Saturday, July 11, 2009

Protests in Iran are a lesson for Tajiks!

By:Botur Kosimi
  • People’s protests in Iran last week that have been in the headlines of all major world media outlets and in fact, have turned violent, can be of life lesson value to other countries with a similarly restrictive “democracy” systems. Certainly, Tajiks all around the world are carefully following these events in Iran, a country with strong linguistic and cultural among other ties with their own, and support the real will of its people expressed in elections, however it is quite regretting that peaceful protests in the aftermath have been dealt violently resulting in civilian deaths.

Obviously, the issue is very sensitive and complicated as well and hopefully, the Iranian government will deal with their people by addressing concerns and discussions with protesters instead of using military force and physical pressure, so the issue gets resolved with satisfaction and accord. After all, those protesters are also part of the people and they are not just 10 or 100 in numbers, they are 100 thousands. Most likely the sharp changes are not possible and actually, might not be beneficial for Iranian nation, but gradual and long-term reforms towards more social, cultural, economic, and political freedom, particularly for women, in their society is very important.

The reason Iranian events can be a life lesson for other similar nondemocratic states is that the major part of protesters were youth “generation of after Islamic Revolution.” First, these young people don’t have experience or memory of conflict and uprising of Islamic movement against Shah government and secondly, they are more interested in connecting with modern world values and achievements rather than holding beliefs of 30 years ago. Finally, they do have knowledge, skills, and vision for how to conduct struggle to gain more civil liberties. So, the factors that played a role in such events in near future of 5 years can potentially raise in Tajikistan and other Central Asian states.

To conclude, we should understand that people’s rights for basic human rights such as freedom of expression and speech (controlling media), religious affiliation (interference to religion), access to good quality education (enforcing various imitations in schools and universities), personal spending (placing fines for excessive customs and rituals) and so on can not be disregarded. Otherwise, failure to provide betterment in people’s living standards because of widespread corruption, incapable officials, regionalism, and enacting limitations to personal liberties, can create a condition when one day Tajik youth will be forced to take on peaceful protests.

Certainly, may God will such condition not to become necessary. But in any case, I have strong doubts that with such “professionals” in such vital ministries as education (A. Rahmonov), economic development (G. Bobozoda) and industry and energy (Sh. Gul) we can have highly educated citizens, solid performing companies and economy moving fast towards development. Even though we all desire the same and President Ramon looks like has shown interest in development of our nation and state, not only prosperity of his family and himself, and possibly, there seem to be no one adequately effective to lead the country at the moment, but the issue now is about delivering results for people. Besides, making cheerful public speeches from pedestals having the knowledge and skills of creating team of professionals and experts and bringing about real changes to population has a key role. Unfortunately, just bay saying “halva” mouthes won’t be fed and for the sake of our children, tomorrow’s generation of our nation, we need to work hard today. We need patriotism, not regionalism.

May God be with us!

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