Democracy ensures a peaceful transfer of power and has given the common man an opportunity to hold those in power accountable
Even till yesterday, every eye was on America - to put it a bit more precisely, to the war to select the 46th president of the United States. The world was wondering who would win the election? Would Trump stay in the White House for another four years or will Joe Biden take over the office?
For the last few days, the US election has been the only issue the world discussed. Recently, central America was devastated by a catastrophic cyclone, killing about 100 people. It was a big natural disaster which took place just beside the United States, but did not get much attention.
So why did Trump and Joe Biden have become the centre of attention? Is it just curiosity? Yes, curiosity is there. However, it is more than just curiosity. It is rather the interest in knowing who is going to head the most powerful country on this planet and the fate of Americans.
The long wait is over. It has already been confirmed that Joe Biden has won the White House ticket. The result, which was hanging on the few swing states has finally been published after a neck-to-neck fight. The world saw that as time passed and the vote count progressed, the scale of Joe Biden's victory became heavier.
This is why Trump was getting angry and impatient. He brought allegations of rigging, demanding a halt to postal ballot counting, and filed lawsuits in several states. Supporters on both sides took to the streets. They even also got involved in violence in some places.
The election result is going to be a tough test for America. In countries where the foundations of democracy are weak, no one would be surprised if such counter-demands were made at the end of the election.
In such countries, politicians do not feel ashamed in taking resort to any trick to hold on to power or grab it. But, it is America! George Washington - Abraham Lincoln's America! The America that is at the pinnacle of knowledge-glory, science-technology, civilisation-grandeur.
Isn't it America, which constantly preaches the whole world democracy and human rights? Was America expected to elect a racist semi-crazy person like Trump who talked nonsense and made allegations of fraud upon apprehending that he is not going to be re-elected for the second term?
Does it prove that there is a scourge of racism and barbarism behind the mask of civilisation in American society?
Many analysts are not too surprised by this.
Trump came to power by inciting the racism and supremacy hidden among a large section of Americans. Doesn't the rise to power of a man like Trump bear witness to the fact that the discriminatory forces whom Abraham Lincoln defeated and freed America from the curse of slavery are still pretty active in America?
This is but one aspect of the whole scenario. We often forget to pay attention to the other side. No doubt, there are many truthful, sensitive, and well-meaning people in America. But, ethnically, do they judge mankind in the rest of the world on the same level as them?
As you can see, if an American were hit by a 'flower' in any part of the world, the entire nation would blow up, but when American bombs killed millions in Japan, Iraq, or Afghanistan, their hearts do not tremble.
The emergence of democracy instead of monarchy in the state system as a result of the improvement of people's education and knowledge is a great blessing for the world. On the one hand, it has ensured a peaceful transfer of power and has given the common man a wonderful opportunity to hold those in power accountable through voting.
In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, where democracy is based on solid foundations, nobody would think that dictatorship will suddenly take place. Rather, the reality is democracy is more or less practised even in countries where they influence, due to their domination across the world.
Even countries that do not practice democracy in a real sense are forced to stage a show of votes every four or five years.
However, if you think a little deeper, you will see that in all these countries where dictatorship is going on in the name of democracy, these global leaders (read US leaders) are largely responsible for the foundations of democracy not being strengthened.
Isn't it because of the blessings of these global leaders that monarchy is prevailing in a large part of the Muslim world and democracy is failing to find its way? Even if these global powers practice democracy in their own countries, don't their military and commercial interests play a major role in international relations?
So, as you can see, they are ready to welcome the practice of democracy in other countries only as long as they see that the people of their choice are winning the elections. The practice of free democracy can bring nationalist leaders to power, who may not be willing to act as their puppets. This is where they have their reservations.
That's why people like Al-Sisi accused of killing thousands of people in Egypt, or Saudi Crown Prince MBS accused of being behind dismembering a living person into pieces and hiding the body, do not bother them.
On the other hand, it does not afflict their conscience to support a military coup against democratically elected Turkish President Erdogan. Isn't this double standard of these global leaders a big obstacle for the establishment of democracy in the countries of the world?
Dr Mohammad Didare Alam Muhsin is a professor of pharmacy at Jahangirnagar University.