What can Nepal learn from Iran?
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 08 October 2006

The Shah
The Shah
The 20th century is full of case studies in which the vacuum left by the monarchy has been filled by radical elements almost all the time resorting to dictatorship rather than democracy. This is the theme of  an article on the ACM site which was first published as  a guest column in September 2006  by Preeti Koirala for the  on line service, Nepalnews.com. An insurance executive based in the United States, Ms Koirala writes on contemporary political and social issues.

 

“Iran,” she writes , “serves as another good example first for Nepalis to take lessons from, secondly , for international powers to realize from their mistakes and thirdly, for  regional players not to underestimate the powerful inertia of fundamentalism and totalitarianism that can offset the whole regional power dynamics.”

 

“A shining modern society, aiming to be the fifth power of the world, relatively moderate, secular and a pro-west Iran under the Shah has now turned into an axis of evil, headache for the whole of the middle-east, an oppressor of its own people, a preacher of violent Islam and a supporter of terrorist organizations such as the Hezbullah.

 

“Young Iranians who took to the streets against their monarchy in 1979 today don't have a right even to evaluate the performance of their government. In fact, they don't even know what the outside world possibly thinks about them or their country except what their national television and government owned newspapers tell them. Iranian women who used to wear jeans to college in the mid-seventies today play basketball in their burkas. Those who used to advocate for free and fair elections during much of the Shah era, today shake their heads when they see the entire government ruled by an un-elected and illiterate clergy who know nothing about politics and economics than what their understanding of Quran told them. What went wrong in Iran? Who is to blame? And what lessons can Iran's modern history offer to Nepal and to the Nepalis people as we find ourselves in the midst of a takeover by another variety of extremists in our own country?”

 

Ms. Koirala kindly gave permission for the full article to be posted to the ACM site.  .