Commentary : To Have Riots = Democracy Uprising?

While reading today’s edition of the Straits Times, I came across an article providing a unique perspective on how democracy is visioned differently by various groups of people. The writer uses the current political turmoil embattling Iran with its current state of protests to give an insightful thought on how it is represented towards the people in the West and possibly towards those elsewhere in the world, namely Asia.

Take a look at some extracts from the article.

Rose tinted glasses often blur the lurking thorns By tom plate for the Straits Times. – 24 June 2009

"Western observers tend to regard protest demonstrations as always a good thing – as a sign of healthy dissent, almost angelic in their innocence. This is probably a global minority view. In many places outside the west – and especially in Asia – the opposition movement in
the Iranian capital gets mixed reviews. This is because people around the world don’t necessarily look at the world through the same rose-tinted glasses as those in the west do."

"Blossoming street demonstrations make for excellent political television. But the don’t always transition into better government, to a better life and livelihood for all. They are a lot more fun to watch than to endure."

The writer namely tackles two key points towards the situation in Iran. How the protests are viewed mainly by the West and the difference in Asia. And how the fight for a cause may not necessarily result in the goal the majority are envisioning of.

It is essential to understand that generally with riots, it is usually a sign that the rise of the people’s power is inevitable. Riots drive down the message that a certain group of people demand change, and in the case of Tehran, it is due to a supposed belief that the voting system had been rigged causing the incumbent President to remain in power, therefore unhappiness is rife.

However, with this rise of ‘people power’, will it actually cause any real change? Sometimes the system proves to be flawed as another ineffective leader might just as well take the mantle of leadership. Or alternatively, it might be someone capable who would cause a positive difference.

Yet still, as members of the global community, where would our opinions lie in the presence of such a case?

Devotees towards democracy would champion that the riots are effective and the power of democracy is taking place. Those in the middle would perhaps ho-hum along the way and provide a nonchalant response so as to be both democratic and subtlety conservative at the same time.

With the International media banned from entering the distressed country, many have turned to rely on popular web services such as Twitter, which allows quick updates from local users on the situation to be relayed through the world wide web.

The information provided through this uprising media has led to immediate distress as sources reveal the situation “of people with broken arms, legs, heads — blood everywhere — pepper gas like war," –

It is undeniable that the turmoil has reached a state of alarm and immediate concern, and action has to be taken by the relevant people. However, will this movement by the people actually make a difference in a country whose fate is still undetermined. What it after all this struggle, things do not change?

Yes, it is arguable that without the first step taken, who knows what might happen? And just maybe through this method, the people might prevail.

But with an uncertain political climate and with many citizens getting hurt in the process, is it worth it? Perhaps it is so, but was this the best move where so many innocent are being affected?

Ultimately, while I agree that an incorrupt democracy should be upheld, the path that leads to it is far by too dangerous and merciless. For the greater good, it may be essential and almost to an extent, necessary. But the hanging question remains. Would there really be a treasure at the end of the hard journey?

Disclaimer : All views proposed are in no way meant to offend anyone. It is just an opinion of the writer providing different outlooks to the situation at hand.