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Old 30th January 2011, 20:58   #1
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Default Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

The development over the last few days in Egypt, considered an elderly statesman in Middle Eastern affairs raises quite a few pertinent questions in my mind.

Understanding the reasons behind the Egyptian crisis can help in relating its relevance to the Indian context. The reason for the present situation is because the people of Egypt had finally gotten fed up with all the corruption and nepotism under the rule of Hosni Mubarak and decided to retaliate. And this protest which is only growing and has been mostly bloodless till now has been led by the youth of the country who want change.

Is India also headed in the same direction with unprecedented levels of corruptions, scams, bureaucratic and political mismanagement.
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Old 30th January 2011, 22:32   #2
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Milecruncher,

Interesting question here

I feel that India is not going the Egypt or Tunisian way at least for the time being.

India is too vast and diverse for that sort of an uprising to happen. Moreover apart from few Maoist affected states and probably to an extent the North Eastern states the other states have somewhat benefited from being part of the Indian growth story.

In my opinion the educated Indian middle class (Yours truly included) is too selfish for such and uprising and I'm sure that we would remain great Keyboard warriors but would never take to the streets to protest against the government

Our politicians are smart enough to control our emotions. They will bend it but they are not stupid enough to break it.

Agreed that corruption is the bane of our country but how many of us would stand up against it? For most of us it has become a way of life and we have quietly accepted the fact and has moved on.

Hosni Mubarak is considered as an elder statesman by other world leaders but for the common man in Egypt he is just an autocratic dictator who has been rigging elections after elections to stay in power with the support of US & Israel.

The Egyptian middle class has been restless due to the lack of civil liberties,political reform to allow multi party elections, Rampant corruption and also their great opposition towards the Emergency law which gives the Interior ministry and the Police wide ranging powers to overrule constitutional rights to brutally suppress any form of dissent against the govt. Trouble had been brewing in Egypt for a few years and tipping point has been that the public really feared that Mubarak would transfer the power to his son Gamal Mubarak in the upcoming presidential election which is scheduled to be held later in the year.

I feel that it is too early for the idea of Democracy to work in the Middle East, the population over there is still not educated and matured enough to understand the nuances of Democracy and how it will benefit them. Case in point is Hamas being elected in Gaza. And that is also the sole reason that dictators like Saddam, Mubarak etc had a free run for 2-3 decades.

The rulers of UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Oman etc has been smart enough to understand that the wealth ought to be shared and has ensured that the common man has also got a share some of the Oil money via state benefits so that they would not rise in revolt against the govt.

As I said earlier that our politicians are smart enough to understand that the public memory is short and has used it to their advantage. They know that our great Indian middle class would find a way around everything. e.g -We grudgingly buy Diesel Cars if the Petrol prices are hiked and can easily be pacified by some IT sops in the budget. They know very well for the fact that we are selfish and always uses the Carrot and stick policy to fool the public and the great Drama goes on and only the actors change in course of time.

Last edited by lloydofcochin : 30th January 2011 at 22:36.
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Old 30th January 2011, 22:37   #3
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Not yet. Might never happen. We are simple folks that love to watch soap (the allergic detergent variety that makes one weap) on a free tv. We also love to get paid to vote. The rest of us do not have time for TV. So I guess its a no.
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Old 30th January 2011, 22:43   #4
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Not Yet:

Some factors

1) We still do get jobs

2) Our economy is doing fine

3) Our middle class wont VOTE. Protest Blah!!

4) The people who will protest can be controlled by our cunning politicos

5) Our govt is corrupt because we let them get away. Simple we get what we deserve.

One party calls the other communal while the reality says that every party has had riots under their rule! Period
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Old 30th January 2011, 23:07   #5
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

It won't ... for all the reasons listed above!!

Besides we Indians just love convenience ... though not exactly Amriki economy style

We love the convenience of a free holiday on voting day
We love the convenience of paying a bribe rather than run the rounds at government offices
We love the convenience of staying at home rather than taking to the streets for a cause and scaring politicians into heeding public demand
We love the convenience of looking the other way rather than protesting unfairness
We love the convenience of letting other people fight our fights while we stay indoors watching TV or enjoying an "Aish ki zindagi"
We love the convenience of postponing social responsibility in the vague hope that somebody will take up the initiative and do all the grunt work, by the time we feel up to it and arrive at the venue to claim our fair share of justice, rights or whatever ...

Unless there is money involved of course

On the brighter side - we do all that only when its convenient for us to do so - but of course!!

