Friday, December 9, 2011

The Arab winter, breaking dawn in Myanmar, and what of back home?

The Arab spring has given way to the winter of discontent, especially in Egypt. The military which looked like a resonable interim solution after Hosni Mubarak's forced departure, had to be forced into vacating the central space occupied by them. Meanwhile, the elections have given an alarming fraction of the vote to not just middle of the road Islamists, but to ultra-conservative parties. Die-hard optimists are still hopeful that secular elements will win the day, but a period with Egyptian versions of Khomeini might turn out to be inevitable. Well, who said democracy was an easy solution?

On a brighter note, the military junta seems to be loosening its hold on Myanmar. The charismatic Aung San Suu Kyi is contesting the elections with her National League of Democracy party, and, incidentally, exchanging bright smiles with Hillary Clinton. Cynics claim all this is in aid of Myanmar's pursuit of the Asean chair, and will soon be turned off since this objective is now achieved. However, as all despots from Saddam to Mubarak have had to notice, it's not so easy to put the genie back in the bottle.

Meanwhile, back home, the Indian government seems to be trying to do just that. The idea of trying to have guidelines for web-content is not bad in itself, but surely it is better to have this administered by a self-regulatory body? A Web Council of India, like the Press Council of India, seems to be a better idea than the government getting into the act. That might be as self-defeating as the government trying to run an airline. Is anyone listening?

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

1 comment:

AmOK said...

Yes we do need some high-perk ministerial jobs to manage web content in India. Air India has shown the way. Is it pos-Sibal?