Monday, February 14, 2011

Power to the People

Since January 25, Egyptians have been protesting in Cairo's Tehrir Square as well as other major cities min Egypt. Yesterday, their struggle finally brought down the American-backed dictator of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak.

The fall of the Mubarak regime marks the second time in modern history that a popular uprising in the Arab world has successfully overthrown a dictator in a region infamous for authoritarian regimes.

During the Egyptian Revolution, the Army in particular played a crucial role. It more or less sided with the protesters by refusing to use the strong-arm tactics that Mubarak would have liked. Consequently, a great deal of faith has been reposed as the Army prepares to lead the troubled country into a new era. Unfortunately, the voice of civilians already seems to be stifled. While the El Bareidi-led Opposition is asking for a new Constitution, the Military favours a few amendments and fresh elections to both Parliament and the Presidency within the next six months.

The question that now remains is whether Egypt will grow into a full-fledged democracy or fall into another spell of authoritarian rule. It matters a lot for the world, including India, since Egypt controls the Suez Canal. But more importantly, the birth of another democracy is good for India and the world.

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