Regards

Last edited by Ragul : 30th January 2011 at 23:10.
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Old 31st January 2011, 00:16   #6
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
Hosni Mubarak is considered as an elder statesman by other world leaders but for the common man in Egypt he is just an autocratic dictator who has been rigging elections after elections to stay in power with the support of US & Israel.
Needless to say this fellow is the puppet of the mentioned. It is impertive that he stays at his position unlike the Tunsian puppet who finally after door to door knocking of his masters found asylum with puppets in KSA.
If Mubarak resigns and the opposition takes charge it is curtains for Israel's existance.
That is why I feel he will not be overthrown. Boy uncle Sam's trousers are on fire.

It will take a lot for such a thing to happen in India. Last time we did this. We got independence.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 31st January 2011 at 00:19.
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Old 31st January 2011, 01:05   #7
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Atleast no one said that there are hidden WMD, bombed Cairo and overthrew a new Saddam. Thank you Obama.
The kids are putting up a brave battle and its no Tmn. Sqr. so far, but wonder if democracy would work there even if thers regime change.
Our own neighbour Pakistan has always been better off with tough military dictators.
As for India, there is never going to be an uprising as the populace knows 'Sab chor hein'.
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Old 31st January 2011, 06:56   #8
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

we are an apathetic race by and large. the general attitude is one of selfishness
manifested in as simple a thing as chucking one's rubbish on the street - with the attitude that hey, my home is clean - i couldnt care less what happens outside my house.
we are also a nation of nirvana seekers for the self - which is why we do not tend to unite and attack a problem.
plus, ours is at best a very loose sort of unity in diversity - we are so ethnically diverse and in a way our ethnic diversity creates feelings of parochialism and a desire to flock together in little micro-cosmic communities of our own ethnic extraction.
this is why local politicians are able to remain in power by invoking the power of their own little ethnic minorities.
also we are a lazy race with a strong tendency towards "laissez faire" - we've all seen it on the streets and in times of strife. while our own soldiers were dying in Kargil far away to the North or in Sri Lanka during the IPKF peace keeping force times, the rest of India was busy going about its daily business of earning its daily bread without sparing a thought. also - in all honesty if we see an injustice being done on the street- lets ask ourselves how many of us will stop and try to intervene on the side of the person who is "right" or on the side of the "victim". most times we would prefer to turn a Nelson's eye and continue on our own business.
this is one of the reasons that evildoers in India think they are pretty much immune when they do such evil. this coupled with the National apathy, results in the situation in which we are right now.
I dont think there will be a revolution against corruption - what can probably happen is a revolution of the "have-nots" against the "haves" because the disparity is growing wider with each passing day. Worst case, we may have a social revolution on the lines of France in the eighteenth century or Russia or Cuba in the twentieth century.
I love my country with all its faults but that does not make me blind to some of these glaring issues.
My submission is that a similar situation in China may cause their people to unite and fight largely on account of an overall ethnic similarity across that country. Whereas here in India this is less likely to happen.
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Old 31st January 2011, 07:19   #9
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Why on earth would India head in that direction?

The current agitation is against Mubarak who has been the President for almost 3 decades now. Every time he got himself another term through a sham referendum.The Democratic system in India is much different than what Egypt has.

There is no way we would go that way becoz
-Our system has its own demerits,but it has been working effectively for us.
-Unlike the Egyptians,who had no one other choice than Mubarak running for the post,we Indians can make our own choice(Wether that choice is any different from current ruler's is diff story altogether)
-The current struggle in Egypt is aimed against the government of an Arab country that is predominantly pro US.

There are chances that this struggle could well pass on to other Arab countries that are close allies to the US.Its the US that has a lot to worry about,not us.
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Old 31st January 2011, 09:34   #10
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Interesting topic, However too far from reality

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
It will take a lot for such a thing to happen in India. Last time we did this. We got independence.
+1 nicely said.

I just remembered this song from John mayer, listen to the lyrics somehow reminds me of the our system. Not the same, but partly.

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Old 31st January 2011, 09:54   #11
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

NO. I is not heading into that direction and India never will. The problem in India is hypocracy and also self centeredness. If one manages to get the problem solved by contacts, he/she wont think about others. This runs deeper and at higher frequency.

The problem here in India is low moral of general public, etc. ( it goes a hell lot more deep that just that like different working conditions and rules, and so on....)

The day moral of general public goes up, which is highly unlikely unless we are attacked by Bangladesh/Pakistan/China ( and I am sure we will lose ) and the general public of India lose right of doing not the correct thing, we will not have such an uproar. Who will join protest, a person having a relative/friend at good post in government ? NO way.

And we are worse off than Egypt even today.

