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The autumn of despair
Publication Date : 01-08-2013
When the Arab Spring unfolded across the Middle East, analysts and commentators soaked in initial euphoria hailed it as a new wave of freedom and political reforms.
However, they did not pause for a moment to think what had happened to the Prague Spring. People still remember how that short spell of political freedom and liberalisation in Czechoslovakia was crushed as Soviet Union tanks rolled in.
The way dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were uprooted: the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria has somehow been able to withstand popular revolt but its foundations have been shaken.
Unlike spring of hope, the entire Arab world is going through a season of darkness and despair. The countries, which welcomed the Arab Spring with open arms, are being made to pay much heavier price for the political and economic turmoil that followed close on the heels of Arab Spring.
Tunisia, from where the Arab Spring blossomed, though saw peaceful transition to civilian rule, the failure to revive tattered economy has led to political strife. Libya is still going through pangs of coming to terms with new civilian dispensation.
However, Egypt and Syria are going through a war of attrition. The toppling of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt has plunged the country into a new round of turmoil and chaos while Syria, in a state of civil war for more than a year, has witnessed worst kind of death and destruction.
People tend to forget that these countries are going through what is called "work in progress".
The years of dictatorial and suppressive rule cannot be overcome within a fortnight.
It will take years to consolidate the benefits of the Arab Spring but death and destruction should be avoided at all costs.
Let's hope this autumn of despair passes as quickly as possible.