Thursday, January 07, 2021

Lessons for countries, other democracies from USA after Trump supporters' Coup at Capitol Hill


On the left is the screen shot of the New York Times' website. 

It says, 'Mob storms Capitol...'. On social media, there was shock across the world to see the images from Washington.

But is this unexpected? There are clearly, many lessons from societies and democracies in other countries. 

As a journalist on TV said, 'how can we (US) who go to other countries to oversee their elections, now after this...'

But the fact is that white supremacists in US (just like majority in other places) feel that they 'own' country and can get away. Law in practice becomes an expression of power and creates a clear divide between two sets of people.

A black person may face a bullet for no reason, but even after the White supremacists do this, they are treated softly. Over decades, media that too, knowingly or unknowingly, creates the perception of who 'owns the country', 'the system'. And, people in every sphere adapt.

The right-wing and the core that may not be a majority, draws its power from the 'majority'. The 'first class citizen' and the 'second class citizen' in other countries as we see. Law is fine, remains in books, but it's not applied, fairly. 

If representation of other groups, communities is better in a society, then there is some hope, somewhere. Otherwise, in any majoritarian society, the 'core'--the supremacists among them, have tremendous privilege, power and even their worst acts, are seen as just an aberration.

Now leave US, in an Asian country, you can have a person killed because of his name or religion, murdered in encounter or lynched, or spend years in jail. However, a right-wing thug gets away easily and even gets respect. 

So, institutions and media must be more inclusive. Majoritarianism and right-wing tilt can do this to strong countries. Institutions must be strong. The system of checks and balances is needed. America has diversity and it is more inclusive than many other countries. Hence, it will be able to deal with such a situation. But it's not easy in other countries. And, that's the lesson.