Whatever the outcome of the ongoing mass uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, it raises an interesting question as to why such developments are rare in the so-called democracies all over the world.
Take, for instance, our own country. We have all-pervading corruption, unemployment, hunger, rulers' total disregard for the suffering masses, discriminations based on gender, caste and economic status and several other serious problems confronting society and the thinking class.
Why people tolerate such failings must be because of their ability to change rulers periodically in the fond hope that new ones would deliver. Elections act like safety valves in-built in the system. Mubaraks may come go and Mubaraks may go during every election and people will have the satisfaction of replacing one set of Mubaraks with another set. When will they realise that a real change in the policies governing the nation alone can upgrade their living standards?
In times of transition in the modern age, it is interesting to note that it is the extensive middle class that has always been in focus. Since West Asia, especially Egypt, is witnessing what can be called the change-process, it is the middle class that is in natural conflict with the virtual monarchy/dictatorship (“Ball in Mubarak's court as democracy pressure mounts,” Feb.5).
Whether it is Tunisia or Egypt, the rulers have experienced or are experiencing a fight against the current tide of history as they have overlooked democratic practices down the years.
It seems that world opinion may be influencing a solution in Egypt. This is in the true spirit of democracy and would surely save a lot more bloodshed. But my problem is that there is no agreed blueprint available to say with certainty how the people who own the state will reconcile with the will of citizens. Perhaps, the United Nations Organisation should busy itself with the task of having such a charter on the lines of the human rights charter adopted by the UNO. World opinion should assert itself through this medium.
Hriday Nath Nehru,
Keywords: Egypt's crisis