Friday, September 28, 2007

The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.

Events in Myanmar are spiraling out of control. So many thoughts in my head -immense anger at the military, so much respect and awe for those who are protesting. And also immense disgust and anger at my own government.

It was slightly bizarre in the midst of all of this to read the final paragraph of Sunil Khilnani’s excellently argued "The Idea of India":
India’s experience reveals the ordinariness of democracy – untidy, massively complex, unsatisfying but vital to a sense of human life today. It establishes that historical and cultural innocence do not exclude Asian cultures from the idea of democracy. But it does not mean that these cultures – or any other, for that matter – are tailor made for democracy. It will always be a vary struggle. For opponents of democracy in Asia, the history of this experience is a warning of what can be done. For its advocates it a basis of hope. The uproarious laughter that suffused the afternoon meetings held in Rangoon after Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest in 1995 expressed something of that hope. It was a laugh of freedom – that dissolves fear and says, however quietly, there is no divine right to rule.

It just makes it even more disappointing to see India dilly dally on the issue and not condemning outright the junta in Myanmar. The cozying up to the military regime since 2000 speaks volumes of our increasing hypocrisy and lack of moral standing.

You can sign Avaaz’s Myanmar action petition here. In addition, more information from Irrawaddy here. The BBC’s coverage here. openDemocracy’s article on the happenings here.

* Post title from Camus' s The Myth of Sisyphus. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

RARRR. what makes you think i want to go to the gym? O_O

lets do dinner/lunch or something i havent seen you in forever! like 2 weeks from now when im done with my midterms, that is :(

Szerelem said...

Heh. You win for most beside the post comment!

And yes, you are too busy to meet me these days clearly.

Anonymous said...

I think by having a gut reaction to the crackdown on the pro-democracy protests in Myanmar you are missing out on a lot - India can't outright condemn the military government because of the fact that it will become a flashpoint for any conflict with China - the Chinese after all are the biggest supporters of the Junta there. And besides, India's adventures in meddling in its neighbours internal conflicts have never come off well and neither are they perceived as successes by the benefactors - hearing the opinion of Indians from any Bangladeshi or Nepali or Sri Lankan or Bhutanese is to wonder at the art of bungled diplomacy and interference we as a nation have perfected. So to simply barge in braying about our democratic values does no one any favors, least of all the Burmese.

Szerelem said...

I don't deny the realpolitik behing India's involvement in Burma but it would hardly lead to a clash between India and China if India came out with a statement in support of the pro democracy movement. Even China's reaction has been stronger than India's spineless one!

Cheshire Cat said...

It's one thing not to condemn the military government, quite another to have business dealings with them. The Indian government's attitude is quite shameful... Especially when you consider the history of non-violent independence movements. What's the point of a newer, stronger India if that strength is not used wisely?

chandni said...

you have received an award..please come and collect :)

Szerelem said...

Cat: I agree with you... what's so terribly hypocritical is our constant tom-toming of the fact that we are a democracy on one hand and total unwillingness to do or say anything about Burma on the other....