My Dreams are not mere illusions

My dream interviews are not mere illusions

  • My Dreams come true.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Indirectly confirmed by DSAI’s speech/lecture that I was not wrong in my dreams in reading his mind.
  • A written word is more effective than thousands of spoken words.
  • The Chinese proverb says it best: “the faintest ink lasts longer than the best memory.”
  • Harold Adams Innis : As the oral tradition of speech gave way to the dominance of writing_
  • The written record, signed, sealed and swiftly transmitted was essential to military power and the extension of government. Small communities were written into large states and states were consolidated into empire.
  • In Burmese, we have a saying, “Nhote Ta’ Yar_Sarr Ta’ Lone”, meaning: A hundred of spoken words are equivalent to just one written word.
  • bannerdsaibh1.png

    Keynote eynote address by Anwar Ibrahim at the Institute of Social Sciences conference on Democracy in India, December 6, 2007 in New Delhi 

    The following speech was delivered at the Institute of Social Sciences Conference on Democracy in India.
    Justice J.S. Verma, Former Chief Justice of India and Former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of India, opened the conference.
    Other speakers are: Mr. Roel von Mijenfeldt, Director, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (www.nimd.org), Carl Gershman, Director of the National Endowment for Democracy (www.ned.org), and Dr. Farooq Abdallah, Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, and etc.
    Your Excellencies and Distinguished Guests. Dr. George Matthew and Dr. Ash Roy, Carl Gershman. Ladies and Gentleman.
      Please read DSAI’s lecture because I hereby just presented some gist s only as notes.

    Please permit me to begin by _

    • Quoting the great Rabindranath Tagore,
    • from his book of poems known as A Flight of Swans – Poems from Balaka:
    • I hear the countless voices of the human heart
    • Flying unseen,
    • From the dim past to the dim unblossomed future
    • Hear, within my own breast,
    • The fluttering of the homeless bird which,
    • In company with countless others,
    • Flies day and night,
    • Through light and darkness,
    • From shore to shore unknown
    • Tagore was of course referring to the flying swans, or Hansa-balaakaa in Bengali.
    • I understand that this word is to pious Hindus a symbol of the human soul winging its way to its heavenly resting-place.
    • To my mind, the celebration of the human spirit may also be likened to Tagore’s metaphor of the eternal flight of the swans.
    •  
      1. a nation that is completely diverse,
      2. a world unto itself with respect to religious, linguistic, and cultural heterogeneity
      3. and yet in its sixty years of independence has remained
      4. peaceful
      5. and has never wavered from its democratic course.
      • I believe democracy is also about pluralism, 
        • without which (pluralism)
        • dissenting views will not find expression
        • and a healthy vibrant opposition will not materialize.
      • It has been said that our current understanding of constitutional democracy may be traced to the ideas of John Locke, (he influenced the framers of the American constitution & the European governments).
      • the number of countries that are classified as free has increased significantly
      • so that some areas in which democratically elected governments were scarcely present
      • now see democracy as the primary form of government. This clearly reflects the aspirations of the people.
        I recall as a student activist my first encounter with Nehru’s compelling words to the Constituent Assembly in 1947. One must appreciate the Indian experience bears testament to that fact – In the last two decades_Freedom_

      • has a demonstrative effect
      • and the appetite for it is whetted
      • when one sees others_
      • o       enjoying liberty,

        o       freedom of conscience

        o       and the right to property

        o       and the pursuit of a decent livelihood.

        But there remain_

      • pockets of resistance
      • and certain entrenched interests
      • which are resolved against the continued advance of freedom and democracy.
      • submissiveness to the state is a traditional value.
      • They say that before the supremacy of the State and the well-being of its citizens,
      • there is no place for individual liberty.
      • the control of the media,
      • restrictions on free assembly
      • and restraints on the freedom of expression
      •  
        • are further justified as necessary for the achievement of certain economic priorities.
      • who has thoroughly debunked the false discourse of Asian values
      • and proven the intrinsic value of democracy
      • as well as the intimate and inseparable relationship between democracy and development.
      • starvation
      • and freedom.
      • overcome poverty
      • and tyranny
      • without compromising in the struggle against either.
      • the one that garners the most attention and admiration today is that act of voting
      • which represents the empowerment of a people
      • over those who will govern and execute laws upon them.
      • elections feature so prominently in the democracy discourse,
      • is whether the mere phenomenon of elections means_
        • that democracy is alive and well,
        • or are there still fundamental issues to be resolved?
      • free,
      • fair
      • and transparent.
      • which includes equal access to a free media,
      • open debates
      • and a conduct of elections that can stand up to international scrutiny.
      • When the results of elections are called into question
        • an independent judiciary
        • free from political influence must be able to arbitrate
        • and rule on the matter without bias.
      • Speaking of an independent judiciary,
        • many an Asian country wherein judges have fallen prey to
          • the machinations of dictators
          • and autocrats alike regardless
            • whether they purport to act as_
              • army generals
              • or civilians!
      • What is an election_
        • if political parties in the opposition do not have_
          • access to the freedom of speech,
          • assembly,
          • and movement
            • necessary to voice their criticisms of the government openly_
              • and to bring alternative policies
              • and candidates to the voters?
      • the opposition is_
        • barred from the airwaves,
        • rallies are not allowed,
        • and opposition newspapers operate underground.
      •  
        • then the existence of a vibrant opposition is essential
          • as the bulwark against the tyranny of absolute power.
        • as indeed it should be,
        • we will find that many countries today are dismal failures.
        • And this is not just confined to_
          • fledgling democracies
        • but we also see it manifest in constitutional democracies-
          • that have enjoyed independence for more than half a century.
    • In this regard, we may say that

      democracy is about_

      The same principles of freedom and justice have been expressed elsewhere and in different contexts with the same goal in mind.

