Opposition-Inspired Elements Strike Again to Undermine Bahrain

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Throwing Molotov cocktails, burning tyres, writing graffiti that divides society, boycotting elections and rejecting talks have not solved issues in any nation at any time in history and such wilful actions will not solve issues facing Bahraini society either.

The most recent example is a First World nation like Britain getting engulfed in mindless mayhem, arson and looting ostensibly because a certain section of society, the youth and the Blacks in particular, felt deprived and marginalized by spending cuts in the national budget in the wake of economic slowdown. All they got in return is the prospect of jail terms, eviction from subsidized houses and withdrawal of dole.

As the Bahraini Premier said on Monday, instead of trying to undermine the fabric of Bahraini society, instead of making misguided and misleading calls threatening social cohesion and national unity and instead of provoking sedition and incitement, it was time for everyone to make all-out efforts to achieve national unity.

Come to think of it, Bahrain is a tiny city state where three months of troubles earlier this year eroded a good amount of economic stability, leading to a number of businesses, big and small, suffering hardship. Tourism suffered at a time when weather was good, hotels suffered, the construction industry suffered, the grocer, the jeweller and the general merchant in the souq suffered, children’s education suffered, the banking industry suffered and so did government-owned companies.

And just as things were getting back to normal, just as the economy was taking a turn for the better, we get this bad news – that the opposition-inspired elements bent on pushing the Kingdom into segregation and determined to stir sedition .

This is certainly not the way to sort out grave issues exercising the nation. All these ‘tricks’ have been tried before and have not worked but who will tell this to the wayward youth?

The way forward was talks and the King offered them. The opposition even joined them even if reluctantly and at the last minute. But the baffling part of the story is, as if actuated by some remote-control minder, it pulled out of the talks half way through on specious and facetious grounds.

Then came the announcement of parliamentary by-elections. This time again, the opposition initially declared its willingness to take part. Then suddenly there was a volte-face though voices of dissent against this action are emerging every now and then from within the opposition lately.

The opposition definitely needs to rethink its strategy, if it has any. Does it really and seriously believe it can go forward and have its demands met and grievances redressed by boycotting talks? Does it really think that it can have its way in getting the laws changed and new legislation introduced to meet its demands by keeping away from Parliament? And does it really believe that anti-national graffiti furtively scrawled at midnight, burning of tyres and skips and throwing of Molotovs will herald revolutionary changes in society?

If the opposition does believe in all this, it needs to change its advisers right away.

Brij Sharma is an Indian journalist and editor based in Bahrain. Brij tells us the interesting stories we don’t usually hear from the middle east country.