Y Magazine

Voice of Oman: Jingoism vs talent

Many Omanis are participating in social media voting campaigns and encouraging their peers to blindly vote for local poets, inventors and, recently, filmmakers who participate in regional competitions without even checking what other contestants have to offer.



A powerful, yet disgusting form of patriotism.

Winners of such competitions are decided by the number of votes they get and talent is reduced to simply a participation criterion. In simple words, creativity is undermined by sheer patriotism.

At this rate, if it wasn’t for a judging panel, all AGCC poetry contests will be won by a Saudi Arabian and regional talent shows by an Egyptian, considering the population of the two countries.

However, I trust the ultimate winners are mobile service providers.

On a weekly basis, I receive requests from people asking me to vote for their relatives who are competing in some singing competition.

Never did that, and my refusal was frowned upon, always.

This is why we suffer from unfair employment practices and tribe-dominated elections, as family comes first in every aspect of life.

On a bigger scale, this ideology is what threw up racists and fascists, who glorify their nations over humanity and justice.

My friend once told me that merit is the best substitute for nationalism. He was right.