Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Independence Day for Egypt?

Yes it is a military coup but very rarely the Military feels so much on the right side of History. But I can be wrong as no one will know for sure how things will turn out to determine this intervention by Army Barracks as any good. Earlier I also thought that Mursi was on the right side of History by helping Egyptians towards a more stable and prosperous society with a steady and technocratic hand. But he turned out to be bit erratic and at times resorting to power grab; without much to show in terms of solving day-to-day problems of Egyptians. In order to solve problems of common Egyptians if stability is necessary and to get that stability you need to be bit circumspect in pushing your religious agenda; then you rise to the occasion in standing to the internal pressures of Muslim Brotherhood in waging a sectarian agenda. Ironically even his more conservative ally like Naur Party as well did not find any pushing of Islamic Agenda as of any significance when Naur Party turned its back on Mursi and joined his opposition. What that tells us is practically everyone realized the utter importance to solve the day to day suffering of people. (Telling sign has been how effectively police force as well turned on Mursi government.) Mursi failed to read this writing on the wall and never found where the keys were hidden to kick start the process of solving problems of common Egyptians. Failure to govern always gets amplified when you are seen as pushing sectarian agenda irrelevant to welfare of common people.

Very rarely in History we get presented with such a lack of ‘black and white’ – whether this is a Military Coup with usual authoritarian streaks (Al Zajeera Broadcast is shut down within hours of the coup) or second phase of the same revolution. Most folks know from History text books that whether it is French Revolution or Russian Revolution; revolutions do not stop in the first act. They have more than one act, potentially acts with violent consequences and loss of lives. Is it then the case that Military Barracks wanted to arrest any further losses of human life while laying foundations for a proud and independent nation? In any case it is not so easy to justify the moral case of a Military intervention especially when it involves ejection of a popularly elected president in response to folks on road.

But one can excuse Egyptian Military here – they stayed out of down fall of earlier Military head (Hosni Mubarack); did not partake in writing of the constitution or did not stop election of an Islamists President nor did resist when that same president was asserting his full writ over Egyptian Military and State or when that same President attempted in his own clumsy way to trigger social engineering along more religious lines. These are the reasons why Military’s intervention at this juncture can be tolerated or why high credibility folks like ElBaradei (the leader of Opposition in this second phase), the Coptic Church Pope, senior Muslim Cleric and young revolutionaries of Tahrir Square are gracing this coup by General al-Sisi.

What happens next will largely determine what judgment History would cast on this momentous day. By very nature and definition, framing of Constitution is an exercise of compromise among equal voices, not necessarily proportional to their actual strength in the population. If Majoritarianism, is all that you want to exercise; lofty purposes of Constitution simply starts on a weaker foundations. So all this jostling before elections to influence the new constitution is kosher. What is critical is Military Barracks are able to pull that off with most competing parties realizing downside of ‘seating out of this constitution writing processes’. Unless that realization is there and Army actively creates conditions for such nudging of parties; Egypt will be unable to avoid these repeated attempts of getting her Revolution ‘right’. After all there are going to be only few opportunities to get Arab Spring right.

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