India, America and China
Democracy is expanding in the world!
Freedom is also expanding in the world?
Yes, seems to be the current mood we find in large parts of the world. Even in the former Communist, Soviet Russian states, we find there are elections and also of course, internal tensions and even violence.
The Middle East. Now, in the current focus, we see first the rise of the Arab Spring and now, in the wake of what is happening in Syria and also in Iran, there are new tensions and even wars and much loss of life there is however, there is a definite trend towards more freedoms open to the citizens. Even in Myanmar, we see there is a definite change of heart in the rulers there.
In China in particular, the last week of September and also the next one month, the next once- a- decade change of leadership has evoked worldwide attention to how modern China has changed. In fact, China today makes more news abroad than even within itself, it seems! The current duo, Hu Jintao and When Jiabao seem to be very moderate leaders who have projected images of outward-looking, cultivated and also encouraging gradual evolution of very democratic and freedom-loving individuals.
In Shanghai and Beijing, one sees much individual happiness on the average Chinese citizen’s faces, well-fed and well-endowed, and also enjoying the Western fashions and good things of life.
US Presidential elections, an education for the world
America, the bastion of democracy, seems to have some definite written Constitutional guarantee of two-term Presidency. So, we see the on-going Presidential elections that, in one word, an education for the world. An education in democratic education, we mean!
As for China, though it is a one party Communist dictatorship, for all practical reasons, however, China seems to be changing, moving towards a rather unusual manner towards some form of an open society and an internally driven democratic change.
Yes, once in two years, there is now a change of government at the top, this would be the fifth generation of leaders who would be taking over power.
Headlines in the London FT Weekend (Financial Times)
Of course, there are still tensions within China. The latest dramatic news that hit the headlines newspapers worldwide is the fall of Bo Xilai, the powerful leader, an aristocrat, charismatic leader whose wealth and influence is such that he had sent his son to Eton College and Oxford and now at Harvard.
Yet, his ambitious bid for power had led to his downfall. He is expelled and faces trial. His wife already faced trial and a suspended death sentence for a murder and this shows China is yet to graduate towards an open society and a free judiciary and freedom in the Western sense.
Now, what about India?
Our democracy and our freedoms?
Of course, India is a liberal open society where every citizen enjoys freedom and a range of fundamental rights which are guaranteed by Constitution and a free judiciary. This is India’s glory.
However, our democracy, after 65 years of practice, is yet to give a smooth constitutionally sound transition path. We face three assassinations of leaders in free India. Now, we also face the uncertain prospects of a dynastic succession. UK and other free countries?
Wiki leaks Founder Julian Assange
In UK, there is the case of Wiki leaks founder Julian Assange who had taken asylum at the tiny London Ecuador Embassy since August 19 and yet the UK government refuses to guarantee of free passage to his freedom of movement.
Assange accused the USA, its President Barack Obama for persecuting him for not granting him his freedoms. Assange says his Wiki leaks led to the Arab Spring. While America takes credit, Obama for taking personal credit for the Arab Spring which, says Assange, is not justified.
He accuses the world newspapers which made roaring headlines from his cables, now have abandoned him in his moment of search for freedom!
We seem to be living through some momentous times, it seems.
Image source : edition.cnn.com