The past few days have been a harrowing experience for democracy in the Arab world. Egypt one of the most populous Arab countries in the Middle East just had a second Tahrir square revolution. This time it was a coup d’etat when the first democratically elected government of Egypt was overthrown by an ambitious Egyptian military. This decision by the army and the polarising opinions from all around the world has exposed the hypocrisies that surround the definition of democracy everywhere. Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group which legitimately won the first ever popular vote last year, was overthrown by an over zealous military whose authority was stymied by the post Mubarak era governance of the former.
Arab world since the borders were redrawn by the British and other imperial forces from a century ago, has never been a peaceful place ever. The root cause of many of the problems arose once the disintegration of the Ottoman empire happened and the colonialistic forces adopted a policy of land grab and rule. The turbulence and unrest created due to the colonial rule spilled over into the new countries that quickly rejected colonialism. The colonial powers not one to leave without a fight made sure that through the rag tag corrupt armies in these countries that they were still relevant in determining the destinies of the new nations. Most of these countries saw military backed dictatorships that prolonged for decades. Democracy was a sham and the custodians of democracy all over the world ensured that bastardized forms of democracy was adopted and conveniently followed in these countries in the guise of dictatorships.
After years of subjugation under oppressive regimes, the people aided by improved communication tools like Twitter, internet etc., took onto the streets demanding better living conditions and true democratic governance in what is known today as Arab spring. Some of them were peaceful, some violent but there were huge regime changes in many of the populous Arab countries.
But Arab spring did not improve conditions as this new alien idea of democracy struggles to take root in many of these countries. The main reason behind this struggle is the immense diversity in the various Arab civilisations. If one studies history, you can come across a million races that fused among each other with time in all these countries. The only common feature among these people has been Islam that has been slapped on them during the post Mohammedan crusades and a similar yet different Arabic language dialects spoken by many of them.
What is happening now is an awakening by these people who have been oppressed by their own kind for so long aided by foreign vested interests. Most of the people on the streets don’t have even access to the basic facilities that each human craves for. They are a frustrated, defeated and angry people. Democracy is time consuming process and these impatient people are ones without any time either.
The time is now ripe for a nationalistic leader in the mould of Gamal Abdul Nasser to arise and unite all the Arab peoples of the North Africa. This leader should have the audacity to unite all the warring factions, vision to develop these regions and lay foundation to democratic institutions that would spearhead progress. Religion needs to be kept away and the excessive obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian cause must cease as these two issues distract the region heavily. Unless some drastic steps like these are taken, forget democracy, not even normalcy would ever approach the Arab world.
Picture taken from http://gubu-world.blogspot.com/2012/01/arab-spring-west-and-israel.html