Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’
India has an inclination for strengthening democracy as opposed to spreading it.
With the recent flurry of popular protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other countries of the Middle East it looks like balancing support for democracy with strategic national interests has emerged as the central theme for contemporary global relations. The United States while expressing support for democracy movements will restrain active involvement in such campaigns. President Obama’s cautious reaction to the uprising in the Arab world reflects America’s less intrusive approach to democracy promotion. Given these realities, India’s support for democratic values, sans the missionary zeal to promote democratic regimes is fast emerging as a reasonable response to the surge in democratic aspirations across the globe.
It would be an understatement to suggest that the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt have profound implications for the theory and practice of democracy. Commitment to democracy has assumed dramatically different connotations both in terms of adherence by national governments and support of the international community. Removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is only the short term result of the 18 day uprising, the long term outcome including the conception and growth of democratic norms shall emerge with time. However, the apparent ‘success’ of the uprising has fired the imagination of the people not only in autocratic regimes but in functional democracies as well. One such instance is that of India. Social and mainstream media in India has suggested the possibility of emulating Egypt type uprising in India to challenge the corruption and inefficiency of the Government. Many observers have even drawn parallels between the Tahrir uprising and public protests in Srinagar in the summer of 2010. Though Egypt like uprising is unlikely in India, yearnings for such ‘revolution’ shall remain strong among the Indian populace. Click to continue…
President Obama’s Cairo moment was anxiously awaited around the globe. Anticipations about President Obama’s speech had dominated the international media for the past week and managed to wrestle the headlines from the striking Tiananmen Square commemorations. The content of the speech will continue to be analyzed by scores of scholars across the globe for days to come. But what were the immediate responses of the common people and political leadership to President Obama’s speech? Here are a few reactions.
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds Egyptians continue to view US foreign policy quite negatively and see President Obama as closely aligned with it. At the same time, Obama has much better ratings than Bush had, and there are signs of thawing feelings toward the US. Excerpts from the Opinion Poll are presented here.
Asked how much confidence they have in Obama to do the right thing in international affairs, 39 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence–up sharply from the 8 percent who viewed George W. Bush positively in January 2008. Views of the United States government have also improved with favorable views rising to 46 percent from 27 percent in an August 2008 WorldPublicOpinion.org poll.
There has been little change in the views of US foreign policy. Sixty-seven percent say that the US plays a negative role in the world.
From taxi drivers to high-ranking bureaucrats; from university students to renowned political analysts, everyone in the Arab and Muslim world seems to be waiting for June 4 – the day when President Obama is expected to address the Muslim world. Student exams scheduled for June 4th have been postponed at the Cairo University, the venue for President Obama’s speech. This is not the first time that President Obama would approach the followers of Islamic faith with the objective of clarifying the U.S. policy towards the ‘Muslim world’. Since the inception of his term, President Obama is attempting to re-define America’s diplomatic outreach in an effort to reverse the tide of anti-Americanism among the Muslims across the world. So what makes the June 4th speech so special? To me it’s the burden of expectations. From open letters in leading newspapers of Egypt to op-eds by scholars of international affairs everyone has a list of dos and don’ts for President Obama. Though we cannot appropriately anticipate what President Obama will say we can examine what the Arab and Muslim world expects him to say.
[AP Photo/Ben Curtis]