Kur­dis­tan still in trou­ble

Vic­to­ri­ous his­tory adds noth­ing to the cause

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - Go­ran Sabah Ghafour Er­bil lo­hang­o­ran @ya­hoo.com

The Re­pub­lic of Ma­habad, of­fi­cially known as the Re­pub­lic of Kur­dis­tan, es­tab­lished in Ira­nian Kur­dis­tan. It was a short-lived Kur­dish govern­ment that sought Kur­dish au­ton­omy within the lim­its of the Ira­nian state.The cap­i­tal was the city of Ma­habad in north­west­ern Iran. The state it­self en­com­passed a small ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing Ma­habad and the mar­ket towns of Pi­ran­shahr, Sar­dasht, Bukan, Naqada and Ush­naviya. The re­pub­lic's foun­da­tion and demise was a part of the Iran cri­sis dur­ing the open­ing stages of the Cold War. “A tree can’t die un­less it has a worm within,” reads a Kur­dish say­ing. Read­ing decade of in­de­pen­dency and free­dom of Africa (1960s) re­minded me the say­ing. Seven­teen African coun­tries start­ing from Cameroon and Togo to Chad and Benin re­ceived in­de­pen­dence in hope to have a bet­ter life. Fifty years later, that dream never came true. Why is that? This ques­tion needs ask­ing. I think the an­swer is the Kur­dish say­ing, mean­ing African coun­tries have no good leader and good gov­er­nance. The hin­drance of de­vel­op­ment is within, rather ex­ter­nal. The same pos­si­ble sce­nario has been ap­pli­ca­ble in Kur­dis­tan.

Which one is con­sid­ered true: Africans were not ready for in­de­pen­dency, or the col­o­niza­tion sys­tem planned for such weak African coun­tries? I think both are true. Africans were not ready to be in­de­pen­dent be­cause un­til now they frame them­selves weak and pow­er­less. As the BBC ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Africans on Africa: Colo­nial­ism” sim­ply put it cor­rup­tion is not the only and core prob­lem for Africans’ un­der­de­vel­op­ment, the big­ger prob­lem is how Africans look at them­selves, the low self-es­teem within. The se­cond one is also true be­cause France and Bri­tain left their legacy, ad­min­is­tra­tion, eyes and hands on those African coun­tries re­ceived in­de­pen­dence from them. Sene­gal, for in­stance, is still run by French govern­ment be­cause the rul­ing power is un­der the hands and in- flu­ence of France. If I may link this to Kur­dis­tan by ask­ing: Is Kur­dis­tan be­ing col­o­nized by su­per pow­ers? This needs a long an­swer and I leave it to my read­ers to think about.

De­pen­dency, vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights and weak and cor­rupted NGOs are three other key fac­tors hin­der de­vel­op­ment in Africa. As Diana Mitlin and et tal put it in their ar­ti­cle that NGOs are the al­ter­na­tives of govt. to push peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in de­vel­op­ment. But NGOs in the African coun­tries are nowhere close to that ap­proach. The dic­ta­to­rial regimes vi­o­late hu­man rights on daily ba­sis in African coun­tries. Hav­ing said that, a coun­try would never de­velop if fights against hu­man rights. I think if France and Bri­tain knew African colonies would stand on their own feet, they would never set them free. But they well knew that Africans would still be de­pen­dent on them. Then they said “so what?” if they re­ceive in­de­pen­dence. In­de­pen­dent African coun­tries are car­toon in­de­pen­dent coun­tries be­cause in re­al­ity they are still depend­ing on pow­er­ful coun­tries even for wa­ter. The same pos­si­ble sce­nario could be true for Kur­dis­tan.

