Lessons from Bastille

It's been nigh on 224 years since the morning of July 14th, when the angry citizens of Paris, beleaguered by their inept monarchy in a moment of dashing bravery and courage stormed the Bastille Prison in Paris and became an inspiration to the masses across the world. Such was the fiery inspiration and raw energy of this moments that even today it captures enthrallingly the imagination of millions across the world and instills a deep and profound sense of awe and admiration. What began with just a mob of 1,000 ordinary citizens ended up in becoming the architects of one of the world's most iconic and game-changing events.

The Storming of the Bastille Prison
To the random observer, the storming of the Bastille is but a random act of rebellion against a government but it was in principle, a strike at the very heart of government tyranny and high-handedness. It wasn't just a random one-off act of aggression but a manifestation of public anger against inefficient administration and governance. This holds true not only for France but for the whole wide world. Indeed, the ideals and principles of the French Revolution have proved to be a constant source of inspiration for protesters across the globe. The Storming of the Bastille,  favorite of many of the world's artists became a glorious moment in the history of France and the World.

The Bastille stood for everything which the protester hates and what every inept government stands for - tyranny, authoritarianism, wasteful expenditures, corruption, negligence , high-handedness and  above all - arrogance. The Storming of the Bastille Prison was a single event which turned into a flash point for protesters, a reference point for all rebellion and a symbol of democracy - the rule of the crowd. The French Revolution gave a fillip to democracy and laid the grounds for it's strong foundation not only for France but for the West as a whole and even the world.

It's become the turning point in the history of monarchy in the world, almost like a death knell to it's very existence on the face of the Earth. Until the 18th century, a form of government besides monarchy was almost unthinkable. about but after the French Revolution, we saw it's steady decline. Today, there are but a handful of countries with monarchs and most of them are but titular figureheads with close to little or no actual power. Instead, we have in it's place a more inclusive form of government - democracy.

Contrary to popular perception, the world needs protests. They serve as a constant reminder to the government that the public's patience has a end and that it takes but a spark to light a huge flame of protests. It's keep them on their toes, over extending themselves and trying to do damage-control. Moreover, it is an embodiment of the consequences  which any government shall face if it is inept and inefficient. It instills a sense of urgency and will which few things can.
Protests : A Powerful Tool of the Common Man

Power is addictive and deceptive. When sitting in their chairs, away from the masses and unaware of the popular mood of the nation, our administrators tend to get high-handed and cut off from the grassroots. Protests are an expression which arises from the grassroots and that's what make them as special and essential as they are. They open a direct channel of communication right from the farmer toiling day and night in his fields to the uppermost part of the administrative system.

So today, on the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille, the world at large is in urgent need of a reminder of the fact that there is an option in front of us. In case we are dissatisfied with our administration, if we believe that out government in increasingly corrupt and intolerant, if we feel that our leaders are becoming increasingly high handed and arrogant we know what to do - take some time to hit the streets. For the voice of the public, is the strongest voice.


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