By K.N. Pandit
Unprecedented changes have occurred in the world during past three decades. These are conspicuously visible in international relations, geo- political strategies, economic recession and social churning.
Nevertheless, simultaneously great leaps forward in technological and scientific advancement have abridged distances, shrunk time, and opened exciting opportunities of economic progress. The quality of life has improved considerably. While developing countries had to re-fashion their socio-economic set up to accommodate and even absorb imperatives of rapid development, technologically advanced countries with strong economies thrust much faster innovative options on them. As a result, developing societies are feeling the pressure of transition to modernism. In such a prospect many irritants are likely to surface. In particular, there is growing demand for social justice and economic parity.
It is curious that economic progress and economic deprivation, though contradictory in essence, have both contributed to the activation of dormant as well as wakeful social aspirations among underprivileged segments of developing societies. Recognition of identity is an urge and an aspiration.
The most eloquent expression of this phenomenon is to be understood in the Islamic revolution of Iran under theocratic dispensation in 1979. Commentators are still debating why of all the Muslim countries Iran should have chosen to go theocratic when she had come so close to the fringe of modernism. We should not forget that Iran’s urge for recognition of her identity was articulated, albeit unsuccessfully, way back in 1950s. Did not that failure suggest that Iranian civil society recognized national identity not necessarily conditional to modernism? It was clear that Iran would look for new and effective options to realize her urge for identity? And the option was seized even if it came belatedly and perhaps erratically in a sense – after nearly four decades. Continue Reading…