An­other back­ground in­for­ma­tion is that Kur­dish peo­ple in Turkey tried to have an en­tity of their own in late 1920s. The Re­pub­lic of Ararat or Kur­dish Re­pub­lic of Ararat was a self­pro­claimed Kur­dish state. It was lo­cated in eastern Turkey, be­ing cen­tered on Karaköse Prov­ince. Agirî is the Kur­dish name for Ararat. The Re­pub­lic of Ararat led by the cen­tral com­mit­tee of Xoy­bûn party (founded by Kurds in Turkey) de­clared in­de­pen­dence on Oc­to­ber 28, 1927 or 1928, dur­ing a wave of re­bel­lion among Kurds in south­east­ern Turkey. The Ararat re­bel­lion was led by Gen­eral Ih­san Nuri Pasha. In Oc­to­ber 1927, Kurd Ava or Kur­dava, a vil­lage near Mount Ararat was des­ig­nated as the pro­vi­sional cap­i­tal of Kur­dis­tan. Xoy­bûn made ap­peals to the Great Pow­ers and the League of Na­tions, and also sent mes­sages to other Kurds in Iraqand Syria to ask for co-op­er­a­tion.

An ar­ti­cle posted by Al-Jazeera says South Africa is the “cap­i­tal of rape” of the world It says ev­ery nine of ten women suf­fers from rapists. Worse than this is only one out of ten is re­ported to po­lice. And worst is those men ar­rested by po­lice will be re­leased the same day and walk out laugh­ing. Worst above all is when po­lice mock those women re­port­ing their cases.

Ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle, rapists rape les­bians most in hope to push them to give up prac­tic­ing les­bian­ism. That’s called “cor­rec­tive rape”. One of the key fac­tors of this phe­nom­e­non in South Africa is lack of ed­u­ca­tion and that de­rails the coun­try on the path of de­vel­op­ment. The ar­ti­cle says women are likely to be raped that to learn to read. Vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights is one of the lines dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing a mod­ern and de­vel­oped coun­try from back­ward and un­der­de­vel­oped one.

This re­minds me sit­u­a­tion of women in Iraq and Kur­dis­tan where do­mes­tic vi­o­lence con­ducted against women has made life of sub­mis­sive women more dif­fi­cult. There is no law in Iraq to pro­tect women from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Iraq needs a hand in de­vel­op­ment more than any other coun­try as it’s a torn-apart post war coun­try. Un­der­de­vel­op­ment does not only come from em­bez­zle­ment, nepo­tism, poor gov­er­nance and bad lead­ers, it also comes from lack of law. Imagine a coun­try where po­lice mocks raped women and where law has noth­ing to say for those men beat­ing women for sim­plest mis­takes they make in ev­ery­day life.

These un­der de­vel­oped coun­tries make slow changes even in the age of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. In­dia, the world’s fastest grow­ing econ­omy, gets lit­tle ben­e­fit from so­cial me­dia as an in­stance of the IT age. Kur­dis­tan, a fast grow­ing econ­omy in the Mid­dle East, is not bet­ter than In­dia. Is it true that Kur­dis­tan and other coun­tries alike are be­ing col­o­nized and/or west­ern­ized by the so­cial me­dia?

It’s use­less to push some­one eat while their stom­ach is aching. Un­der such a cir­cum­stance, what­ever they eat wors­ens their health. We should think of a treat­ment to cure the stom­ach so that he/she could eat well and come back to life. This is true for the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy for the third world coun­tries. Tech­nol­ogy is use­less for a coun­try where il­lit­er­acy is at the peak. More than a quar­ter of the In­dian pop­u­la­tion can­not read and write. What tech­nol­ogy brings to them if they don’t know to use, worse than that if they don’t to read and write. As this piece puts it on this link http://wiki. me­dia- cul­ture. org. au/ in­dex. php/ Dig­i­tal_Divide_-_Third_World_ Coun­tries, The In­ter­net is used for al­most ev­ery­thing today, 'dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy can have an im­pact on the flow of in­vest­ment, goods and global ser­vices in the global mar­ket place and if a coun­try can­not par­tic­i­pate and con­nect in these tech­nolo­gies then they are left be­hind. A writer for the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal, a World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion of­fi­cial, Tessa Tan-Tor­res Ede­jer said, 'the cur­rent di­vide be­tween dig­i­tal haves and have-nots is more dramatic than any other in­equal­ity in health or in­come.’ There­fore, more im­por­tant than the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy is to find a way to rid peo­ple from the il­lit­er­acy they have been suf­fer­ing from. To give il­lit­er­ate peo­ple all the books of the world, best in­ter­net ac­cess for free adds noth­ing to the mind and that leads nowhere to make a change or progress.

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