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Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Manner of Protests

If you look at the protests against the Mohammed cartoons, they have mostly taken the form of demonstrations – some peaceful, many violent in that they have involved the declaring of malicious intents, throwing of stones, worse molotov cocktails, torching of buildings, flags… and saddest of all - one person died in Afghanistan.

The protests in the GCC have been markedly different. Here the protests have been non-violent. They have taken the form of a boycott of products from Denmark and this move has probably hurt Denmark the most.

Of all the countries in the world to take exception to the cartoons, I expect the countries in the GCC are offended the most. And yet there has been no violence whatsoever. Commendable. I imagine the Danes in Oman pretty much go about their lives as usual except that they probably downplay their nationality and keep their opinions to themselves.

I wonder why the reaction in the GCC has been so different. Is it because the GCC as a people are more mature? They were certainly able to make their objections felt and all this without traffic being disrupted, a single stone being thrown or a building being burnt.

Or is it because, living as they do under authoritarian regimes, there is no possibility of demonstrations – peaceful or violent here?

2 Comments:

Blogger Rhyncus said...

Very true. Thinking about it, we've not really heard of mass protests in this region, have we? While there may not be political forces that can mobilise people, religious leaders do exist.
I wonder, among other things, is it also a function of per capita income? Do richer countries have less violent protests?

7:54 AM, February 11, 2006  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...

Interesting point. Maybe.

4:01 AM, February 12, 2006  

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