Saturday, October 29, 2011
THE month of October witnessed the fall of Gaddafi in Libya, who was ruling Libya for the last 42 years. He was killed in an encounter at Sirte, his hometown, where he was hiding in a drainage pipe when his convoy which was trying to escape was bombed. He died a gory death in the hands of an ordinary man to whom he said not to shoot and those were the last words he spoke. That was a natural ending for a fearless and tyrant autocrat.
Gaddafi (69) was said to be an admirer of Nasser, 2nd Egyptian President who overthrew the Monarchy of Egypt and captured power in 1952 and both share the credit of over throwing the rule of Monarchy in their respective countries. As Nasser worked his way to earn the role of a nationalistic leader of Arab cause and died a natural death by Heart attack, Gaddafi parted ways early to become a power hungry tyrant and his end was also befitting to that role.
Gaddafi was more like Saddam Hussein in his style of functioning than to any other leaders in the Arab world. Again, it was Nasser who inspired Saddam to over throw Quasim in a 1963 coup. However both Gaddafi and Saddam could not follow Nasser any further than that, as they were power hungry.
Ironically the end of Gaddafi was also came from Egypt as the popular agitation first began there to oust Mubarak.
Gaddafi was no communist and yet he took a stand against Western powers from day one for no apparent reason. The stand was very undiplomatic of him as it did not help him in any way. In the absence of cooperation with the the west, Libiya was left lagging behind in technology. The lack of western expertise is obvious in all walks of life in Libya despite oil money and at the diplomatic front Libya has not many friends even among the anti western group because of Gaddafi’s erratic character.
Any way he showed grace to share some of the oil money with his countrymen giving them free education, free electricity, free health care, housing, cars and many other perks like pocket money for the newly weds etc. Irrespective of the gifts and freebies his country men could not love him as the life in Libya was not a happy one without its proper rule of law. The interesting thing was that while Gaddafi feared his country men, the country men were afraid of Gaddafi. Gaddafi feared about imaginary coups that would oust him from power and the people feared Gaddafi’s large surveillance net work which was omnipresent searching for enemies of Gaddafi by word or deed. A person straying in to the net for real or false reasons would never see day light again. No wonder people rallied against him despite his handsome gifts, what is the use of gifts without peace of mind.
Unfortunately for the people of Libya none of them are a promise for a democratic administration. Even the daughter, Ayesha Gaddafi whom one might think as a promising person to turn Libya to democracy and good Governance, at least after the regime of Gaddafi, was found hopelessly anti democratic in her interview with the New York Times. She is Lt. General in the Libyan Army and a darling of Gaddafi as only daughter. She could have positively influenced Gaddafi if she was so inclined. Presently she is said to be in Nigeria. So even if Gaddafi was allowed to finish his term in office there was no possibility for a change of better rule in Libya in the foreseeable future.
Saddam Hussain and Gaddafi almost shared same views and adopted same mothods and shared same fate, the end came to them through different routes though. In the case of Gaddafi, it is unbelievable that he could not see the writing on the wall at any stage of the popular upsurge and save his life from a wanton death.
As love is said to be blind, power is also like that and in both cases the fall would be sudden and very tragic.