Global economy is in tatters and things are not looking better.
Facebook revolution (aka Jasmine revolution or twitter revolution) has
brought down anarchical governments worldwide. Whether its Tunisia,
Egypt or Libya, the underlying reasons to the revolutions has been
more or less economic.
Global economic slowdown, coupled with factors such as rising food
prices, have caused massive unrest across the globe. According to FAO,
the number of hungry people across the world is close to 1 billion.
International Labour Organisation predicts over 203 million unemployed
persons in 2011, up 26% from 2007.
Much many previous revolutions that were peasant led, revolutions in
the past one year were led by a more cosmopolitan audience. Leaders
and participants in the protests were educated people, who were
actively using Social Media such as Facebook and twitter to share
their opinion and rally others.
India also saw Facebook revolution with a widespread support of the
younger generation. The nation is reeling under high inflation and
rising food prices. The trigger point of the movement were allegations
of organised scams in government, which allegedly had support of many
politicians. The magnitude of scams was very high. For example, the
estimate of 2G Spectrum Scam was over USD 39 billion.
India is world's largest democracy. The government is chosen by a
nation of more than a billion people. Thankfully, India believed in
democracy and the protest methods were democratic. The protests were
inspired by Gandhian philosophy and there were no reports of violence
by the protestors. Unlike other countries, there were also no major
crackdowns by the government.
People rallied around few select civil society crusaders such as Anna
Hazare (ex-foot soldier), Arvind Kejriwal (ex-bureaucrat) and Kiran
Bedi (ex-senior police officer) who followed aggressive but completely
peaceful methods. The figurehead of the movement was Anna Hazare, who
sat on a hunger strike till citizens were listened. Bollywood actors,
industrialists, small & medium enterprises, and others supported the
movement. Bulk of the support came through social media.
Indians acted very responsibly and the government listened. Now, there
is a growing support both inside and outside the government for making
a new legislation for a stronger action against organised corruption.
Indian government swiftly took action against the figureheads behind
corruption and several powerful ministers are currently imprisoned.
The world was dreading the protests in India. The two economies that
are still fairly strong in the current global economic environment are
India and China. Instability in India would be catastrophic for the
India again showed the way to the world for Facebook revolution.
Indians believed in democratic values and protested peacefully. The
government, in turn, listened and acted upon the wishes of the people.
The world soon will reel under global economic crisis. Governments
across the world need to be geared up and be ready for facing
criticism. Unlike previous economic slowdowns, this time the common
man will have trouble in putting bread on the table.
Almost every country across the world was coming up with deficit
budgets. They are dependent largely upon financing a large portion of
their financial requirements through artificial means. In the current
scenario, there are very few options to fund these deficits. None of
the countries with the recent revolution have been able to instantly
give better lives to people. In this economic scenario, there's a very
little to gain by a violent revolution.
It will be in interest of both government and people if the next
Facebook revolution is Indian style.
Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, an
independent international organisation committed to enacting visions
for a sustainable future. Horasis hosts the annual Global India
Horasis is a global visions community committed to enact visions for a sustainable future. (http://www.horasis.org)
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