Sunday, January 30, 2011

Al-Jazeera and Arab dictators

Egypt finally banned Al-Jazeera television. But this is not for the first time for the Doha-based channel to attract the ire of despots and dictators. Every Arab land, including Palestine that has seen a spark of unrest, despots have turned on the television channel accusing it of fomenting and inciting unrest.
There is no doubt in the fact that mass media play a crucial role in mobilizing people everywhere. But it is always the suppressed and the caged that stream out in the street to say to their despots: enough. Short-sighted as they are, the despots and dictators fail to realize that unrest can never be fomented in a democracy. Stop clinging to power unwanted. Stop suppressing your own people. Let mass media give vent to public's grievances. Finally, let the people elect a government for themselves, you will find mass media on your side.


  1. I've been thinking that if such an action (the protest and all) could ever take place in Pakistan by our people. But as you said, it's always the suppressed and the caged that stream out. So, does that suggest that we are a 'contented lot'? Because even that doesn't sound very true to our ears.

  2. I see a big difference among Egypt, Tunisia and Pakistan. Egypt and Tunisia have been dictatorship, while Pakistan has an elected government. No doubt, corruption reigns supreme in Pakistan, lawlessness is at its peak, but these are not creation of the incumbent government.
    Even if people come out in the streets, what will happen. Another martial law? We have seen many of them and they breed corruption, cronyism and militancy.
    I personally want the people to keep the present government on its toes till the time another round of elections is held, or there is a democratic in-house change.
    I see no parallels between Egypt and Pakistan. The whole Arab world has only Al-Jazeera, while Pakistan has a very vibrant (though immature) media.