Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Awakening

As a young Egyptian truck-driver smiles broadly in front of a CNN camera, talking animatedly about his daredevil stunt of procuring food supplies by-passing groups of armed pro-Mubarak supporters on his way to the other side of Cairo, I experience a sudden rush of hope.
It has already been 16 days. People have left the comfort of their homes, company of their loved ones, security of their everyday routine-bound lives, shunned the way of non-action and plunged headlong into the struggle for change. And despite the prevailing stalemate that continues to endanger the future of the entire nation, they aren't backing out.
I'm just another observer, maybe sometimes even a shameless voyeur, keeping track of every new development not too unlike the news-hungry journalists who have trickled in from all sides of the world. But whatever the reason might be, I'm awed. The unfolding spectacle of a generation of people, oppressed and restrained, finally taking a stand against injustice, bias and bad governance is a sight to behold.
Years ago I had heard about Persepolis, known about the persecution of women in countries of the Middle-East and felt rage like no other. A married woman being sentenced to death by stoning on 'charges of adultery' or a blogger being jailed for 4 years for criticizing his religion and the reigning President in a blog post - these incidents have only served to highlight the pitiable state of human rights in Iran and Egypt.

Every time I'd come across such news I'd thank my stars for having been born in a country which respects the right to free speech and freedom of expression. A country which maybe plagued by a million disputes of varying nature, but which doesn't force the owner of a blog to register his/her web-page with the government or procure a license for blogging.
Complacency is a bad disease. It numbs emotions like discontent and outrage and urges one to just give in.
But for how long?  

It is human nature to be weak. But then again it is human nature to rebel. To cry out aloud if one is in pain. To take to the streets in order to shout a protest. To defy unjustly imposed curfews. To risk one's life for a greater cause.

The repeated 'Go Mubarak' slogans echoed by a million protesters in the heart of Tahrir Square, may just go in vain. Hosni Mubarak, the man who doesn't realize the simple fact that it is the people who make a country and not the other way round ('I don't care about what people say about me...right now I care about my country'), may refuse to see sense. A noble quest for freedom from oppression may end in failure.

But even so it won't mean defeat. For the voice of the people has already been heard. Loud and clear. The world is watching closely and the world is drawing strength. Protests in Algeria, Libya, Iraq, Tunisia prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that wrong-doings of an autocracy can't or rather won't be tolerated for too long.

 "There is no force that can put an end to the human quest for freedom."
                                                                                        - Liu Xiaobo

And while Egypt continues to stick to its demands resolutely, I pray for the release of a Nobel Laureate who is being wrongly incarcerated a million miles away in another side of the world. And I pray for his countrymen to awaken too.



Prateek said...

It's sad that people are prisoned because they expressed their views. Injustice to women is another major issue which not only Egypt and India but majority of nations in the world are facing.

Anish said...

So true..The pro-Mubarak supporters are probably people hired by the power-hungry old man who lives in denial refusing to accept the fact that his time has passed.A new world is coming-it won't be easy just to ensure that people get the basic fundamental rights they are entitled to in many parts of the world-but something has begun-People are waking up and that's definitely a good sign for the future.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

It is the people that make the nation, and now, they have ventured to do it. God speed to them.

Nice read.

Blasphemous Aesthete

Giribala said...

Writing a piece like this is a real prayer! Freedom with responsibility should be the mantra.

Phoenix said...

I love your writing style and the way your thoughts take form... some beautiful writing there! :)

kiran said...

Hey Nice post..This is something which even i have posted a week ago..hope so u would like it..

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Quite a balanced article I must say. I also feel so fortunate to be here, where at least many of us have voices and can speak openly. Its commendable that India has managed to do that, despite a neighbourhood (including the one where our dear Nobel Laureat is jailed) where these values have completely disappeared.

I am with Egypt and its people, just like I am with the people in my own country who go unheard day after day, year after year. Freedom is relative for most of us in this world...

Purba said...

Stunning piece of writing Sam. The Egyptians tolerated Mubarak for 30 years and then this inspired by Tunisia uprising. The Tahrir square will never be the same again.

But if the Islamic fundamentalists take over - will it be transition for the better?

Naveen said...

Nice post:)surely the current happenings in Egypt provide a glimmering ray of hope to all the pro-democracy activists round the world.
It also reminds us of what we Indians have and what we sometimes so easily and conveniently fail to appreciate.
Egypt's fate will certainly alter the course of the entire middle east as Israel's only ally is about to step down.Hope everything turns out good for Egypt and it's neighbours in the end

The Laughing Man said...

Unfortunately, even in democracies, the will of the people is seldom done.

The uprising in Egypt might pave the way for a new system of government, but given the vested interests of the US and Israel in having a 'friend' in power in Egypt I would be surprised to see any significant change, or reflections of the peoples will in foreign policy.

They will find a new puppet. Make a few concessions... and bury the matter as soon as they can...

Vivek Chamoli said...

Nice one really liked the write-up beautiful.

Finally People power won and autocracy has to resign.

Take care
have a great weekend.

Alka Gurha said...

Well said..while we crib and are cynical about our country, we are so much better than others.

D2 said...

Finally, the President of Egypt has stepped down. Democracy may have loose ends in places but it undoubtedly remains the best system of governance when it comes to the welfare of the people, taken separately as well as the nation collectively. Maybe the anguish will die down now that the problem seems to have been resolved. Hopefully Persepolis ruling will finally end in the near future.

Nethra said...

Even we should rebel against our government. Not me or not you, everyone should do then we might see some progress.

vineet said...

country is fr the people of the peopl n by the peopl, i see change n a big change n fr dat sum sacrifiices are mandatory, hope the light of truth cast away the darkness of anti democracy

Bikramjit said...

well its over now :) and hopefully peace will come and things will go back to normal soon out there ..


Tomz said...

Hi..m first time here..

you have a nice blog..

Like you, I too am happy to have born in such a beautiful country called India. Except some minor problems, majority of the Indians have chance to lead peaceful life here..

and one more don't write like an engineering student, but ur writing style is more like that of an experienced journalist..

keep going..

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