Monumenti tal-Indipendenza

    Hija ħaġa sabiħa li bħala poplu wieħed, aħna l-Maltin u l-Għawdxin, niċċelebraw il-ħamsin anniversarju mid-Dikjarazzjoni tal-Indipendenza, jiġifieri mid-deċiżjoni tal-awtoritajiet kolonjali Brittanniċi li b’‘Letters Patent’ tal-Majestà tagħha r-Reġina Eliżabetta II, tingħata kostituzzjoni ta’ Indipendenza lil Malta. Minn dakinhar, aħna l-Maltin, għalkemm mhux mingħajr sforzi kbar, bdejna niggvernaw lill-pajjiżna b’rgħajna f’idejna.
    Minn dakinhar ukoll spiċċat il-“blame game”, jekk nistgħu nsejjħulha hekk, fejn kull ma jolqotna b’mod negattiv inwaħħluh fuq ir-Reġina jew fuq ir-Re. Ir-responsabbiltà ta’ dak kollu li jiġri waqgħet fuqna u fuq ħadd iżjed. Għalkemm l-Indipendenza ma tfissirx li aħna nkunu iżolati iżjed milli aħna diġà ġeografikament, fil-kuntest modern l-Indipendenza hija iżjed interdipendenza, fejn aħna niddependu minn pajjiżi oħra fuq livell indaqs.
    Ħamsin sena ilu aħna ngħatajna post bi dritt fil-Ġnus Magħquda. Fuq livell internazzjonali stajna niddeċiedu l-politika tagħna, nidħlu fi trattati bilaterali u nkunu parti minn komunitajiet ta’ nazzjonijiet. M’aħniex weħidna fid-dinja, għalhekk għandna responsabbiltà wkoll lejn il-komunità internazzjonali, li dħalna fiha bħala membri ugwali ma’ pajjiżi oħra ħafna ikbar minna.
    Il-monument tal-Indipendenza li hemm fil-ponta tal-Mall fil-Furjana, jirrapreżenta lil Malta li tinħeles u fl-istess ħin tiddawwar minn żigarelli li huma fl-istess ħin xkiel u festa ta’ libertà. L-Indipendenza hija ħelsien minn sitwazzjoni kolonjali, imma mhux bilfors ħelsien mill-mentalità kolonjali. Ħafna drabi meta tisma' lilna l-Maltin nitkellmu fuq l-Istat, tinduna li għadna nqisuh bħala l-Istat tar-Reġina. Jekk jiena nisraq propjetà tal-Istat ma nqisx li qed nisraq lili nnifsi jew lill uliedi imma lil xi ħadd imbiegħed minni. L-Indipendenza nakkwistawha verament meta s-sens ċiviku tagħna ma joħloqx firda jew dikotomija bejn iċ-ċittadini u l-Istat, imma meta s-sens ċiviku tant jikber li r-responsabbiltà tagħna lejn l-Istat tkun espressjoni ta’ mentalità ta’ indipendenza u mhux mentalità post-kolonjali.
    Hemm monumenti oħrajn tal-Indipendenza li huma punti sbieħ u pożittivi fl-istorja tagħna. Insemmi l-Università ta’ Malta, il-bini li llum huwa d-dar tax-xjenza u tal-edukazzjoni terzjarja għal eluf ta’ żgħażagħ; l-isptarijiet tagħna li huma mfaħħrin għas-servizz mediku b’xejn li jagħtu. Dawn huma monumenti sbieħ tal-Indipendenza bħal m’huma l-infrastruttura, li għandha fiex tittejjeb imma li għamlet passi kbar, u wkoll l-iżvilupp kummerċjali. Hemm ukoll monumenti oħrajn li bnejna u li ta’ min aħna nirriflettu fuqhom. Insemmi bħala eżempji l-grupp ta’ boathouses illegali li hemm l-Armier, li huwa monument għall-inkapaċità tal-politiċi tagħna li juru x’jiġifieri li jkollok sens ċiviku u mhux li taħseb biss għall-interessi tiegħek jew għall-interessi tal-partit tiegħek. Monument ieħor sfortunat tal-Indipendenza huwa l-muntanja tal-Magħtab, muntanja li toħloq gassijiet noċivi. Dik ukoll għamilniha aħna u ma nistgħu nwaħħlu f’ħadd dwarha għaliex dik għamilniha aħna b’indipendenza li akkwistajna ħamsin sena ilu.
    Nemmen li l-Indipendenza għandha tkun stedina biex nirringrazzjaw lil Alla u nirringrazzjaw lill-politiċi kollha li ggvernawna f’dawn l-aħħar ħamsin sena, bil-mumenti sbieħ u mumenti inqas sbieħ, imma fl-istess ħin hija stedina biex nagħmlu eżami ta’ kuxjenza. Dan l-eżami ta’ kuxjenza jġiegħlna naħsbu fil-futur b’sens ċiviku iżjed qawwi, u naħdmu wkoll biex insalvaw id-demokazija li teħtieġ Gvern u Oppożizzjoni qawwijin, u poplu li jaħseb mhux biss fl-interessi personali tiegħu u li jkejjel bil-but, imma li s-sens ċiviku tiegħu jorbtu wkoll ma’ mħabba kbira lejn dawn il-Gzejjer u lejn il-futur tagħhom.
     
