Understanding Arab Spring, Discuss Democracy Vs Non-Intervention, and Conclusion

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Understanding Arab Spring

  • The relative material deprivation combined with a

  • perceived sense of injustice of the regime as

  • reflected in the form of high corruption, growing

  • Americanization of Arab world after 9/11 and its

  • moral‐political bankruptcy on the Palestinian issue

  • has ignited the long-wounded Arabs on the street.

  • The flight of Ben Ali, the reclusive dictator of

  • Tunisia, in view of small-scale protests lifted the

  • fear of Arab autocratic regimes and provided a big

  • moral solace to the people to come out in the street

  • against the regime.

  • Edward Thompson’s conception of ‘the moral

  • economy of poor’ has direct relevance for

  • understanding this ‘discontent’ in contemporary

  • Arab world. According to Thompson, food protests

  • are not merely ‘rebellions of the belly’ or responses

  • to economic hardship by the working class, but

  • expressions of loss of the right to livelihood and

  • economic justice, which had been hitherto partly

  • legitimated by states seen as paternalistic.

Significance

Middle East – home to five million Indian citizens and most of India’s energy supplies.

Historic Opportunity

To play a greater role geopolitical decision-making. After all, the non-interventionist tradition is a relic of the time when India was weak and poor. It seems ill-fitted to the foreign policy of a country increasingly strong and prosperous.

Growing Global Role

Given its status as the world’s largest democracy, India can play a unique role in supporting the democratic forces. Presents a working democratic model in a sociocultural environment far closer to the Gulf’s than Western democracies are—and with none of the political baggage of the latter.

Discuss Democracy vs Non-Intervention

Democracy

  • India today brands itself on the world stage as ‘the fastest growing free market democracy’. Acting on this belief, India already has worked to strengthen democratic institutions in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and, most prominently, Afghanistan.

  • India was one of ten founding members of the Community of Democracies and a leading co-founder of the UN Democracy Fund, dedicated to promoting good governance and human rights around the world. India has participated in the multilateral activities of the Center for Democratic Transitions, the Partnership for Democratic Governance, and the Asia-Pacific Democracy Partnership.

  • AS presents an opportunity to project New Delhi’s soft power, which is considerable in the region.

National Interest

AS states will need to establish the institutions of good governance, from strong political parties to independent judiciaries. New Delhi’s advice and assistance would make these countries better homes for Indian workers, better allies in stabilizing a region of great strategic importance to India’s development, more reliable energy suppliers, and more prosperous trade and investment partners.

Others

The crisis of governance in the Arab world also presents an opportunity to strengthen US-India ties. Whether working together with India or independently toward similar ends, the world’s largest democracies bring complementary strengths to the hard task of building a culture of democracy across the Arab world.

What Has It Done Till Now?

Earlier this year, India voted with the other great powers on the UN Security Council to sanction Libya following Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal crackdown.

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