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Sunday, 20 February 2011

THE UNPRECEDENTED EGYPTIAN AGITATION

No one could have imagined that what started in Cairo, Egypt on 25 Jan 2011, would snowball into something as big as it turned out to be. The period from 25 Jan 2011 to 11 Feb 2011 is certainly of immense political, historical & economic importance.



Ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who had held the power in his hands for the last three decades (since 1981) finally stepped down on 11 Feb 2011. This man was an impediment between progress & Egypt. This time the people were in no mood to give up & they didn’t until Mubarak for a change, did what people wanted. Over the period of 18 days, several people died, thousands were hurt but the people knew that stepping back this time would take them back to the dark.


Mubarak who initially thought that this protest would die out like any other protest, soon realised that this time things were different. Trying to buy some time for himself, he promised to step down in September this year, but the people didn’t relent. Even his argument that he wanted to step down but couldn’t do so as he feared the chaos that his leaving would plunge Egypt into didn’t work for him. People were ready to take anything but him.


Soon with no escape route left open, Mubarak stepped down & there were celebrations all over Egypt. Ultimately the efforts of the people had yielded favourable results. The charge of the country is now in the hands of the army. The army shall take care of the country’s affairs till September & then in the same month elections will be held & the country will get its democratic government. The first thing that the army did was to dismantle Mubarak’s regime by dissolving the parliament & suspending the constitution. Now it plans to set up a panel to rewrite the constitution.


Egypt can’t relax yet as there’s a long way to go till September. With no standard governmental machinery functioning at the top, the country’s immediate future is anything but rosy. People want the money Mubarak gathered over the years of his rule to be recovered as it is ‘their’ money. Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit has appealed to the international community to help with the economy’s healing process.


What I particularly fear the most in this scenario is the army. I may sound ironical but it is true. The army has six months to rule & six months is enough time to get a taste of power. Not everyone can manage power without getting addicted to it. ‘What if’ by the end of these six months this power would have become the army’s drug & it wouldn’t want to let go of it? :O In this case it could mean that Egypt could have to start from scratch. However, only time can answer this question.


This revolt like any other coin has another side to itself. This revolt has turned out to be a pioneer of sorts in the Arab world. Other countries like Algeria, Yemen, Iran, & Bahrain are now fighting for their respective shares of democracy. In Algeria, the fight is against the government of President Abdelaziz Boutefilka. In Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh had sensed trouble early & as a precaution promised to step down in 2013, when his term ends, but the people are not ready to take it any longer. In Iran, people seek political freedom & an end to autocracy. In Bahrain, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has promised reforms & loosening of state control on media & Internet, but I wonder if he really thinks that this shall suffice.


I hope West Asia sees a revolution which will usher in a change only for the betterment of the lives of people.


*HAIL DEMOCRACY*