The Levant News — New Delhi: Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari on Tuesday cautioned that the turbulence in Arab lands was not immune to regional and extra-regional inputs. Delivering the keynote address at the second West Asia Conference organized by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Ansari added that Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen were subjected to political and or material interventions from across national borders. ”Despite this backdrop of an emergent social reality, the Arab Turbulence of 2010-2011 was quintessentially a non-religious, secular, phenomenon that took the shape of a leaderless mass movement seeking dignity, empowerment, political citizenship, social justice and taking back the state and its institutions from rulers and their cronies,” he said. He said that its slogans, however, did not resort to calls for Arab unity or advocate Islam as the solution and its most dramatic impact was the abandonment of the fear of the security apparatus of the state.
“Some of these emanated from within the region, some from immediate or proximate neighbourhood, and some from great or big powers.The objective in each case was and is to prevent, retard or reverse the change sought by a visible majority of the public,” he added. He further said the link between the citizen and state through the mechanism of accountability is critical for domestic cohesion and internal security, but has not been sufficiently in evidence. ”Periods of turmoil, and unexplained happenings, are often depicted as a spectre, an impending danger. Such a spectre today seems to haunt all who look at the region of western Asia and northern Africa.
The apprehensions emanate from a dangerous mix of realpolitik and professed ideology that challenges the status quo in the region, and has become a threat to regional and world peace,” he said. He stated that an analysis of the states of West Asia identified among its characteristics the politics of limited association and of an essentially broad urban middle class base in which coercion or co-option into the state structure rather than durable resilience of the system whose legitimacy is based on the full participation of the people in the body politic. The Vice President said that the situation at the end of 2015 was one of total disarray, a situation in which regional and global powers together with empowered local groups are engaged in political and military action in half a dozen different battlefields. He further said that the immediate concern of each is to prevail upon its adversary. ”Little thought, if any, is being given to longer term consequences for the societies in the region. In the process, the rationale for the turbulence takes the back seat, he added.