

Therefore our November 1988 matyr Adam’s motivation did not originate from the love of land, though he did die for the land. It biologically originated from the love of his family – protection of his ‘genes’.