The death of Libyan military dictator Muammar Gaddafi has closed yet another chapter of autocratic rulers in the Arab world. Death, even of an undesirable person, is not something to be happy about or celebrate. Especially the gruesome manner in which Gaddafi was done to death has raised many eyebrows and questions.
He came to power 42 years back and ruled with an iron fist. He was by nature impulsive, maverick and cruelly repressive and mercilessly used his power to suppress any challenge to his autocratic methods.
He is the third Arab autocrat to go; the first and second being Zein al-Abedin of Tunisia, who took refuge in Saudi Arabia, and the second Hosni Mubarak, who resigned and has been put on trial. Gaddafi had eight long months to resign or reconcile yet he preferred a violent end.
Libya has a limited population of 70 lakh and annual revenue of 100 billion dollars from oil alone. Had this been properly utilised, Gaddafi could have done great constructive work in Arab and other poor countries. But he used this fabulous wealth for questionable and self-aggrandising objectives.
Libyans under him had neither freedom nor human rights. They had to face persecution, sham trials and summary executions. That is why Libyans are jubilantly celebrating his exit. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said that your worst rulers are those who hate you and you hate them. Unfortunately this applies to Late Gaddafi and a number of others.
The road ahead for Libya is full of great dangers. The National Transitional Council (NTC) is faced with multiple tasks of keeping the country united, restructuring governance, and reconstructing the badly damaged country. It has another formidable duty of resisting the western vultures who are after its oil. The former colonialists are not much concerned with either the rights of Libyans or introduction of democracy. Their primary concern is oil. It is a formidable challenge for NTC to resist a fresh wave of colonial adventurism.
After violent fall of Gaddafi the Arab world’s attention is shifting to Syria and Yemen whose ruthless dictators are constantly refusing to read the writing on the wall. Each of them is credited with killing 3,000 peaceful demonstrators. It is better if they mend their ways before they end their days.
Muslim countries should have adopted a proactive strategy and facilitated peaceful transition in the troubled brother countries but there does not appear to be any discernible activity on their part.
One who rules with brute force is subdued with greater brutality. If violence can triumph peace can be more victorious. Let peace be given a chance before violence sweeps.