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Dr. Mohammed Hassan, thanks for teaching us our history and also for laying out the truth about Habasha history and fabrication. I hope you write another book based on what you’ve discussed on this interview. May you live long and prosper. We, Oromo people love you dearly.
Dear Pro. Mohammed Hassan, I’m one of the readers of your history books, written in different times, including the one just recently translated into Afaan Oromo, by one of my friends called, Dawit Likaasaa Bulchaa, and for what I highly appreciated his work, as you yourself did, and of course, also thanked you for being the source of this important document based on intensive research work in my personal contact with him at the time.
The names of the Books are, “The Oromo Of Ethiopia,” by you, and “Seenaa Oromoo Kan Bara 1570-1860,” translated By Daawit Likaasaa Bulchaa.
In that contact, I addressed some seemingly minor problems, but in real sense very controvertial points, that may determine the strategies of the formulation of our policies of struggles for independence, and even the way we should take after the independece, and also may affect the kind of political rights we raise and the general claims we should make to recover from our damage by our colonizers, due to the whole sided impositions of all kimds they put upon us ever since our occupattion by them. So, though at the time, I got a short and precise response, with a concession of possible reference to you; if need be, but since I seemed satisfied with his answer, I didn’t want to go that far, until I decided posting the same copy of the extract I sent my friend then, this being the only part and suitable piece to be posted here concerning your work!
Of course, your recent subsequent interviews with The RAB also highly encouraged me to reraise these questions, since I know that you are the right person to tackle it. For getting this chance I would like to thank The RAB for doing such important things of bringing our professionals / scholars / and politicians to the for-front so that they be able to provide their people with valuabe resources and experiences, the very reason why they worked hard, to finally achieve this end, which means enabling the rest of the world and their own people know about the hiden, the distorted, and some times even unwritten history of their own people, of which I believe yours maybe one of the bests of its kind.!
Thank you in advance for that! And here are my comments and questions at the time.
In the history of the Oromo people of the 16th-19th centuries, I think the emergence of the Five Gibe Region’s Oromo States remain a bridge between the Oromo democratic gada system, and the coming to the region of the colonial Abyssinian Christian kingdom. As seen from the history of these states, every elements of the later mechanisms of operations seemed to have laid their embryoes / eggs / during these initial class based states, with the exceptions of maybe the cultural and language dominations and subjugations. That incident wasn’t limited only to the Gibe Region states though, for the fact that, similar class and state formations were in progress in other parts of the Oromo regions like wallega, Harar, Wallo and Shewa with exception of the Borana low lands, where the function of gada democratic system survived to-date, and for what we have a great honor for them.
Hence, one may argue that, what the chance of the Oromo people along with their states in these regions would have been, if the colonization and occupation by the highland Christian kingdom of Ethiopia hadn’t occured at the later times?
Wasn’t it that very clear that the class differences and the states with their means of operations and exploitations already demolished the original gada system from within? And wasn’t it that the internal changes started to challenge the system with all its elements beginning with the replacement of the former Abba Gadas by the warlords and the mootis by forming full structures and legitimate ruling dynasties, before the arrival of the central aristocratic feudal government of Ethiopia? So can we imagine for Oromo fair and free states without the gada system in place, to be a kind of a democratic body, for which almost all Oromo pay respect and wish to have come back to confirm the real freedom of their people from external and internal exploitations and operations? Would the common Oromo be satisfied with only the name of the Oromo Motiis with their all kinds of exploitations including practices of slavery of the time with all of its forms, which entails of course, the absence of economic justice, political equality and individual freedom, that was widely in practice even before the alien forces had arrived, who then added to these factors the cultural, religious, ideological and national subjugations as their means and confirmation of their political and economic supremacy in every fields?
By the way, what would you think the views and political programs of the modern Oromo Organizations would be concerning the practice of the gada system? Do they believe to bring back the golden age of the gada system’s justice to its people, or they want to modify it, so that, it makes them fit in the world’s steady movement towards the more exploitative and impoverishment of the mass of the people, through the system called globalization of capitalism? If they are to modify the gada system, what are they going to do with the egalitarian Borana people who still are loyal and staunch practitioners of the system, and resisted any change to this system for more than a century now? Giving them the rights of internal political autonomy to practice that, and continue competing with the world with the other parts of Oromiya with the absence of the gada system?
If so how?
Whatever the future of the political practices of the modern organizations maybe, for the Oromo to be defiant to their own traditional democratic system and entering into the new era they are in now, who would be responsible? The Christian Highland Feudal Kingdom, which was and is the escapegoat of the lost paradise of the gada system, or the Warlords or the Motiis who started the formation of the class states even before the arrival of the former? If the latter would be our answer, then, our so far traditional and usual political stands and historical blames would be questionable about their accuracies? That be what it may, what do the Books, “The Oromo of Ethiopia,” or Seenaa Oromoo Kan Bara…., suggest about the main political and historical causes of the abolishment of the gada system? How about the solutions of these problems? Independence? Democratic political solutions? Or both?
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