The enlightened call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.

— Krishna in The Gita

The mind is everything. What you think you become.
— Buddha

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

People power in Egypt

It is impossible not to get awestruck by the events unfolding across the Middle East, especially the Egyptian revolution. Coming on the back of the Tunisian uprising, protests in Egypt unseated Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power in what has been described by some as an 18-day miracle.
The ouster of Mubarak, more than Tunisia’s Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, has caught the imagination of the world because Mubarak is a more widely known figure and has been a symbol of permanent power. Also, Ben Ali was quick to cave in, Mubarak clung to power for as long as he could.
Across the world people watched in fascination history being made on their television screens. From a region viewed through the prism of terrorism and war came a totally contrasting image—millions of people, mostly with no political affiliation, unarmed and non-violent, but resolute and brave, challenging the US-backed mighty Mubarak whose brutality has been legendary.
Contrast this with the attempt at regime change in Iraq—violence, deaths, uncertainty and an influx of terrorism.
There have been many heroes in the Egyptian narrative—ordinary people with ordinary lives. Wael Ghonim, a Dubai-based Google Executive for instance, set up a Facebook page that had membership of 500,000. Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26-year-old woman wrote on Facebook: "People, I am going to Tahrir Square", just days before Jan. 25, the Day of Rage. She led the first wave of protests, braving the notorious Egyptian police.
Inspired by the Tunisian uprising and aided by social media, these people were galvanised into action with nothing by their side but a will to die for freedom. A fine example of civil disobedience Mahatma Gandhi would have been proud of.
It was heartening to see protesters—young men and women, children and elderly citizens—camping out at Tahrir Square, which, after Mubarak’s resignation, was cleaned up and repainted by themselves. It was equally heartening to see private citizens
shouldering tasks of directing traffic and guarding museums during the uprising.
We don’t know yet what lies ahead for Egypt, for the saga is not finished yet. But we do know that ‘the mother of the world’ (that’s what it’s known as in the Middle East) has woken up; it can’t be taken for granted anymore, either by future governments or self-serving superpowers.
Not only has the so-called Arab Street found its voice, it has given hope and inspiration to oppressed around the world.


  1. YEs indeed people pwer.. hats off to them all.. wish we in india can do the same tooo bring about a change for goood :)


  2. Beautifully presented. Hope,those resorting to violence to get their ends will learn a lesson from this.

  3. Let us see what happens after six months

  4. They have thrown a corrupt man after 30 years, we in India are still struggling looking for ways and means to throw out our corrupt government even after more than 60 years. Shame on us, we cannot even claim we are the pioneers of Gandhian principles.
    I wish the Egyptians the very best. Now that they have taken a step, they will see that everything falls in its right place.

  5. A very beautiful depiction of the events in Egypt.. I read it fully.. you have a gripping style.. happy to be here.. thanks!!! Came through Anu's page..

  6. People power did bring dictator down. Lets see now who comes up

  7. Egypt has shown the way and proved power of people

  8. Hi Neena,

    Excellent post highlighting the power of people. When people come together for a common purpose especially liberty and freedom, no power on earth however mighty and strong can withstand it. This has happened all over the world starting with the French Revolution.

    Mahatma Gandhi set the finest example to the world by galvanizing the people of India by his simplicity and non violence to fight and drive out the mighty British who ruled India not for decades but for centuries. At that time it was said that the sun never sets over the British Empire and the British caved in to Mahatma's unarmed resistance and non cooperation.

    However you will note Fidel Castro is still going strong in Cuba. I wonder for how long?The military junta in Burma is holding on and Suu Kyi's stout resistance is not paying the desired results.Similarly the military establishment in Pakistan is having a vicious grip over the civilian government.When will this end?

    Your post is very thought provoking and these are some thoughts that came to my mind.

  9. Hello!
    Beautiful future for the Egypt!