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Egypt’s uprising demonstrates people’s power

To the news report Egypt boots Mubarak out (Feb 12), I would like to add that it took only 18 days of a mammoth movement of the people to end a powerful dictator’s misrule. This has proved again that an authoritarian regime and corrupt governance can never work for the welfare of the common man. This has also proved that a bad government, no matter how powerful it is, can never withstand a spontaneous, sincere and fearless people’s movement.

We all know very well but have to realise that in our country we are also facing a similar situation. Our democratic system is being misused by greedy politicians to serve their selfish motives. The coalition form of government has totally failed.

Politicians and parliamentarians are massaging their egos on non-issues rather than working for the cause of the common man and addressing his genuine needs. Our largest democracy has become a biggest farce. What happened in Egypt can also certainly happen here if our politicians fail to address the aspirations of the people. They cannot befool people in the name of democracy forever.



Hosni Mubarak survived six assassination attempts but still dominated Egypt with his authoritarian rule for the past 30 years. While the entire country languished in illiteracy and acute poverty and many struggled to earn less than two dollars a day, Mubarak himself amassed a fortune. But Mubarak’s dictatorial regime was toppled in just 18 days through a peaceful revolution by ordinary Egyptians without the backing from any political group or opposition party. Although the ouster of the tyrannical Mubarak government through peaceful demonstrations by ordinary citizens may have something in common with the historical fights for freedom in the past led by great leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr or Nelson Mandela, the peaceful revolution in Egypt is truly unprecedented in more ways than one.

The new era of Internet and meteoric speed of development of new technology provided the primary impetus for reforms in Egypt as the aggrieved citizens bonded together and took to streets, connecting primarily through social networking sites using emails. Also, unlike the past battles for freedom and equality against oppressive governments, the Egyptian revolution was orchestrated mostly by the young members of society without any grassroots organisation or support from seasoned political leaders.

The Egyptian youth have demonstrated how the new tools of technology and non-violence can be combined to crush even the most corrupt and autocratic government in the modern world. But above all, the revolution in Egypt and a similar revolt in Tunisia just weeks ago have sent out a strong and unmistakable signal that ordinary people can acquire extraordinary power to overthrow even the most corrupt and despotic government.

While India does not have authoritarian governments like Egypt or Tunisia, it still ranks as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Pervasive corruption has riddled almost every aspect of public services in India. Despite making major strides in the economy due to globalisation in recent years, a large fraction of India’s population continues to live in an impoverished condition while a small number of Machiavellian Indians have accumulated enormous amount of “black money” in foreign banks.

Ironically, the Indian government is reluctant to disclose the names of these corrupt Indians with black money on one plea or another. Reports of major scams involving top-ranking people at every level of the government, including prominent ministers and high-flying bureaucrats, make headlines almost on a daily basis these days.

Unfortunately, the culprits go scot-free on a regular basis because of deep-rooted corruption in almost every segment of the Indian government.



The resignation as Egypt’s President by Hosni Mubarak is a welcome step. It sends a clear signal to the rulers of all the countries facing a plethora of problems like autocracy, corruption, unemployment, etc, to perform or perish. This historic event also shows what a powerful mass uprising against a corrupt government can do.

Now the first and foremost duty of the Army should be to give the citizens a good and responsible government by conducting free and fair elections. International organisations and other countries should also positively contribute towards building a good democratic nation.



It is doubtlessly a pointer that a determined democratic struggle can be far more fruitful than innumerable armed struggles going on endlessly all over the world.

All disgruntled elements should say farewell to arms and take recourse to peaceful means to win mass-support for their ideology.

RAVI RANA, Kapurthala

Agitation in Darjeeling

When the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s cadres were defacing ‘West Bengal’ in government signboards, posing a direct assault on the Constitution; replacing ‘WB’ on the number plates of vehicles with ‘GL’, thereby challenging the legal procedures of the state, physically assaulting those who dared to defy their diktat and calling strikes at the drop of a hat, Kolkata and New Delhi failed to punish the guilty (editorial, Unrest in Darjeeling, Feb 10). Thus, it is natural that the unchallenged GJM would extend its tentacles from the Darjeeling Hills to the North Bengal plains as well, creating violence and threatening communal harmony.

If the authorities still remain mute spectators, the security of the nation will be greatly endangered, given the region’s sensitive borders with China, Nepal and Bangladesh.


Clean India

If the initiative of collecting garbage from every household is emulated all over India, the country can become beautiful (news report, Hamirpur to be dustbin-free soon”, Feb 7). With the combined effort of every individual, things can change dramatically.

It’s everyone’s foremost duty to keep one’s surroundings clean, and not to litter the roads and public places with garbage and protect nature. The government must create awareness among the masses through various modern technological means such as Internet.




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