    ✠ Charles J. Scicluna
        Isqof Awżiljarju u Vigarju Ġenerali ta’ Malta

    English Translation:



    Monuments of Independence
    It is with joy that as a nation, the Maltese and Gozitan people celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, that is the day when, following a decision taken by the British colonial authorities, Malta was handed a constitution of Independence through the ‘Letters Patent’ ratified by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since that day, with great effort, the Maltese people have taken over the political rule of our nation into their own hands.
    Since that time, the so-called ‘blame game’, whereby we blame the King and Queen for everything negative that happens, has also come to an end. The responsibility for all that happens falls only upon us and nobody else. Our Independence does not signify that we are isolated – more isolated than we actually are from a geographic point of view. Rather, in the context of modern-day independence, it is more like inter-dependence, which means mutual dependence upon other countries.
    Fifty years ago we were rightfully awarded our status by the United Nations. At international level, we became enabled to take our own political decisions, enter into bilateral treaties and form part of the community of nations.  We are not alone in this world and therefore we also have responsibilities towards the international communities which we form part of, as equal members with nations that are much greater than ours.
    The Independence monument which is located at the Mall in Floriana represents Malta – free, but at the same time, wrapped in ribbons which are at one and the same time festive but also an obstacle. Independence is freedom from colonial rule but not necessarily freedom from a colonial mentality. Many times, when we hear the Maltese people speaking about the State, we realize that Malta is still considered as a monarchy. If one steals from the State, one does not consider it to be robbing oneself or one’s children, but rather someone who is far off. We achieve true independence when there is no dichotomy in our civic sense between the citizen and the State, but rather when our civic sense leads us to behave more responsibly with respect to the State.  This is the true expression of an independent mentality and not of a post-colonial mentality. 
    I can also mention some other Independence monuments which all point to the beautiful and positive aspects of our history; the University of Malta is one of them. Today, the University building is the home of science and tertiary education for thousands of young people; our hospitals which are renowned for the free medical services which they offer. There are also other beautiful Independence monuments, such as our infrastructure.  Of course, there is always room for improvement, but there have been great advancements. Our commercial development is another example.
    Yet, there are monuments that we have built and upon which we should reflect. I wish to refer, as an example, to the illegal boathouses of Armier. These monuments demonstrate the inability of the country’s political class to promote a civic sense among the people, which means that people would not only consider their own or their party’s interests. I also refer to the waste mountain at Magħtab, a mountain which emits harmful gases. This is also of our own doing and we cannot blame anyone for it, because it was created by us following our independence fifty years ago.
    I believe that our Independence should serve as an invitation for us to thank God as well as our politicians who have governed over the past fifty years, which consisted of both beautiful moments, but also some less beautiful ones.  At the same time, it is an invitation for us to make an examination of conscience, and to look to the future with a strong civic sense, working to safeguard the democracy which is essential in order to have a strong Government and Opposition. We should be a nation that does not only consider it’s own personal interests, and measure each and every cost. Our civic sense must also tie in with our great love for these Islands and their future.
     

    ✠ Charles J. Scicluna
       Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of Malta