Being the largest functional
democracy, we the Indians are inadvertent stakeholders in the democratic
affairs of our two neighbours, Pakistan
and China, because an
undemocratic dispensation is basically confrontational in nature and the
situation worsens when there are contentious boundary and territory issues
involved, like we have with Pakistan
And without any hesitation, it
can be said these two countries are blots on the spirit of democracy. One is an
occasional pseudo-democracy while the other is a preserved sanctuary of
is facing yet another political crisis threatening to uproot the democratically
elected government of Nawaz Sharif with the Army occupying the central
position, China has
continued to crush the voices of democracy with officially saying no to the demand
of freedom to elect the top executive of Hong Kong
The barbarism in crushing the
democratic spirit on the mainland has had no restraints. And though Hong Kong
is a different case with ‘one country, two systems’ concept, the Chinese
government is increasingly spreading its tentacles to the island in efforts to
kill the autonomy of the city-state, a global economic powerhouse, still and
Alpha+ world city.
The agreement when Britain handed over the control of Hong Kong to China 17 years
ago gave the city an autonomous administration to run its local rule.
Preserving the democratic spirit in the day-to-day life and a free and open
culture developed under a progressive British rule during the period when Hong Kong became the economic powerhouse might have been
the idea behind it. But the Chinese autocracy (more of an aristocracy now) was
not going to be content with just managing the security and foreign affairs of
the megacity. They look to exercise iron grip here.
The democratic spirit of Hong Kong has been observing events like the June 4
Tiananmen Vigil or the increasingly critical version of the annual Handover Day
march on July 1 each year. Protesters march to show solidarity for the victims
of the Tiananmen Massacre and speak for the cause of their sacrifice – demands
of political reforms and democracy in China.
Though the 17 years of Beijing interference has left Hong
Kong with a semi-authoritarian regime and the society is facing
problems like rising inequality, the highest among the developed economies, it
is still like a fairytale land when seen in the context of personal freedom and
economic disparity on the mainland.
And in an age of information
chaos and social media’s pervasive outreach, even the strictest monitoring and
filtering by the state fail to stop the news from Hong
Kong reaching to the mainland. ‘How it is in Hong
Kong’ was a major reason behind the Wukan protests.
Chinese dictators have done all
to make the Tiananmen Massacre a forgotten incident on the mainland, killing
the voices, controlling the expressions of the Chinese people. And they would
never like the news from Hong Kong, its
pro-democracy voices and its support for Tiananmen reaching the mainland.
But the ‘comfortably capitalist’
is very much the part of the global economic system now. It cannot go
outrageously insane on virgin issues anymore. Hong Kong
is a jewel on the financial map of the world and any such act can prove costly
enough to undo all what it has achieved so far. The capitalist dictators of the
would never want that.
At the same time, they cannot
allow the democratic spirit in Hong Kong to
flourish and become more demanding. And they are doing it, meticulously and
with consistency. The mainland is trying to crush the voices through changing
systems and manipulating institutions with efforts to introduce cultural and
education baggage from the mainland.
The administration is becoming increasingly
authoritarian and is being managed by the mainland controlled people. The top
Hong Kong leader is elected by a committee with largely pro-mainland members,
something that the pro-democracy voices in Hong Kong
are protesting. They are demanding the freedom to elect their leader directly.
has no universal suffrage. After much effort, to score points in the name of
addressing the concerns of the residents of Hong Kong, the Chinese government
has agreed to introduce the universal suffrage in 2017 when the city-state is
slated to go to polls to elect its next leader, but only after adding enough of
the riders that make it nothing more than a sham as the candidates to be chosen
from would be China’s choice.
The pro-democracy protesters are demanding
freedom from it. They are demanding the power to elect an independent candidate
though this ‘universal suffrage’ and the official line taken by China yesterday denying the protesters and the
residents of Hong Kong an ‘open election in
The protesters have warned to intensify
their movement and they would certainly be banking on the brilliant turnouts
earlier this year and a huge response to a poll by Occupy Central on ‘nominating
the candidate directly’.
Yes, it is not going to change
even slightly what the Chinese plans are and the move was expected as China, with
its ongoing efforts, expects to manipulate the politically indifferent section
of the Hong Kong population to use them to counter the pro-democracy voices, the
official decoration of such decisions always carry the spark to reenergize the
A BBC report says: Democratic
groups in Hong Kong have vowed to fight a Chinese government ruling that
effectively gives China
control over the candidates for the next leadership election. Angry democracy
activists vowed to take over the Central business district. Co-founder of the
Occupy Central protest group, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, said: “This is the end of any
dialogue. In the next few weeks, Occupy Central will start wave after wave of
action. We will organise a full-scale act of occupying Central.”