Friday, March 11, 2011

Of Insta-Democracy, ‘Revolution’ and doing a Cairo in Dhaka

“The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal, the revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised Brother, the revolution will be live.” Gil Scott-Heron
  • Whoever cooked up recipes for ‘revolutions’ in Tunisia and Egypt leading to the domino effect now sweeping the Arab world was surely ‘high’ on either instant-coffee, instant noodle or the variety of instant gratification applications, food and lifestyle devices that have become global icons! A reality check on strategies employed would infer, the only ‘weapons’ you need for a ‘revolution’ is a Facebook or Twitter account - (preferably both) a user friendly cell phone and human skills to mobilize thousands of people into a main square of your city.
  • That done, make sure that no one budges from their ‘sit-ins’, get slogans going 24/7 and besiege your President till he decides to quit. Additionally you would be a fool not to woe a few world class TV Channels to beam LIVE your insta-party inclusive of sloganeering, insta-sleep-in, insta-colorful tents et al protest. The US and ‘rest of the free world’ will call the shots for you and if that’s not happening, Bro…. you are doing something terribly wrong! Not to worry- sooner than not, ‘world leaders’ will recognize the ‘merits’ of your ‘democratic protest’ and send in words of ‘solidarity’ denouncing the ‘dictator’ who you are trying to oust. Bah……
  • So, if you and your co-protestors have the temerity to hang in there for a wee bit longer (all the better if some if you get killed – corpses makes your case stronger) be rest assured that Hillary Clinton will back you, and if the ‘brute’ on her reprimand doesn’t leave – prepare for Barack Obama
    to issue a QUIT NOW firman – and Walla – you have a case of insta-democracy and insta-freedom instantaneously.....clap clap clap.....Long Live the Revolution. All of the above in about three weeks...piece of cake dude?
  • Truly so…however while all of the above gets going, erase forcibly from memory that it was the ‘free-world’ who in the first place propelled the guy to power – (the one you are now trying to ‘overthrow’), and let him rule unashamedly over your destiny for decades – not to forget the rivers of blood that flowed in the decades gone by.
  • Simplistic as these ‘revolutions’ may seem, there are ominous signs that the insta-recipes are flawed. After Hosni Mubarak quit, not bargained for was the dexterity of an emerging youthful ‘apolitical’ leadership in Cairo who may have had every ambition, but NOT one to aspire for political power, neither are these chic revolutionary romanticist of a kind the world had seen in the sixties and seventies.
  • What they perfectly identified: Mubarak may have left, but his brutal regime still exists and has put a firm down payment on the fate of Egypt! That understood, they have the will and resolve to confront the Military by not leaving the streets as the days wears on - demanding men in uniform do not get an edge in formation of the Government – are indicators that must be viewed seriously.
  • Ironic in the Egyptian drama as it continues to unfold: is while the world stood by and supported the protestors when everything was going right, they have for now been abandoned and the military is closing in menacingly. The reports of a Christian Church being set ablaze in Sol near Cairo on the 5th March indicates worse nightmares – sectarianism and rise of Islamic extremism – perhaps making the Muslim Brotherhood the real beneficiary of recent strife’s? Time will speak for itself and this is certainly music for neighboring Israel’s ears!
  • On the flip side the Libyan ‘salad’ was badly tossed – the author perhaps relied too much on online open source intelligence, with knowledge of ground realities grossly screwed-up. The protestors didn’t quite get into the besiege mode in Tripoli with any degree of successala Cairo, the uprisings in Benghazi an unwanted spoke into a seemingly well greased wheel.
  • While the free world openly supports an armed ‘uprising’ for the moment, the going will be tough and slow. Gaddafi for all practical purpose may not cave in as was predicted, instead over time he will gain foothold and use his power base – letting Benghazi bleed in the process. All reminiscent of the US betrayal of Kurds in Iraq in 1975 – the same scenario of support for ‘uprisings’, and when it got going – pulling the carpet from under it to placate exigencies – in the case of Libya read 60% of its OIL, 1.6 million barrels per day?
  • Gaddafi – International pariah par excellence, a ‘madman’ who believes his people love him enough to die for him, his records to appease the ‘free world’ is nonetheless exemplary. He managed to exonerate himself in recent years, and post 09/11 when the Bushonian War on Terror commenced, despite his bad past records he was left undisturbed. No Al-Qaeda-ish‘Islamic threats’ could be monitored in his moves.
  • And it was only ‘fair’. He paid blood money in millions for mostly American victims of the 1988 Pan Am aircraft bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland and promised a further US$10 million to each family if full diplomatic relations with the US were to be restored. In 2006 after a wait of 26 years the cherished relations between the US and Libya was restored ….what is yet unknown is whether rest of the promised blood money were eventually paid!
  • Closer to home, some of our politicians imbued by the ‘success’ of protest in the Middle East have been talking loud about doing a Cairo in Dhaka. Clearly they are far off the mark. For one, one too many uprisings and insurrections in our history have had the same recipe – besieging the power of the day, endless and senseless violence – the end results have been predictable.
  • Either the Army has stepped in or our politicians have gone behind our back and shook hands with them on promise that either of the two mainstream parties be propelled to power. Add to that the citizen’s at large being per force taken hostage by hartals - that interestingly is not the sort of things we are viewing in the Middle East today.
  • '"When rulers become traders, the subjects become paupers is a famous Gujrati proverb and that is exactly the fate of Bangladesh. Our politicians with the explicitly boot licking Media in combi, are nothing more than poor traders who live off the fortune of even poorer people, so ‘doing a Cairo in Dhaka’ is highly unfeasible.
  • What needs to be seen is how our forever sufferable jonogon (masses) will before long – en-masse throw out the traders. More than likely we are set for a Benghazi in Bangladesh – armed to the teeth, masses completely cut off from the ruler/trader/media nexus will move upon Dhaka, with a nameless faceless leader tilting the ante of fate and our destiny? To that – Long live Revolution – and being someone with chronic middle-class Utopian sensibilities – will it be incorrect to say that no other word titillates our senses more than…..Biplob…tai na?

  • PS. Two wrongs doesn’t quite make a right – and while I think its patently idiotic of the Government to ‘dare’ ask the US asset Dr.Younus to resign on premise that he ‘cheated’ 10 years more than his term in office, isn’t it rather strange that the Nobel Laureate did not volunteer nor display the sagacity expected of him and resign in that many years?

New Age Extra

Print Edition 11th March 2011

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