The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


December 10, 2011 – they showed their mettle for the first time.
December 24, 2011 – they defied all the analyses of being an impulsive fizzle by turning up again in tens of thousands.

Tremors were started to be felt. Then came the New Year holidays and strategists saw another opportunity that could have diluted the intensity of the protests. A month passed. March 4 approach road came a bit nearer. Social media continued to be abuzz though but there were no significant ground acts.

But any leeway to the comfort zone – no way!

February 5, 2012 – a day after Putin’s supporters rally in Moscow and a month before March 4 Presidential election of Russia – they came back again – tens of thousands of them, weathering the Moscow chill of minus 22 C.

"Russia without Putin!" and "Give us back the elections!" – The protesters continue with adding chorus to their anthem. Yes, for them, removing Putin from Russia has become like throwing a dictator out of their soil.

February 5 shattered any hopes that the protests were going to die down by a self-initiated dismantling.

"We have already reached a point of no return. People have stopped being afraid and see how strong they are together," Reuters wrote quoting a protester.

This is really a tricky situation for Putin given the implications of such statements. Putin has run Russia with an iron grip but had to do the packaging with taking ingredients like the pseudo-democratic practices, short-term-immediate-return economic policies and the effective control of communication.

Russia needed the world economy and so the pseudo-democratic practices were necessary.

Putin had to establish his iron grip in a democratic but chaotic Russia so he had to look promoting democratic practices.

In this mixed pursuit, the common Russian got the power of social media and good days of the oil-driven riches –to legitimize, to tell the world Russia was well on the way to become the developed super power.

Now the good days dwindling and a social media reaching across the country’s population, the anti connect is growing even stronger, the February 5 protests tell this. And every dictator shivers just on the thought of the collective voice of the protesters who are no more fearful of the iron grip.

The timing is a bad sign, for Putin and for Russia. Protesters have planned another agitation rally on February 26 to mobilize anti-Putin wave even further. For the moment, Putin looks to be winning the March 4 election to return to the Presidency. According to Opinion Polls, Putin still enjoys the status of the most popular leader in Russia and could win the March 4 election by securing more than 50 per cent of the votes in the first round.

That may aggravate the protesters to agitate even more strongly but will a Putin, comfortably sitting in the office for another six years, allow it? A negative answer to this proposition is a horrifying prospect.

At the moment, nothing can be said with certainty. From enjoying an out and out support to a fast deteriorating popularity may push to draw the iron curtain as soon as possible. Alternatively, Putin may choose the road to reform but given the history of major political reforms in different parts of the world after the long rule of a single person, it is not going to be easy. No one can say if Putin would be willing to have a level playing field in the Russian politics after eighteen years of continued run. History doesn’t say so. Given the norm that has been, Putin may show true colours of a dictator once he assumes the Presidential office after the March 4 election.

That will be like killing whatever left in the name of democratic institutions in Russia. A ruthless suppression with series of incarcerations and state-sponsored assassinations can never be ruled out.

Let’s see how the events turn out. Let’s see how the protest song of the former Russian paratroopers, “You’re just like me, a man not a god. I’m just like you, a man not a sod,” echoes in the run-up to the March 4 Presidential quagmire.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -