A Rearrangement Long Overdue?
The Russians are said to be peace-loving by nature. However, they often stage protests in order to stand up for, and safeguard their Political Rights! Napoleon Bonaparte, Tsar Nicholas, Adolf Hitler, even some of the Soviet leaders had witnessed this spirit of the Russian people from time to time. It seems that President Vladimir Putin shall experience the same soon! The Global Community is less aware of his dictatorship than the lesser-known protesting Russians…
Now, Russia is witnessing a Mass Struggle against Dictatorship. Kremlin, reportedly, had used poisonous nerve agents to suppress the voices of persons opposing the State, which include Opposition Leader Alexei Anatolievich Navalny. As he survived, the Putin Administration has had him imprisoned, time and again! Probably, this phenomenon is rare, even in non-Democratic atmosphere! In the process, these incidents have rocked the entire Civil Society in Russia.
In fact, the People of Russia are not at all happy with President Putin, and his style of governance. The attack on Navalny has been a sort of last straw on the camel’s back. Their protests have prompted the Kremlin to use force in order to tackle the situation. So far, the Police have detained more than 5,000 protesters. Still, anti-Government protests are going on, ignoring the sharp dip in mercury during this time in different parts of the country.
The background of this unprecedented outrage is not that complicated. President Vlamidir Putin is worried as Navalny takes on State Power with an act of extraordinary chutzpah. He has exposed various corruption-related issues in Russian Politics since 2008, and those are his main weapons in war against President Putin. Ahead of the 2018 Presidential Polls, the concerned authorities in Moscow cancelled his candidature, and detained him several times. Critics may say that the Russian Administration does not want Opposition leaders to live for long. However, the common people, too, know this fact. The common people have rightly realised that long mal-administrative practices gave birth to corruption in Russia. And, it is hence, Navalny’s popularity has increased in recent times.
The Russians, seemingly, are frustrated with economic woes, massive rigging in Presidential Polls, and the Government’s failure in tackling COVID-19 Pandemic. Gradually, three demands have become synonymous: the release of Navalny, the Liberation of Russia and the fall of Putin-ism. It is not Navalny, but the people of Russia, who want a change. This is the uniqueness of the ongoing protests!
Ignoring their ideological differences, the Stalinists, the Nationalists and the Liberals have joined hands against the Russian Strongman. At the moment, the Russians are eager to safeguard their Political Rights. With Putin-ism posing a serious threat to Democracy, the people have no other option, but to join hands against the ruler. Decades ago, forces, believing in different ideologies, had formed an alliance to boost the anti-Fascist Struggle. Nowadays, ideology only creates divisions, as followers of the same ideology do not feel comfortable to share the stage.
Hence, the protests in Russia have taught the Global Community two important lessons. Firstly, it is important to mull various options in an attempt to corner an autocratic ruler. Otherwise, it is impossible to mobilise the entire society. Again, in the absence of Social Justice, it will be easier for the elites or a small group of people to maintain the status quo. Secondly, it is the primary duty of the people to understand what poses as a greater danger to Democracy. The Global Community should learn from the Russians how to protect Democracy from an authoritarian ruler in the 21st Century.
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