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Will uprising topple dictators?

   By Vijay Darda | 05-12-2021

The desire for freedom from the whims of rulers is the real trigger behind rebellion in China and Iran

Vijay Darda

Have you ever heard of a nation’s sporting team losing an international game, resulting in being eliminated from the tournament, and having its humiliation hailed in their own nation? Iran recently experienced this. Just as Iran’s World Cup run came to an end after its loss to the US, the Iranian people took to the streets to celebrate the defeat. Among those rejoicing were the die-hard supporters of the team. So,what made even the devoted fans of the team so upset?

Football is the most loved sport in Iran and the people of Iran wanted their team to demonstrate sentiments of the people of Iran on the international platform. Iran is currently witnessing strong protests across the country against the strict dress code for women. People are enraged following the death of 22-year-old woman activist Mahsa Amini in September this year. Women want to get rid of Iran’s cruel dress code.They are expressing their anger by cutting their hair and burning the veil on social media. Not only women but young men are also against the cruel dress code. They are joining the protests too.

Meanwhile, the government machinery has killed thousands of people. Despite this, the desire for freedom is so strong that people are not desisting from taking to the streets. When the Iranian players did not sing the national anthem in the first match against England, it was considered a mark of a strong protest against the Iranian government, but the players could not maintain their opposition for long. It is believed the players did not give a strong voice to the anger of Iranianpeople, making them extremely angry with their team as well.

The condition in Iran is really bad. The life of women there is like hell. Iranian women want freedom just as the girls are allowed to study, work and wear clothes of their choice in the Islamic nation of Turkey. History proves that this was not always the case in Iran. Iranian women made a lot of progress in the era of Shah Reza Pahlavi. They were contributing to every field of the society, but fanatic Khomeini forced the women behind the veil immediately after assuming power and now the women are trying their best to break free.

Now, let us take a look at the rebellion in China. You must not have forgotten the days of the Covid-triggered lockdown. People were in serious trouble and couldn’t reach home. Many were unable to get proper food, water and medicines. People travelled several hundred kilometres to reach home. But there was no voice of rebellion against the government anywhere because no one doubted the intention of the government. This is not the case in China. In the name of Covid outbreak, the authorities there are trying to suppress the discontent of the people by locking them in their homes. That is why people have taken to the streets and revolted openly.

Last month, the vandalism by workers on the premises of an iPhone manufacturing unit fuelled rebellion. Prior to this, there was a simmering discontent among the people over the loss of their money in the banks. Tanks were deployed in front of the banks then to intimidate the people.

In fact, people are fed up with the rising dictatorship and cruelty under Xi Jinping’s rule. That is why when the authorities tried to seal the areas that witnessed rebellion in the name of Covid, the unrest spread to other areas as well. These rebellions are not knee-jerk reactions, but have erupted due to a long pending demand for freedom.People are seeing how an attempt was made to destroy Jack Ma, who brought laurels to China, only because he started criticising Xi Jinping’s policies occasionally. Now the Chinese people have started to feel that the present dispensation is more cruel than that of Mao Zedong. The Chinese people have also notforgotten how the movement for the restoration of democracy in 1989 was crushed by the Communist regime. Thousands of young protesters were killed in one strike at Tiananmen square. Notwithstanding that incident, today people are not afraid of the government. Protesters are being kidnapped. They are being murdered. All methods of cruelty are being adopted. The government machinery is temporarily feeling that Xi Jinping has controlled the rebellion but the reality is quite the opposite. The rebellion is growing stronger by the day. The question is when will this rebellion succeed, if at all it does?

It is not only the people of Iranand China that are in the grip of dictatorship. At least 52 countries, from Latin America to Asia, the Middle East and Africa, are directly ruled by dictators. Moreover, there are also countries like Pakistan and Russia, which you may not technically categorise as dictatorships, but the governance system there is almost like a dictatorship. Can anyone in Russia speak against Putin?According to Sweden’s Freedom Report, 70 per cent of the world’s population is facing dictatorship in some form or the other. In a country like America, there is discrimination against blacks. This is also a form of dictatorship. But there is a hope everywhere that someday they will be free. The desire for freedom can never be crushed. Let us hope that one day the whole world will be able to breathe freely, where there will be no cruelty in the governance system. We are really lucky that we are free!

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