Jasmine Revolution in Burma [ Myanmar ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 21, 2012           01.00 A.M.

2011 will be known in the world history as the year of Jasmine Revolutions . It started with Tunisia .The despotic ruler of Tunisia , Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to quit his post after 24 years of tyrannical rule .

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia

Egypt was the second nation to be engulfed by the Jasmine Revolution . After having an iron grip on Egypt for 30 long years , Hosni Mubarak was thrown out of power by the rampaging masses .

Hosni Mubarak of Egypt

Soon the revolution reached at the door – step of Muammar al – Gaddafi . After fierce resistance of few months , Gaddafi was thrown out of power and was subsequently killed . His despotic and tyrannical rule lasted for 42 long years .

Muammar al - Gaddafi of Libya

Soon after Libya , Jasmine Revolution reached at the doors of other despotic rulers of Syria , Yemen and China . Syria’s Bashar al – Assad is currently facing the brunt of the masses . 10 years of Bashar al – Assad and 30 years of his father Hafez al – Assad‘s rule is now deeply resented .

Bashar al - Assad of Syria

Yemen is another country , ruled by a totalitarian ruler , Ali Abdullah Saleh. His 21 year – old rule is going to end soon . Jasmine Revolution is furiously knocking at his door .

Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen

At present China is trying to control the Jasmine Revolution . But the question remains , will she be able to check the marching footsteps of the disgruntled masses ?

It is very surprising that in the last quarter of 2011 , Burma [ Also Known as Myanmar ] got rid of  the military rule of 49 years , but the world is slow to react to the new reality . Many in India don’t know much about our eastern neighbour .

Than Shwe , The Military Ruler of Burma

To know about Burma , we should look at the map of British Indian Empire . Map of British India is very interesting . In comprises present day India , Pakistan , Bangladesh , Burma [ Present Day Myanmar ] and Ceylon [ Present Day Sri Lanka ] . People know that West Pakistan [ Now Pakistan ] and East Pakistan [ Now Bangladesh ] were part of India before 1947 . But today’s generation do not know that Burma [ Now Myanmar ] , and Ceylon [ Now Sri Lanka ] , were also part of British Indian Empire .

English: Map of the British Indian Empire from...

IMap of British Indian Empire

1864 Johnson's Map of India (Hindostan or Brit...

Map of British India

At the time of Independence of India in 1947 , British rulers divided the Indian Empire into 4 free and sovereign states . India , Pakistan , Burma and Ceylon became 4 independent states .

Britain's holdings on the Indian subcontinent ...

Proposed Divisions of British Indian Empire

India and Pakistan became two independent states in 1947 . Burma became independent on January 04 , 1948 . Burma is the 40th largest country in the world and 2nd largest country in South East Asia . Burma is also the 24th most populous country in the world .

Political Map of Burma

Locator map showing India and Burma

Location Map Showing India & Burma

After independence in 1948 , Burma was a democratic country for 14 years but unfortunately , on March 02 , 1962 military ousted civilian rulers in a coup . Military junta ruled Burma till 2011 . Then junta was dissolved and a civilian government was installed again .

The 14 states and regions of Burma

14 Provinces of Burma

During it’s 49 year rule military junta changed many things in Burma . The name of country was changed to Myanmar . Though it is not recognised by the world community and the majority population of Burma . Name of the capital Rangoon was also changed to Yangon . Later on capital was shifted to Naypyidaw in Mandalay province .

Aung San Suu Kyi

After 15 years of detention , Burma’s pro – democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released on November 13 , 2010 . In October 2011 many political prisoners were freed and trade unions were legalised . Jasmine revolution seems to be booming in Burma and the country is on the verge of democratic rule .

I have a childhood fascination for Burma . My maternal grand-uncle and maternal grand-aunt lived in Rangoon , Burma during 2nd World War . They used to tell many thrilling stories about Burma . Their stay in Rangoon was also full of very interesting anecdotes . Whenever I used to visit their place along with my mother , I used to sit with them and used to hear their stories of Burma . Now I know that many stories were fabricated but they kindled my fascination about Rangoon and Burma and my childhood fascination still continues .

When I started my studies , I read about Bahadur Shah Zafar and about his imprisonment and his subsequent death in Rangoon . Then I read about Lokmanya Tilak’s infamous jail term and 6 years [ 1908 – 1914 ] that he spent in Mandalay jail . My relationship with Burma was fortified in my mind .

A Hindi film song of ” Patanga ” [ 1949 ] also helped to build up the Burmese fascination . The song MERE PIYA GAYE RANGOON ; WAHAN SE KIYA HAI TELEPHONE , TUMHARI YAAD SATATI HAI …….. still reverbarates in the corridors of my sub – conscious . I haven’t seen this Shyam , Nigar Sultana , Yakub , Gope and Cuckoo starrer , which was directed by H. S. Rawail . But whenever I used to hear C. Ramchandra’s immortal song , specially its lines ; TUM BURMA KI GALIYON ME HO , AUR PHIROON MAIN DEHRADUN ………. TUMHARI YAD SATATI HAI …… I used to feel that I am also roaming in the lanes and by – lanes of Rangoon and Burma .

Another Hindi film ” Burmah Road ” [ 1962 ] again inflamed my imagination about Burma . This Ashok Kumar and Kumkum starrer film was forgettable but a song DAGHABAZ HO , BANKE PIYA KAHO NA , DAGHABAZ HO ……. is still fresh in my memory . Lata Mangeshkar’s voice made this song immortal and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics were set to tune by Chitragupta .

Since the country is on the road to democracy , I hope to visit Burma one day and would love to roam around in the lanes and by – lanes of Rangoon . May be this will happen soon , may be very soon .or may be in far distant future . I would love to visit Burma , visit Rangoon and would love to meet Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi .

Long live Aung San Suu Kyi !!!

Aung San Suu Kyi

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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