So, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is out. End of tyranny. Toppled by a no-matter-what-they-say-but-this-was-genuine peoples’ movement. The Army takes over. But is the future secure?
Revolutions are characteristic of radical changes. And Egypt is certainly witnessing the best of one. While a whole country celebrates a triumph of a kind, the world watches on with great interest.
And so does India.
The peoples of this republic will certainly be wondering, while glued to their TV sets or chatting away in coffee shops, what it would be like to just get together on the streets of thousands of cities and towns, waving the India flag with much joy and calling for the ouster of hundreds of those corrupt, senile office-bearers in this supposed-to-be-great institution called the Government of India.
And that is even our right. We have a right to protest, which must be used. We have a right to speak our mind against the perennially erring, which must be used. We, however, do not possess a ‘right to revolution’ simply because this is a constitutional democracy that calls for sorting out all of our problems through constitutional means. There is absolutely no need for a revolution, which may cause loss of lives, time, public money and property and even bring the nation to a halt.
So what do we do, one asks. Reforms. In a democracy, reforms is the way ahead. And while we may have a set of people (in Government or otherwise) entirely dedicated to ensure reforms don’t go through, we must persist. And there are solutions. Corruption? Cut government spending and reduce the size of the institution. Scandals? Firmer implementation of the Rule of Law (which in my opinion, must be linked directly to growth), and consequently the implementation of punishments handed out to offenders while respecting their democratic right to appeal.
In a democracy, a ‘revolution’ may be slow but it mostly always is for the better. In a dictatorship, one cannot predict which way the ‘swing’ will happen. And many countries around the world offer opportune examples of failed ‘revolutions’. Structure must be maintained, and for that the idea of a revolution is redundant. And that is what makes it entirely absurd to consistently maintain a thought like ‘People must topple the Government’. What, even when the people themselves are responsible for the Government? And if there does actually exist a sincere willingness to change leaders – Vote.
The republic must be protected from a revolution by firmly implementing exactly what our cynical selves struggle to believe these days – that politicians (who are elected representatives of the very same people who complain again and again about the lack of change) can work for good and the ones who don’t must be shunned entirely when elections come calling, that the problem of corruption can be overcome by reforms implemented with speed and conviction, that the Constitution of India has all the solutions and can bring in more solutions through civilized, democratic means.
That there can, and will, be change.