Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1. Musings from 'No Easy Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela

Title: No Easy Walk To Freedom
Author: Nelson Mandela
Genre: Current Affairs/Politics
Publishers: Heinemann, African Writers Series
Pages: 189
ISBN: 978-0435907822
Year: First published in 1965; this edition published in 1990
Country: South Africa

"... Africans had no vote, no freedom of movement or civic rights, and they were being steadily deprived of their land. Africans (called 'kaffirs') had to take off their hats when passing White men and they were pushed off the pavements into the gutter if they did not know their place..." Editor's Note (page 17)

"The Minister of Native Affairs, Dr Verwoerd, has been brutally clear in explaining the objects of the Bantu Education Bill. According to him the aim of this law is to teach our children that Africans are inferior to Europeans..." Nelson Mandela, NO EASY WALK TO FREEDOM, (page 26).

The world looked on, unconcern, when the deprivation of the basic human rights of shelter, education, food, were constitutionally implemented in South Africa. Though there were some whites who struggled on behalf of the coloured (Blacks and Indians), it is difficult to understand why people who claim to be Noble like Verwoerd, could institute such barbaric measures against their fellow human beings. And to think that all these nefarious orchestrations of unfathomable proportions were blessed by America make it even more repulsive and disheartening especially when they pretend to be the champions of human rights.

What exactly do they know in terms of human rights and which right have they defended apart from American Rights...or where they have vested interest...we are back in a once upon an Elliotian story, where all animals aren't equal. How do you equate the life of an Afghan, an Iraqi, or any other to that of an American. Else why aren't Bush and Blair standing trial for human right atrocities just as Taylor is standing trial and Bashir has been indicted. Why were they eager to threaten and force countries to sign the Non-Surrender Treaty, where their citizens would not be handed over to the ICC if they commit human rights atrocities anywhere in the world but would be returned to the United States, whereas at the same time trying hard to push leaders of Africa to the ICC. Are their ordinary citizens better than our leaders?

After the events in the British Parliament, where Honourable MPs could lay claims to the payments of such funny activities as changing of doorhandles and planting a flower, Africa and for that matter Blacks shouldn't lay claim to corruption. They are as corrupt as we are. After all, when they come to invest and 'we' ask for bribes don't they pay? Aren't the taker and the giver both corrupt in a corruption case? Now we have Madoff and Allen Stanford and their corruption is perhaps greater than the total GDP of Africa.

This world is too fair.

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