By:Masud Javed Qasmi
Amidst growing concern among the liberals of the world on the rise of chauvinism; intemperate pride in nationalist identity and excessive patriotism which were forcefully floated to win the election in the world’s largest democracy INDIA in 2014 and the second biggest democracy USA in 2016, French people have provided the world with a sigh of relief.
French voters by electing a centrist Emmanuel Macron with almost two third majority(66.1%) proved that they can ebb the tide of far right forces and ultra right movements emerged in the world and in particular in the Western world.
The culmination of hate mongering and fear mongering dates back to 9/11 tragedy which had, one believes in conspiracy theory or not, shattered the aspirations of the world from the Millennium for bringing about a new world order. The tempo of enthusiasm which had burst in human to make this planet an ideal world where peace and prosperity will prevail and mankind peacefully coexisting will strive for achieving Millennium Development Goals as prescribed by the UNO,out of a sudden was put to an end. Whole world was shocked and thus everybody ‘s romance with future , abruptly evaporated and chorus changed from peace and development to war on terrorism .
France had credibility of maintaining a balance on various world issues and an important player on world arena, though not a rival like USSR in cold war era, too moved to the U.S tune. It seemed whole world compromised not to raise even against injustice and tyranny and remained under the influence of the USA. Solidarity with the USA in war on terror, of course, was appreciable but disappearance of liberal voices in support to just causes of marginalized people and giving up their ideologies and identities is deplorable.
Now it seems that French people have decided to regain France’s identity, glory and commitment to true socialism and secularism. President- elect Emmanuel Macron underlining his priorities vowed to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threat. He further spoke against discriminatory policies targeting the country’s Muslim population. He declared that “No religion is a problem in France.” The greetings of the world leaders manifest that they see in Mr.Macron a ray of hope and beginning of new era away from rhetoric of fear and mistrust. The youngest head of state, since Napoleon, hopefully will be able to intact the European Union which is going through its existential crisis. However, it will be too early to predict that French mandate against the rhetoric is the beginning of new era in Europe. But to some extent it can be said that unlike Britain and Australia which are known to follow the U S lines, France, Canada and other European countries may reestablish their identity independent of the U.S.spell and influence. Since 9/11 it has been more than one and a half decade which of course was sufficient to carefully make assessment of the tragedy and entailing entailing events. The effect of ” who is not with us is against us” was tolerated as a sympathy gesture at that time. Now there is murmuring in many parts of the world that the relevance of non alignment is not worn out for ever. What German philosopher Karl Marks had said that “Religion Is The Opium Of The People” is being rephrased as Fear is the opium of the mass. This pushed back all the issues of peace, prosperity and development.
(Bureau Consultant-International Affairs) ICN Group