Quoting reel life wisdom in these immortal words from The Shawshank Redemption:-
” Hope is a good thing , may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies .”
Few days back when mass revolt in Tunisia ousted the ossified regime , it was difficult to imagine that much similar thing could happen in Egypt . 18 day mass movement with non violent protest culminated into the dawn of democracy and new lease of life for Egypt as it brought down the 30 year old military dictatorship . Hosni Mubarak dominated Egypt for 3 decades . During his regime , he maintained peaceful relations with Israel who killed his predecessor and he crushed the rising Islamic movement . He declared the state of emergency that barred unauthorized assembly , restricted the freedom of speech and allowed police to jail people indefinitely . He enjoyed the support of US and received $1.3 billion annual aid from US .
The most intriguing aspect of this revolt is that , Mubarak was toppled by radically new forces – a largely secular , non violent , youth led democracy movement which brought down repressive regime. It was more of a digital revolution and was largely if not completely propelled by social media . It atleast partly began from Facebook and gained momentum through Twitter . The sheer magnitude of this humanitarian moment and democratic opportunity will be remembered for ages and will give us reason to believe that circumstances will improve and life will be better .
The other issue which I want to mention here is the incarceration of Binayak Sen . Many international organization like Amnesty International , Global Health Council , British House of Commons and individuals like Noam Chomsky and Amartya Sen have expressed their disappointment over this trial . This largely symbolizes the common man’s predicament and every individual’s democratic right , right to have an ideology and most importantly , right to have a better society . Pediatrician by profession and Vice president of People’s Union of Civil Liberties , Dr. Sen has brought forth his views on human rights violation and atrocities committed in the name of anti naxalite operations . Sen has been in touch with Narayan Sanyal, a jailed Marxist ideologue, but this has always been with the formal permission, and in the presence, of the jail authorities. Does this warrant a charge of sedition and life imprisonment? It is reported that he carried letters to the Maoists from Sanyal. These letters need to be published to expose the crudity of the trumped up charges. Naxalism is a alarm for us to look beyond the soaring GDP growth rates and Stock Market victories and to aim for more progressive and inclusive development .
Also revelation of numerous scams like 2G scam , Adarsh Housing society scam , Commonwealth games and other big and small scam has become the order of the day . Currency worth more than our national income has been stashed away in foreign banks . Such instances of corruption and crony capitalism if not dealt with strenuously might land up in Egypt’s situation .
But there is hope that we will overcome the challenges coming before us as our thoughts are penned in these lines :
“I find I’m so excited I can barely sit or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope I can see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it is in my dreams. I hope.”