In case you have missed this: today (March 15th) it’s the day there are elections in The Netherlands. Since we are located in The Netherlands and there is a lot to do about these elections, this article is all about these elections. Freedom of speech is important!
If you are not familiar with the Dutch political system, it works as follows. Every four years a new parliament is chosen by Dutch citizens of eighteen years and older. These elections will lead to the forming of a house of representatives and the government of The Netherlands. Yes, we do have a king, but his role is limited. You can say that the person who is in charge is in fact the prime minister.
There is a lot to do about these elections. Several right wing populist parties entered these elections. With strong words about immigration they dominated the debate about the future of this country. The engaged a lot of media attention. Even though it looks like all people from The Netherlands might like these thoughts: rest assure, not all people believe in these political ideas.
Over the weekend some intense events happened. When trying to hold a political rally for the Turkish constitutional changes, two politicians from Turkey were not allowed to speak in The Netherlands. One of these two still decided to come and this escalated in a series of events that lead to a cooling down of the relationship between The Netherlands and Turkey. It’s not sure if the Dutch government would have made the same decisions if there were no elections to hold. However, it was a Dutch decision. Without choosing a side, we can only say that these events aren’t representative for The Netherlands as a country. Neither is the rise of right wing political parties.
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs is an independent source for creativity. We prefer the freedom of speech above anything. We believe that words written by poets around the globe need to be heard, no matter what. We also believe in the values of democracy. These values aren’t for everyone to enjoy.
The outcome of the elections is still uncertain. While we are waiting for the results to appear, we can only write about this wonderful thing called democracy, with the promise that we will keep on writing words of freedom, no matter what.
By Satish Verma
To slice a hope in stark terror
he thought to bid holy goodbye
to destiny, and let himself go
in the shadow of weeping deads.
The orange moon looked mutilated.
Quietly stood a suicide bomber,
ready to get killed for a home in white heaven
and destroying the leaping stars.
Who had the blood on the hands?
Hiding in the white gown,
crossing the shelter, to drop the guilt
on the road, never to look back.
Century of oppression, like baked blood
shines on the coffins of martyrs.
At dawn the pariahs promise to lead
the band towards democracy.
It’s not easy recognizing that freedom or democracy will not be there at the end of the day, as Langston Huges wrote.
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
When we use our own words, actually my words, this is what is important to us:
Theys hout with so much power
From their high tower
Words that sound strange
words that derange
only making things worse
Failure to see things in perspective
and ignoring their own defective