       The great freedom fighters of our time_

      We must contend with leaders who are of the view that_

      The subversive tactics of the state such as_

      On this we owe a debt of gratitude to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen

      Democracy is not about the choice between_

      It is about the freedom to_

      Of the many symbolic acts and institutions which democracy tends to create_

      Elections are an essential component of any democracy.

      Elections of course must be_

      But beyond that there must be a “level playing field” –

      Where I come from,

      I am sure mine is not a unique experience.

      If democracy is participatory government in its fullest sense_ 

     

    •  
        • the practice of democracy
        • and the work that is being done to support it around the world.
      • Similarly, if pluralism is the final test of democracy,

        We must therefore take a deeper and more profound look at_

        Decisions_

      • which undermine freedom and democracy
      • that are made in places where the rule of law is considered sacrosanct
      • have global implications_
        • and we must recognise that:
          • they quickly become the pretext
            • which tyrants
            • and dictators
          • use to justify their intransigence.
      • Here we can lay some of the blame for this alarming trend on the mantle of the War on Terror,

        which is the rubric under which_

      • various illegal actions are
        • justified
        • and sanctioned,
      • be they_
        • encroachment on the sovereignty of other nations
        • or a curtailment of the civil liberties of one’s own citizens.
      • This vaguely conceived war_

      • with all its bluster and bravado,
      • has paved the way in many U.S.-allied countries for_
        • brutal
        • and unchecked repression,
      • which in some places threatens to nullify the reform efforts of an entire generation.
        • as inherently anti-democratic
        • and tending towards extremism
        • and violence.
      • In ascribing the mantra of_

      • radical Islam indiscriminately:
        • organisations,
        • and the millions of people they represent,
      •   to any group that professes
        • to be founded on Islamic precepts the advocates of the War on Terror have pigeonholed
      • This reflects a profound misunderstanding of

      • the nature of these groups
      • and the underlying causes of
        • radicalism
        • and terrorism.
      • It is also emblematic of the discourse that tends to place democracy and Islam as inherently incompatible.

        I for one disagree. There is certainly nothing in the religion itself which is opposed to freedom – the higher objectives of the sacred law are in fact committed to the preservation of those basic inalienable rights of freedom of conscience and the pursuit of wealth.

        The Muslim world faces a deficit of democracy because of_

      • the proliferation of autocrats who rule in the name of religion
      • but are often openly hostile and opposed to
      • those who express its teachings,
      • and are hell-bent on preserving their rule
        • in contravention of conventions of governance
        • and the Rule of Law.
      • By expanding our conception of the Muslim world beyond the confines of the Arab-Middle East,

        we find the forces of democracy advancing with much greater fortitude and conviction.

        The democratic success of Turkey and Indonesia are shining examples that the world would benefit by paying closer attention to. Indonesia,

      • while still grappling with the vexing problems of corruption and poverty,
      • represents a success story of immense significance
      • if one considers that the largest Muslim country in the world emerged from_
        • three decades of authoritarian rule,
        • practically overnight,
        • and without a single foreign troop stepping foot on her soil,
        • nor the shedding of a single drop of blood.
        • The AKP of Turkey represents the logical progression of democracy in Turkey –
        • a government that is at ease with the nation’s cultural and religious heritage as it is with the secular underpinnings of the government.
        • India,
        • Indonesia,
        • Turkey,
        • Japan,
        • and South Korea
        • which emphasises issues of governance
        • and accountability,
        • greater economic potential
        • as well as the unleashing of the creative energies of the human spirit. 
      • Asia’s rise to prominence in the latter part of the 20th century was monopolised by the fascination with the economic prowess of some of its stronger nations. That lens continues to influence engagement with the region

        India and China being the leaders

        but other countries proving their mettle in an increasingly competitive and globalised marketplace.

        While economic strength will continue to be a key indicator of the region’s overall development, I am quite confident that with leadership of burgeoning democracies like_

      • 3 Responses to “Keynote address by Anwar Ibrahim at the Institute of Social Sciences conference on Democracy in India, December 6, 2007 in New Delhi ”

      • I agree with your comments regarding Turkey, Dato Seri. There should be a clear separation of religion and government.
        Your continuing to “fight the good fight” is inspiring.

        • Religion is one’s personal communication with one’s God. Politics cannot be intertwined with one’s religious beliefs. Where politics is concerned it should practice the universal law of justice, equality and freedom within a discipline outlined by a just and fair govt. Though a group may fall within a religious philosophy, in practice each individual will definitely differ. So how can we have a govt. that uses a religious philosophy to outline public behaviour? So how come there are countries that favour certain religious and ethnic groups? There is much to think about for future politicians if they want to be respected and remain in office

      •    

    •   1 Implosion Dec 8th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

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