Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tunisia Calling - A warning to Authoritarian regimes

Ayn Rand once said "Ask yourself why totalitarian dictatorships find it necessary to pour money and effort into propaganda for their own helpless, chained, gagged slaves, who have no means of protest or defense. The answer is that even the humblest peasant or the lowest savage would rise in blind rebellion, were he to realize that he is being immolated, not to some incomprehensible noble purpose, but to plain, naked human evil."

Jasmine Revolution
It was around two decades back, world saw the demolition of Berlin wall, soon followed by the fall of the mighty Soviet Union along with many other communist regimes across the world. It is true that all of these countries didn't embraced democracy, but the pattern showed the will of the people to remove the authoritarian regimes.

A good number of African countries are yet to hear the cry for democracy. Many of these countries are either run by pure dictators or dictators wearing the uniform of democracy. Countries like Somalia doesn't have any type of government for the last two decades. If we go to Ivory Coast there is a president who is not ready to resign even after losing the election.

In Tunisia no one imagined any drastic change in recent time, but the situation changed after Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in the street after Police confiscated his produce cart. This event started a chain of demonstration and riots (Jasmine Revolution) in Tunisia over unemployment, food inflation, corruption, freedom of speech, poor living condition etc, which ultimately bring down the 23 years long rule of Ben Ali. But bringing down the government didn't end the protest, many people from the old ruling party are still in the interim government, and obviously this will not go down well with the people. Moreover no one knows what will happen to the future elections.

The riots in Tunisia, which have a good educational background - in fact basic education is compulsory for a child aged between 6 and16 - as compared to the neighbouring countries and relatively peaceful and stable country, is indeed a warning for the dictators in the neighbouring countries and around the world. The Tunisian riots already  fuelled riots in Egypt and slowly started people's movement in other countries.

As of now we cant say what will be the real outcome of Tunisian riots. Even if the riots are started from the grass root level; with out a clear leadership and direction it is difficult to say how much change it can bring in to the Tunisian system. It is also possible that the demonstrations may end after a while and the old system continue to govern the nation. we can only hope that the demonstrations based on liberal values will succeed in installing democracy. But one fact is sure, this new movement is a clear warning for the people who are running the authoritarian regimes around the world.


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