Fasting and fatty meals versus oppression and democracy

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As everybody knows, there are some types of fasting in every religion. For instance, Orthodox Christian and Muslim religion followers have several fasting occasions during any year. Orthodox Christian and Muslim believers’ have fasting periods that are nearly the same in their form and quintessence but different in their content. Muslims who have been fasting during the day are religiously permitted to consume any food substance (including meat, egg, milk, butter and the like) when the daily fasting period breaks at 6 PM and through the mid-night (correct me, if I am wrong). In contrast, Orthodox Christians who have been fasting during the day are not religiously allowed to consume fatty food items until the time when the entire fasting period elapses.

For instance, during Tsom 40 Period, Orthodox Christians fast for about 40 or 50 days (I don’t know the exact number of days in Tsom 40) and start consuming such fatty food substances as meat, egg, milk, butter and the like when the entire fasting period ends (after 40 or 50 days). The advises of Medical Doctors come here to picture. Medical Doctors’ advice those Orthodox Christian followers who have been fasting for a long period of time to consume fatty food items on a piece-meal basis starting from the day of festivity of fasting break (say Fasika/Easter) through the following few days.

This is so because, as such individuals have been consuming non-fatty food items during a long fasting period, an abrupt shift to and heavy consumption of fatty food items would have detrimental repercussions on their health. Those who fail to listen to and accept the Medical Doctors’ advice would certainly end up consuming too much of the clinically unwanted food items just on the very day of fasting break festivity to ultimately fall sick and run to various hospitals seeking for medical treatment for a fee that significantly exceeds the money they spent on the unwanted food items that they had consumed.

It is a public secret that Ethiopia is a country that has, for a prolonged period of time, been fasting and deprived of all the attributes of a civilized nation which include, among others, democracy.

Setting aside the ancient and medieval history of this proud nation, several books provide us a detailed account of the fact that Ethiopians were unable to exercise their democratic rights and that the various nations and nationalities were treated in different ways under emperor Hailesslase and Mengistu derg regimes. Just to be succinct, the people of Ethiopia were among the most subjugated people on earth.

Then came the reign of EPRDF, a rebel group that was composed of Ethiopians from various nations and nationalities and had toppled the brutal derg regime in 1991. After EPRDF had assumed state power, it had successfully drafted the Ethiopian Constitution that is later gleefully accepted by the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. During the course of drafting the aforementioned constitution, as we ordinary citizens know, all stakeholders including major opposition politicians were involved.

In line with the Ethiopian Constitution, EPRDF had extensively opened the right of organization and multi-party system, election and the right to vote and be voted, freedom of speech and expression, independent legal system, egalitarianism and proportional development of the national economy, just to mention. Although such ingredients of a civilized nation as those mentioned above were extensively opened after the Ethiopian Constitution became practical, they were in place one or two years after EPRDF took state power.

However, while majority of the Ethiopians are happy with everything that EPRDF had introduced, some citizens had immediately started to fall sick simply because they were not used to the democratic system that EPRDF had tirelessly worked to introduce it to the country. I don’t blame such citizens because they were born and brought up during the reign of undemocratic and atrocious governments and that they have been fasting democracy throughout their age. For such citizens, democracy and democratic system is like the fatty food substances that Orthodox Christian followers who have been fasting for a long period are not advised to over-consume on the very day of fasting break festivity and through the following few days. These citizens express their sickness by abusing and contaminating the abundant democracy that prevails in the country and fall into four major categories: Opposition Political Party Leaders and Members, Private Media/Press, Ethiopians in the Diaspora with extremist proclivity, and Religious Fanatics.

By the way, to a country like Ethiopia that has been ruled by undemocratic regimes for centuries, is it possible to introduce a democratic system on incremental/piece-meal basis rather than immediately and extensively opening up everything like what EPRDF did?

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