How myopic! Is there ‘tomorrow’ in Aiga’s Calendar? – By workie briye

October 3rd, 2007 Print Print Email Email

It may seem natural to many of us that any light rays that reflect from the real world or a specific object reach our mind past whatever various parts in our eyes. (more…)

It may seem natural to many of us that any light rays that reflect from the real world or a specific object reach our mind past whatever various parts in our eyes.

There are few however who can not or do not need to take the trouble to involve their rational part of the optic process to take positions or pass judgments about reality no matter how evident it is. These are typically persons who suffer from a visual dysfunction called myopia.

The immediate situation that gave me the background to this simple observation is the landfill in the Aigaforum ditch that is thrown mostly as an attack against HR 2003 and anyone/anything associated with it. Indeed, politics has never been in short supply of issues that are controversial, authentically or pretentiously, and debated on a daily basis.Unfortunatelely truth in politics, in reality, is in the eye of the party member. Ideological thoughts, policy issues, strategies, and programs are always bones of contention among parties and party members. Even such fundamental issues as national interest and security are seen to be viewed in diametrically opposite lights by adherents of different ideologies.

However, it is hard to beleive, and rarely witnessed, that human beings take diametrically converse positions in the face of glaring facts of national tragedy such as the massacre of innocent citizens, the incarceration of thousands, and a whole country turned into a police state. One must be not simply short-sighted but totally blind to dance to the tunes of a killer regime and continue supporting it lock, stock, and barrel.

A close observation of the Meles regime in tandem with its media entourage evokes some telling Amharic proverbs such as Badembari beqlo kachil techemiro (please help me out in translating this ‘A noisy ring-bell for a grouchy muel’) and (Nigusu ebd, mekariwum ebd, ‘A crazy king with a crazy advisor’.) In some instances, the advisors and the quire appear to be even crazier than their bosses. True, there is nothing wrong in supporting a certain political belief or a group whether it is in power or yet in the rank of opposition. This is one of the principles that are dear especially to those of us who aspire for a system that is anchored in a rule of law and democratic institutions. However, there are times when the dividing line between different political alignments is not political at all; rather national, humanitarian, about life and dignity of all citizens. Under a healthy environment with sane human beings, these matters should appeal to our kind, susceptible, gentle, and compassionate nature to which we all ought to be predisposed. It shouldn’t necessarily be our turn to stand against bloodshed and injustice. When it comes to the very survival of fellow creatures and our nation as a common sanctuary, we need to stand and draw a red line no matter what kind of sanguinary or ideological cord ties us to the adversary.

If I were hired as consultant for the Aiga band, I would tell them to see “tomorrow” in their time line, in addition to that of today, work for the benefit and growth of institutions instead of one lord. I would remind them truth lines that are still simple logic for us ordinary mortals: reign of government terror, total absence of the rule of law, and violent suppression of citizen’s voice for sure leads to national instability and political unrest, which in turn diminishes the peace, prosperity, and comfort of any one including those who are in power and their cronies. This will culminate into a situasion where those who have the power and the money will not have the peace to enjoy it, ushering in a pernicious over all effect in the country at large.

One might understand their addiction to handouts, in various forms, from a reigning dictator. Greed, lust, and all forms of self-indulgence, though morally repugnant, are not crimes by themselves; the means we utilize to satiate them is. For any one suffering from these instincts, a just system with independent institutions and the rule of law is the safest and sustainable way to achieve it. Unfortunately, the strategy pursued by the myopic is to perpetuate their narrow space scavenging on a small loaf, instead of creating an open space with a bigger cake that can accomodate all including themselves. You do not need to be totally blind in the face of facts to support a regime whether it is due to kinship or ideological affiliation or both. We human beings are endowed with the power of sight that enables us to see at “the speck in our own eye let alone the log in” Zenawi’s, eye no matter what kind of fiber bonds us with him. There is always a balancing zone and a language that is above time and space.

What is even more purplexing about Aiga is the fact its hymen book is getting studded with verses and rhymes that clearly stagger to fit into the larger holy book of the ruling party, Aiga’s spiritual father, if you like. In the Aiga website we find that some pieces are punctuated with some Ethiopian figures from Ras Alula to Ras Abebe, taking you by surprise that singers of the ruling party swear by the same heroes as other Ethiopians. We also read quotes from Mahatma Ghandi with eulogies to the values of pacific resistance he pioneered. Moreover, the page is full of curses against the CUDP leaders, and a whole treatise reminding Donald Pyne of the history of Ethiopia and the heroism of its children.

What is perplexing about this garnishment employed by Aiga is that the “Ode to Ethiopia ” and its history is not a lyric that commonly accompany the songs of the ruling group as we know it untill this point in time. Accordingly we might need to remind our brothers at Aiga that the lyric they are forging to lure the tender heart of Ethiopians is completely incongruent with the louder song and the war cry that filled the Aiga trench itself. They should be reminded that their master composer himself doesn’t look good in that kind of robe.

In conclusion, the Aiga et al crews are stark reminders of the fact that the challenge to a democratic transition in developing countries is much more complicated than we think it is. The cruel dictators are always surrounded by an army of zombies who emerge in the form of the media, the arts, literature, history, and even at times speak the language of the true heroes and heroins of Ethiopia. The least we should do to these fellow citizens is reminding them that “there is always tomorrow in the calendar of human beings”. We need to remind them again and again although it is always the case that zombies don’t consider variables related to time.

Praise to our modern day Alulas!!
Donald Payne is more Ethiopian than 1000s of Zenawis!!

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