Never Before In Libya: Democracy And The Future With It

By Sirisha Akshintala:

The year 2012 may or may not be the year of world’s end, but 2012 is the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship in the country Libya. Finally, Libyans got the freedom to vote after 60 years and select the new Government according to their wish. After much instability post-Gaddafi, Libyans voted for choosing the best and prominent body of a 200-member assembly which will also include prime minister and a cabinet before preparing full parliamentary elections next year under a new constitution.

Yes, this is surely a revolution in the history of Libya. The hope of new democracy finally came on alive, after the dictatorship vanished. But rest is on how the country moves it’s livelihood in future with the new kind of ruling setup.

It is very hypothetical to say that Muammar Gaddafi was a good guy. But none the less he spent Libya‘s oil riches on the Libyan people, not himself. The man living in a large tent on an armed compound was, Mr. Gaddafi. He also turned Libya into the most prosperous country in North Africa, if not the entire African continent. He built a network of aqueducts across the country. Every citizen had free access to education up to the PhD level and superior health care.

Looking at the other side of the coin Gaddafi was a supporter of “World Terrorism”. On favour to terrorism he encouraged weapon making and programmes like mass destruction. It was on September 1st, 1969 when he overthrew the monarchy and called himself as the revolutionary leader of Libya. Although Gaddafi officially set up various committees lead by the other authorities, he gave them virtually no power. People who thought otherwise were sent to prison or killed. Many of them were tortured and surprisingly some of them simply disappeared. The media was under the control of the colonel. And pathetically, countless women, who were the so called “female bodyguards” of Gaddafi, were raped by him.

And soon after Saddam Hussein lost power in 2003, Gaddafi became afraid that he too might lose his power anytime and he allowed weapon inspectors into the country and vowed to dismantle Libya’s weapons of mass destruction. In the last few years Gaddafi turned into a statesman and met important western leaders including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. That was the time which showed his true colours and was the first step for his decline in future. At the end his cruel death showcased how much pain the people underwent in his rule and finally he was dead / killed for all his sins.

Through this election, Libya is now free, but also a Libya plagued by sad and violent history. The progress not seen in past decades can be seen now. Basic education, health care and infrastructure are integral to Libya’s success and its future. Though the new government needs some time to set the country’s living in a proper manner, it will surely undergo development and this can be the true revolution of the country. Whether an Islamic or a non Islamic rule, the new and better democratic government can be seen on the cards of Libya very soon.

There was almost 65% voting in the country from youngsters to old women, with a hope in their heart and desire for change in their eyes. Hence, the day of voting turned out to be an emotional one as some women literally had tears in their eyes, symbolizing the pain they went through for many years and also. All Libyans must be proud of their cultural heritage and through concerted efforts they have to integrate, improve and expose their arts, education, freedom and monetary livelihood to see their dream becoming a reality.

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