Arab Spring Discuss: What else Can It Do, Conclusion and Questions

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What else Can It Do

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has raised the possibility of Indian support for upcoming elections in Egypt. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, has approached India for help with conducting nationwide elections. Given India’s remarkable success in regularly organizing elections for hundreds of millions of its citizens, it’s uniquely positioned to provide this expertise.

  • First, it is likely to result in the realignment of political forces at regional level that

  • will strengthen the forces of ‘pan‐Arabism’ against Israel. Under the convulsion of people’s pressure, the issue of ‘Arab pride’ with ‘liberation of Palestine’ at its center is bound to resurface at the regional level in near future. Therefore, India needs to avoid a close identification with Israel.

  • India still has remarkable good will in the region which it might lose if it continues to ally itself too closely with United States and Israel. India needs to maintain a ‘strategic autonomy’ vis‐ a vis United States and must reorient her ties with the Arab world as an indispensable component of her strategic autonomy and commercial exigencies and create a new discourse in line with the evolving norms of Arabism.

  • With Turkey’s series of anti‐Israel stand and

  • its shifting focus towards normalizing relationship

  • with countries of Arab world and Iran in recent

  • years, the ‘Turkish model of democracy’ has gained

  • public attention in the Arab world. India, therefore, needs to

  • strengthen its ties with Turkey. A strong tie with

  • Turkey will help India in protecting its security,

  • political and commercial interest in Central Asia. It

  • appears that Turkey is more than willing to expand

  • its commercial venture in South and Southeast

  • Asian countries through India, while allowing the

  • Indian commercial interest in North Africa and

  • Central Asia through Turkey.

  • The rivalry for regional leadership

  • between Saudi Arabia and Iran along the line of

  • sectarian identity‐Sunni and Shii is likely to increase

  • in coming years. Given that India has heavy stake in

  • Persian Gulf in terms of hydrocarbon, remittances,

  • service, and trade it needs to maintain a delicate

  • diplomatic balance between these two-regional rival nations.

  • Fourth, as the region is pregnant with uncertain

  • future India needs to diversify its sources of

  • hydrocarbons and must prepare a contingency plan

  • to look after the six million diasporas located in the

  • Arab region.

Conclusion

  • Arab publics are clamoring for reform. Supporting them isn’t a policy of regime change or the imposition of outside values. It is nothing more than pursuing at once our interests and our values.

  • Many commentators see this popular outburst as beginning of real democratic transformation of Islamic West Asian and North African Countries. Only time will testify this predicament. However, it will certainly lead to some political reform in the region in the direction of greater democratic openness, increased transparency, enhanced governance and increased popular participation.

Questions

How can/ shld India play a more proactive role in democratic transition??

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