Those who say that why would India turn into such protest as India is best and Egypt had 30 years of dictatorship, well, we have more than 5 decades of corruption, injustice ( there is no point in stating all the injustice that a human faces in India as the list is way too long ) to say the least.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 31st January 2011 at 09:59.
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Old 31st January 2011, 10:26   #12
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I love my country with all its faults but that does not make me blind to some of these glaring issues.
My submission is that a similar situation in China may cause their people to unite and fight largely on account of an overall ethnic similarity across that country. Whereas here in India this is less likely to happen.
Very well said.As with most countries,we have our own issues/pain areas.That doesnt mean that we need to turn a blind eye and start cribbing that we are a failed state.
I've had multiple opportunities to settle abroad but wasnt too keen at any instance.Call me naive,but I've always wanted to do something here.Mind you,both my siblings are NRIs'

I still believe that ,we will succeed as a country in the near future.Its this optimism that should keep us going and guide us in doing the right things.Lets not say that I wont do the right thing becuas emy neighbour doesnt follow it.
Being persistent helps and I've learnt that if you can maintain a smile on your face and be stubborn about a good cause,you sure can bring about a change.

Love my country and my city inspite of the ups and downs.
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Old 31st January 2011, 10:31   #13
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
NO. I is not heading into that direction and India never will. The problem in India is hypocracy and also self centeredness. If one manages to get the problem solved by contacts, he/she wont think about others. This runs deeper and at higher frequency.

The problem here in India is low moral of general public, etc. ( it goes a hell lot more deep that just that like different working conditions and rules, and so on....)

The day moral of general public goes up, which is highly unlikely unless we are attacked by Bangladesh/Pakistan/China ( and I am sure we will lose ) and the general public of India lose right of doing not the correct thing, we will not have such an uproar. Who will join protest, a person having a relative/friend at good post in government ? NO way.

And we are worse off than Egypt even today.

Those who say that why would India turn into such protest as India is best and Egypt had 30 years of dictatorship, well, we have more than 5 decades of corruption, injustice ( there is no point in stating all the injustice that a human faces in India as the list is way too long ) to say the least.
why do u think people in india have low morals? Is just because we are so used to corruption and dont care anymore, or is it something else?
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Old 31st January 2011, 11:01   #14
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

How I wish India also heads in the same direction. But it won't happen because:-

1. Our politicians have played the "Divide and Rule" for so long and so effectively that we the Indians have stopped thinking as a nation. We are either punjabis, Muslims or Hindus etc., as per our religion, or Biharis, Bengalis or Maharastriyans etc., as per our state. Everybody now talks of issues concerning their caste or area, nobody is concerned about nation as a whole. So we have lost the sense and thinking of one nation and our national pride.

2. Nearly half of the electorate don't even go to vote then how can we expect them to fight the system.

3. People have become so self centric that they are not bothered about national issues like corruption, lawlessness etc., till it starts directly affecting them. So they won't fight as a group.

4. Our national system has has become so perverted that most of the people are benefitting from one or other kind of dirty practices prevailing here. So if 'A' is getting regular supply of stolen kerosene at a cheaper price, he will never fight against that, national problem be damned.

5. Nobody is bothered that the whole system is getting so vitiated that it will become impossible to live here within a few years, or what kind of nation we are going to leave for our children.

6. Money making at any cost has become supreme, ethics be damned.

I can go on and on but have started feeling depressed. We have become joke of a nation where criminals and corrupt rule the country, and many of our laws are simply ridiculous. Democracy in it's present form has failed in India as people have taken democracy as "Freedom to do what ever they like, rules be damned".

Phir bhi Mera Bharat Mahan.

By the way do we remember a word called Bharat?????
It has become India now a days. We ourselves want to become slave again.
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Old 31st January 2011, 11:27   #15
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Default Re: Crisis in Egypt : Is India also headed in that direction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
what can probably happen is a revolution of the "have-nots" against the "haves" because the disparity is growing wider with each passing day. Worst case, we may have a social revolution on the lines of France in the eighteenth century or Russia or Cuba in the twentieth century.
+1
Most of us are city dwellers who will somehow make money through jobs or business. The situation seems rosy. It's surely not the same in the hinterlands. A state like TN which is considered progressive is blooming only in the metros. There was huge resentment last year due to power cuts, that the ruling party had to resort to extreme tactics like giving freebies worth 100s of crores.

Some of the glaring similarities between Egypt and India are
> Fantasticly growing economy with growth rate around 8%
> Economic reforms benefited only the urban educated class
> An economy that wasn't affected by the 2008-09 recession
> A booming real estate and banking sector that didn't crumple during the economic crisis of 2008-09
> A country knee deep in corruption
> Food inflation of 15%

And let's not think when a revolution happens, the entire population erupts. A mere 5% of the population can bring about a change, by uprising. Even when the Indian independence struggle was going on majority of them were mute spectators, happy with their normal existance. It's only a minority of them that revolted, and a favorable post WW-II scenario helped.

Last edited by Daewood : 31st January 2011 at 11:40.
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