February 03, 2011

My Mubarak to Hosni

The uprising in the ancient and fairytale land of Egypt should be interesting to observe for people in India which is also an ancient land in its own right. A country with a continuous civilization that has lasted 5,000 years. What is the likely nature of men and women of such a country? Are they likely to be 'revolutionaries' in spirit? Can people in such a country suddenly become all impatient revolutionaries after seeing all the wealth in the Western countries? How much of a factor has technology and the Internet been in all this?

And oh, the obvious question — what implications for India? When will the hoi polloi of India also rise up? Will we see gatherings of millions in the heart of New Delhi ... perhaps in the sprawling area near the iconic India Gate (mind you, a British built monument). Not many people can fit into Central Park in the heart of Connaught Place unfortunately ...

Necessity is often the mother of invention and in that spirit, the question that arises is what prompted this uprising at this moment in history. Are things so bad (like perhaps in North Korea) that people have got nothing to lose? Or, are the young people impatient for better lives and a freer, more democratic society? Intellectual concepts have rarely been at the core of revolutions. People rise up only when things have reached rock bottom and people realize that there is nothing else left to do but rise up in revolt.

But of course the danger in any revolution is that it might raise expectations to unrealistic levels and then people will be disappointed with the aftermath ... something like postpartum depression.

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