OUTLOOK — By Asim Al Shedi — It is apparent that there is a need to lift the society from the state of uncertainty it is now going through. It looks as if we are walking on a gloomy sinuous road. I am not quite sure whether this is a natural outcome of a transitional period that is often associated with the development of nations, or manifestations of a serious crisis that has started to emerge in our culture. The whole matter needs a deep and thorough study rather than hasty decisions that do us more harm than good.
The observer of the mainstream society could easily notice a state of internal social fragmentation which reflects on the attitudes of some people towards the country. Everyone who is struck by any trouble — be it self-inflicted or caused by defaults of the past period — put the blame on the country which is the source of pride for all of us.
Most people perceive a bizarre confusion between the concept of the ‘country’ and that of the government. Oman as a country has became synonymous with the government which is why they vent their anger on the country whenever they are irritated by an official’s act. There is a weird confusion here and it must stop. Most importantly, such a trend should be brought under study in a more scientific method to analyse its root causes, so as to stem the phenomenon altogether.
I am aware that the Arab world is going through a period of fragmentation but I believe we should not surrender to despair and watch the society stepping towards the precipice. If we do we will certainly forfeit much of what we achieved over the last decades.
What worries me more is that many people play down the nation’s successes accomplished during the renaissance era by considering the government as equal to the country. The whole issue sounds the alarm bells and it needs to be reconsidered more earnestly, especially when the educated people are involved in such a misjudgment.
This could be an exceptional case stemming from the previous period that has stuffed our minds with contradictions and weakened our power to resist damaging thoughts. Regrettably, some people easily fall prey to rumours and sedition that compromise our stability and threaten our values. I believe the so-called alternative media is playing a big role in disseminating ridiculous and superfluous ideas.
In this exceptional period there should be a sort of sternness not only towards the decision-makers but also towards the officials on high and low levels as well as the private sector.
In the upcoming period there will be no room for personal gains at the expense of the national interests. Bureaucracy has become more loathsome than ever before and more likely to spark tensions and frustration among the people. The government’s former mechanisms in dealing with sensitive issues are no more useful as these issues must be addressed in a more effective way.