Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Democracy and extremism

Yes, I know it is long time since I wrote anything on this blog, except for publishing friends' appeals from Nepal. Now it seems the King in Nepal has decided to give in to the people's movement and peace may return to this beautiful land.

I am thinking about Maoists and if they pose a threat to the country.

I have always maintained that dialogue and democracy are the best way to deal with extremists - by extremists, I mean, those who believe in extreme changes, not necessarily violent. In that sense, I don't agree with repression, banning, jails and fighting to overcome or to contain those we consider "extreme". I believe that if extremists can be made to participate in the democratic dialogue and if they find public support, to be the government, their extremism will be tempered and they will need to become less extreme to fit in with the system.

The increasing forces of globalisation, meaning increasing inter-links between people and countries, should be a safeguard since extremist governments, even if elected, can not break those links and live in isolation.

Another aspect of globalisation is the increasing presence of media, so that when "news" happens like dead bodies floating in Victoria falls in Rwanda, the world will see it. Thus violent abberrations, sooner or later must go away other wise you become an international pariah.

Unfortunately, both aspects of globalisation can be easily manipulated. When economic interests are there, other countries become tolerant of dictators and murderers, and close one or both eyes. And, the international media is fickle, it comes to catch the goriest pictures but here the supply is greater than demand, so it soon leaves to catch other gorier pastures.

So I think that maoists in Nepal should get a chance to participate in the elections and if they win the elections, they can get a go at the system. Yet, I am worried if the democracy rules are valid for everyone?

How about people or groups, who think that they don't believe in democractic ideas but play along only to get into power and then start their dictatorship and repression? And if through democracy, we end up with a Pol Pot and millions of dead, whose fault was it? Or with Talibans?

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