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“Values” as impediments to progress

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I learnt from The Standard of August 26 with great shock that the decision to introduce sex education in India’s schools is being widely opposed by so-called elders. Some teachers in Uttar Pradesh even threatened to make a bonfire of books. The training kit aimed primarily at creating awareness about HIV and AIDS is being condemned on the grounds that it is too “graphic”. How crass can the Indians get? How ironic and funny too for a country with a population of one billion+ people. Clearly a majority of them are having a lot of unprotected sex. You know what’s funnier? When applying for an Indian visa one of the questions on the form is: “Upon arrival in India, if you test HIV positive, will you return to Zimbabwe?” Talk about discrimination! All this is in the name of protecting the “Indian value system”. Whatever that means!

I recall also Zambia’s Information Minister Mike Mlongoti being quoted in the Mail and Guardian (24/08/07) as saying that the region “can’t pressure Zimbabwe because it is a sovereign state”. Whatever that means! The Zimbabwe government insists there is enough food when the supermarkets have become shelf brokers and some NGOs are implementing feeding programmes in parts of Harare urban. The UN will tell you it does not and cannot intervene where a government’s actions do not constitute a threat to international peace. Yet neighboring South Africa spends millions just trying to get rid of illegal Zimbabwean migrants daily while other Zimbabweans flock into other neighboring countries where they are reportedly hoarding commodities at a rate that locusts demolish a maize field. Another unprecedented number leaves daily to the “Diaspora”. I mean come on, what is it with people and refusing to see things as they are? What do people gain from pretending not to see certain things? Surely the UN can see the impending disaster here? Are we going to ask ourselves again whether this could have been avoided, just like the Rwanda holocaust could have been?

I do not recall where exactly I read it, but someone was imploring Zimbabweans not to despair commenting that AU members will live to regret ever bootlicking Mugabe for they did not foresee how our crisis can so easily affect them. Already Botswana, “small Botswana” is complaining of shelves being wiped clean in seconds every time Zimba’s walk into their supermarkets. I feel so much like saying, “that oughta teach em” but somehow, that just doesn’t seem to cut it.

One comment to ““Values” as impediments to progress”

  1. Comment by Sheila:

    What do people gain from pretending not to see certain things?

    Pretending to live the world the way that one has defined it and therefore is cushioned from things that do not fit in with their point of view!

    Isn’t that the theme that is running from India not recognizing that sex is happening yet rushes behind doors and locks them to ‘shut the eyes of their elders’ when they commit the act; reactions of the neigbours, UN, AU. etc.

    Life can go on (the way I would like to see happen). I do not need to stop my life for something I am not prepared to see.