The Opposition leaders have not been allowed to take part in the upcoming Duma Elections in Moscow. When the people staged a peaceful protest against the concerned authorities for not allowing the Opposition politicians to contest the polls, the Russian Riot Police beat the protesters!
The incident has prompted 17-year-old Olga Misic to sit cross-legged on the pavement directly in front of the truncheon-armed cops, and to read the Russian Constitution. Soon after she calmly and deliberately defied Vladimir Putin’s Riot Police during the recent pro-democracy demonstration, her image went viral and Olga quickly became a symbol of resistance to President Putin’s tyranny!
Putin, the Russian strongman, has always denied allegations against him. He did so in recent past after an Opposition leader suspiciously lost his life in not-so-normal an incident. The President also ridiculed and underestimated the Global Media when they published reports on Russian interference in US Presidential Elections a couple of years ago. However, it might not be easy for the STRONGMAN to disregard Olga! There are some moments in history when a person declared a war against the system, or against a ruler, and fought for democracy, alone. Later, her/his protest became a symbol! One can remember the Tank Man, an unidentified Chinese youth who stood in front of a column of tanks, leaving Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests by force. Politically conscious Olga has staged protest in her own style, thus, sending a clear message to the State: The peaceful movement is constitutional, and not illegal.
Tank man at Tiananmen Square, 1989
It is important to discuss the unpleasant relationship between authoritarian rulers and democracy, as such rulers often come to power by using a democratic system. After acquiring power, they undermine the system. Putin received 76.69% votes in 2018 to become the President for the fourth time! (And) after taking charge as President, he did not hesitate to make anti-people and undemocratic decisions. It is to be noted that he had extended the president’s term from four to six years after assuming the President’s Office in 2012. The continuation of that tyranny is evident in Duma Elections…
Putin’s behaviour, though by no means comparable, may remind us of Nazi Germany. Soon after becoming the Chancellor, Adolf Hitler had turned the Weimar Republic into German Reich! Usually, an autocratic ruler starts considering her/himself as the Constitution after ensuring mass support. King Louis XIV, who brought France to its peak of absolute power, said: ‘L’etat c’est moi‘ (‘I am the state‘). Actually, he expressed the spirit of a rule in which the king held all the Political Authority. However, his Absolutism brought him into conflict with the Huguenots and the Papacy, with damaging repercussions…
In the end, the words of the Almighty Ruler become Law! Primarily, it is the People who strengthen an Autocratic System. Thereafter, they bleed to overthrow the ruler! Olga’s act in broad daylight reminds us the truth, yet again…
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