Tuesday, May 22, 2012
So Much To Learn From Suu Kyi
Do not ask from where fighters in conflict zones are getting howitzer guns and missiles to fight. Do not sympathise with their hungry-looking disposition, and wonder from where they get strength to trigger heavy guns and artilleries. The thirst for power and urge to change the course of history written in decades-long humiliation and oppression at the hands of the ruling class justify their action – at least for them, but not for millions of mute spectators and innocent victims of conflict zones.
There was a time when wars were attributed to barbarians of the Dark Ages in the history of mankind. There is no difficulty in finding more civilised barbarians these days, who talk of ending hostilities and embrace peace dialogues to solve issues. Diplomacy has gone so far that it will end in decapitating someone who is found to be a threat to global security and society.
Amid these hypocritical dimensions, fighters as well as peacemongers are visually challenged to see the impact a fragile looking Asian woman has brought out for democracy to prevail in a tiny nation. Yes, it is Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar.
Myanmar is not far from becoming a democratic nation. When bloodless freedom struggles are rare in the history of mankind, she made it happen fighting with the junta for decades. She has proved the Gandhian way of a freedom struggle is possible even in the 21st century. Even the most patient fighter of the Indian freedom struggle had once urged his followers to resort to the “Do or Die” strategy.
But Suu Kyi, in her relentless fight against the powerful junta, did not even once go astray from her convictions. Luckily, the Myanmarese conflict was devoid of arms. Diplomatic efforts from powerful countries indeed put pressure on the rulers, but arms were not exported to the opponents in the movement. It shall be put in differently as the struggle for change is being led by a woman, chances for arms sale negotiations were nil.
People of Myanmar, the erstwhile Burma, which has participated in both World Wars, will always be indebted to this woman for her single-handed efforts to stick to a bloodless fight and protect its sons and brothers and fathers. Of course, Burma experienced the world’s longest civil war and so much blood had been spilled under military boots. Thousands were killed during the pro-democracy protests during the 1980’s.
But once Suu Kyi appeared on the centre stage of the fight for reforms in 1988, violence started disappearing from the streets and junta found in her the biggest, sole enemy. Her mode of non-violent struggle eventually made them change their mind and policy. They tried to silence her single-handed revolt by keeping her under house arrest. The rest happened before our eyes. After 15 years of house arrest in her political career spanning 23 years, she won the freedom to herself and paved the way for a more liberal Myanmar.
The torchbearers of all ongoing conflicts across the globe have so much to learn from this lady. But in a fast-paced world, all need speedy solutions to all problems. Fight for equal rights in a society is not a unilateral issue to be dealt with one gun or missile problem, it needs a united effort to stand for a common cause. And it demands a sacrifice of personal aspirations and patience to fight till the end result is obtained from the rival, not by force but by worth. Suu Kyi was able to place the junta on a shameful spot from where they could not go further in suppressing her. It was not just the sanctions from powerful states that made the military end their “hostility” towards her. But the sheer humiliation they found at the fighter’s non-violent, but dignified treatment of a military crackdown.